You might have heard that Target Corp headquarters had a little incident on Friday. Seems someone called in a report of what sounded like gunshots being fired on the 10th floor. In the scheme of things, security did everything right. There was confirmation that something that sounded like shots was heard by multiple people, and then then announcement that everybody should close their office doors, barricade themselves in, then wait for the all clear.
Well, like most modern businesses, few people actually have doors, so employees, including my daughter-in-law, hustled into conference rooms and barricaded those doors. Again, this was the safe thing to do and no one will argue the wisdom of being safe rather than sorry even though the sounds turned out to be a worker using some sort of pneumatic tool (think nail gun) near an air vent and yes, it sounded pretty much like gunfire.
I was blissfully unaware of any of this when my daughter-in-law called to tell me she was okay. “Is there some reason you wouldn’t be okay?” I asked cautiously. She told me what happened, adding she thought it was odd that I hadn’t tried to call her. We laughed the relieved-it-was-all-a-big-nothing laugh, and then I said, “Let’s play a game.”
"Okay." I suspect she knew where I was going.
"Okay." I suspect she knew where I was going.
“What if," I asked, "you lived in Tel Aviv?”
“I’m ahead of you; I already thought about that. This would’ve been part of my reality.”
That lockdown was about 3 hours. Israeli civilians have been under a non-stop rocket barrage for several years. In 2011, over 680 missiles and rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. In 2012, thousands have been fired….more than 100 today, November 18th, alone. These missiles and rockets are not aimed military targets; they are aimed at schools and parks and apartment buildings. But until the past week, Israel’s response has largely been silent.
No other nation on the planet would be expected, requested, demanded to stand silently by while they are under attack. Did the British just stand around during the Blitz with all the lights on waiting for more? Did Paris just throw open the gates to the Germans and welcome them with, "Entrez, mon gars! We'll just conveniently line up so you can shoot us!" Why is Israel expected to do nothing?
There are those who claim settlements are the obstacles to peace, but let’s just be clear about that particular fiction:
· In 1948 there were NO settlements and NO peace
· In 1967 there were NO settlements and NO peace
· In Gaza today, there are NO settlements, not a single Jew, and there is NO peace.
As long as the Palestinian charter states Israel is an illegal entity and teaches its children that the destruction of Israel is their primary goal, Israel will continue to question Palestinian commitment to the peace process.
According to the NY Times:
The onslaught continued despite talks in Cairo that President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt said Saturday night could soon result in a cease-fire. Mr. Netanyahu said he would consider a comprehensive cease-fire if the launchings from Gaza stopped.
There has been no let up to the missile and rocket launching, no indication that Hamas is going to stop lobbing bombs at Israel. In fact, the Hamas propaganda machine today announced that they “missed” suicide bombings and that they would resume them.
And what exactly do they think is going to happen?
Let’s be real clear about a few item:
1. Jerusalem and the country around it has been the heart and soul of Judaism for almost 3000 years. Text references in Torah, Tanach, Talmud and other contemporaneous text describe Israel as a nation and Jewish homeland.
2. Archeological evidence supports the existence both the first and second Temples.
3. Even during periods of exile, there were Jews who remained in the land.
4. Israel and Judea the twin Jewish states were ruled at varying times by Egypt, the Hellenes, the Persians, the Romans, the Caliphates, varying Crusaders, the Ottomans, and the British. At no time did Jews abandon the land.
5. By the time of the British Mandate in 1947, large tracts of land had been purchased (as in bought and paid for) by Jews and Jewish organizations returning to the land they called home. Farms and settlements were established on those tracts.
6. Even the name isn’t Palestinian – “Herodotus wrote in c. 450 BCE in The Histories of a 'district of Syria, called Palaistinê" (whence Palaestina, from which Palestine is derived)” He went on to describe the population as predominately Jewish.
7. Palestinians as a recognizable ethnic group did not exist until the 1834 Arab Peasants Revolt against conscription in the Egyptian army.
Let me also be perfectly clear: the Israeli government is not blameless in the ongoing violence. They’ve have their share of the responsibility and they have brought some of this down on their own heads. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.