“Last night as I watched the various international news outlets, I was dismayed to see them relating to the rising death toll in Gaza as if Israel had indiscriminately mowed down a huge swath of unsuspecting innocents,” writes Treppenwitz in reaction to the Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. His reaction is a common one among Israeli bloggers, one where these actions are a justified reaction to a situation that has been unbearable for too long.
Jewlicious elaborates on this idea:
Aron Heller of Associated Press for Yahoo News (Dec. 25) writes this past week that the massive barrage of Palestinian rockets slamming into Israel during Hanukkah, “caused no injuries but generated widespread panic.” The headline for his article–”Israel warns Hamas will pay heavy price,” simply implies that Israel plans to act because of widespread panic.
Heller makes no mention of the Israeli homes destroyed by the Palestinian rockets, the 60 plus Israelis who were hospitalized for shock and trauma, including 12 Ashkelon children, or the thousands of dollars in damages that the Palestinian rockets caused to Israeli properties and businesses.
The international media ignores far too often another critical player in the Arab-Israeli conflict and its role in continuing the conflict. Hamas, the ruling party who took over Gaza in 2006, is a terrorist organization that was established in 1987, an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas has led a brilliant public relations campaign that has consistently de-legitimized the actions of Israel, as we find in the media coverage of the conflict, while simultaneously legitimizing its own regime in Gaza.
What the international media and world community often fail to see is that Hamas has its own interests in mind – whether it be the starvation of its people or the launching of rockets at Israeli civilians. In other words, the critical role that the ruling regime of Gaza, known as Hamas, has played in contributing to the continuation of the conflict, has been too often overlooked.
Chayyei Sarah has a similar opinion as most Israeli bloggers:
My feelings about what happened in Gaza yesterday: I feel very sad that it had to be that way. But it had to be that way. We can't let rockets rain down on our citizens and do nothing. I look forward to the day — may I live to see it — when the Palestinian leadership figures out what “compromise” and “good leadership” and “promises” and “tolerance” actually mean. I'd really like for our army to have nothing to do. That would be fantastic.
Here is another impression from blogger Tzipiyah:
Over the weekend, Israel has started an operation in the Gaza strip. However, even after those years of attacks which make this response more than justified, there is a sense of shock at the numbers coming out of Gaza. Over 280 dead. Wow! 280 human beings were killed. For people who hate death, this is, honestly, a horrible tragedy. So, how are we to react to that?
In today’s world, there is an underlying pressure for Jews, and Zionists, to put their heads down in shame after seeing these numbers. Yes, even the strong Zionists are afraid to switch their facebook status in support of the Gaza operation. Yes, even the strong Zionists are afraid to scream their support for the State of Israel in such a time of bloodshed and conflict.
The Torah does tell us that we cannot, we are forbidden, to rejoice in our enemies’ suffering. So, we should not rejoice in their death. However, let’s make no mistake: I am not, in the slightest way, ashamed of the State of Israel. I am proud of the State of Israel for finally standing up and defending it’s citizens.
Not all bloggers whole-heartedly support these actions, some have reservations, such as Yoni the Blogger:
I am against the up coming ground action in Gaza.
I am against this action for several reasons, first as late as the end of last week, Israel was feeding the terrorist of Gaza. Second the politicians have not stated what the goal of the operation is, so how will Israel know if the operation is a success or failure.
I would support a ground action in Gaza under the following conditions, first cut Gaza off 100% from the outside world for up to two months. This means no food, water, industrial supplies or even medicine into Gaza.
What are they afraid of?
Will they discover that the pro-Israel bloggers outnumber the anti-Israel bloggers, and that J Street speaks not for the “silent majority,” but for a tiny minority of Jews?
More reactions from the Israeli blogosphere are still coming in as the conflict continues. Israellycool is liveblogging events as they happen, and of course check Global Voices’ own special coverage page for updates.