Photo Credit: Shai Pal via Unsplash
Tel Aviv and Jaffa (Yafo)

Jewish history is one long, never-ending torch race. In every generation, a select group raises the torch, lighting up its surroundings. On Wednesday, I met with young, incredibly brave mothers in Lod’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood who are dealing with the difficult reality that has unfolded in the heart of Israel.

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Together with their families, these women are joining the residents of the Gaza Strip periphery area in expressing our hold on our historic homeland. Determined citizens are making clear to the world that “we are here,” and no terrorist, missile, or shell will make us move. The 120-year-old struggle to realize the return of Zion has yet to be completed, and the strength of the Israel Defense Forces is the strength of the citizens in the line of fire. Their fortitude is stronger than that of the safe room they run to from time to time.

The Dossa Synagogue was desecrated and burned. Settlers from Judea and Samaria rushed in to help renovate the building. Now, a blackened Star of David at the entrance gate and a burned palm tree in the yard are all that remains of the fire that burned here just a few days ago.

Adjacent to the synagogue is a Jewish apartment situated in a mostly Arab apartment building. Malicious actors put a hole in the wall, entered the Jewish apartment, and burned everything inside. Burned musical instruments, charred toys, and the torn pages of holy books are evidence some savage people are not really people at all.

At the pre-military academy, we meet young people active in the civilian “war room,” a lesson learned from the helplessness of the Israel Police in the early days of the violent rioting. I heard serious complaints about the conduct of the police, and the “symmetry” Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai found in his comparison between Arab and Israeli terrorists. This talk of symmetry is a symptom of the syndrome that sees the media have it in for every senior public official accused of being on the Right while treating everyone on the Left with kid gloves.

Within minutes, a community in the Tel Aviv suburb of Raanana collected thousands of shekels for the rehabilitation of the Lod synagogue. A community representative asked me to accompany him on a trip to Lod to bolster Raanana’s support for the young people of the mixed Jewish-Arab city.

Rabbis and public figures came to Lod in a show of support for these marvelous young families. I was impressed by the many Border Police forces in the neighborhood to protect worried residents. The settlers of Tel Aviv need to be reminded that Lod’s Jewish residents are not settlers. These are good citizens who want to realize state sovereignty in their territory. Everyone should know that if we cannot live in absolute security in Lod, there will not be calm in Tel Aviv’s upscale Ramat Aviv neighborhood – formerly Sheikh Munis, or Ramat Hasharon – formerly Abu Kishk. If Jewish families, fearing for their lives, are forced to leave Lod, evacuations will also take place in Ramle, Jaffa, Haifa, among others.

Ever since the 1967 Six-Day War, members of the Left have tried to convince us that the struggle is over the 1967 borders. The events of recent weeks have shown us that that the struggle is over the 1948 lines, meaning the Jewish state’s very existence. All of the state’s citizens should be partners in this struggle. We are all obligated to show our support for residents of the Gaza periphery area, the same as we are with the residents of Lod, Ashkelon, and Tel Aviv. Strength from unity is the only thing that will make it clear to our neighbors, both near and far, that we are here for an eternity, and they would be better off living alongside us in peace than sustaining the harsh blows of our security forces.

{Written by Dr, Haim Shine and reposted from the Israel Hayom website}

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