Jun, 8, 2018
How Israelis React to Deaths on Both Sides – Lenny Ben-David (Forward)
- Most Israelis know that the shooting of a Palestinian medical volunteer at the Gaza border riots on June 2 was not deliberate. We simply don’t do things like that. If a rare act of murder of Arabs by an Israeli takes place, Israelis are shocked and demand justice.
- The Israeli public knows that not only can rocks and kites be lethal, but they are just one tactic in Hamas’ arsenal of attack tunnels, rockets, fence-breaching teams, drones, RPGs, mortars, and naval commandos, all encouraged, trained, financed, and supplied by a genocidal Iran.
- In this war, the enemy sends to the front boys, women, and fighters sometimes disguised as press and aid workers, traveling in ambulances that ferry fighters and bombs.
- The IDF is us, our sons and daughters, our husbands in reserves. The front is only a few miles away. If anything is amiss or orders seem illegal, our soldiers pick up the phone and call us or the army reporter for Israel Radio. Misdeeds, brutality, or illegal orders are not covered up; in this talkative society, they can’t be. In Israel, investigations take place. Criminal acts are prosecuted. Due process is carried out.
- At the same time, we have met the enemy, and he is cruel. Israelis witnessed over the years savage mobs dismembering two reservists with their bare hands, buses and restaurants exploding, children stabbed in their bedrooms, and rabbis butchered while at prayer. We’re sad over the deaths on the other side, but we’re not overly apologetic.
- We’re angered when the Palestinians name parks and schools to honor their “heroes” who led terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. We shake our heads when we see Palestinian children extolling martyrdom. And the entire story of Palestinian budgets to “pay to slay” Israelis infuriates us.
- Ten minutes after the Palestinians decide one day to make peace with us, we will rush to assist them with jobs, water, electricity, agriculture, waste management, economic development, housing, and healthcare. Because that is what we do.
The writer served as a senior diplomat in Washington and is the author of American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs.