This Shabbat, Hamas terrorized all of Israel with a premeditated and deadly attack on Israel. Civilians, soldiers have been murdered, and kidnapped; countless hundreds of citizens have been wounded in body and in heart.
Even as the Gaza border is under constant and extensive surveillance, this attack happened as Jews were celebrating Simchat Torah and Shabbat, echoing for many the Yom Kippur war. Hamas has never considered brokering a peace with Israel; their very Charter speaks against the very existence of the Israeli state. Yet, for decades monies have poured into Gaza from Europe, from the US, and from Canada. Whilst those monies were ostensibly provided for the Palestinian people living in Gaza, we know that far too many of those millions went to the military and to building the infrastructures of terrorism – the use of which we saw over these past days.
I think it is difficult for us, as Canadians, to imagine living next door to such lethal enemies. Imagine tunnels being constructed so Americans could enter Canadian soil and kidnap and murder Canadians – for being Canadian. One does not want to ever imagine such a circumstance. Israeli citizens have no choice.
Israel is continually under the periscope of the nations of the world, examined for every supposed mis-step, encouraged if not strong-armed by those same nations to utilize caution in military response, even as Israeli citizens are being bombed. Military response from Israel is universally seen as aggression. The crimes that Hamas has and is committing are unspeakable; this is not a government with which Israel can negotiate.
We are not Israel, but we are Jews. We stand with Israel. We pray with Jews everywhere, and we pray with those Palestinian peoples sick and sickened of war, for a mutual and firmly held commitment to peace.
With love, wishing you long life.Rabbi Lynn