Israel is under attack. Do you care?
Israel has been under attack this week - who really cares?
I am angry.
You see, as most people in the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world were going about their daily routines on Wednesday, here in Israel, over 1 million people were running for cover from a hail of rockets being rained down by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. In the space of the preceding 24 hours, at least 80 rockets were fired on southern Israel. That’s more than three rockets per hour.
Just to put things in context: one million Israelis is roughly 13 percent of the population. Thirteen percent of the population of the UK equates to about 8 million people, or the entire population of London.
A dozen Israelis were injured in the bombardment, several of them seriously so. The only reason more were not hurt is because Israel has invested millions of dollars in bomb shelters and the Iron Dome defense system, while Hamas has invested millions of dollars in foreign aid in more rockets.
But here is why I’m angry.
I’m angry that in 2012, over 600 rockets have already been fired from Gaza with no end in sight.
I’m angry that the world only notices when Israel undertakes its most basic sovereign right to defend its citizens. Can you imagine if even one rocket was fired on Washington, Paris, Moscow … or London? No nation on earth can, or should, tolerate such attacks on its people.
I’m angry that, while the United Nations never hesitates to call a ‘special emergency session’ on the ‘Question of Palestine’ or pass the umpteenth resolution blindly condemning Israel, I am still waiting for a session on the ‘Question of Israel’ and Palestinian terror. In fact, 72 hours after the rocket attacks started, I am still waiting for even one syllable of condemnation from the United Nations. In fact, there been no official word from 10 Downing Street or the Foreign Office either.
I’m angry that Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, could not find a moment to condemn the Palestinian rockets, but did find time to laugh and dance with South Korean rapper ‘Psy’ from the popular dance craze ‘Gangnam Style’, the same day all civilians in southern Israel were instructed not to send their kids to school and stay in bomb shelters.
I’m angry that while the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton slammed Israel last week over the building of several hundred apartments (in an area that will arguably remain part of Israel anyway), that I am still waiting for her to slam the Palestinians for firing 80 rockets in one day.
I’m angry that mainstream news organizations like the BBC wait until 50 missiles hit Israel before deciding to report the story, and only then, lead with the headline like ‘Militants Killed in Gaza Strikes.’ What about ‘Palestinian Terrorists Rain Down Over 80 Rockets against 1million Innocent Israelis.’ I’m even angrier that some news agencies chose not to cover this story at all or bury down with the weather section.
I’m angry that there are those who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror.
I’m angry that ships and flotillas continue to set sail for Gaza to show ‘solidarity’ with the Palestinians, but where is their solidarity with the people of southern Israel?
I’m angry that while human rights organizations like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam, and others do not waste a single opportunity to condemn Israel for human rights violations against the Palestinians, the human rights of Israelis are seemingly not important enough for them. Is Jewish blood really that cheap?
I’m angry that so many people are blind to the fact that Iran, which has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and now seeks to obtain nuclear weapons, is the primary funder and supplier of arms to Hamas.
I’m angry when people continue to say that ‘settlements’ are the main impediment to peace, and not Hamas – a terrorist group which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and seeks its destruction.
I’m angry that there is someone out there who does not know me and has never met me, yet still wants to kill me – for no other reason than being Israeli.
I’m angry when I hear residents in southern Israel say "we just lie on top of our children and try to protect them with our bodies" or that “we're living on borrowed time” – yet the world seems oblivious to their desperate cries for help.
No, I am not angry. I am outraged.
Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer and freelance journalist. Follow him on Twitter @Ostrov_A
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