Our hating world

Our hating world

Thanks to the earthquake, albeit a mini one that rattled some nerves, but not much else, the headline news changed its story for at least a bit. I was in our living room with our two visiting Israeli guests, my little sister Janet, now 81, and her grown-up daughter Tali, an executive member of Israel’s police force. It was Tali who announced that she felt the house shiver. I felt nothing. Neither did Janet. My husband was in his favorite local hardware store, so he certainly was oblivious. Hardware shopping is one of his hobbies!

It was Tali who insisted the house had shaken. I, a born skeptic, told her she was wrong. She wasn’t.

But then, oh what a relief it was! The news reports of an exceedingly rare New Jersey earthquake started pouring in on my phone, radio, television, computer. Everywhere. Yes, indeed it really was an earthquake, 4.7 — not so unimpressive after all. Our daughter Pam was in Newark and had to dash down 12 flights of stairs in an old office building. Soon the whole family piped in, even from Israel, where thankfully there were no shakes or quakes at all. From Boston. All over New York and New Jersey and Connecticut. And Colorado and California and wherever else we are.

Me? I was profoundly relieved. At least momentarily the headlines would stop their endless repetition of the chain of Israel-bashing and the sorrowful and lethal mistaken Israeli attack on the seven workers of the World Central Kitchens. Since that event the news sources had not stopped, not even taken a breath, not eased up at all, as if Israel, our Israel, is guilty of planning the murder of innocents.

Please, won’t someone remind the complainers that Israel is deeply sorry for that loss of lives, that Israel is deeply sorry for all the horrible loss of many innocent lives in Gaza, that Israel also profoundly regrets the tragic and continuing loss of more than 600 heroic IDF soldiers and more than 1,200 peace loving Israeli civilians. Can’t these people be reminded that this is not due to Israeli negligence or criminality or war mongering at all, but to Hamas aiming for the destruction of our people, the Jews, of us, in our land, the God-given land that has been part of our lives and prayers for these thousands of years?

Did those vicious Hamas cowards really believe that Israel wouldn’t fight back? That their nefarious plans would go unchallenged? That their tunnels, built with billions of dollars sent to Hamas to care for and feed the inhabitants of Gaza and diverted to supporting Hamas killers, tunnels placed under schools and hospitals and civilian neighborhoods to create human shields so that innocents could be killed, starved, or pitied, while Hamas terrorists regaled themselves in safety, and the upside-down, inside-out world blamed Israel for the carnage?

Message to the world: it is not Israel that has the passion or desire to kill innocents! The killers are Hamas and those many people in the Arab world who support them, including numerous Palestinians. It is Israel that is fighting for survival, a survival which has been threatened yet again by those who refuse to allow peace to flourish.

It’s certainly true that Gaza is a tragic place and that many lives, innocent or otherwise, have been destroyed during the current siege. Who could possibly avoid that conclusion? It’s also abundantly true that Israel did not foment the war that just about every nation in this corrupt world is now laying at its feet. The desperate criminality of other countries is ignored, while Israel bears the woes of the entire world on its shoulders. Israel, the victim, has been named the perpetrator by our hating world.

I know by now I should believe it. Israel hatred, Jew hatred, is everywhere. Turn on the TV, it’s there. Read the newspapers. Read online anything! Listen to the radio. Wherever your eyes or ears or brains lead you, it’s going to find, without searching at all, multiple articles, broadcasts, diatribes, essays, with one goal, to convince you that Israelis are murderous criminals. Worst of all is how some of us, we ourselves, have become supporters of this talk! Just listen to Jewish writers, broadcasters, and even ordinary people, to hear echoes of blatant antisemitism, in real time, by real people who should know better.

The hostages left but they did not return. Except for a token few, they cannot be counted. Six months later, their families still do not know their fate. Until their return, Israel will not be able to relent. Any other plan is sheer foolishness.

Just imagine if it were your child or parent or spouse or friend being subjected to inhumane treatment, unimaginable treatment, by Hamas captors. Would you not do whatever is in your power to get them back? Would you merely walk away? Of course not.

The speed in which the world exploded in the critique of Israel is remarkable. Even our own United States, formerly a bastion of support, has now come around to rancor and animosity. And let’s always remember how it all started. Most of our world refuses to do just that.

On that fateful October 7, 2023, Israel was brutally attacked by Hamas terrorists, terrorists defined as such by many nations, including the United States. People were violently murdered, raped, and kidnapped. Hostages still remain in Gaza. No one knows how many of them are still alive. They include infants, children, the aged, the sick, and virtually anyone Hamas could get their filthy hands on. Israel, on that day, was ignorant, preparing to celebrate the chag of Simchat Torah and Shabbat, the national day of rest. Others headed south to dance the night away at a rave.

Israel’s guilt will forever be that it did not prepare for or foresee the tragedy racing toward its people. A monumental error of unprecedented proportion found it totally unready for the war that followed. Many many innocent Israelis, largely civilians, died because of Israel’s inability to properly interpret military intelligence. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is largely responsible, and a day of reckoning for him must be on the agenda.

In the interim from that terrible day in October until today, Israel has waged war against Hamas. Numerous innocent soldiers have been killed by friendly fire and by terrorists. Gaza is an extraordinarily challenging place to fight a war, filled with hundreds of miles of Hamas-built tunnels, many placed under hospitals, homes, and schools, and narrow alleyways, dead ends, blind spots, and buildings that cannot be easily conquered. It is a veritable nightmare for our chayalim who train for its warrens. Crowded city warfare is not for the faint of heart.

Does the world really believe that Israel set out to murder these food providers? It is so illogical as to be totally unbelievable. Israel is not looking for international scorn. Israel seeks the return of the hostages and the downfall of Hamas.

That’s why the earthquake was welcome! It was a diversion from the unceasing world criticism, undeserved and unwarranted. It is time for the world to unite in support of Israel. Until that moment we must be glued together, united in support of our countrymen.

May the nation of Israel live!

Rosanne Skopp of West Orange is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of 14, and great-grandmother of six. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and a dual citizen of the United States and Israel. She is a lifelong blogger, writing blogs before anyone knew what a blog was! She welcomes email at rosanne.skopp@gmail.com

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