Who cares about a cease fire?

May 21, 2021

By: Jonathan Feldstein

If you’ve been following news these past ten days, Israel has been suffering barrage after barrage of rocket attacks by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza.  As of this writing, some 5000 rockets have been fired at Israeli communities to inflict the greatest death, damage, fear, and suffering possible.  Millions of Israelis have been under fire, in dozens of major cities from the Negev to the Galilee, and the hills of Jerusalem.

As of Friday morning at 2:00am, Israel and Hamas entered a tense cease fire. Things have been quiet, but Israeli troops remain on high alert. Even if it holds, the hours leading up to the cease fire got worse before they got quiet. The terrorists have been pummeled and needed a “win” in order to save face, though strangely they claimed victory and celebrations erupted throughout Gaza.  It is worth highlighting that their “celebrations” are of terrorizing millions of Israelis.  Think about that.

The cease fire comes at a high price to all of Israel.  Forget that foreign governments should not be pressuring Israel to cave to the terrorists.  Rather, they should send their leaders to Jerusalem in solidarity with the Israeli people and send their support as foreign ministers of three European countries did.  The Biden administration’s public expectation of Israel to cease violence was misplaced, misguided, and mistaken, not to mention one sided.

In parallel to this, there’s lots of frustration in Israel for a unilateral cease fire that will simply allow Hamas to rearm and rebuild, that did not bring home the bodies of two Israeli soldiers that Hamas has been holding hostage from 2014, or two Israeli civilians.  Interestingly, the Israeli Electric Company workers union declared that they would not repair the damaged electric wires that provide electricity to Gaza until Hamas releases the Israeli hostages and soldiers’ remains.

I have been wondering, who really cares about a cease fire.  Don’t get me wrong, cessation of terror aimed at Israel is a good thing.  A very good thing. But we have to acknowledge that a cease fire with terrorists is not peace, especially without any terms limiting their rearming, or further punishment for unleashing the horrific attacks on Israeli cities. It’s no more than kicking the can down the road. And when terrorists “negotiate” a cease fire, they always do so with the threat of escalation of more terror if they don’t extort everything they want.

Friends have been writing from all over the world.  How are you?  What can I do?

The truth is that even with a cease fire, millions of Israelis have been traumatized. Hundreds have been hurt physically. A dozen have been killed, including Israeli Arabs and Jews, and foreign workers living among us. Countless property has been lost and damaged.  There are so many trying to pick up the pieces of lives that have been shattered. While it could have been much worse, the damage is done.  Does a cease fire comfort them? 

Millions of Israelis are also asking if our security is good enough.  The army has operated at a high level of tactical precision, to protect Israelis and target only the terrorists on the other side, trying to avoid inflicting unnecessary casualties and suffering there.  But it’s lost on no one that the terrorists hide behind the civilians on whose behalf they claim to protect, while Israel invests dearly to protect its own citizens. For instance, Israel’s Iron Dome is nothing short of a miraculous extension of the Hand of God protecting us all, Jews and Arabs alike.  Those who blame Israel for having the Iron Dome, and bomb shelters on all residential and public buildings, are dishonest liars.

But with its 90% success rate, that means when dozens of rockets are fired at one time, some get through the Iron Dome’s fingers.  Is it a comfort to most of us that we are able to destroy the 90%, but for the 10%, and those who have lost everything, there’s little comfort today. (You can see this video of the Iron Dome in operation filmed by my children from our bedroom window in the Judean mountains, miles away just to get a sense of what’s been happening all day going on two weeks, and imagine being nearby and only having 20-30 seconds to run for cover.)

Israelis are asking if our emergency medical abilities are good enough as terrorists always come up with new, “innovative” ways to try to harm and kill us. 

Parents of soldiers, like me, have slept restlessly not knowing what would be with their children who have been waiting on the border to “go in.” We’re relieved that this hasn’t happened, yet.  Our soldiers haven’t slept any better, living with rockets fired and Iron Dome counter measures over their heads, literally all day and night.

As all this is happening, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran are watching from the depths of their bunkers, analyzing, calculating, licking their chops, and waiting until they decide to unleash the estimated 150,000 rockets they have, making the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror these weeks look like kindergarten.  We wonder rhetorically if we are ready.

What can people do who care? First, pray.  We covet and need your prayers.  While we have faith, that doesn’t make this time any less fearful, or the threats any less real, both that which we’ve just gone through and the inevitability of another round. The question is when. 

Also, please donate to the Genesis 123 Foundation Israel Emergency Fund.  All funds are pooled to make a tactical, tangible impact in the biggest way possible.  The most urgent needs will be met to the greatest extent possible: comforting trauma and terror victims, providing civilian security and emergency medical needs, and for the welfare of Israel’s soldiers. 

As I write (Thursday), two things are happening in real time.  First, the rockets continue.  The Red Alert on my phone sounds like a row of slot machines, dinging almost without a break. The difference is that these are not the sounds of joy and winning, but of terror and fear. This is how terrorists do cease fire.

Second, in trying to get permission to bring food to soldiers on the front-line, I am in touch with a senior officer who just now confirmed that there was “an event” in their area, and no private vehicles are allowed.  I can now report that the “event” was the attack by terrorists on a bus transporting paratroopers on the Israeli side of the border.  This is my son’s unit.  Thank God he was not nearby and there were only light injuries.  My son said it was a true miracle. Whenever it will be possible to go to the border, every contribution now will go to immediate effective use. 

Finally, if you’d like a much greater understanding of the situation militarily and diplomatically, please watch the emergency security briefing I hosted. It was very informative, and very important. Even with the cease fire, the issues discussed are all still very relevant.  

The Islamic terrorists that Israel faces are the epitome of evil. I have heard other Moslems say that the terrorists are not real Moslems. Thank you to those who care.  It is encouraging and appreciated.

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