Op-Ed: The Jewish Way, the Jewish Army
Paula R. SternPaula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint, a technical writing company.
What a funny title - the Jewish way...I had something I wanted to say, started thinking about the title, and that came out.
The Jewish way...
What I meant to say, was that today is Friday and the Jewish way is that no matter what else is happening, Friday means the Sabbath is coming. Our beloved Shabbat. Tonight, in my home, the radio will be off; computers put away so that a beautiful white table cloth alone will cover the dining room table. Candles will burn gently in the window; the house filled with the scent of all the dishes I'll be cooking in the next few hours.
No matter what is happening, Shabbat will come to all of Israel - everywhere, even in the south where people are all but living in shelters, they'll be lighting those same candles. They may not go to the synagogue for fear of being in the open during an attack; they may not take a leisurely stroll through their neighborhood, speaking to neighbors and friends, but it will still be Shabbat. That is the Jewish way - a reminder that all is controlled from Above.
There is another Jewish way happening now in the south that cannot be ignored - or rather, it is being ignored and should not be. The Israeli army is many things - so many adjectives - but it is, above all else, a Jewish army; it follows the Jewish way.
And so yesterday, again, we dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets - in Arabic, explaining and warning the citizens of Gaza. We have no choice; your leadership, the one you elected to power, has left us no choice. We cannot live this way; we will not allow our children to grow up this way. And so, once again, as we did four years ago, it is time to enter Gaza and clean out the weapons that threaten our children.
We will do it the Jewish way - others would simply bomb Gaza to smithereens and worry about world opinion later. No, we are not bombing Gaza indiscriminately, if we were, they wouldn't so easily be able to claim numbers. Already the fraud on their side has begun. Pictures from Syria claimed to be from Gaza (I posted one two days ago and there are others). A man claiming to be wounded, rises and walks off stage when the cameras seem to go quit.
In Jenin, in 2002, they claimed hundreds were wounded, even thousands - one report said 5,000. It was a massacre beyond all proportions. Except, it wasn't of course - it was 53 dead - 42 of whom were gunmen/terrorists (at least). No massacre, All lies. That is Gaza - all lies. The Gaza way.
We put our children in bomb shelters, our women, our innocent - and we tell them to stay there, we beg them. That is the Jewish way.
We use precise technology to the best of our ability and so we take out a car - when it is separated from others and at an intersection to minimize damage and casualties - and we kill an arch terrorist, mastermind of violence and rocket attacks on our people...that is the Jewish way. And the Gaza way - they claim casualties without telling you how many were standing there firing a rocket at Israel at the moment our missile came raining down on them - only on them. Three dead, says Gaza. Three martyrs of Islam. But they are, according to the Jewish way, three dead men who chose to fight and kills us and we killed them.
Shabbat is a gift that God gave to the Jewish people. Tonight, we will honor that gift and beg Him to watch over the people of the south and our precious sons as they enter Gaza in the coming hours, days, and perhaps weeks.
While in Gaza, they will do their best to follow the Jewish way - unlike the Arabs, they will not intentionally aim at civilians; they will not target the innocent. They will cancel an operation if civilians come within range and again act to protect terrorists. But, we will not save their mosques, homes,
If you put weapons in schools, homes, mosques and hospitals - the deaths of innocents are yours, not ours.
schools and even hospitals if we know they are hiding weapons there.
Four years ago, I wrote a simple fact - if you put weapons in schools, homes, mosques and hospitals - the deaths of innocents are yours, not ours. A mosque is a house of God; if you put weapons and explosives in it - God leaves. You may call it a house of Allah, that is your choice. I don't know this Allah of yours; I know only God. If God and Allah are the same, Allah will leave the mosque when you desecrate it with weapons. And then, that structure, which once might have been holy, is holy no more. It is an arsenal - a legitimate target for a nation at war.
This is a war, Gaza - a war you started by firing out our homes, that do not contain weapons, at our synagogues, in which we only pray. You fired at our schools, and yes, our hospitals. And so, the Jewish way - after 2,000 years, is that we will fight back. We will fight - even on Shabbat.
Especially, on Shabbat.