Wimps and War

War has been best described by one who knew how to wage it, General George Patton, who said, “War is hell.”

Israel and America have been thought to be close allies for years. A popular item for sale on the streets of Jerusalem is a t-shirt showing a tank and jet posting the message: “America don’t worry Israel is behind you.”

I have another popular item, a lapel pin consisting of crossed American and Israeli flags indicating the closeness.

However, in light of the current war between Hamas and Israel there have been rallies in support of Hamas in several American cities. At Harvard University 31 student groups have shown support of Hamas and blamed Israel for the war. These young intellects don’t know the long standing history of Hamas aggression and the numerous efforts made by Israel to try to improve relations. Israel conquered the Gaza Territory in their Six Day War and set it free after the war rather than investing resources trying to govern it. It was hoped Gaza would be the Singapore of the Mediterranean.

Since that war there have been conflicts between the two interests inside Israel with both sides at fault at times. In most instances the Jews have been right. With two opposing interests living in close proximity within Israel conflicts are inevitable. The Palestinian demand for conquered territory to be given back to the Palestinians is a major source of conflict. There is an applicable adage that explains the situation: “To the victor goes the spoils.” Israel has developed major cities in those territories consisting of hospitals, schools, banks, roadways, waterworks, expansive housing and numerous other amenities in these areas. These are Jewish cities occupied by Jews. Palestinians occupied these territories for years and let them exist as undeveloped desert.

There are numerous global examples of national boundaries having changed long ago due to war. The losers accepted their defeat and loss and have abided by the change. Hamas has not abided by this practice.

At the end of the Six Day War Jews and Arabs could cross former borders into the other’s section. Traffic lights in the Jewish section which had been unknown in the Arab section were so fascinating to young Arabs many stood on the street corners applauding when the lights changed. Jerusalem has since been developed by Jews as a major modern metropolis. The concept of giving it back is unthinkable.

If Israel does what it says it must do to destroy Hamas a grievous side effect will be the killing of many innocent people. If they don’t there will later be the killing of many Jews in subsequent wars. This is part of the horror of war. Israel will be represented as over reacting and acting unjustly. In turn, much of the press will feature this. The result will be negative and critical of Israel.

There is a statement that has been attributed to a number of Israelis, among those cited in slightly different forms are Golda Meir and Benjamin Netanyahu: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel”. Based on the record that appears to be true.

All of my contacts in Israel ask for prayers. Please respond positively with their entreaty.