Israel at War – Day 26

(I had started a war diary on my German-language website and got requests to translate and re-post here.)

Another hot, humid day. This afternoon my dog and I were surprised by a rocket attack (well, it wasn’t entirely unexpected). We sought shelter in a neighboring house. Today, there were “only” 72 rocket attacks.

But then the news comes. According to official reports, 15 young Israeli soldiers were killed by Hamas fighters and their allies during heavy street battles in the Gaza Strip. The ground offensive takes its toll. And what about the many casualties on the Palestinian side, some may ask?

Yes, there is much suffering there. But I am asking the mothers and fathers in Gaza: Why have you done nothing to prevent the war? Why do you continue to support Hamas, which has brought only war and destruction so far, and continues to do so every day? Why don’t you overthrow the terrorist organization?

During World War II, entire cities in Germany were razed to the ground, including the city where I later graduated from high school. Should the Allied forces have thrown flowers at the Nazi Germans and thanked them for invading their countries, killing people, abducting others, and abusing them as slaves? Unfortunately, back then, the few attempts to kill Hitler or bring down the Nazis failed. Failed because most people were either too foolish to foresee the end or lacked the courage. Fortunately for the Germans (myself included), the Allied forces did not retreat after some “heavy blows against the enemy.” I had the privilege to grow up in an almost intact post-war world, in a wealthy country, in a free society.

For the people in Gaza, there can only be a future if they rid themselves of Hamas and the other radical organizations. As long as Hamas and its allies rule there, every new “flare-up of the conflict” will be more brutal and demand even more human lives.

As a descendant of German grandparents, I can say there is nothing more shameful than knowing that the parents or grandparents did nothing against the terror. If you pray in the Gaza Strip, do yourself a favor: pray for the downfall of Hamas and the terrorists.

About Light and Darkness

My choosing to become a tour guide is no coincidence. Ever since I came to Israel, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has captivated me. I wanted to understand the roots of this conflict and why all peace initiatives have failed.

When you travel through the West Bank and visit Palestinian cities like Bethlehem, Jericho, Nablus, etc., the first thing you notice is neglect. Streets in bad condition, garbage everywhere, and little planning. There is no industry to talk about. The main exports are olives and olive oil, stones, dates, fruits, and olive wood carvings. Another very important industry is tourism. Palestinian laborers in Israel are crucial to their economy – about 130 thousand Palestinians work in Israel, and additional Palestinians work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Those Palestinians working in Israel or in Israeli settlements make up 1/4 of the entire Palestinian GDP.

In contrast, you find well-developed roads in Israel, a railway network that is already quite good and continuously expanding. Tel Aviv and its surroundings have transformed into a kind of “Manhattan by the Mediterranean” in the last 20-25 years. This was possible despite the Second Intifada, the Palestinian terror wave waged by Hamas and other terrorist organizations against Israel, which lasted from 2000 to around 2004/5.

The reason for this huge difference in development between Israel and the Palestinian areas is quite simple: Israelis focus on building, while Palestinians focus on destruction.

As long as the majority of Israelis think and work towards building and creating, I am not worried about Israel. However, there are also some dark, extremist forces in Israel that attack Palestinians in the West Bank and seek to expel them.

Instead of advocating for the destruction of Israel, pro-Palestine demonstrators should “fight” for the development of Palestine, peacefully without weapons. They should translate the books and writings of Israel’s founding fathers into Arabic and teach them in schools and universities, instead of spreading Zionist conspiracy theories. They should study Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, and other Zionist leaders who created the State of Israel. Herzl’s “The Jewish State” or his utopian novel “Altneuland” would be a good starting point. Or the biographies of Ben-Gurion or Chaim Weizmann.

Dear Palestinians, listen to the people who have built a country, who can be your teachers, not to the deranged Israel-haters who have only brought you suffering and have nothing to show for it. I say the same to Jewish extremists on the right – you are the only ones bringing Israel closer to a downfall. Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and whoever else will never achieve that.

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