Israel Update

This War Has Been Infuriating

by Shira Sorko-Ram

Israeli men, women and children, babies and elderly, running for their lives just doesn’t make the news. Think of the headline: Three Israeli citizens killed by rockets over last three weeks.” Not impressive. And only a few children who didn’t get to safety within the allotted seconds were seriously injured with schrapnel from the falling rockets.

As a result, there are few scenes of blood and guts - the fodder that makes the media’s video cameras churn out the dramatic pictures that are a “must” for CNN, the BBC, Aljazeera, and all the others to keep their viewer ratings up.

Never doubt. There is tragedy, though often unseen. Israel now has thousands of children showing severe stress symptoms. Eight years of constant rockets has taken its toll. Hopefully, most will recover although some never will.

What about the houses themselves? The Qassams and the Grads (from Iran via tunnel) hit a wall or roof and explode inside. Inside, disaster, outside just a hole in the wall. Not much to photograph - even though more than 1,600 Israeli homes have been devastated just during this war. It is infuriating.

Just as maddening is the fact that the world - the media, the UN, the diplomatic corps, the Arab nations, the European nations, etc. turn a blind eye and a closed mind to the unbelievable war crimes of the Hamas terrorist organization. Did you hear that when the war started on December 27, Hamas went around killing some 35 Gazans? They also shot some 75 Palestinians in the knees, including women, because Hamas suspected they might have given information to Israel. Did you hear about this? You didn’t? Guess the media forgot to publish that item - although it was in the Israeli press.

The central tragedy of this war is that Hamas hides within its civilian population. It’s strategy for winning is to see as many of its citizens as possible killed or wounded. That is the way and the only way Hamas can win this war. For them, winning the war, of course, means that Israel will stop fighting Hamas. The terrorist organization might agree to a temporary lull so they can replenish their weapons stock, but it does not mean that Hamas would agree to stop firing its daily allotment of rockets into Israel, or stop building tunnels to replenish weapons. In fact, any Hamas spokesman will tell you to your face that they will never agree to a permanent peace with

The world knows that Hamas uses its non-combatants as human shields and often forces them to remain inside buildings which are being used to store and manufacture weapons. But did you know that the Israel Defence Forces dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets over Gaza urging people to leave such buildings? Did you know that the Israeli army personally made a quarter of a million telephone calls to Gazans in homes that, according to intelligence, were manufacturing and storing weapons, so their inhabitants could leave before the IDF attacks? Obviously that gave time for the terrorists to get out too, but it saved multitudes of lives.

Has any news program you watched or any newspaper you read told you that Hamas leaders - the big guys - are hiding in the basement of Shifa, the main hospital in Gaza City? These gunmen sleep well because they know Israel will not attack a hospital. In fact Israel’s security services say that some of the Hamas commanders are walking around the hospital with doctors’ robes. Our army can’t get to them because the loss of Palestinian civilian life would be unthinkable. On January 10 - payday - low-level Hamas commanders even brought salaries to the Hamas leaders hiding in and under Shifa hospital.

My heart is always praying and thinking about the Gazan “innocent civilians,” but my head reminds me that two-thirds of the Gazan people voted to elect Hamas as their government. They did it knowing that Hamas’ reason for existence is to destroy Israel. In fact, it’s not really that Hamas is hiding among the Gazan civilians.

Hamas are the civilians. They wear no uniform and they live and work within the populace.

Nevertheless, I have seen videos of Hamas grabbing children against their will to use them as human shields as they shoot their way through battles. Have you seen a video of that? Here’s one you can log onto:

In fact, Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter says the UN schools in Gaza long ago stopped being just schools. All these services and places are refuges for Hamas terrorists and commanders. The UN goes along with the show. They know that if they say anything they will be booted out. They believe their main job is to feed the Palestinian people, so if they have to allow terrorists to use their facilities, so be it. However, the UN personnel will vehemently, and I mean vehemently, deny all such terrorist activity on their properties. In fact, it is an open secret that many UN personnel in Gaza are actually Hamas.

A few days ago, terrorists hiding by a UN school fired at an Israeli tank. When Israel fired back, 30 some Gazans were killed as the school collapsed. Wow! Another victory for Hamas! A terrible disaster for Israel. It’s maddening.

The world media wanted to send their journalists into Gaza to film the war. Plenty of blood and guts there. But Israel did not allow it. Israel’s past experience with media (and it is vast) is that foreign press teams go into “Hamastan” and often the Palestinians put on a terrific production for them. The foreign journalists know that if they do not publicize what Hamas wants them to, at best they will be thrown out and their network will not be able to get the breaking news that is so important for their ratings. At worst, these journalists could be killed or kidnapped by Hamas or Fatah as has already happened. So they tow the line.

Ever hear of the “Jenin massacre” in the West Bank that reverberated around the world in 2002? Completely fabricated. Instead of the “thousands” (up to 15,000 it was claimed) of Palestinians that were “massacred,” 56 Palestinians lost their lives and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in a terrible house-to-house battle to ferret out terrorists and suicide bombers. But newspapers around the world carried headlines of the “great massacre”.

When it finally became clear there was no massacre, the news was buried on inside pages. The “Jenin massacre” exists until this day in the culture of Arab nations - and their sympathizers.

Ever see the 2003 poster picture of the boy lying on the ground that the Gazans said Israel shot while the father was shouting for help? Israel published a deep apology which made the Palestinians all the angrier. It was only after a lengthy (and useless) investigation, did Israel realize that the direction of the bullet came towards the boy’s back, not his front, where the Israel Defence Force had been. Though almost for sure he was killed by Palestinian terrorists, the scene was broadcast hundreds of times while Arab poets and songwriters have composed dozens of tributes to Mohammed al-Dura’s memory. The damage was done, and the image did all the work it was supposed to do. How despicable! How appalling.

Here is what every Israeli knows - and what other peaceloving, free-world country leaders could know if they wanted to. The last thing in the world Israeli soldiers want to do is to kill or wound Palestinians. First of all, Israel, as a democratic nation and with its ageless Jewish heritage, loves life and hates death. Israelis wish the Palestinians health and long life; killing civilians is not part of our DNA any more than it is of other democratic peoples.

But the Palestinians of Gaza want to see Israel thrown into the sea. Their religion and holy book promise them victory over the Jews. To die a martyr in the cause of destroying Israel is the greatest of all honors.

Nothing will change the ultimate direction of a fanatical Islamic terrorist (except a heavenly conversion, of course). Hamas will not negotiate a serious, sustainable peace agreement with Israel. Never. They, themselves, say this all the time on TV in any language you want.

So, with all their might, they will continue to use their resources and their lives and that of their Palestinian civilians to fight Israel. Because of a fence around Gaza and closed border crossings, they now have a very difficult time sending suicide bombers over the Gazan border. So they settled for Qassam rockets which fly over the fence. However, they only reach a few miles. Then Iran began shipping them the longer-range Grads which they have been bringing into Gaza through tunnels. These rockets are now able to reach up to 40 kilometers covering an area of a million Israelis. If Israel waits longer, Hamas will obtain missiles that reach Tel Aviv.

All of these rockets are purposely launched from heavily populated areas, from schools, from UN food and medical supply centers - under the nose of and with the cooperation of the UN. Yes, the UN.

Yet UN officials constantly and regularly hurl the phrase, “Israel is guilty of war crimes!” “Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity.” What are crimes against humanity? They are defined as purposely targeting civilians. Israel never purposely targets civilians - ever. Any more than the U.S. or France or Britain would purposely target civilians. Yet in any war, civilians always lose their lives, no matter how careful an army operates. How many civilians have been accidently killed by coalition forces in Iraq? In Afghanistan? On the other hand, all rockets fired by Hamas are meant to target civilians.

What should Israel do? Israel despairs.

But, says the world, the problem at hand is that there is a disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza. “There comes a point beyond which an operation of this sort becomes… morally unjustifiable. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is so severe that a cease-fire is essential, irrespective of whether Israel feels it has achieved its military objectives,” writes The London Telegraph.

Replies the Jerusalem Post, “By this logic, Britain should have thrown in the towel in its war against Germany by September 18, 1939 - 17 days into WWII. Instead, Winston Churchill fought on for five long years at an awful - but morally justifiable - cost in Allied and enemy civilians lives.” (12Jan09)

But, the world says the root problem is the occupation!

So, Israel pulled out of Gaza and left it 100% to the Gazans in 2005. Jewish philanthropists paid $14 million for the luscious greenhouse farms that had brought Israelis profits of tens of millions of dollars a year - and gave them to the Gazans. The Gazans promptly vandalized and completely destroyed all those farms - which could have employed some of the 50% of Gazans without jobs!

But even unemployed Gazans are not starving because UNRWA feeds them from the taxpayers of Western democratic nations (not the oil-rich Arab nations). Those who do work mainly have jobs from the bloated public sector or in building and running tunnels or producing rockets.

And since the two and a half years when Israel left Gaza to the Gazans 6,000 rockets have rained down on Israel. It costs a great deal for the Palestinians and their patrons (Iran and Syria) to make 6,000 rockets. They just don’t have any money left for creating private businesses and building up their economy. It is beyond vile.

So what can Israel do? Israel knows that if she fights back to really bring Hamas down, civilian deaths will go over the top and the world will erupt in an explosion of fury and rage.

Even the Americans, often Israel’s only friend, abstained on a UN Security Council resolution in early January, demanding Israel stop attacking Hamas. The abstention allowed the resolution to pass. This binding decree would be an even more serious threat to Israel if Hamas hadn’t completely rejected it. Still it is not a good omen for Israel. Such a binding resolution can incorporate sanctions and boycotts. That would be a mortal blow to little Israel with no natural resources. Israel despairs.

But, Hamas demands that Israel open all the border crossings from Israel to Gaza and from Egypt to Gaza. Egypt doesn’t want to open their crossings…why? Because not even Egypt wants the terrorist traffic criss-crossing back and forth. Fanatical organizations like Egypt’s Islamic Brotherhood (from which Hamas was spawned) is dangerous to the Egyptian regime.

The crossings were originally open but Israel closed them off after terrorists kept coming through to attack Israelis. In fact I remember an incident not long ago, when an Israeli civilian worker came to a border crossing to bring a supply of gasoline to the Gaza Strip, and Hamas shot him dead. Needless to say, the citizens of Gaza did not get gasoline any time soon. How sad.

Meanwhile this past week, 80,000 outraged Belgians protested against the “Nazi atrocities” of Israel. All through Europe and the Arab and Muslim states, great mobs of people demonstrated their righteous wrath against Israel. Isn’t it interesting that they never demonstrated during the eight years of falling rockets on Israeli children.

Not even once. And the soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped two and a half years ago by terrorists who dug a tunnel to Israel? No demonstrations for him either.

President Barack Obama has said that he will work diligently for a sustainable and lasting cease-fire accord. He noted that both sides understand they will have to make very serious compromises. Could one compromise possibly be to give up the idea of destroying Israel?

In the three weeks of fighting, Hamas has launched over 1000 rockets on the cities, towns and farms of Israel. Schools were closed for most of the war, and only a few are open now. Children are worried - not just about rockets, but whether they will have enough class time for their national tests in order to graduate to their next classes. Now we know that God is just. We know He would not ask us as believers to support any cause that is blatantly unjust. And He has commanded in His Word that we should stand by Israel and the Jewish people and the promises He has given them.

Israel’s cause is just. God gave her this land. Britain, who was given the opportunity to steward a great part of this Middle East area, promised this land to the Jewish people in 1917 in the form of the Balfour Declaration. Britain reneged on this promise and instead gave the majority of the land to become the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The United Nations on November 29, 1947, divided what was left between Israel and the Arabs, giving Israel two tiny slivers. But the Arabs never accepted the UN’s partition, and from that time until now, there has been war over this piece of land.

Remember, when we say, “The Promised Land,” who was it promised to? By whom?

Israel stands alone. But the God of Israel is still around! Because of that, Israel will survive, but at what cost? 

Thank you for your fervent prayers,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram

Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram are the founders of Maoz Israel Ministries. The mission of MAOZ is: 1) To declare the Message of Messiah and make disciples in the city of Tel Aviv and throughout Israel. 2) To raise up Israeli leaders to prepare for the coming spiritual awakening among the people of Israel. 3) To educate and inform Christians world-wide of the strategic importance of Israel and the Jewish people in God's plan for world revival. The MAOZ web site is



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