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WHAT do you expect Israel to do?

By Paula Stern
4/10/2011, 12:00 AM
Over our peaceful Shabbat - when Israelis shut down for the weekend and pull into their families and communities, we were hit by over 50 mortar and rocket attacks. On Thursday, a Palestinian "fighter" - what anyone else should call a terrorist - picked up an advanced anti-tank RPG with special abilities to track and destroy. Elie knows this weapon, "it doesn't miss what it is aimed at," he said. 

What it was aimed at - was a school bus. By the grace of God, almost all the children on the bus had just gotten off minutes before the attack. Daniel Aryeh, son of Tamar, was still on the bus and is now fighting for his life. Daniel Aryeh is only 16-years-old. He went to visit his grandmother, decided to have some fun with a family friend who is the bus driver and ride along.

France is being "even-handed" - they are urging both sides to calm down, to stop fighting. When did we start? We have responded to the attacks. Doesn't it make sense, up until now, to understand that you only have to tell Hamas to stop the rocket attacks? If they stop, we have nothing to respond to...but no, Obama and France, the United Nations and others, want to be balanced and so they spout nonsense about cycles of violence. This feeds Hamas, encourages them.

From a crowded neighborhood, Hamas fires rockets while their leaders crouch in bunkers like the cowards they are. From cemeteries that should be sacred ground, they launch their missiles of hatred and Israel is urged to show restraint.

No country in the world would allow itself, day after endless day, to be struck by 50 rockets. No country except Israel is expected to allow a 3-month old baby to be slaughtered with her parents and young brothers. 

In each attack, there are miracles - in Itamar, another family made plans to go away and three other young couples who would have stayed in the house of the family changed their plans and were saved when the terrorists first broke into that house to murder innocents. The massacre in Itamar, as horrible as it was, had that element of a miracle in it.

A bomb was left by a busy bus station. A man saw the object, thought it looked suspicious, and called it in, even as he moved people away. One woman was killed; but still, a miracle because it could easily have been so much worse.

A terrorist shot an anti-tank missile at a bus - not an armored one, not one containing soldiers, but children. One boy is fighting for his life and yet here too, a miracle. Just moments before, the bus had been full of children.

We live on miracles, here in Israel - David Ben Gurion once said to be a realist in Israel, you must believe in miracles. They happen almost daily here and still, it is not fair for us to live by depending on these miracles. We should not have to withstand 50 rockets in a single day.

And we won't. Within days, if this continues, Israel will act. Hamas knows this and so plays the game of firing dozens of rockets, and then asking for a ceasefire. Hamas knows this and so their sorry leaders hide in bunkers, leaving their women and children to protect them. 

The world will likely condemn us - France and Obama, Ban of the United Nations, and others. I do not care. I even laugh a bit at being the fortune-teller. It is so obvious that this is what will happen - again.

The only question is whether our own leadership will have the nerve to do what must be done, to withstand international pressure and the sobbing pleas of the poor Palestinians who protect the rocket launchers with their lives and those of their children.

Maybe this time, as the army moves in, they will carry the picture of little Hadass Fogel with them, of Daniel Aryeh ben Tamar, who needs our prayers. Maybe this time, we will have the courage to ask, "why do you expect more of us than you yourselves would suffer?"

No, this time, if we move into Gaza - it must be to obliterate all that is Hamas...and all that stands in front of them. We can pray that this time, Hamas leaders will protect their people, but they won't. This time, we can hope that they will not fire from civilian areas, but they will.

This time, let no mosque be safe - if it shelters weapons used against our children. This time, even a hospital must be considered a target, if Hamas allows terrorists to fire from within.

If the UN doesn't like what is to come, they have had days and days in which to stop it; to demand that Hamas stop. Obama, France, the UN - all are responsible because the one great truth here is that Israel cannot stop the rockets, but we can, and we will, respond to them.

And we must do this with as little mercy as was shown by the terrorist who slit a three-month-old infant's throat, who stabbed a three-year-old child in the heart, who aimed and shot at a school bus.

This time...Israel must not do what is expected...but what these other nations would do. If that means attacking every launch site, every building used against us, let it be.