Friday, July 18, 2014

Protective Edge...mistranslation?

When I heard that the name of this "operation" was called Protective Edge, I was a bit skeptical.  First of all, semantics aside, this is no "operation".  Let's call a spade a spade and use the more accurate - albeit fearful - word:  WAR.  Because, that's what it is.  It's not like I don't like the name Protective Edge.  It's that it's not a true translation of its Hebrew counterpart: צוק איתן - Tzuk Eitan.  

The correct translation is a rock of strength.  In other words, staunch, mighty, unswerving and permanent.  A rock of immovable strength.  

I moved to a new school when I started third grade.  I was under five feet tall, sporting glasses, freckles, and had a head of frizzy bright red hair.  Imagine little orphan Annie.  I know.  Not a pretty image. There was a tall girl in this new school who bullied me.  She was popular, oh so cool and she snubbed the nerds of the class.  Everyone wanted to be in her circle because if you were friends with her, you were one of the popular girls.  She was a smart bully, because most of the bullying happened under the stairwell when no one else was around, or in the bathroom during recess.  I did what most victims of bullies do:  I raised my hands to protect my head when she slapped at me.  I learned early on that telling on her was only going to make things worse for me.  My parents knew and desperately wanted to tell the school so they could deal with the issue but I wouldn't let them.  They did anyways.  They were right to, but it didn't work.  It only made things worse.  At some point, I remember my father pulling me aside and saying, "Listen, I don't condone violence in any way, shape or form, but this girl needs to be stopped.  And you need to stop her.  Do what you have to do to defend yourself."  And then he finished off by telling me not to tell my mother.  The next day, I went out to recess armed with my biggest, baddest, heaviest science textbook.  And when she came at me, a jolt of adrenaline coursed through me and I whacked her on the head with everything I had in me.

I got sent home from school.

But my father said, "Good for you.  She won't bother you anymore, trust me.  Before this, you were an easy target.  She saw you as someone weak.  She won't look at you the same way anymore.  She'll find someone else to bother."  And he was right.  She never touched me again.

Truth is, at the beginning of this war, although the amazing IDF were actively taking out terrorist cells in the Gaza Strip, the main objective of this war was to facilitate the Iron Dome in order to protect its citizens from getting hurt.  And miraculously - with the Iron Dome, the IDF and the hand of God - we had very few injuries and unfortunately one casualty.  Without the Iron Dome, the sheer number of deaths would have been unimagineable.  So at the beginning, perhaps this war was aptly named.  It did protect our people and our land.  

But now things have changed.  Hamas, the bully of all bullies, hasn't been getting the message these last two weeks.  They've only escalated their violence and attacks on our country.  Now, more than ever, we need to show the world that we are not going to be bullied anymore.  We are not going to cover our heads to protect our faces from getting slapped.  We aren't going to be victims any longer.  We are stronger than that 98 pound weakling in the schoolyard.  We may be the skinny, small, country in a region of huge, strapping, muscular brutes, but let's not forget David and Goliath.  If there was ever a time in history that proves that the smaller can be smarter, edgier, more powerful and victorious, it's now.  The fanatical Islamic terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood (just to mention a few) are a threat not just to us, but to the entire world. They are against democracy, western civilization, moderation, religious freedom, equality and everything that is just and moral in this world.  But the world is not standing up to them.  They are terrified of being politically incorrect and have been - until now - having trouble seeing the forest through the trees.  

And so, the job lies to us to do the world's dirty work.  We are putting our soldiers' - our husbands', sons', nephews', friends' and loved ones' - lives at personal risk for this war.  Our army is currently - as I write this - invading Gaza with ground forces, as well as by air and by sea.  We are attacking them with everything we have, from all sides and we will not stop until we've unearthed every tunnel that was built by Hamas for the sole purpose of slaughtering our people.  And yet, we still have the humanity to warn the citizens of Gaza to evacuate their homes and we sent in hundreds of trucks filled with necessary supplies for the Gazans caught in the middle of this war.  We have no interest whatsoever to hurt innocent men, women and children.  That is NOT our objective.  But a friend of mine said it pefectly: if those "innocent" men, women and children are hiding behind the Hamas rockets to act as human shields than they are collaborators.  And that - plain and simple - makes them the enemy.  To date, one of our soldiers has lost his life for this war.  Our hearts break for his family, for his parents, because we did not want this.  We never asked for this and we certainly did not start this.  But we will persevere.  We are a people who turn to each other for support, to God with prayer and to our families for love.  This is what we're trying to protect.

Right now, Protective Edge seems all wrong and Rock of Strength seems right on the money.  We are no longer passively detonating the rockets before they land on our cities and our residential neighborhoods.  We are stepping forward and showing our hand - strong and firm, moral and just, proud and patriotic.  We, our small country, are redefining the meaning of moral warfare, and that is something to be proud of.

We are, a light unto the nations.

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