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    Q: Rabbi YY
    Jacobson, some of my
    friends protested this
    week, blaming Israel
    for the atrocities of
    Hamas. Can you
    answer some of the
    questions posed?
    A: Absolutely. I wish every one of us would
    familiarize ourselves with the facts, not the
    myths, so we can each become ambassadors
    for truth and peace.
    Q: Why can’t Israel show restraint, and
    not bomb Gaza?
    Imagine you were sitting in your home with
    your children, and someone would begin
    shooting bullets into your home, killing one
    of your children, tying up another one and
    burning him alive, and then kidnapping and
    torturing another one. Do you think the
    correct thing is to show restraint and allow all
    your children to die? Or should you stop the
    Before last Saturday, Hamas sent more than
    20,000 rockets raining down on Israeli cities,
    with the singular intention of murdering as
    many Jews as possible. Should Israel just
    say: Send some more; we are fine if Jews die;
    or should Israel try to crush the terrorists?
    Even before last week, if not for the Iron
    Dome, Israel would have been reduced to
    rubble, and thousands would have been
    killed. Even with the Iron Dome, there are
    gruesome casualties and millions of Israelis
    are living in dread. When a siren goes off in
    the middle of the night, they have ten seconds
    to rush all the children into a shelter. Should
    Israel just accept this?
    Then came the massacre of last Saturday
    morning. Hamas breached the fence between
    Gaza and Southern Israel, entered into dozens
    of Jewish towns, and tortured and murdered
    more than 1300 Jews, among them many
    babies and the elderly. They mowed down
    Jewish youths like they were blades of grass.
    More than 3000 were wounded, many of
    them critical. More than 100 Jews were
    kidnapped and taken as hostages to Gaza.
    Should Israel remain silent?
    Q: Instead of firing back at Hamas, why
    does Israel not concede to Hamas’ demands
    so they would stop killing Jews and stop
    firing rockets?
    A: Hamas openly calls and aims for the death
    of every Jew in Israel, as clearly stated in
    their charter, written in 1987 (which you can
    read online). Should Israel concede to this
    demand? Should we murder every Jew in
    Israel and then there will be no more terror
    and no more rockets?

    Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization
    that wants to wipe Israel, a country the size of
    New Jersey with 6.6 million Jewish residents,
    off the map. They would be happy to burn 6
    million Jews alive, as they did to the children
    in Southern Israel, last Shabbos. Hamas
    would be more than happy to murder 10,000
    Jews daily, or as many as they can. What they
    did last Shabbos, they would gleefully do
    every single day, if they had a chance. Should
    we allow them?
    Q: Why do you say it is about genocide?
    Maybe it is just about occupation? Israel is
    occupying Gaza and has created a siege
    around it, so in desperation, the Gazans
    need to kill Jews and shoot rockets to fight
    the injustice.
    A: I believe Hamas. They state clearly in
    their charter and all their messages that the
    goal here is the eradication of the Jewish
    If someone just hates Jews and Israel with no
    rationale, there is little to be said in defense
    of truth. But if someone is looking for some
    truth, here it is:
    In August of 2005, Israel expelled ten
    thousand Jews from their homes in Gaza,
    their communities demolished by the Israel
    Defense Forces. Not a single Jew or Israeli
    soldier was left in Gaza. Israel gave its Arab
    neighbors the opportunity to create an
    independent Palestinian State in Gaza with a
    flourishing society, the “Singapore of the
    Middle East.”
    Alas, the day following the forced Jewish
    expulsion, rockets came pouring down on
    Israeli cities, targeting civilians in homes and
    in the streets. Instead of waking up to the
    deadly consequences of the Gaza withdrawal
    and re-entering Gaza, Israel showed restraint.
    The results? Hamas built a terror state. Since
    then, tens of thousands of rockets have been
    sent from Gaza to murder as many civilian
    Jews as possible. Thousands of Jews were
    The siege Israel created was not to block any
    essentials, but only to stop (unsuccessfully)
    weaponry from being smuggled into Gaza to
    be used against Jews in Israel. Had Gaza
    been a neighbor to Israel like Canada is to the
    US, Israel would not even look at what goes
    into Gaza. But when you have a neighbor
    who wants all your children to die, should
    you not inspect what goes into his country?
    The siege is not the reason for the rockets; the
    rockets are the reason for the siege.
    Q: Why not just withdraw to the pre-1967
    lines, and create a Palestinian State, and
    all will be fine?
    A: Israel did just that with Gaza! Gaza was
    the first Palestinian State, created back in

    2005, and it
    became a center
    of terror. It
    became instantly
    clear that the
    demand for a
    Palestinian State
    was not to live
    side by side with
    Israel but to
    replace Israel.
    One can only
    shudder to think
    what would
    happen if a
    Palestinian State
    were created in the heart of Israeli society?
    Do you think Israel should commit national
    suicide? Would you give Hitler a Palestinian
    Following the Oslo Accords, when Israel
    gave autonomy to Palestinians in the West
    Bank, Israel saw the worst terror attacks
    against its citizens. Conceding territory,
    sadly, is an invitation for war, not peace.
    Q: How can Israel justify killing civilians
    if their intent is to destroy Hamas?
    A: The death of every innocent human being
    is horrific. But what is the reason for all these
    tragic casualties? Because Hamas places its
    fighters among the civilian population, using
    them as human shields, and launches its
    rockets from schools, hospitals, and homes.
    The Palestinian people are being held hostage
    by Hamas. A civilian who is killed while
    being used by a terrorist as a human shield is
    a victim of the terrorist, not the Israeli army,
    who does not target innocent civilians.
    Why does Hamas do this? Because it knows
    that the world will blame Israel instead of
    Hamas. Hamas knows that so many in the
    West will buy into their sadistic and cynical
    tactic of making sure that as many children as
    possible are killed in Gaza. Israel does
    everything to minimize casualties, not only
    of its own people but of Gazans. Hamas does
    everything to increase casualties, not only of
    Israelis but of its own children—and the
    world lets them get away with it.
    If Hamas would not be sending murderers
    and shooting rockets into Israel would even
    one child in Gaza die? Never. So why are we
    blaming Israel for deaths caused by Hamas?
    Many German civilians died during World
    War Two. Who do we blame for their deaths?
    Hitler or Churchill? What Nazi Germany was
    to England, Hamas is to Israel. Literally.
    Q: But Israel is shooting rockets into Gaza
    and killing these innocent people?
    A: If someone declared war on your country,
    and it is waging the war from amidst its

    civilian population, do you try to defeat your
    enemy or do you just allow your people to
    Still, there has never been an army in the
    history of warfare that had tried so hard to
    minimize civilization casualties the way
    Israel does. Sadly, they are not always
    successful due to the deliberate and criminal
    aim of Hamas to ensure the greatest possible
    deaths of their own children for which they
    can blame Israel.
    Consider the following facts. Before bombing
    a residential building filled with Hamas
    operators and used to launch rockets against
    Israel, the Israeli military sends letters
    warning them to leave, even though that
    gives ample time for the terrorists to flee as
    well. Does anyone even expect Hamas to
    phone Israeli residents before sending a
    rocket to their homes? What does this tell you
    about the difference between Hamas and
    Israel? One is trying to murder as many
    innocent people as possible; the other is
    trying to protect as many innocent people as
    If you really care about the safety and future
    of Palestinian children, you should embrace
    Israel and combat Hamas. If only Hamas
    would love their own children a little more
    than they hate Israeli children, there would be
    Q: Still, isn’t Israel’s response
    disproportionate? Can’t they show more
    A: What would be your reaction if in 1945
    politicians would urge the US and England to
    show restraint? Hitler began a war, and the
    Allies were trying to end it, by defeating the
    enemy. Hamas declared war against Israel,
    and Israel is trying to end it. When you are
    trying to end a war, you try to end it as swiftly
    as you can. Remember, if Hamas would not
    murder and kidnap Jews, this war would have
    never begun.
    Israel’s moral duty today is to eliminate
    Hamas completely and take full control over
    Gaza, so that no more innocent people die.

    Israel’s great mistake is
    that they did not do this
    the moment Hamas
    fired the first rocket
    after Israel gave them
    their Palestinian State.
    This is not about being
    proportionate. This is about ensuring that 6
    million Jews in Israel are not slain. During
    the Second World War, there were millions of
    more civilian deaths in Germany than in
    Britain. Does this make England wrong, and
    Nazi Germany right?
    Q: Israel has an army and the Iron Dome
    to protect it from Hamas soldiers and
    rockets, while the Gazans are left without
    protection from the Israeli rockets and
    A: The people of Gaza have something far
    more effective than an Iron Dome: a neighbor
    who would never shoot even a single rocket
    at them and would not kill even one Gazan. If
    Hamas ceases to terrorize Israel, all of Gaza
    will be safe. Sadly, it is only Israel that needs
    an army and Iron Dome because Hamas
    seeks to destroy it.
    If Hamas went on vacation for a month, no

    one person in Gaza would be hurt. If Israel’s
    Defense Forces went on vacation for a month,
    not one Jew would be left alive.
    Q: Doesn’t Israel understand that they are
    creating more terrorists? The fury at
    Israel as a result of bombing Gaza will
    make more people want to join Hamas.
    A: First of all, feelings of frustration and rage
    do not make you into a terrorist. A culture of
    death and education of hate does. Israel
    doesn’t need to do anything to create
    terrorists—Islamic extremism does that, but
    Israel must act to destroy those who threaten
    its people.
    On the contrary, anyone who learns the facts
    understands that the fury ought to be directed
    toward Hamas, who does not care for its
    people and has subjected them to this
    suffering. Instead of blaming Israel, why
    don’t we blame the true perpetrators?
    But regardless, Israel needs to eliminate the
    organization that keeps on murdering Jews.
    Do you think England and America should
    have not targeted Hitler and the Nazis so as
    not to infuriate the German people?
    Q: Israel, because of its power, must be

    kept to a higher standard.
    Even if Hamas is using
    violence, Israel must not.
    A: That is deeply misguided. If
    someone is coming to burn your
    children alive, do you stop them
    with all your might, or do you
    just welcome them?
    If a woman is being attacked by
    a thug who wants to violate her,
    and she punches the attacker in
    the face, is she to be lauded or
    humiliated? If Israel would do
    nothing and allow its children to
    continue to die, would it be compassionate or
    Q: Many people maintain that Israel has
    done many things over the years to
    undermine peace?
    A: Israel is far from a perfect country and has
    made its share of mistakes. Yet, every single
    war in modern history has been between a
    Free State and a Police State, or between two
    Police States. Hamas is a police state—if you
    differ with them, they kill you. Israel, with all
    its flaws, is a free country. Where in the
    world, other than when it comes to Israel,
    does anyone argue that the Free State
    does not want peace and the Police State
    wants peace?
    Of the 193 countries members of the UN,
    there is only one country targeted for
    extinction. Yet, this country is the one
    responsible for war?!
    There is one great mistake Israel has
    made: It allowed the terror organizations
    and cells around it and inside of it to
    flourish. Israel showed weakness for
    years and the consequences we saw last
    Q: If all the above is true, why is there
    such a double standard when it comes
    to Israel?
    A: Somehow the Jewish people still
    trigger profound sentiments, in one
    direction or another. Since the day
    Abraham began his journey, the world
    has been anything but indifferent to the
    Jew. Some people love Jews, others
    don’t, but nobody can ignore them.
    Despite not numbering even one-quarter
    of one percent of humanity, the world is
    obsessed with Israel. Do you need better
    proof that our role in history is as vibrant
    as ever? That we are Divine ambassadors
    to fill the world with truth, justice, and
    love, and the world is longing to hear our
    We must not duck into fear and insecurity.
    We must speak the truth and fight every

    expression of evil and hatred. The world
    respects Jews who respect Judaism and
    respect their history, heritage, and faith. The
    world will respect Israel when Israel respects
    Israel and will stop appeasing terrorists and
    their supporters.
    Israel must now do the most moral thing it
    can do: Retake Gaze so that Jews are safe.
    And by the way, this is good for the Arabs as
    well, who will not suffer under the tyranny of
    Q: What about the demographic problem
    of a minority of Jews in a sea of Arabs?
    How can Israel continue to “occupy”
    Palestinian territory?
    The great mistake of Israel has been to ask—
    and answer—questions of peace in times of
    war. Israel, for more than 25 years now, has
    been in a state of war, though it never
    acknowledged it as such. For 25 years, there
    have been Arab attempts on almost a daily
    basis to murder Jewish men, women, and
    children throughout the country. Many have
    succeeded; most have failed, only because of
    the diligence of the IDF and the help of G-d.
    In a time of war, you talk not about
    demographics or occupation. You make sure
    that your citizens are not being murdered and
    When Israel’s neighbors embrace the path of
    peace and are truly ready to denounce all
    terrorism and violence, then we all will have
    the luxury to confront the demographic
    problem, as well as any others. Peace will
    then come in a single week. In the meantime,
    Israel must eliminate the cancer of terror
    completely, so that the cancer does not
    eliminate it.
    May G-d bless Israel. May G-d bless our
    soldiers. May G-d protect every Jew living in
    Israel, and may He protect all innocent
    people, the world over. May G-d give our
    leaders the wisdom and courage to do what
    they need to do to protect our people and our
    homeland. May they not surrender to fear and
    insecurity and root out completely every
    vestige of terror in their midst. May we all
    have the moral clarity and courage to be
    outraged by evil and intoxicated by good.