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As anyone watching the news can observe, the situation in Gaza is tragic. However, what one will likely not learn from their favorite news outlet is that these terrible images showing the deaths of women and children is the intentional aim of Hamas.
As Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of Hamas’ co-founders, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, stated in a recent CNN interview, “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans; they don’t care about their own lives; they consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship” (July 24 2014, CNN Interview).
Further, it goes unreported that Hamas encourages Gazans not to leave areas where the IDF issues pre-warnings of attacks on missile-launching stations and weapons facilities which are often hidden in or beneath schools, private homes, and mosques. Rather, Hamas wants the world to believe that Israel is the aggressor in mercilessly attacking innocent civilians—and this propaganda is being puppeted almost everywhere. Most sources will not report that Hamas deprives Gazans of medical treatment offered by Israel and has even refused Israel's and Egypt's humanitarian assistance offering food for Gaza—all this while journalists are threatened not to report on Hamas' use of human shields. The real siege on the people of Gaza is the one that has been forced on them by Hamas (July 31, 2014, Honest Reporting).
Operation Protective Edge (Mivtza Tzuk Eitan, popularly understood as "Operation Mighty Cliff") began as a defensive measure after a series of events that included "the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager, construction by Hamas militants of warfare tunnels enabling militants to attack deep within Israeli territory and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants in response to an extensive crackdown by Israeli troops on Hamas in the West Bank" ("2014 Israel–Gaza conflict").
When media outlets and governmental bodies spend countless hours denouncing Israel's defensive measures to eliminate Hamas' threats but show minimal outrage over the numerous public executions by Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, it becomes clearer to see the motivation: anti-Semitism rebranded as mere anti-Israelism. Where is the outrage over the heinous behavior of the ever-growing Islamic State, which has recently warned the Christians of Iraq to convert to Islam, pay the dhimma tax, or die? (July 18, 2014, The Guardian). Where is the outrage over Hamas' terrorizing of innocent Israelis and torturing of Palestinians who do not support their regime? ("Hamas Terrorism: 101"). Israel, like peace-loving Palestinians or the Christians of Iraq, needs your voice of support as well as your prayers for peace.
As a family that spends its summer months in Israel, we are grateful for the Israeli government's strong response to Hamas' targeting of civilian population centers like Ashdod, Beersheba, Eilat, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Our children and their friends have learned well the sound of the Code Red Alert (tzeva adom), and we are thankful for the success of the Iron Dome (kippat barzel). Of course, our confidence and hope is in the true Keeper of Israel who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4).
Tim M. Sigler, Ph.D.