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Something Tells me Hamas has More Rockets than Vaccines

Published: (Updated: ) in Jewish News by .

Every few years, the Jewish world stops and watches in horror as videos show rockets flying over Tel Aviv skyscrapers.

The post Something Tells me Hamas has More Rockets than Vaccines appeared first on Jewish Journal.

What could I possibly add that hasn’t already been written about the current crisis Israel is facing? We know Israel is facing Hamas in Gaza and Palestinians in East Jerusalem (some of whom were photographed next to their stockpile of rocks, stone slabs and even fireworks inside the Al Aqsa compound). There’s also the deeply biased and unfair “coverage” that Israel receives in the media (forget the cesspool of anti-Semitism that has become social media); that’s only amplified at a time like this.

But I’m thinking of Mount Meron. Yes, Mount Meron. Isn’t it unbelievable that nearly ten days after 45 Israelis perished in a stampede during what was supposed to be a holy and joyous experience at Mount Meron that Israelis have endured over 1,000 rockets from Hamas in Gaza, including strikes against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv? So far, five Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks, including a father, Halil Awad, 52, and his 16-year-old daughter, Nadine. In response, Lod Mayor Yair Revivo said, “Hamas missiles do not differentiate between Jews and Arabs.” Sadly, he’s right.

We’ve already seemed to forget that just a few weeks ago, the biggest story in the Jewish world concerned what happened on that mountain on Lag B’Omer. And now, many of the families who just finished sitting shiva for the sons, brothers and husbands they lost during that devastating incident are running for their lives and hunkering down in bomb shelters. I imagine these heartbroken people holding one another in bomb shelters all over Israel, crying out for “Abba” while soothing their young children. I also imagine that they’re praying to G-d to bring them protection and peace — all while still in mourning. If that’s not resilience, I don’t know what is.

And then there’s the question of Hamas. In 2006, I was serving at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections. It was all anyone talked about for weeks. And in 2007, after Hamas seized power from Fatah, no one could believe that a terrorist organization whose charter called for murdering Jews (and which had so much blood on its deadly hands for decades) now was right next door to Israel in Gaza, in an official “government” capacity (if you believe that staging a military victory and throwing men from Fatah off of rooftops counts as earning a seat in Palestinian governance).

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As director of academic affairs at the Consulate, I tried to explain Israel’s unimaginable predicament to a multitude of students, professors and administrators. When most of them still didn’t understand about Hamas, I gave up and asked them to imagine if al Qaeda had taken control of Tijuana, which is roughly 20 miles from downtown San Diego. Even that was overly generous, since the distance between Gaza and the southern Israeli city of Sderot is only eight miles.

As soon as Hamas came to administrative power in winter 2006, I became obsessed with one question: How could Israel ever get rid of a terrorist organization that controlled nearly everything in Gaza and hid itself among such densely populated civilian centers, including hospitals? Whoever heard of launching rockets from hospital rooftops? My fellow Angelenos didn’t seem to understand; the only things that ever flew off of the roofs of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were runaway helium balloons (Hamas has balloons, too, but they contain bombs).

I credit my pessimism about the inevitably of long-term tyranny to having lived my early years in post-revolutionary Iran. In the early days of the revolution, no one believed that fanatic theocrats who had zero experience running a country could possibly last longer than a few years, especially in a nation mostly composed of secular, educated people previously on the path to Westernization. Forty-two years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the theocrats are still there and more emboldened than ever.

That summer of 2006, just months after Hamas came to power, Israel fought a two-front war when Hezbollah attacked from the north (in southern Lebanon) and Hamas attacked from the south. The rockets were flying like locusts in a plague.

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Ever since then, every few years, the Jewish world stops and watches in horror as videos show rockets flying over Tel Aviv skyscrapers. In the Diaspora, pro-Israel Jews fight their own wars. I’m not comparing Diaspora Jews to the valiant Israel Defense Forces (nor to any Israelis on the ground), especially not when I get to enjoy an iced coffee and relax on a park bench in Los Angeles while my Israeli brethren are running for their lives. But anyone who’s ever tried to defend Israel on the ulcer-inducing platforms of various social media knows that it’s an unjust, outnumbered and 24-hour job. And that says nothing about what thousands of Jewish and pro-Israel students endure in classrooms and quads at universities all over the world.

And when the rockets fall over Israeli cities and headlines against the Jewish state are at the top of every national and international paper, we can’t help but feel under siege as well.

But watching videos in horror, taking to social media, and in some cases, praying Tehillim is what pro-Israel Diaspora Jews must do every few years (or months) when Hamas attacks again. And when the rockets fall over Israeli cities and headlines against the Jewish state are at the top of every national and international paper, we can’t help but feel under siege as well. The media is a curious thing; in case anyone wondered, 85 schoolgirls were killed in a bombing against a school in Kabul last Saturday, while the current conflict in Israel — which began when Hamas wanted to assert power after Mahmoud Abbas indefinitely delayed the first Palestinian election in 15 years — was fanned by tensions at the Al Aqsa Mosque, along with news that six Palestinian families faced possible expulsion from their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah. I’m not making light of this situation. But I’m still waiting for protests outside the Afghan Embassy in defense of those poor schoolgirls.

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“It’ll be over soon.” That’s what every friend, cousin and uncle in Israel has told me this week. I believe them. But I always wonder when Hamas will start up again. There’s something about a group of Palestinian “leaders” who might have more rockets against Jews than vaccines for Palestinians that makes me wonder how all of this will one day finally come to an end.

Of course, as an Iranian, I can’t help but feel I already know that answer: The day when real balloons (without bombs) fly over the Gazan horizon will only come once the despots in Syria and Iran, who fund, arm and train Hamas, are toppled, and 17 million Syrians, 83 million Iranians and two million Gazans taste the redemption of freedom for themselves. But the optimism of that long-term hope is best left for another column.


Tabby Refael is a Los Angeles-based writer, speaker and activist. Follow her on Twitter @RefaelTabby

The post Something Tells me Hamas has More Rockets than Vaccines appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/columnist/336594/something-tells-me-hamas-has-more-rockets-than-vaccines/

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