For many weeks now I have struggled as to whether or not to defend the actions of Israel in its current battle against the terrorist organization Hamas.
Blessed with a beautiful family, and looking into the eyes of my beloved son, your world takes on a very different perspective. It is easy to fear, as I'm sure many of my colleagues do, that I could be putting my family at risk and open myself up to attacks --verbal and otherwise.
I have just returned from my brother's wedding in Jerusalem. The were lucky enough to have the wedding take place during another short-lived cease-fire, which was of course purposefully and intentionally broken by Hamas, again, just as I was leaving the country.
Seeing my family -- my brother, Ben, and his new family, my grandmother (a blind woman, well into her late 80's who had herself served in the Israeli army), my many cousins and the several hundred others that still live there -- under constant threat of rocket attack, I could hear the voice of my grandfather (may he rest in peace, also a highly decorated Israeli commando, as was my father), calling to me from beyond the grave. (I have had family living in Israel since well before the state was founded; since the early 1900's to be exact.)
As I returned home, and once again fell into the arms of my wife and kissed the face of my infant son, I looked into his eyes and thought, "How could I explain to him, when he is older and is able to understand, that when our family, our people, were in jeopardy, that I did not do all I could, in my own small way, to try and shed some light on the truth in the defense of our people?"
I can't. I won't. I owe it to him, to them, to the future of my people at least to try.
The horrors that this constant war has unleashed upon the people of the region are beyond measure. With every report of another death, Israeli or Palestinian, my very heart bleeds, for as I have stated before, there are no two people on the face of this planet with closer blood lineage than the Arabs and the Jews, both descendants of Abraham; and the very fact that we are still killing one another, is both ludicrous and tragic beyond words.
I still believe in my heart that there is always hope -- that one day there can be a lasting peace, a peace we so longingly refer to in Israel's national anthem, "Hatikvah," ["The Hope"] but that hope continues to be marred by the constant false "truths" and heavy accusations weighed out by the Mainstream Media (the flame-fanning, whoring pimp that she is; selling blood and gore, and a monster movie story, to jack up its ratings, and charge more for advertisements on their networks), and certainly by the continual condemnations of the sham of an organization known as the United Nations (which is in bed and in business with many of the Arab countries -- all directly opposed to Israel's very existence). So then, let me shed some light on some common misconceptions, distortions of the truth, and outright lies.
1. Israel was founded on land stolen from the Palestinian people. FALSE
Israel was founded after decades of a movement called Zionism, which simply means: the belief of establishing a Jewish state within the ancestral homeland of the Jews, the land of Israel. The movement's momentum culminated after one of the greatest atrocities man ever committed upon its fellow man, the Holocaust. It is an event that many have tried to deny ever having occurred, (Both of my grandparents on my mother's side were survivors of the camps, with the remainder of their families wiped out completely. My grandfather, a strong, stocky fellow, survived because he was assigned to wheelbarrow duty, carrying the bodies of the dead to the crematorium, until his camp, Bergen Belsen, was liberated. My grandmother was a little girl in Auschwitz; she survived because each time she stood in line for the gas chambers (three times before she was liberated), the people in line allowed her to crawl underneath their legs to the back of the line so that the chamber was filled before she could enter. She still lives in Chicago and still has the numbered tattoo on her arm that the Nazis branded her with. The world felt pity for the Jewish people for once, and the UN itself voted for the establishment of a Jewish state, Israel, within the ancestral homeland of its people. The details of what happened during that time are completely represented with total historical accuracy by a short video from the Prager Institute. I implore anyone and everyone to watch this to gain a concise and clear understanding of this conflict.
Let's say, just for argument's sake, that the anti-Semites (and that is exactly what they are, there is no distinction between "anti-Zionists" and anti-Semites. They are chanting "death to the Jews" in these protest crowds. They are not singling out the Israeli army or government, so let's just have you take your masks off, shall we?), were right, and the land was stolen, and the Holocaust never happened.
Do you really think 6.3 million Jews who have been living there, making the desert bloom ever since, and well before 1948, are just going to up and leave? You think that's the answer? Do you really want peace? Or do you just want all the Jews in pieces? History has shown that it is certainly the latter. The only answer to any of this, is eventually to come to a compromise, a two-state solution, that puts the burden of responsibility back on the Palestinian people to maintain order and finally accept the existence of the state of Israel, and embrace peace and prosperity; not the gospel of Martyrdom, death, and Jihad that Hamas, Hezbollah, Isis, and their ilk preach.
2. Hamas Wants to Compromise and Achieve a Two State-Solution. FALSE
They, Hamas, want it all. They have violated every attempt at a cease-fire. They want to kill every last Jew on the planet and to enforce the barbaric system of sharia law upon all people under its control. A system that encourages the subjugation of women, denies any religious freedom, denies any sexual freedom, and denies any freedom of expression, often, on pain of death.
3. Israel Intentionally Targets Civilians, and is Trying to Commit Genocide. FALSE
Israel goes to great lengths to try and avoid civilian casualties whenever possible, but when your enemy is constantly firing at you, utilizing its own children and civilians as human shields, it is nearly impossible to avoid civilian casualties; and unfortunately, in times of war, mistakes happen -- horrific ones, tragic ones.
Hamas however, always targets civilians -- always.
Imagine the following analogy. Lucy is holding the football for Charlie Brown -- once again. Lucy and the football represent Hamas, and Charlie Brown represents Israel. Charlie brown runs forward to kick the ball Lucy is holding when at the last moment Lucy pulls the ball out and Charlie Brown falls trying to hit it; the difference is that here Hamas (Lucy) replaces the ball at the last possible second with innocents and civilians, and instead of whisking the ball away, encourages Charlie Brown to strike it, and he does.
This is what is happening to Israel time and time again, The Mainstream Media painting them as monsters with each inflammatory, inaccurate headline.
People ask me, "How can you as a father justify the killing of innocent children?" I don't. I can't. Hamas does.
They have sacrificed the lives of their own people, their own women and children, to gain the advantage in a media war -- a media war they are clearly winning. And the UN's UNWRA organization is helping them, by turning a blind eye to their storing weapons in and firing from its own facilities.
I weep every time I hear of more civilian deaths or injuries on either side (I do not have an once of pity for the deaths of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists), from genuine grief, and from the frustration of knowing the oncoming condemnation from a world blinded by images of death, that the media are only too rabid to spread, whether they are actually from the current conflict, or are stolen from Assad's massacre on his own people, or even horror films (numerous fraudulent pictures have been exposed on my Twitter page. Please feel free to read all the information contained therein).
The children? These poor children are taught to hate from the day they are born. This is child abuse. This is inhumane. This is monstrous. One of Hamas' slogans is, "We love death more than the Jews love life". I suppose that is why they use their own children as human shields, and spend all their resources on eradicating the Jews, instead of building infrastructure, building schools instead of terror tunnels, and instead of bolstering their economy and helping their people. Israel invests in the protection of its people (Iron Dome, thank you USA).
Palestinian children of all ages are openly taught to hate. Above, a scene from a popular Palestinian children's TV program. (Image source: MEMRI)
What would you do in the following scenario (a friend of mine, a Golani Brigade soldier in the IDF, told me this at my brother's wedding): A ten-year-old boy gets handed a grenade, and is then ordered by his parents to run at the Israeli platoon searching for terror tunnels and weapons. The soldiers do not react quickly enough, and the grenade detonates, killing the boy and one Israeli soldier, and also injuring many other soldiers as a result. How do you fight such an enemy? How do you fight an enemy that sacrifices their women and children as suicide bombers, strapping explosives to their bodies and instructing them to go to the area of highest civilian concentration that they can reach and kill themselves and as many around them as possible for the "glory of the cause" (the events of the second Intifada)?
It is these kinds of acts of cowardly terrorism and suicide-bombing that prompted the building of the security wall-and-fence complex between Israel and Gaza and the West Bank. Since the barrier has been in place, such occurrences have diminished, drastically.
What if such a threat were aimed at your family? Your wife? Your son? No matter how horrible the consequences of the decision may be, would you not do whatever it took to save them? If you say otherwise, you are a hypocrite and a liar.
4. Hamas Was Not behind the Kidnapping of the Three Israeli Teens on June 12th. FALSE
They, Hamas, financed it. They had also been firing rockets into Israel on a consistent basis prior to this event, an incredibly pertinent fact that the Mainstream Media's narrative, seems conveniently to have forgotten about.
5. Israel is an Apartheid State. FALSE
Israel is the last bastion of true freedom and democracy in the Middle East. It is a nation where people are able to enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and sexual freedom (the only country in the middle east to host a gay pride parade). Good luck with any of that in Gaza, or in any other Arab country for that matter. Israel is a country where Israeli Arabs can vote, have representation in Parliament, and even serve in the Israeli army (one of the top Israeli military men is an Druze Arab, and Bedouin often make a career in the army).
6. Hamas is a "Humanitarian Organization". FALSE
(Nancy Pelosi said, "that's what the Qatari's told me", Qatar and Iran being the largest financiers of terror on the planet)
This is a war that Israel has been fighting since the dawn of its existence, and an anti-Semitic hatred that we Jews have had to endure since the dawn of our existence. The enemy Israel is facing is none other than a face that is being photoshopped by the Mainstream Media into that of a victim, just as they planned (this is of course the same Media that glorifies terrorists and murderers of children within our own country, by plastering their names and faces all over the news every time another horrific incident occurs; and immortalizing them instead of focusing on the names of the victims, and making their memory stand for something; but that's not as sexy is it? After all, it's all about ratings. Create more monsters and keep people living in fear so they stay glued to their television sets).
I beg each and every one of you to open your minds, hearts, and listen to reason for once, instead of allowing yourselves to be brainwashed by a propaganda machine that has only one goal: to keep you living in fear, to horrify you, and to profit from it.
I have lost too many friends and loved ones to these inhuman monsters already, and cannot tolerate another, single, one. A friend of mine was widowed when her husband was killed in a bus bombing in the second Intifada, and she lost her leg from the "harmless rocket fire" that started the last Gaza/Israeli conflict. She now has to care for her two children as a cripple.
Before the stage is set for a new Holocaust, I implore each and every one of you, Jew and non-Jew, to make your voices heard, and do what you can to spread this, and your own personal messages of truth.
People have been trying to exterminate the Jewish people for thousands of years (the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Persian and Ottoman Empires, the Holocaust, and now Hamas). They will not succeed. The Nation of Israel lives and the Jewish people will endure, with or without your blessing.
I can now at the very least look my son in the eyes when he is old enough to understand and tell him... I tried.
I wish to thank the United States of America for all the support they have shown Israel through the years.
I pray that a true and lasting peace finally comes one day.
David Draiman is an American songwriter and the lead singer for the heavy metal band Disturbed, as well as for the band Device.
Originally published in slightly different form on August 10, 2014, and republished with the gracious permission of the author (c) 2014.