Israel tried. Israel went over and above. We went beyond what any moral, western country would be prepared to sacrifice.
The world told us, “The problem is that having settlements in the Gaza Strip is dangerous and incites violence,” so we pulled out. We left behind fully-functioning businesses and farms so that the Gazans could support themselves. The Palestinians destroyed the businesses and uprooted the farms.
The world told us, “The problem is that the Gazans need medical and building supplies,” so we opened up a border crossing and provided goods and services. We even took extremely sick Gazans to Israeli hospitals through the crossings. The Palestinians used the building supplies to construct underground military tunnels and attacked the crossing post regularly.
The world told us, “The problem is that the Gazans haven’t had democratic elections,” so we supported democratic elections. The Palestinians elected Hamas to rule over them.
The world told us, “Pay no attention to rockets being launched at your border communities and the violent riots on your borders,” so we did our best to respond proportionally (oftentimes putting our own soldiers at risk), allowed Gazans into Israel to work, and cooperated with Qatar to send millions and millions of dollars into Gaza.
If the funds and international support had been used to build, Gaza would be a thriving society today, with businesses, hospitals, schools, cultural centers and a booming tourism industry.
Instead, the funds and support were used to support a leadership that was more interested in raping, beheading and burning Jews than the welfare of their own children. And, sadly, they were cheered on by the majority of Gazans.
The pain of the Simchat Torah massacre is too heavy to bear. Women attending a music festival were raped and burned. Whole families were beheaded. Pregnant mothers had their stomachs slashed open. Toddlers, children and geriatric Holocaust survivors were kidnapped and taken back to Gaza.
Tragedy brings clarity. Trying to coexist next to a terrorist entity has failed. Building a security fence has failed. Sending humanitarian aid has failed, as the funding and materials go directly to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad war machines.
At this point, the world needs to get women and children out of Gaza and allow the Israeli Defense Forces to root out this pure evil. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are already trying to thwart these efforts. They are bombing exit roads and shooting at Gazan civilians trying to move south. We know all too well that Israel uses its military forces to protect its women and children. Hamas and Islamic Jihad use their women and children to protect their military forces.
You will see horrible pictures of destruction on the evening news. The commentators will use fancy phrases and misleading words like “proportional” and “inhumane.” Hamas will seed misinformation. Egypt will keep its border with Gaza closed to increase the humanitarian disaster. Don’t be fooled. They want America and Europe to bring pressure on Israel to stop or limit its operation. We tried that again and again and again. It failed.
The IDF needs to finish off Hamas and Islamic Jihad exactly the same way that the United States led the effort that finished off ISIS.
Our soldiers, our children, including our two children, are on the front lines of this battle between good and evil. They deserve your full and all-embracing support.
May we be blessed to see one another again on happy occasions.
Maury Greenberg is a member of CJP’s Boston-Haifa Peoplehood committee.