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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
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War Diary: A Letter to My California Cousins

Hamas terrorists usually fired rockets at Israeli towns from civilian areas in Gaza.

Hamas terrorists usually fired rockets at Israeli towns from civilian areas in Gaza.
Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit / IDF Blog

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write.

I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza.

No matter what is reported in the United States about the war, the pictures inevitably are those of bloodied Gaza children who were killed by IDF forces today.

For the first time in the past two decades of conflicts with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah, Israel has found itself in a live or die situation in which Hamas, like Hezbollah eight years ago, uses civilians as human shields, a war crime.

Any other country would have finished this war in a day by carpet bombing terror-infested areas, no matter the cost of lives. A couple of thousands of innocent people would have been killed, Israel would be condemned left and right, but by sheer might, the IDF would have been able to continue to take over the rest of Gaza. The Arabs there would know they would meet the same fate as the first 2,000 if they cooperated with Hamas and allowed themselves to be exploited.

Unlike many others, I am happy the world judges Israel by the double standard because in order to be a Light Unto Nations, we really have to stick to our own standard.

That is why the IDF did not carpet bomb Gaza today. It also cannot continue to allow Hamas to threaten our existence by committing the war crime of using civilians as human shields. Those civilians killed today were innocent victims. I will not get into the argument if they were victims of the IDF and Hamas. I know the answer, and everyone can come up with his own conclusion.

I will say that whatever news you read, it is not complete.

Back in 1981 or 1982, I was a senior copy editor for one of Canada’s largest newspapers. That is a fancy title for five people who sit at a desk, rip off wire copy and decide what you will read and what you will not read.

At that time, I was totally out of touch with family. I had rejected Judaism for journalism and certainly had no connection with Israel. I never did. I never was a Zionist. I refused to look at pictures from Israel when my parents, may their memory be for a blessing, came back from their first trip here in 1960. My reason was that the country is not a religious state. At that time, at the age of 16, I was very, very observant.

So with that background, with no knowledge of Israel and not a care about the country, I read the wire copy that reported about the war in Lebanon. Every day, I read about the IDF “invading” and bombing Lebanon, and somewhere later in the articles, I read that Hezbollah had fired rockets on the Galilee.

This went on day after day. I read between the lines and told myself that something did not make sense. That is when I gave up journalism and set in motion my eventual return to Judaism. The spark of being a Jew never is extinguished.

I walked into the office one day and announced I was quitting the highest paying job I ever had and ever will have in my life. I didn’t even think of explaining why. No one would have understood.

There is in inherent bias in foreign media that Israel is wrong. “Objective” news reports are reported with the assumption that something is not right with Israel. That is true in the spiritual sense. Israel still is not what people want it to be.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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5 Responses to “War Diary: A Letter to My California Cousins”

  1. God bless Israel!!!

  2. God bless Israel!!!

  3. God bless Israel!!!

  4. Tell it like it is. All of it.

  5. Pam Mullis says:

    My news comes from Israel

Comments are closed.

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