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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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To My Facebook Friends: “I Apologize!”


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If you knew me before the latest war between Israel and Hamas you would know, I was a good Facebook friend, sitting politely and quietly in a corner of your social media cerebral cortex, generally speaking only when spoken to, or when something more interesting or important than what I had for breakfast crossed my mind.  I kept to myself how tasty that hamburger was.  Skateboarding South American monkeys sent my way, stayed on my monitor.  I grumbled, as I am sure many of you have, when one of us just could not help posting one mundane thing after another, cluttering the wall, making it a pain to find what would really be of some significance.  Sure, once in a while I would express pride in my hometown Orioles or Ravens, but for the most part I was a status-hibernating, share-dormant, partner of yours.

These last few weeks, however, I have at times inundated you with posts and shares about Israel’s latest war with Hamas.  Day after day, as the conflict went on.  And I apologize to you, my Facebook friends, you who run the gamut, from “You are preaching to the Choir,” to “Wow, I didn’t know that,” to “Typical Shia,” to “I didn’t know he thought like that,” to “But what about the people in Gaza?” to “I really don’t care,” to “Let ‘em kill each other, now get me a beer.”

I must admit, I am ashamed to say, I had second thoughts.  I was worried about what some of you might think.  No, not those of you who already knew my views, whether in agreement or not, but those of you who may not have been aware, who I may need one day for one reason or another, and who may have wondered or winced as my thoughts were laid bare.  But I should not have hesitated even for a moment.  It is not just because I worry day and night for those I hold dear who race to bomb shelters, or are wearing the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uniform and hunting down terrorists.  It is because, although it should not matter what people think when it comes to an existential threat to Israel, the war of public opinion is important.

With so much anti-Israel and yes, anti-Jewish, media out there, with so many Jew-haters taking to the streets, at times violently, and with unfortunately so many timid Jews staying silent, I along with others had to speak up.  People are being murdered, hundreds of thousands of them all around the world, all the time, many of them Muslim in fact, by Muslim dictators and terrorist states and groups.  And heaven-forbid a tiny Jewish nation dares to fight back, and the world goes nuts.  “It’s genocide!”  Really?  If Israel wanted to, it could have flattened Gaza in less than an hour and killed everyone there.  “Gaza is occupied and needs to be free!”  True.  Gaza is occupied, by Hamas terrorists who enslave their own people.

Here is the history.  To try and make peace, and with much consternation, Israel pulled out of Gaza, every soldier, every Jew, in 2005.  Thriving multimillion dollar businesses in open land on the Gaza Strip, businesses purchased by philanthropic Jews to give away to Gaza, were left for the Palestinians there to take over and work.  Millions and millions of dollars in aid from all over the world flooded into Gaza so it could jumpstart its economy and make life better for its people.  There was no occupation, no embargo, no blockade, no incursions into Gaza from Israel.  What happened?  The businesses were destroyed and the money was pocketed by corrupt terrorist overlords.  The Palestinians elected Hamas as their leader, and being it is sworn to destroy Israel and kill Jews – this is in the official charter, rockets and missiles and terrorism began nearly immediately after Israel’s withdrawal.  And it hasn’t stopped.

Shia Altman

About the Author: Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in West Los Angeles. His business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of MD and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not doing Internet Marketing, Shia tutors young and old Bar and Bat MItzvah students.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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