Yes, it is beyond dispute that Hamas is a ruthless terrorist group bent on Israel’s destruction. A bane to the 1.7 million people crowded into Gaza’s 141 square miles, Hamas callously fires missiles from crowded residential neighborhoods, hoping to take propaganda advantage of images of dead and wounded civilians hit when Israel fires on the missile launchers.
And yet, the Gazan children killed before they had a chance to live their lives bore into our consciousness. Bombs from a Jewish state killed those little ones. That’s not who we are, not as Jews … not as a people who have been on the receiving end of brutality for so much of our history.
But what choice is there?
While Hamas sends its missiles indiscriminately into Israel, trying to kill as many Jews as possible, the Israelis go out of their way to make their strikes as tactical as possible, trying to — without inflicting collateral damage, two awful words for innocent victims — get to the Hamas leaders cowering among civilian residences and even media hotels.
But the Gazan children still die. Women, too. So do fathers just trying to eke out a living for their families.
We can say that it’s all so unnecessary, but it is necessary because of Hamas leadership unworthy of the memory of Anwar Sadat, who after trying to wipe out Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, realized that peace was far better for his people than war.
We take a measure of pride in that Israel, in conjunction with the United States, has created the world’s first successful anti-missile system. The Iron Dome batteries have reportedly knocked down more than 80 percent of the incoming missiles they have targeted.
But we mourn that the brainpower that created the Iron Dome protecting Israeli children, women and men could have been better employed winning international prizes for peaceful scientific pursuits to benefit mankind … if only … if only …