Fellow Jews of the Diaspora,
I am MK Matan Kahana. A former Israel government minister and member of the Security Cabinet, Colonel in the reserves, and former commander of two F16 Israel Air Force squadrons.
I am addressing you directly since, as I see things, beyond the fact that we are one people and one family, our relationship is one of the most important strategic assets of the State of Israel.
Hence, I view it as crucial for me to convey to you in a personal way, feelings and insights arising from the situation we are in, as well as offer you my thoughts as to what to expect in the coming days.
Let me commence by stating that it's evident that it is possible to surprise the State of Israel, but never to defeat us.
We are united, we are strong, and we are firmly determined. It is patently obvious and quite clear that in any battle imposed on us, in the war for our home, we will win - we will prevail.
A little over a week ago, Hamas launched a surprise attack on all the villages and towns located near the border of the Gaza Strip.
The result of this criminal attack is truly horrific. Not for nothing is this vicious assault compared to those of the Holocaust. On that Shabbat and Festival day, more Jewish people were murdered in a single day, since the horrors of the Holocaust, and this time also, those horrors do not fall short of what our people experienced 80 years or so ago.
I won't go into the description of the atrocities that the Hamas terrorists committed, but to understand their magnitude, let me note that over a week after the massacre there are about 500 bodies we are still unable to identify.
So far over 1400 dead and murdered have been counted. There are still a large number missing and we also know that around 200 of our people were kidnapped as hostages to Gaza. Among them are women, children and the elderly.
An event of this magnitude is equivalent to a terrorist attack in which some 47,600 Americans are murdered in all manner of terrible ways, and more than 5,100 taken hostage. In France this would mean 9,260 murdered and nearly 1,000 taken hostage, and in the UK these numbers would come to 9,600 Brits murdered and over 1,000 hostages.
There isn’t an Israeli who doesn’t know at least someone impacted by this catastrophe. On this terrible day, a large number of IDF soldiers and security forces rushed to the battle zones, either as part of an organized force or simply as individuals who were called to the aid of their sisters and brothers. They fought valiantly against the terrorists. Many of these courageous women and men, gave up their lives or were wounded in the heroic battles.
They battled for several days, and our IDF forces fought bravely and killed all the terrorists who had invaded and were inside the territory of Israel.
In order to understand the continuation of the war against Hamas in Gaza, there is something absolutely fundamental that we must internalise. This, in my view, is the most important message that you can help vocalize and explain, in your home countries.
The barbaric attack on the State of Israel was carried out by the elected government of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is the sovereign, elected in democratic elections in Gaza. The Prime Minister of Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is the one who orchestrated this attack, this pogrom.
I ask each one of you to imagine that the Prime Minister of a neighboring country of yours, ordered their army to invade you launching a barbaric terrorist attack in the style of ISIS and Nazis against your country. This is why the State of Israel has no choice but to make sure that at the end of this war Hamas will no longer control Gaza.
This is why every Hamas operative is a legitimate target and why every part of the infrastructure of such a murderous regime in Gaza is also a legitimate target.
While the IDF protects the citizens of Israel and tries to prevent harm to the enemy's citizens, our enemies direct their murderousness at the people of Israel and use their own citizens as human shields.
We call on all the people of Gaza to stay away from any Hamas infrastructure and keep clear of any Hamas operative. Every person in Gaza who is situated close to a Hamas operative or whatever infrastructure has to know that they are putting themselves at risk.
This war was forced upon us, but it will end with Hamas no longer having control of Gaza. Whatever remains of their organization will not have the military capability to threaten the State of Israel, and new security borders will be established that will ensure peace in southern Israel for many years to come.
This war against the Hamas regime in Gaza has a huge geostrategic significance on everything happening in the Middle East. Its outcome must demonstrate clearly to all surrounding regimes that the state of Israel will not tolerate our people being attacked or threatened. The entire Middle East has to realize that any regime that challenges us will be taken out - and at a very heavy price.
Sisters and brothers in the Diaspora, This is a trying and difficult time for Israel - yet our strength is in our unity.
Please assist me in spreading the messages I have conveyed here, as widely as possible.
"עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן".
"He who makes peace upon high, may He make peace upon us and upon all Israel, and say Amen".
MK Matan Kahana.
Matan Kahana is the former Religious Affairs Minister of Israel and current serves as an MK on behalf of the National Unity Party.