By Kevin O'Neil
I've heard it again - people at the end of their tether saying, with tears in their eyes, "I can't stand to see children harmed."
This is all very noble, but it would be no normal human being who could say the opposite or confess indifference. Nothing could be worse than viewing the suffering and death of little children. But it's what often follows this comment that irritates me, it's usually something directed against the Jews of Israel, accusing them of being evil and heartless child-killers, that the Jews are simply not like us compassionate folk.
Haven't these people stopped to consider that the Israelis are, at the very least, as traumatised as they are? Jews have always excelled in the area of medical care, the nurture of life; they are a highly-sensitive and civilised people. Can such people be oblivious to suffering who daily receive their enemies and their enemies children into their hospitals for medical care? The worthy people who publicly and vociferously express their sympathy for the suffering children should also find some shred of solicitude for the Jews who have been forced into the position of inflicting suffering for the sake of self-defence.
Golda Meir, former PM of Israel, famously stated, "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children." The people who are self-righteously wringing their hands should stop and consider the dreadful truth of these words and the depth of pain behind them.
Hamas recently strapped explosives around a donkey and sent it to its death. It should come as no surprise that the Israelis were upset by the disregard for life. “This cruel incident is the most recent attempt by Gaza terror organizations to make such an abominable use of animals as explosives couriers,” the IDF said on its website. These same people, the Jews, have a special New Year for Trees! They even have a day on which they celebrate the birthday of the world! And we are expected to believe that they couldn't care less for little children because they're not Jewish children. Well, the donkey wasn't Jewish either, neither are the trees or the world.
"Whoever saves a life, saves the world; whoever takes a life, takes the life of the world." No prizes for naming the people who coined such a phrase, born out of a reverence for all life, be it tree, animal, or human being.
The amazing fact is that the Jews were valuing life when the Spartans were abandoning their naked 'unsuitable' babies in the snow for the good of society. My goodness, the Jews even have a special blessing if one happens to see another human being who has a deformity. Deformed, yes, but infinity is in his heart! He too is to be reverenced, so bless God who made him. Yet we are expected to believe that such people are content to kill and injure little children. It won't wash.
Today's descendants of the Spartans may be sincere when they gasp at the suffering of the infants in Gaza - expressing a compassion that they were taught by the God of the Jews - but how would they react if they were to see the Gazan children, adorned in explosive belts and indoctrinated into destroying themselves in the name of allah? And would they feel compassion for the large percentage of Israeli children who are suffering long-term psychological damage due to spending hours and days in their shelters and often having 15 seconds to reach those shelters? In spite of the millions of dollars which have poured into Gaza by UNWRA, Europe, America and Israel, the shelters are built for missiles, not children.
There is an enigmatic little verse in the Bible, Dt.26:6, which is commonly translated, "The Egyptians dealt ill with us..." But I have learnt from a good source (the Chief Rabbi of the UK) that it can be translated, "The Egyptians made us do bad..." In other words, because of the wickedness of the Egyptians and their now-legendary cruelty to the Jews, the latter were forced to do things that were contrary to their nature. An interesting thought, and intensely relevant to today's situation between Gaza and Israel. As Gregory Peck says in the Guns of Navarone, "If you think I'm enjoying this, you must be out of your mind!"