As we enter Day 5 of this battle with Hamas many out there are saying “told you so”. Ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, 3 years ago, Hamas has used its authority over the strip to implement their version of law and order over their people, and to stockpile weapons and rockets. Rather than promote co-existence, create life, and provide hope for the Palestinians living under their control – Hamas has decided on isolation, destruction, and death. At the end of the day, everyone wants to live in peace, go to work, be with family and create life; unfortunately the time for peace has yet to be realized. We read in the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:1-8 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven;…A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” I think we all realize where we are today and while it is important that we seek paths for peace, the road has yet to be paved – road maps are one thing, realities on the ground another.
As I turn on the news I see the protests against Israel across the U.S. and around the world. I read about anti-Semitic acts and hear terrible accusations made of Israel. I can’t help but think “why is Israel so demonized?” I’m for peace and my thoughts are with the innocent victims and their families, however I can’t figure out why Israel is still on probation? How is it that Russia can march into Georgia only to kill at will and take as they please, when there are millions on the African continent who are suffering at the hands of their own leadership, women and children raped, mutilated, enslaved for no other reason than the tribe they belong to. China, Iran, and the list goes on – so where are the protests? And yet when Israel defends her citizens from years of Hamas attacks – citizens of the world find a cause to unite.
Wherever there is a Jew in need, anywhere in the world, you better believe that this Jew and his/her community is not alone – Israel knows her place and responsibility for international Jewry. What is our role in this relationship?
Kol Yisrael Averim Zeh b’zeh – All of Israel is responsible one for the other. I believe that now is the time for us to act on this value. Read up on the news, write op-eds, talk to your friends and colleagues – there is a conversation being had and it involves us all; if you don’t speak for yourself, someone else will.
Oseh shalom bimromav hu ya’aseh shalom–may God bring peace to the skies and peace to the ground below–bimheira biyameinu.
Praying for peace