Opinion: Peace is a continuing casualty of border attacks on Israel


As a child growing up, the land of Israel was sacred. Every year in Tu Bishvat (Jewish holiday of the New Year of Trees) , we went to plant trees. This initiative was done by the JNF (Jewish National Fund) to forest Israel, and plant more trees. If someone managed to harm this togetherness of nature, it was seen as a negative thing. To have a fire was seen as the worst.

In the past few weeks, Israel was collided with a bombardment from Gaza, resulted in over 70 mortar shells striking in southern Israel. These attacks, became the largest barrage since 2014, during Operation Protective Edge. During the barrage, one shell hit a tree in the yard of a kindergarten shortly before children were due to arrive. Mortar shells were aimed with the intent of attacking Israel, specifically toward its citizens. Thankfully, the Iron Dome’s interceptions of the majority of the incoming mortar shells marked a significant improvement for the missile defense system.

The cease-fires between Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, started unofficially at the end of May. Since then, the shooting renewed from Gaza. Rockets, missiles, and from time to time, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would retaliate. To be clear, the IDF is not interested in escalation.

Since the start of the protests at the Gaza border, there have been more than 200 fires in the Gaza periphery, destroying more than 4,300 acres of land, the majority of it in nature reserves and parks. According to the Nature and parks Authority, approximately 2,471 acres in parks and reserves in southern Israel were burned. These attacks were the continuation of those that Hamas, along with the Islamic Jihad, included the throwing of Molotov cocktails towards the border fence, sending burning kites from Gaza, which ended up burning thousands of fields, causing millions of shekels of damage. Marches of incited mobs toward the fence went on for weeks at the border of Israel. At least 60 Palestinians were killed in clashes — almost all of them Hamas operatives, the terror group has acknowledged.

The IDF retaliated, and in doing so, exposed terror targets. Unfortunately, not to our surprise, Israel found the 10th tunnel that led into Israel. Who knows what kind of terror could have occurred in Israel, had this not been foreseen. As U.S. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley so candidly asked the United Nations Security Council, “Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border?”

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. This resulted in a 2007 takeover from Hamas. But who becomes the victim of this? The people of Gaza. Hamas money goes to terror activities, and military-style weapons. Not for reconstruction or the welfare of its people. Gazans are sacrificed for Hamas’ cynical plans. Israel continues to hope for peace. Golda Meir once said peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. Israel will and continues to hope for a partnership of peace with the Palestinians, and one day to see an end to this violence. We first need to have a solid partner in this venture.

Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer is consul general of Israel to the Southeastern United States.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Voices

09/23 Mike Luckovich: The revelation
09/23 Mike Luckovich: The revelation

Opinion: Trump has his excuse
Opinion: Trump has his excuse

According to a major new story published by the New York Times, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was so concerned with the stability of President Trump last May that in meetings at the Department of Justice, he suggested taping private conversations with Trump and floated the use of the 25th Amendment to oust him. That raises profound questions...
The problem with putting a number on Georgia's gang population
The problem with putting a number on Georgia's gang population

Every now and then, I will look up from the keyboard and suddenly realize that I’m in an argument. If you’re married, the same thing has probably happened to you once or twice. Some days ago, I focused on a joint press release on gang activity issued by Brian Kemp and Chris Carr, the Republican candidates for governor and attorney general...
Opinion: The shell game exposed
Opinion: The shell game exposed

In an internal poll leaked to Bloomberg News, the Republican National Committee bemoans the fact that the GOP tax cut is nowhere near as popular as Republicans had hoped, concluding that “we’ve lost the messaging battle on the issue.”  According to the survey, 61 percent of American voters believe that the GOP tax cuts were...
The Jolt: Dithering over SCOTUS pick could cost GOP the Senate, Reed warns
The Jolt: Dithering over SCOTUS pick could cost GOP the Senate, Reed warns

The transactional relationship between evangelicals and Republicans is on full display in Washington, as frustration grows among religious conservatives over Senate hesitation to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Warnings are being given, should Senate Republicans fail to deliver a high court justice who anti-abortion and pro-choice...
More Stories