Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our Rabbi: The True Facts about Israel

This article was written by our Rabbi Avi it was published in the Sun News of Myrle Beach, SC on Febuary 9th, 2009.

Hamas follows ideology of violence, hate

By Rabbi Avi Perets

I read "Israel creates its own problem with Hamas," [Shane Watson letter], which appeared on The Readers' Page Jan. 27, and I was amazed to see so many inaccuracies, one-sided facts and misunderstandings of Hamas. The author of this essay pictured Hamas as a legitimate organization that helped and improved the quality of life of the Palestinians, when in fact Hamas is an extreme terrorist group that stood in the way of any chance for peace in that area. Hamas tortured and killed many Palestinians that opposed its militant and destructive ways, including members of the Palestinian Authority who rule the West Bank. Israel evacuated Gaza two years ago, giving the Palestinians 100 percent of their territories, with a hope that afterward, the terrorist attacks and missile strikes would stop. In reality the opposite happened. Hamas increased its attacks on Israel with daily missile strikes on civilians. Israel retaliated by temporarily closing the border entries to Gaza, which resulted in a shortage of goods and more suffering to the people of Gaza.

When Israel tried to reopen the entries to Gaza, Hamas terrorists bombed them again and again, causing the borders to be closed off again. This vicious cycle of violence repeated itself many times, and Hamas, who disregarded the misery of the Palestinians, is to blame for that. Hamas is motivated by anti-Semitic and fanatic ideology, which does not recognize Israel's right to exist. A simple reading of the Hamas charter reveals the true nature of their ideology, which is anti-Jews, anti-Christians (whom they call infidels) and anti-western. They receive their funding from Iran, and they promote global Jihad with their colleagues from Al-Qaeda.

I happened to be in Israel for a visit with my wife and children when the recent war with Hamas started. We stayed in the city of Ashdod, which is about 15 miles north of Gaza. We experienced firsthand the suffering and misery of the Israeli citizens who reside in the south part of Israel. The Hamas terrorist organization was launching their missiles indiscriminately and aiming at large cities and their civilian populations in Israel. As a result, they were killing and injuring innocent citizens.

In the city of Ashdod, where we stayed, we heard the missiles as they exploded nearby, hitting a kindergarten, school, residential building and other civilian targets. There were 1 million Israeli citizens affected by these terror attacks. Many businesses had to shut down, and the schools were closed for four weeks. At first, Israel and Egypt (yes, even Egypt realized that Israel has a right to defend itself) just warned Hamas to stop these missile attacks, but to no avail. Hamas knew that Israel would hesitate to destroy the missile-launching sites because they were in schools, mosques and other heavily populated locations. Finally, after a week of hundreds of missile attacks, Israel used its military forces in order to put a stop to these unbearable conditions. Let us also remember that if the Arabs had accepted the U.N. partition of Palestine into two states in 1947, the "Two State Solution" would have been a reality from the very beginning; but instead, seven Arab nations attacked the newborn state of Israel with the intent of annihilating the nation.

No other country in the world would tolerate the existence of a terrorist country as their neighbor. Not only are they calling for the annihilation of the state of Israel, but they are also actively performing acts of terror. We should salute Israel for standing in the frontline and defending the democratic values of the modern world.
The writer is the rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Myrtle Beach.

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