In Gaza, Hamas’s Insults to Jews Complicate Peace

Check out this New York Times article discussing the Hamas media in Gaza:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/world/middleeast/01hamas.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

I occasionally find reports like this in the news, and its always a sigh of relief. Most of what I see published, though, is about failed peace negotiations, back and forth political banter, surface-level criticisms by officials...It's the same story every time. The article I just read hits a higher standard of reportage and also portrays Hamas as it should be portrayed - a terrorist group dedicated to the violent takeover of Israel.

In some cases, people support the Palestinian cause like they support other underdogs. It's the right thing to do to support the "oppressed" group. Some of the same people with "Save Tibet" bumper stickers take on the "Save Palestine" idea as if they were similar causes. I think most don't bother to look deeper into the issues, the history of Arab-Israeli conflict. And somehow the terrorism against Israel gets downplayed. It's seen as a freedom struggle when a Palestinian militant kills for his/her cause, where in the rest of the Middle East terrorism is properly identified.

A good friend of my family, a 16-year old boy from Weston, FL named Daniel Wultz, was killed by a suicide bomber at a restaurant in Israel. He and his father just happened to be strolling along when a man blew himself up with the intention of killing as many civilian Jews as possible. The man's poster now hangs in Gaza declaring him a martyr, a freedom fighter, a hero. I am also sure he was educated (as the article describes) to think killing Jews is a ticket to heaven, and a better future for his people.

I am not in favor of everything the Israeli government does. I believe the Palestinian people deserve a homeland. I don't want to see more dead Palestinian children in the news. I don't want to see any more innocents suffer on either side. But I know Israel is dealing with a much more powerful threat than most people realize. The West's war on terror is completely different from Israel's fight. The loss Americans felt on 9-11 is the kind of pain Israelis deal with constantly. The Constant and real fear that someone is out to destroy you because of extremist reasons disguised as politics. The government needs to show the world, including the twenty-something Arab nations in the region, that they won't back down from a fight. Not to terrorists who call for the end of Israel. Not passive like in the Jewish communities of old. Instead of targeting civilians, why can't Palestinian militants attack the Israeli military, affect the infrastructure, hold massive protests, bring in positive media attention, and earn their rightful position as an underdog? The world would be on its knees begging Israel to have mercy on the Palestinian people who want nothing more than a peaceful homeland.

Sometimes I want to pack my bags and go to Israel. Maybe join a group that promotes dialogue between Israel and Palestinian territories. Maybe even the army. I want people to understand that Israel is finally a place where Jews can call home, without fearing their own countrymen, or exile, annihilation, slavery, pogroms, holocausts that have plagued Jewish history for thousands of years.