Israel has reluctantly launched a military offensive against Hamas in response to repeated attacks against its citizenry. Fortunately most of the world agrees that Israel has an unconditional right to protect its people; some believe it should have happened sooner, while others fear that this operation could turn into a broader and more extensive war.
The fact is that war has broken out in Israel once again, and we in the diaspora must stand as one in support of Israel’s efforts to eliminate the danger terrorists pose. What options are there when people want to kill you simply because you exist, not because of anything you do or don’t do? How do you make peace with people whose mandate is your destruction?
As CJP President Barry Shrage said at a recent memorial for the three slain Israeli teens, “We don’t believe that tragedy is inevitable, we don’t believe that we’re trapped in endless cycles of violence. We just can’t afford to mourn any longer. Now is the time for action.”
We must look at the reality of what is on the ground today — not what could have been, not what should have been, but what is. As we go to press, Israel has expressed willingness to consider cease-fire terms proposed by the Egyptians. Hamas has refused. One million Israelis have spent time in a bomb shelter this past week. No country in the world would or should tolerate terror attacks on their civilian population.
We support and echo the statement of Combined Jewish Philanthropies/ Jewish Community Relations Council by urging decent people everywhere to be especially firm, vocal and unequivocal in expressing not only their support for Israel, but also an absolute intolerance for Hamas’s assaults.
On this we must stand united.
This originally appeared in the Jewish Journal on July 17, 2014.