Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israel at War

                Israel has been at war many times since they became a nation again after World War II.  The latest war involves terrorists (Hamas) living in its own territories and funded by the United States.  This war apparently started with the kidnapping and killing of three teenage boys followed by the retaliatory killing of a Palestinian teenager.  Israel located and dealt with the murderer of the youth from Gaza, but Hamas began unrelenting rocket attacks on civilian population centers in Israel.  Israel had no choice but to defend its people and began an aerial campaign to stop the attacks.  Israel began its ground offensive when Hamas used a “homicide tunnel to infiltrate thirteen terrorists, armed with anti-tank missiles, machine guns, grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition within a few hundred meters of a civilian farming community.”  The latest report on the number of rockets fired at Israeli cities is “more than 1,820 explosive projectiles in the past 14 days, an average of 140 per day, according to the IDF.” 

                The war continues at the present time because Hamas will not agree to the cease fire brokered by Egypt, supported by the United States and other nations, and agreed to by Israel.  Israel has agreed to stop this war if Hamas will stop firing rockets; therefore, the continuing deaths are the fault of Hamas who refuses to comply with a cease fire. 

                An article written by Dan Gordon, a reserve captain in the IDF, and another article by Sharona Schwartz explain how Hamas uses a series of tunnels to get into Israel to advance their agenda to “attack, kill, and kidnap Israeli civilians.”  Captain Gordon’s article describes tunnels dug/built by Hamas:  “The IDF Military Spokesperson Unit announced that the Israel Defense Forces have uncovered thirteen tunnels with thirty-four access points to them across the Gaza Strip.  To perhaps put a finer point on that, reliable civilian news outlets have stated that the IDF has uncovered and controls a dozen tunnels which lead under the border from Gaza straight into Israeli territory, directly threatening Israeli communities within Israel’s pre-1967, internationally recognized borders. 

                “Just so there’s no confusion here, we’re not talking about `Occupied or Disputed territories.’  Nor are we talking about smuggling tunnels.  The tunnels have been burrowed from Gaza, underneath the internationally recognized border of the State of Israel, and have exit points that put them in close proximity to civilian communities.

                “As has been widely reported in the international press, Hamas has three types of tunnels.  One type is used for smuggling everything from luxury automobiles to advanced anti-tank missiles.  Those tunnels are built by private Gazan contractors, who get rich off them, and are in turn taxed by Hamas, which makes a large part of their income from these smuggling operations.

                “The second type of tunnel which Hamas digs are the ones they dig for their leaders, to allow them to operate safe and sound from Israeli air strikes or artillery.  These have been reported to be built beneath such institutions as Gaza’s largest hospital.  The point not to be missed here is that Hamas knows how to build, not only smuggling tunnels, but sophisticated, air conditioned, structurally sound bomb shelters.  And it does so … for its political and military elite….”

                Captain Gordon describes the third type of tunnel as “homicide tunnels meant to provide the means to kill and kidnap Israeli civilians.”  These “holes literally opening up within a few hundred meters of your home and armed terrorists coming up out of the earth, like zombies in a horror movie, heading straight for your home, for you, for your children.
                “Once again, just so there is no mistake, these homicide tunnels are OFFENSIVE weapons.  There is nothing defensive about them.  They are built, not to defend Gazan civilians from Israeli attack, but to attack, kill and kidnap Israeli civilians.”

                Ms. Schwartz’s article gives more information on the Hamas tunnels.  “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday at the start of the ground operation that the main objective was to dismantle Hamas’ terror tunnel network.
                “`All of Gaza is an underground city, and the amount of infrastructure Hamas built up over the years is immense.  There are tunnels, extended bunkers, weapons storage facilities, even within urban areas.’ Israeli military spokesman Capt. Eytan Buchman told the Washington Post. 
                “Human rights groups have for years decried Israel for limiting the amount of construction materials into Gaza, but Israeli officials have insisted the cement was being diverted for terrorism use, not homes and businesses.  The latest revelation of the extensive, concrete-fortified underground structures would appear to bolster the Israeli claims.”

                I understand that some of these tunnels are more than one hundred feet underground and more than a mile long.  The IDF recently discovered an opening of a tunnel in the dining hall of Kibbutz Kissufim, a community in southern Israel.

                Before you decide which side to support, please remember the moral difference between Israel and Hamas.  Israel is defending its right to exist while Hamas fights to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.  The IDF puts itself between Hamas and Israeli civilians while Hamas puts its civilians between themselves and the IDF.  Steven Buccexplains this moral difference.  He served as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official before joining The Heritage Foundation.

                “Hamas sets up rocket launchers – as well as supply dumps and command-and-control sites – in the midst of apartment buildings, mosques and schools.  From these sites, its fighters launch dozens of rockets in salvos, targeting population centers with no discrimination at all.  They have been firing almost continuously of late.  But normally, they fire when Israeli school children move from their homes, which have safe shelters, to their schools, which also have shelters.  They do this deliberately to try to catch the kids in the open.  They don’t seek to minimize collateral damage – they seek to maximize it.

                “Israel, on the other hand, fires only at specific, intelligence-derived military targets.  Since these targets are deliberately intermixed with the civilian population by Hamas, Israel must take steps to minimize the collateral casualties.

                “Before the Israelis strike a building, every home in it gets a call on its landline phone, as do all the cell phones associated with the inhabitants of the building – the cells additionally get text messages – telling them that in a few minutes the building will be targeted.  Finally, to make sure everyone gets the message, Israel drops a dud bomb – one containing no explosives – onto the roof of the structure.  Minutes later, the building is destroyed.  There is no instance in modern military history where a force has taken greater measures to give the innocents as much change to get out of the way.  It is as `discriminant’ as a modern military can be.”

                Mr. Bucci’s article continues with an explanation of how Israel protects its citizens with its Iron Dome rocket defense system and its ‘Red Alert’ app for warning civilians of an attack.  He gives a simple explanation of why Israel is at war:  “Israel just wants to be left alone; Hamas wants the destruction of Israel.  There is no moral equivalence there, and the tactics of the two sides prove the point.”

                Prophets for thousands of years foresaw present-day Israel and how the world around it will try to destroy it.  Ancient prophecies are being fulfilled, and the scene is being set for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  A cease fire may end this specific war, but Israel will continue to fight wars.  I will continue to support Israel because God protects them.  No one can win against the God of Israel!

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