As you know, Israel is actively engaged in Operation Protective Edge – a complex, military action aimed at undermining the terrorist organization Hamas and ending the incessant missile attacks being launched by Hamas militants from Gaza. I know that many of you have questions about the current situation in Israel. I am more than happy to answer any questions – just call or email me! It is so important that we all get the facts and share them with as many people as possible. The media coverage of Operation Protective Edge is extremely biased against Israel and, because of this, many of our friends and neighbors are misinformed. Israel has a right to defend herself and we must do our part to defend Israel.
While the situation in Israel is extremely complicated, I wanted to share with you what I think are “10 Important Things You Must Know About Operation Protective Edge”:
1. Hamas, which has been classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, Canada, the European Union, Jordan, Egypt and Japan, is responsible for launching hundreds of missiles into Israel. The missiles began falling in Israel long before the recent escalation of violence.
2. The missiles used by Hamas include FAJR-5 missiles made in Iran and M-302s missiles made in Syria. These missiles were smuggled into Gaza. As you can see from the map below, a tremendous portion of Israel, including major metropolitan areas and the nuclear power plant in Dimona, are within the range of Hamas’ missiles. Just this morning, it was reported that missiles were being launched by militants in Lebanon – putting the northern part of the country at risk.
3. Beginning in 1994, the Gaza Strip, which is located along the Mediterranean coast (see map above), was slowly turned over by Israel to the Palestinian government as part of the Oslo Accords. In 2005, Israel forcibly removed all Israelis who lived in Gaza and completely disengaged from the region. Israel did so because she hoped that this would help bring about peace. Now Gaza is a launching pad for terrorist missiles.
4. The Palestinian government is built upon a unity pact between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party and Hamas. Hamas is in control of Gaza.
5. Hamas states that its main goal is destroying the State of Israel through Jihad (Islamic Hoy War). Both Hamas and Fatah refuse to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.
6. Yesterday morning, Fatah admitted to launching missiles into populated Israeli areas. Therefore, both of the parties that make up the Palestinian government (Fatah and Hamas) are now launching missiles into Israel. This is the government with which Israel is expected to negotiate a peace deal.
7. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to defend herself from Hamas terrorists and others who are launching missiles into Israel.
8. Israel works extremely hard to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza by attempting to clear specific areas of civilians before launching an attack. Hamas openly admits to hiding their missiles behind human shields – placing them in hospitals, schools and residential areas. In addition, Hamas launches missiles into Israeli cities in an attempt to murder civilians.
9. Hamas operatives are accused of kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teens last month in the West Bank – the region along the west bank of the Jordan River that Israel and the Palestinians have yet to reach an agreement on. Earlier this month, a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and murdered by Jewish extremists in a “revenge attack”. Israel’s government was proactive and captured these extremists and denounced their heinous crime. One of the Palestinian government’s political parties, Hamas, is directly linked to the murder of the Israeli teens.
10. Many global leaders are calling for “both sides” to act responsibly and pursue peace. In doing so, these leaders are equating the government of Israel with Hamas, a terrorist organization that not only refuses to recognize Israel, but is determined to destroy her. This equation empowers Hamas and undermines Israel’s right to defend herself from terrorists who seek her demise. Until Hamas’ arsenal is destroyed and her leaders are stripped of their power and influence, Israel cannot live in peace. Hamas is not interested in a truce. Hamas is not interested in negotiating. Hamas wants Israel to be annihilated.
I urge you to check out Israeli newspapers online, including jpost.com and timesofisrael.com. I also encourage you to visit honestreporting.com to see how our media twists the truth. In addition, this memo from AIPAC contains a lot of useful talking points: http://bit.ly/1zsHXEv. Remember, I am happy to answer any questions you might have. Thank you for being a voice for Israel.
Tonight at services, it is my hope that a few of our congregants who are currently in Israel will join us via Skype and share their experiences with us. Please keep Israel in your thoughts and prayers.