Hamas vs Israel
From a statement by the JCRC, the Jewish Community Relations Council:
In my opinion, one of the most blatant violations of human rights is the constant mis-speaking of the mainline press in not telling the entire truth. Yes, Israel DID attack Gaza. That is a fact. But to leave out why, and to pretend that this is an act of aggression on Israel's part is heinous. It is a rallying cry for those that are anti-Israel and especially those that are anti-Jewish to reign down more lies about Israel in the hopes that this time the country might be erradicated completely. I'm so sick of main-stream media distorting the facts in favor of making Israel look like a constant aggressor. As Barak Obama said so eloquently, if someone were tossing morters and bombs at your home night after night, would you just sit like sheep or would you rise to defend your selves and your home. Israel is doing just that, rising after a long and provocative time to protect itself against Hamas, which has publically called for the death of Israel and Jews. This is what you defend when you say Israel is the aggressor here.
Statement to Jewish Community On Gaza Crisis
We are writing to update you on the latest developments in the Gaza Strip. We regard it as important that you be promptly and fully informed about the circumstances that left Israel with no choice but to finally respond to the cruel, incessant attacks that Hamas has been launching against Israeli civilian centers.
As you know, over the past year alone, Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, Canada and the United States, has fired some 3,000 rockets and mortar bombs into Israeli towns and cities in southern Israel. Israeli families have been subjected to daily bombardment, whose purpose has been to kill or maim Israeli civilians as well as to terrify Israeli families.
Over the last week or so, Hamas, which calls for the "obliteration" of Israel , has intensified its attacks on Israeli civilians, firing some 200 rockets and mortar bombs in the last several days alone. Sderot, the long-suffering working class community where innocent Israelis have been wantonly attacked with rockets for more than three years, came under renewed fire. The attacks then spread to Ashdod and to Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 people.
President-elect Barak Obama said earlier this year about the more than 6,300 rockets and mortar shells from Gaza that have rained down on Israel since 2005: "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing."
In this Christmas season, while Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces were successfully working together to ensure a peaceful celebration in Bethlehem, Hamas fired more than 100 rockets and mortars at Israel's cities and towns. Moreover, as The New York Times reported, the terrorists "increased the range and intensity" of their assault. As a result, more Israeli citizens are faced with a serious lethal threat than ever before. Israeli author Amos Oz, a prominent dove whose call for peace with the Palestinians is shared by a majority of Israelis, wrote in a recent piece entitled "Israel Must Defend Its Citizens" that "The systematic bombing of the citizens in Israel's towns and cities is a war crime and a crime against humanity."
No country can tolerate such deliberate assaults indefinitely - and Israel has shown extraordinary restraint, publicly calling upon Hamas to stop the attacks and seeking to extend the fragile lull in hostilities that had been in effect for the last six months.
Hamas's disregard for Israeli life is matched by its disregard for the lives of Palestinians living in Gaza . Using innocent Palestinians as human shields, Hamas purposely fires its missiles from homes, schools and community centers, confident in the knowledge that when Israel finally acts to stop the killing of its own civilians, Palestinians will also inevitably be harmed. The use of Palestinian civilians as human shields is not merely unspeakably cruel. It is also a fundamental violation of Palestinian human rights by the Hamas leadership.
Israel cares deeply about protecting the lives of civilians, both in Israel and in the Gaza Strip. Its efforts this weekend to stop the Hamas attacks represent classic self-defense, undertaken reluctantly by an Israeli nation that longs for peace.
Israel is now compelled to act to defend its citizens. A loyal ally of the United States, Israel has rushed to our aid at times of crisis - rushing rescue workers to Nairobi, Kenya, in the wake of the bombing of the U.S. embassy there and sending planeloads of relief supplies to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Now our friend needs our support - our strong backing for its right to defend itself from terrorist attack.
In the days and weeks ahead, we ask that you make your voices heard about the need for Hamas to stop its terror, and to respect the lives of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
Jameel is live blogging the entire event here.
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