Sunday, January 04, 2009

The real thing

Yesterday evening, after we had put our children to bed and sat down to eat a sandwich or two in front of the television, my wife and I found out what the people of Gaza, tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers and many others already knew: the IDF had started its ground operation against Hamas. While everybody knew that it is an illusion to believe that ( total ) victories can be achieved by an army's airforce alone and without putting the lives of large numbers of soldiers at risk, the invasion did come as some sort of surprise. We almost forgot that this could start any moment. This morning I woke up early and went to check the news. My wife just called to tell me that a good friend and classmate of our son will spend the afternoon with us. Her parents have a clothing store, and her mother has to work there alone for the time being because the husband/father got an emergency call yesterday from the army, to immediately report for duty near the Gaza border. Wednesday afternoon he probably will not be able to attend the birthday party for his daughter and - a little late, he had his sixth birthday two months ago - our son. I have not heard from other friends - I can't think of any family members who are active reserve soldiers, they are all too young or old, my wife does not have a large family, mainly because of that other war - but there are some who I am almost sure will spend the next few days or weeks in uniform. We think about the soldiers and about the people of Sderot, Ashkelon, Nir Oz etc. all the time. Believe me, I also think about the poor people of Gaza, but at times like these, one tends to think about his own people and loved ones first. As I wrote before - maybe in Dutch, I don't know - if the leaders and 'friends' of the Palestinians cared as much about 'their' own people as we ( Jews, Israelis, and our friends ) care about and take care of each other - especially in times of need and crisis; when all gets back to 'normal', we often are at each other's throats -, neither Israelis nor Palestinians would find themselves in the sad situation that they are in today. As long as Hamas and its 'colleagues' and especially its puppet masters refuse to accept Israel ( without the territories; they are a different story, that has nothing to do with this war; those who follow this blog know that I would gladly see the occupation end, even though I am convinced that that is nothing but an excuse for Islamists and other Arab/Muslim fanatics to terrorize the world ) as a fact, act accordingly and start taking care of the real interests of the Palestinians, wars like this will repeat themselves over and over again, and not only Israelis but also and especially ordinary Palestinians in Gaza and the Westbank suffer as a result of it. Declarations by several Arab diplomats and opinion makers plus the fact that Israel appears to have very good intelligence sources on the ground in the Gaza Strip, suggest that Palestinians and other Arabs understand that Hamas - together with, and I cannot say that enough, all those who support or justify its actions, and that includes many of the people who have been demonstrating, speaking out and writing against Israel for more than a week now without condemning or mentioning Hamas' Verelendung-tactics -, not Israel, is the biggest enemy of the Palestinian people.

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