As I write this on May 19, Israel is at war with Hamas in Gaza in a conflict Hamas started about a week ago. As usual, Israel is under increasing international pressure to enter a ceasefire, which will allow Hamas to both regroup and rearm as before. However, given a choice, Israel's preference is to deliver a knock-out blow that will paralyze Hamas' military capabilities for years to come.
Let's remember that when Israel unilaterally and forcefully removed some 9000 of her citizens from Gaza in August 2005, it was a painful gesture to demonstrate to the world that Israelis wanted peace at any price. The Palestinians in Gaza responded by electing Hamas to govern them. Within a year, rockets were raining down on Israeli Gaza Border communities. By 2014, the situation had deteriorated to the point that Israel had to send ground troops into Gaza. The U.N. immediately began a pressure campaign to force Israel into accepting a ceasefire, which denied Israeli forces the opportunity to silence Hamas forever.
Since then, Hamas has continued to fire rockets into Israel on an almost daily basis. Hamas upped the ante a week ago by announcing that Israeli forces had attacked and entered the Al Aqsa Mosque, which stands on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This action triggered widespread strife between Arabs and Jews throughout Israel, inflamed the Muslim world, and provoked angry street demonstrations and violent acts against Jews in Western cities.
Ironically, I just had a call from an influential friend in Israel who told me that Palestinian sympathizers in Los Angeles were attacking Jews today. A similar incident occurred in Toronto last week. The Israeli friend also suggested that a ceasefire is imminent because of increasing American pressure on Israel. An imposed cessation of hostilities will allow Hamas to survive to fight another day, but Israeli mothers like the one below will once again see the terror in the faces of their children.
The Current Crisis in Israel
One young mother's account: We awoke to sirens at 3:03 am, and grabbed our kids to our bomb shelter room in our house, which we had closed up the Iron windows on Monday already, and stocked it with water, candy (to distract the kids!) and food sleeping bags and a spare laptop, as we didn't know how long we would need to be in there.
Because our bomb shelter is a "regular" room in our house, we have a sofa bed in there so we were comfortable enough staying in there through hours of booms, even once the sirens ended as we didn't know if/when they would start up again. My littlest slept through the whole thing, from being carried to his bed to the shelter and back. Our middle son held my hand the whole night. My oldest took all his favorite things from his room and put them in the shelter room this morning when he woke up.
We are shaken up, we are scared, and our children will bear these scars yet are resilient and amazing.
C4i is active in Israel through our charity partners on the ground!
Because our support for Israel is 24/7, we do not make special appeals during times of crisis. Instead, we maintain strong communication links with the charities in Israel; this allows us to assess the changing needs and respond as we are able. Your faithful and generous support enables us to do the most good whenever necessary. Thank you! We will also be there for Israel once the latest conflict ends and calm returns to the region.