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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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My War Diary: War is Hell but National Suicide is Worse

We mourn the dead, wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and pray that God guides the government.

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Haredi soldiers of the Neztah Yehuda Battalion fight for Israel while maintaining Torah study in the army,

Haredi soldiers of the Neztah Yehuda Battalion fight for Israel while maintaining Torah study in the army,
Photo Credit: Sultan/Flash90

  • A “shul buddy” in a synagogue in a predominantly American community I visited on Shabbat told me his grandson is in the army. The soldier called to say that we would be out of communication for a while because he is turning over his mobile phone to commanders for security reasons while his unit goes into Gaza. That was the last time they talked. The grandfather helped bury his grandson a few hours ago.
  • Kerry is on the ceasefire bandwagon again. He must feel sure of himself after such a resounding success in Syria.
  • UNRWA found rockets in its school and turned them over to “local authorities,” meaning Hamas. The US said that was not a smart move. Then the US announced it is giving UNRWA a few million more dollars. Smart move?
  • The FAA is banning flights to Ben Gurion Airport because parts of an intercepted rocket fell into a home six miles from the airport. If the US is that paranoid, maybe it won’t let Kerry fly in?
  • A Teaneck, New Jersey woman moved to Israel today, packing her wedding dress that she will wear, God willing, when she marries her boyfriend, an IDF combat paratrooper who has been out of communication since the ground op began. True love.
  • Did anyone hear Ban Ki-moon and Al Jazeera state that Hamas is guilty of war crimes by using children as human shields? I didn’t hear a word. Maybe my hearing aid was not working.
  • This war really is disproportionate. Hamas is trying to murder 6 million Jews and doesn’t care if it mows down some Arabs, too. But Israel is aiming only at a few thousand fighting for Hamas.
  • Why do we call them “terrorists”?” Why do foreign media call them “militants?” They are murderers.
  • Shaul Mofaz, who backed the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and the withdrawal of every IDF soldier from the area in 2005, said with a straight face that the move saved a lot of lives. If he can’t admit a mistake, at least he shows everyone how idiotic he is.
  • Speaking of the Peter Principle, Tzipi Livni actually said that it was known that Hamas had dug tunnels but it was not expected they would use them.
  • We shopped in a supermarket in Be’er Sheva yesterday. There were no sirens. Tonight, at least three rockets fell in open areas near the city and another one was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
  • A siren went off a couple of hours ago at a Bedouin city north of Be’er Sheva. If it had exploded there and caused casualties, it would be Israel’s fault for not having deployed the Iron Dome to down the missile. Why blame Hamas?
  • Approximately 700 people were killed in the civil war in Syria the past two days, far higher than the death toll in the war In Gaza.
  • Arabs in Gaza really are victims. They are victims of Hamas, which has left them poor, and victims of UNRWA, which has institutionalized refugees and poverty.
  • I just remembered I volunteered in Gush Katif for four months in 1986, shortly after moving to Israel. My boss Yehuda sent me to work to help build greenhouses. The foreman and my immediate boss was Ahmed from Khan Yunis. He told me had six children and was happy to make good wages that Yehuda paid him. I wonder whatever happened to Ahmed. Is he a terrorist? Is he a collaborator? Is he dead or alive?
  • Why do people think I live in a dangerous area because I am “over the Green Line” in the southern Hebron Hills. This is one of the quietest areas in the country these days.
Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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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