Sunday, May 26, 2024

Opinion: The Terrorist Next Door

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By Osi Rosenberg

“I killed ten Jews Dad! Be Proud. Your son’s a hero. Praise Allah” – Hamas Terrorist call to his father October 7, 2023

I am angry. I am grief stricken. Sometimes I am inconsolable. I am fearful. I am traumatized. I wasn’t there, but I am always there. I am Israeli. I am a Jew. I am connected in spirit to my people, as many are connected to their heritage. We are all tethered to our ancestry in some way. I have no outlet for this. This exact situation was our “Never Again”. For it to happen in Israeli soil cuts so deep it’s hard to wrap my head around it.

For years Israel-Palestinian conflict has been a political and humanitarian bullet point.   We hear news of Palestinians throwing stones at civilians, from Gaza or Lebanon rockets being launched into major Israeli cities, suicide bombers on busses and cafes in Tel Aviv, Haifa or Jerusalem, stabbings, kidnappings from terrorist and jihadists. Israel for its part in the mess that is the Middle East blockades Gaza by land and sea, has scuffles at border patrol check points, and settlers encroach on land given to the Palestinians. This has been the way of life in the small Middle Eastern strip of land that is a total of 10,830 square miles. Jews and Muslim have shared this land for centuries.

When I have gone to visit my family in Israel over the years, I remember their being times we didn’t ride busses because of the imminent threat, we made sure we had gas masks with us in case of a dirty bomb, and we cautiously avoided touring destinations because of the pockets of unrest. This was ‘normal’. People in Israel constantly live in a state of ‘awareness’ that the neighboring countries, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories, are ready and willing to destroy each and every person ‘from the river to the sea.’

During the Oslo Accords, Israel was told by the world to give land for peace. Israel fulfilled our part of the agreement. Not perfect, and not without our own embarrassment and shame. In the end, it’s clear that the West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian Territories. Israel helped its new neighbor by providing clean water as required by international law, and humanitarian aid. It didn’t matter. When Hamas took over the small strip of land, they demolished the greenhouses and burned the infrastructure Israel left behind.

Israeli is far from perfect when it comes to the Palestinians. The young country has many lessons to learn and many areas that need improvement. For a long time, Israeli policies denounce and criminalized actions that create tension and breach the ability for negotiated peace for the region. It is clear and indisputable that the rise of extremism in recent years have caused a huge backslide in relations, but as a result the Israeli population has been protesting, picketing, and speaking out against the extreme actions of its current government. The opposite is true for the Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas the ruling organization in Gaza like similar jihadist terror groups have one mission – to kill. The more they kill the more they celebrate. This is all done in the name of Allah. I listened to an interrogation of a Hamas terrorist answer a question during recorded interrogations in Israel. “I am a soldier of Hamas.” His orders – “Go into the villages and kill everyone one you see”. When asked about the children he says, “Yes, everyone.”  He shot a saferoom full of children on October 7th, after eating the figs their parents, also killed, set out for snacks that morning. His voice is matter of fact when recalling his account. No remorse. No regret. No indication it was wrong to kill children.

Palestinians in Gaza are oppressed. They are occupied. Not by their neighboring country, the oppressor lives within – Hamas. The have robbed the Palestinians of their free will. Poisoned their minds with hatred. They have hardened their hearts. The people of Gaza are robbed of hope. The people of Gaza are now being used as a feeding ground for all the jihad terror organizations. The Hamas charter specifically states that there is only peace through jihad, holy war, and there can be no peace until the Jews are removed from the land.

I find to be most horrific that the world knew what was building in Gaza. The world knew of the terror tunnels back in 2012 when they were first discovered. The world knew this terrorist organization continued to thrive, recruit children, oppress its people, collect armaments, and continually fire rockets and commit acts of terror in Israel. The world knew its end goal, it was not hidden. Hamas said it over and over and over again. The world knew and yet the world did nothing. Beyond nothing, the world tied Israel’s hands and forbade any action against Hamas. The world knew, and worse than nothing.

Hamas kept infiltrating Israel and murdering the civilians in their homes or kidnapping soldiers. In response to this boarder issue, Israel built a boarder wall. A wall that has multiple gates for humanitarian passage. Like any other country in the world the border has checkpoints and documents are necessary to enter Israel. Americans worry about protecting its boarder. While American worry about the population or economic issues caused by overflow of illegal immigration, Israel knows for a fact that when Hamas crosses the border, they are going to commit terrorist acts like stab an old man, blow up a bus, or behead babies. We don’t have to guess what will happen. Hamas says it. Hamas acts on it. On October 7th, 2023, Hamas demonstrated just how methodical and systematic they will be about completing their mission through all of Israel. Hamas intends to repeat these atrocities until not one Jew remains. Their mission is such that they will not stop there. They have said it themselves. They will hunt Jews to extinction. The boarder wall saves Israeli lives, but the world calls Gaza an open-air prison. Israel loses face on the world stage, yet we do what we must to survive.

The wall does not stop Hamas. They openly and publicly lob hundreds of rockets into Israel each year, often hitting the Israeli water pipes and electricity cables that feed Gaza. They further escalated the conflict by building tunnels. Over 300 miles of tunnels exist under Gaza city and into Israeli cities. The same cities Gaza civilians work in. The people of Gaza live without food, fuel, and jobs. Some are in severe abject poverty, but Hamas builds tunnels. Not dinky little tunnels a child makes in the sand at the beach, but solid tunnels with rebar and cement. Tons and tons of resources are used to make these hidden death traps. These are not tunnels for their citizens to protect themselves. They are not bomb shelters. One of the leaders of Hamas recently stated that it wasn’t Hamas’s job to care for Gaza’s residents. It is the UN’s job, or the world’s job. Hamas is there for one reason, to murder the Jews in Israel, from the ‘river to the sea.” They use the humanitarian donations from around the world, the hard-earned money of people like you, who want to help to further their hate-filled mission. Naturally, we all want to help. The majority of the money that goes to Gaza is known by the international community to pay for the resources to upkeep and build more tunnel systems used to smuggle weapons, kidnap Israeli’s, plan their attacks in secret rooms, hide, and kill. Egypt found tunnels, and they didn’t ask questions, they flooded them. No one talks about it. Whoever was in there at the time, had no chance. Israel sends warnings, in accordance with international law. They give time for those in the tunnels to escape before they destroyed the tunnels on the Israeli side of the boarder. The news covers the Israeli destruction of the terror tunnels as a sign of aggression and oppression. We lose face, but we survive.

Make no mistake Hamas is a terrorist organization. Their charter is clear. Kill the Jews to extinction, starting with Palestine. Not Jewish? Don’t worry, they want to kill the infidels too. If you are not their kind if Muslim, you are not human. It’s not hyperbole. They say it. They throw homosexuals off buildings, they stone women who are not covered, they have no interest in our way of life, and letting us just be who we want to be. There is no freedom … no choice. There is just fear.

“I killed ten Jews Mama. I’m a hero. Be proud of your son. I’ve killed 10 Jews. Praise Allah.”This was one young terrorist calling his folks back in Gaza after the October 7th Massacre. they beheaded babies, tortures children in front of their parents, burned people alive, over 1,400 people. “Be proud. I killed 10 Jews. Praise Allah”

There are those who believe the conflict will never be resolved. I don’t agree. The first step in solving the problem is rooting out the terrorist regime that is oppressing the people. Israel is doing that now. It’s not easy. It’s not pretty. War is hell. People are dying. Sometime innocent people die. Israel does not want to be there. The civilians in Israel do not want to fight this war. They have already fought it, in 1967 and again in 1976. My aunt, my mom, and now my young cousin are fighting the same war. A war for our continued right to live. This is not a war about oil or resources. This is a war to prevent Israel’s extinction. This is a war against a terrorist regime who is hell bent on one mission.

Choosing a side is not a choice at all. Either you are for the destruction of Jews everywhere, which is what was happening in the world for centuries prior to the creation of the Jewish homeland, Israel, or you are against terror. Israel is not on a mission to wipe out a people. Palestinians are not being exterminated. The threat is that Hamas and all of its other Jihadists collaborators, are on a mission to exterminate, the Jewish right to life. It is not hyperbole. They are saying it.

240 hostages are currently sitting in Gaza, taken over month ago, from their homes. They were sleeping, they were having a meal with their families, they are children, young adults, women, men, and elderly … they were not soldiers. They were farmers. They were not against Gaza, they employed Gaza civilians. They are hostages in a war, that Hamas wanted. I pray for their safe return. They are not negotiable.

If you are thinking that Israel is overreacting or should stop oppressing a people they actually have no ability or desire to govern, answer this question: How many missiles into your home city does it take for you to want to fight the terrorist? How many examples of human shields does it take to see the difference in humane and inhumane? How many kidnapped neighbors does it take for it to matter enough to you? For Israel, 16 years of Hamas terror is enough.

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