"I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse"- G-d's promise to Abraham and his seed through Isaac (Genesis 12:3).
"And he (Abraham) looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace" (Genesis 19:28).
"Choose life"- G-d's recommendation to humankind (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Like my father Abraham, last night on the eve of the Sabbath I stood at my home on the mountains of Judah and looked down toward the cities of the plain. There I saw flashes of fire and heard the angry rumbling of bombs on Gaza as their smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace. These bombs are aimed at the evil entity of Hamas and their infrastructure. This is the Islamic fundamentalist terror organization that rules Gaza and, like the Nazi Party in Germany, was chosen by the population of Gaza in democratic elections. The stated purpose in their charter is the destruction of Israel, their raison d'etre. Though they have received billions of dollars in aid since Israel's unilateral withdrawal for peace, rather than using those funds to create another miracle of life on the Mediterranean, they chose instead to use it to purchase missiles smuggled in from Iran to indiscriminately attack civilians in the neighboring Israeli towns to fulfill their stated purpose. They have taught their people the ways of death and sent suicide bombers into Israel to murder hundreds of men, women and children over the years, to which Israel was forced to put up an effective fence of protection. The population of Gaza is 99% Muslim, and have oppressed and even killed some of the few Christians among them. There are now no Jews in Gaza. Rather than building schools and hotels and farms and decent sewage facilities, they have left their population in poverty, preferring to continue to receive handouts from international agencies. Now they are receiving the fruit of their relentless cursings from an Israel who has lost patience with terrorism.
But Hamas' cynical use in the media of pictures of civilian casualties, brought on mostly from their firing intentionally from within population centers as shields, including schools, hospitals and mosques, is having a major impact on world opinion. Israel is being accused of "atrocities and war crimes" from London to Amman, and of course as always from the UN. Facts such as wounded terrorists brought to Israeli hospitals for treatment, and Gazans receiving important medical treatment and surgeries in Israel, not to mention Israel's supplying of Gaza with electricity, oil, food and medicine, go unmentioned.
Today, as we prayed Shabbat prayers in our synagogue, a report came in from one of our members that missiles had just fallen from Gaza on the farm village of their daughter's family. One missile struck directly into a synagogue there just as the worshippers went outside for a break, and none were hurt. Thanks be to G-d for his mercy and protection again. This has been the case throughout the war, including on the battlefield where Israeli casualties have been relatively light. Even the secular press here is beginning to use the word "miracle".
Would that our self-declared enemies would learn to bless rather than curse, that they may be blessed by the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and thrive and prosper as good neighbors with us! Israelis would love to go and eat humous with our Arab neighbors, and they could indeed prosper from Israeli development and technology. You may read another interesting and pertinent Biblical passage about our neighbors in Jeremiah 12:14-17. May we all choose Life!
Below is a very interesting article written by an Arab journalist:
To my Arab brothers: The War with Israel Is Over —
and they won. Now let's finally move forward
By Youssef M. Ibrahim
With Israel entering its fourth week of an incursion into the same Gaza Strip it voluntarily evacuated a few months ago, a sense of reality among Arabs is spreading through commentary by Arab pundits, letters to the editor, and political talk shows on Arabic-language TV networks. The new views are stunning both in their maturity and in their realism. The best way I can think of to convey them is in the form of a letter to the Palestinian Arabs from their Arab friends:
Dear Palestinian Arab brethren:
The war with Israel is over.
You have lost. Surrender and negotiate to secure a future for your children.
We, your Arab brothers, may say until we are blue in the face that we stand by you, but the wise among you and most of us know that we are moving on, away from the tired old idea of the Palestinian Arab cause and the "eternal struggle" with Israel.
Dear friends, you and your leaders have wasted three generations trying to fight for Palestine, but the truth is the Palestine you could have had in 1948 is much bigger than the one you could have had in 1967, which in turn is much bigger than what you may have to settle for now or in another 10 years. Struggle means less land and more misery and utter loneliness.
At the moment, brothers, you would be lucky to secure a semblance of a state in that Gaza Strip into which you have all crowded, and a small part of the West Bank of the Jordan. It isn't going to get better. Time is running out even for this much land, so here are some facts, figures, and sound advice, friends.
You hold keys, which you drag out for television interviews, to houses that do not exist or are inhabited by Israelis who have no intention of leaving Jaffa, Haifa, Tel Aviv, or West Jerusalem. You shoot old guns at modern Israeli tanks and American-made fighter jets, doing virtually no harm to Israel while bringing the wrath of its mighty army down upon you. You fire ridiculously inept Kassam rockets that cause little destruction and delude yourselves into thinking this is a war of liberation. Your government, your social institutions, your schools, and your economy are all in ruins.
Your young people are growing up illiterate, ill, and bent on rites of death and suicide, while you, in effect, are living on the kindness of foreigners, including America and the United Nations. Every day your officials must beg for your daily bread, dependent on relief trucks that carry food and medicine into the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while your criminal Muslim fundamentalist Hamas government continues to fan the flames of a war it can neither fight nor hope to win.
In other words, brothers, you are down, out, and alone in a burnt-out landscape that is shrinking by the day.
What kind of struggle is this? Is it worth waging at all? More important, what kind of miserable future does it portend for your children, the fourth or fifth generation of the Arab world's have-nots?
We, your Arab brothers, have moved on.
Those of us who have oil money are busy accumulating wealth and building housing, luxury developments, state-of-the-art universities and schools, and new highways and byways. Those of us who share borders with Israel, such as Egypt and Jordan, have signed a peace treaty with it and are not going to war for you any time soon. Those of us who are far away, in places like North Africa and Iraq, frankly could not care less about what happens to you.
Only Syria continues to feed your fantasies that someday it will join you in liberating Palestine, even though a huge chunk of its territory, the entire Golan Heights, was taken by Israel in 1967 and annexed. The Syrians, my friends, will gladly fight down to the last Palestinian Arab.
Before you got stuck with this Hamas crowd, another cheating, conniving, leader of yours, Yasser Arafat, sold you a rotten bill of goods — more pain, greater corruption, and millions stolen by his relatives — while your children played in the sewers of Gaza.
The war is over. Why not let a new future begin?