2014 WAR AGAINST TERROR – HAMAS | Ginette Thaler
February 27, 2002 – Ginette’s daughter, Rachel Thaler, 16, of Ginot Shomron died of wounds suffered on February 16 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a pizzeria in the shopping mall in Karnei Shomron in Samaria.
The war is over. But is it?
How many soldiers lost their lives? How many families lost sons, brothers, fathers and others?
How many soldiers are left recovering from whatever physical injuries they suffered?
How many Israeli citizens are recovering from the trauma of the sirens, the rockets, the fear of getting to shelter in time before what???? Yes, only they know what that “what” is?
Overseas, people read in newspapers what is happening in Israel, in Gaza. People listen to their radios, to the news. They watch TVs, listen to commentaries. And depending on which side the news presenters/reporters are aligned with, different stories are told.
But it all is filtered… filtered by bias, filtered by discrimination, filtered by long-time adversity against the Jewish people, to Israel.
I was born in London. I grew up in probably a very sheltered world. What did I know of wars? When I was a little girl I heard the story of the … was it H-bomb? I used to go to bed at night scared that it was going to go off. Wars that happened in other countries was just that, something far away. It didn’t affect me.
I first visited Israel after the summer of the Six-Day War. I was 14 or 15. My parents took a tour guide and we traveled all over. And that visit left an impression on me so strong that after several more visits and several years later, I moved and made Israel my home.
The second year I was here there was the first Lebanon war. I saw soldiers traveling on the road to the north in convoys. I felt it. I heard the daily news and listened to the names being read of the fallen soldiers. I felt it. I didn’t know these people or their families, but I felt it.
In 2002, in the height of the 2nd Intifada, there was a suicide bombing in the town I lived in. Two of my children were there. They were both seriously wounded. Rachel z”l died 11 days later, aged 16, Leor, aged 14, recovered.
And me? I wasn’t wounded physically, but yes, I was wounded emotionally. I still feel that invisible knife twisting inside of me.
And this past month, we have been at war again. They called it an operation, but it wasn’t that. It was a war against terror. Every day I was glued to the computer to see what was happening. Every time a soldier was wounded or killed, I felt that internal, invisible pain. They weren’t my children, but they were fighting to keep my children alive, and the rest of the nation as well.
When I look back to what started this battle, this time round, those three teenagers, Gil-ad Shaar z”l, Eyal Yifrach z”l, and Naftali Fraenkel z”l, who were kidnapped and murdered. I knew after that, we had to fight back.
We often hear that something good comes out of something bad. I’m still looking for that from Rachel’s death, but these three boys, they saved thousands of lives, and none of us knew it at the time.
To me it was their murder that prompted the discovery of the tunnels, to the extent that they existed far more than anyone realized. The Hamas plan was to use these tunnels that exited into several communities near Gaza. I don’t want to even put my mind around what the outcome would have been.
BUT this is what we feel here. How do we bring that same awareness to many of the complacent Jews who live outside of Israel, who just look at the outskirts of what is happening and fall into the trap that Hamas has laid for them. The Palestinian lives that were lost because of this war. Israel is to blame.
Even from close family members of mine in London I hear that. Hardly any civilians are killed in Israel, but look at all the Palestinians deaths.
That stops me in my tracks. That knife is turning again.
They don’t want to know, they don’t want to believe that a human being can be so evil as to use children and adults as a shield for their battles, can use the amounting number of deaths of their own people as signs of victory. That is what Hamas does. That is what the terrorists do. But the people who just look at the number of Palestinian casualties and no further will allow terror to exist in this world, especially when it happens far away.
And please, don’t get me wrong. I am sorry for the civilian deaths in Gaza, but Israel is not to blame. Hamas is to blame.