Israeli news has been centered around two very significant events that took place today. The first involved the downing of a Syrian war plane that infiltrated the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, and the revealed news that the two captors and murders of the three teenage boys, Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali, were discovered and killed by a joint task force consisting of the IDF, Shin Bet, and a police SWAT counter terrorist unit.
When a Patriot Missle shot down the Syrian war plane that infiltrated the Israeli side of the Golan Heights reports started pouring out of Syria from both supporters of the Assad regime and the opposing Syrian Rebels (consisting of Al-Qaeda offshoots). A large portion of the rebels praised Israel’s actions against the tyrannical Assad regime, while the other side claimed that Israel carried out this attack in support and solidarity with ISIS and the group’s supporters… Let’s just mull that one over for a second. I’m no Middle East political expert at this point, but Israel doesn’t seem to play the American/Obama game of “let’s be friends with the enemy of our enemy even if they are an even bigger enemy” game, and I honestly think that they are brutally cautious of anything coming over from the Syrian side no matter where it came from or who sent it. Rebels or Assad, neither group is a friend to Israel, and I think it is pretty safe to say that Israel will defend herself from ANY threat regardless of who is behind it. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned that Israel would not tolerate any threats to her security and stated, “We will not allow anyone, whether it is a state actor or a terror organization, to threaten our security and breach our sovereignty… We will respond forcefully against any such attempt, whether it is an error or intentional.”
The brutal kidnapping and murder of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali was an act that rattled an entire country and launched a 50 day war between Israel and the Hamas controlled Gaza strip. Though at first Hamas denied responsibility for the kidnappings, it was later revealed, by a top Hamas official, that their military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, was in fact responsible for both the kidnappings and murders. The two suspects involved in the planning and execution of the kidnappings, Marwan kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, were discovered hiding in a Hebron home in the early hours Tuesday morning, were cornered, and then were given the chance to surrender to the task force assigned to apprehend the terrorists. They came out shooting and were killed almost immediately. The house they were found hiding in was then bulldozed to the ground… It was finally over, and the murderers had been brought to justice. Upon the discovery of their deaths the mothers of the three boys issued a statement that “the world will [now] know that Jewish blood isn’t free”.
How full circle we have come since the beginning of the war. The deaths of these three innocent boys, deaths that started a war, also helped Israel discover and foil a plan that was to be executed on the Jewish New Year (tomorrow) that would have left hundreds of Israeli civilians dead at the hands of Hamas terrorists. While their deaths were a horrendous tragedy they, in turn, brought about a war that would help further secure the Israeli people from Islamic terrorism that threatens us every day, and with the deaths of Marwan and Amer we have now closed the chapter that was “Protective Edge”. Now we can only hope and pray for a quiet and peaceful New Year of our friends, family, Jews worldwide, and the people of Israel.
In other, much more happy, news, things at work and school have been going extremely well. I’m really focusing on my studies and hoping that my focus will illuminate my future career path because right now there are about 50 things I could see myself doing with my PhD and my Hebrew, Arabic, and (soon to be) French language skills. Counter terrorism is high on the list at this point much to Stephane’s chagrin, and there was a big announcement that the Mossad is recruiting! Luckily I have a few years until I have to decide for sure! Jasper came to work with me today to meet everyone at the office before the High Holidays
I miss you every second of every day and I love you forever and always.
Until we meet again <3,