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I read a post on Facebook that said: Holocaust Remembrance Day is to remind us the price we paid for not having our own State. Memorial Day is to remind us the price we’ve paid for having our own State. And Israel Independence Day reminds us to celebrate how far we’ve come.

It was hard to celebrate this year, but necessary. All the sacrifices of our young men and women, our fathers and mothers, are to allow us to live in our own land and control our fate.

We celebrated that now, at long last, we Jews have the means, the ability, and the manpower to fight back against our savage enemies. We celebrated that we created a thriving, beautiful, successful land in which to raise our talented, beautiful Jewish children. We celebrated that our achievements, so long given away to the nations of the world who despise us, now sculpt our own land and contribute to Jewish happiness. And most of all, we celebrate that we are growing, with almost ten million Israelis counted this year. Mazal tov!

Even as the ceremonies progressed, there are photos of missiles in the sky overhead aimed at Israel from Gaza and Lebanon. Elon Fingerhut, 38, father of 3, was killed while trying to assist soldiers injured in a Hezbollah attack by an anti-tank guided missile on Tuesday near the northern community of Admit in which five IDF soldiers were injured. He came to assist the soldiers and was killed by a second missile. The Lebanese terror group also targeted the Mount Meron area with 60 rockets. No injuries were reported in that attack.

In Gaza, our soldiers continue to kill Hamas terrorists. But magically, the U.N. has now erased half of the Gazan casualties. Last Wednesday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released updated casualty figures. Some 7,797 Gazan children had died in the war as of April 30, it said — a roughly 42% drop from the mid-March numbers of over 14,000, quoted all over the world, with the great majority of those counted as “children” also being Hamas fighters. Anyone under eighteen is considered a “child” even if they are shooting a submachine gun or firing rockets. Believe me, the IDF doesn’t deliberately fire at children. They certainly don’t put babies in ovens as they are raping their mothers. So whatever statistics you want to quote about the “poor Gazans,” they are not getting nearly what they actually have coming to them in a just world.

Interesting that all the gullible or complicit major media outlets who have been quoting the Hamas “Ministry of Health” (as if) figures, haven’t issued a single apology. But as a parable attributed to Rav Nachman goes, you can’t repent evil gossip. It’s like shaking our a feather pillow and then being asked to collect each feather. The harm is done. But I expect perhaps a little more scrutiny will be paid in the future. The UN blames the “fog of war” for the discrepancies. More like the an opportunity to follow through on viral antisemitism that they just couldn’t resist.

I am relieved to see that the war in Gaza is at full strength. Evacuations in Rafah are proceeding with little difficulty, civilians running away as fast as their abused donkeys and horses can carry them. I think we are up to half a million. Some neighborhoods in West Rafah are evacuating even though they haven’t yet been asked to do so by the IDF. Videos of bombings in West Rafah explain why.

Troops have lined the road of the former Netzarim settlement in Gaza with Israeli flags. A recent poll showed a majority of Israelis would like to see Israel’s dismantled Gaza settlements rebuilt. Since the terms of the one-sided “disengagement” have all been breached, Israel is under no legal or moral obligation to withdraw and perhaps should consider this step, which would give Israel the real buffer from the Gazans it had in the past when no rocket fire reached Ashdod and Ashkelon.

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal discussed the treaties signed by George W. Bush to convince PM Sharon to withdraw from Gaza. Apparently, Mr. Bush provided American guarantees of intervention should the withdrawal lead to renewed terror from Gaza. But America is a weak reed that cannot be leaned on. This agreement – vital to the entire concept of the “Disengagement” – was torn up by Obama and forgotten by his handpicked successor, Biden. It is outrageous that Israel withdrew from Gaza under America assurances it would fight terror and now, not only haven’t these promises been kept, but America is doing all in her power to make sure the terrorists win!

PM Netanyahu admitted this week, officially and publicly, that Israel has been trying to grow an administrative alternative to Hamas from within the Strip but failed because Hamas wouldn’t allow it, murdering PLO operatives who tried to secure the aid trucks, and being rejected in alarm by moderate Arab countries. Only when Hamas is fully defeated will it be possible to talk about the day after.

In our family, we always combine Independence Day celebrations with a birthday party for my granddaughter Mattan, who this year turned 18. She is starting a pre-army program this summer, and next year will be in the IDF.

I sat at the celebratory table on the rooftop of my son’s home, surrounded by family. And as I looked from son to daughter, to grandsons and granddaughters, and even to a great granddaughter, I thought to myself how completely irreplaceable each and every one of them is. I cannot imagine (or I can if I want to have nightmares) what it must be like to have someone you love hurt or killed.

The thing about Israel is that we really are one, big family. Each and every one of us mourns the killed and the kidnapped. It’s overwhelming. I honestly don’t know how we will get through this, except that we will. The way we got through the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Intifada…

We will keep loving. We will keep building. We will keep celebrating our individual joys and our collective joys, and we will look forward to a better future.

But towards that goal, a reckoning with Hamas is imperative. Every terrorist the IDF kill, every house they blow up, is a balm to our wounds.

I was glad to see a whole convoy of aid trucks waylaid in Israel by protestors, the contents thrown to the ground and set on fire. Sorry I wasn’t there to light the match.

Do I want Gazans to starve? No, and they aren’t going to. Through the Kerem Shalom crossing, Israel has even brought in truckloads of Israeli fruits and vegetables, and a cargo of cigarettes and tobacco, which will no doubt be stolen and sold by Hamas to help them keep killing.

Since Israel took control of the Rafah crossing, Egypt has suddenly decided they don’t care if their cousins in Gaza starve, refusing to send in aid trucks. Go figure! I guess the Gazans are less hungry when Israel is on the border with Egypt.

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5 comments on “GAZA WAR DIARY: 15 MAY 2024”

  1. David Kaliski Reply

    Unfortunately, not surprisingly, the UN has walked back on its death tolls and now claims the Hamas figures are reliable.

  2. Sara Reply

    I’m with Elayne, love every word you write. I feel deep down all Jews are connected except the lefty dolts who seem to have no ability to critically think. Stay well Naomi and continue to keep us on the pulse of what’s happening.

  3. Pat Bartlow Reply

    Israel can never allow one Palestinian to live in Gaza ever again. They ALL love Hamas & this will happen again. Some refugees that made it out were held in Palestinian homes with a mom & children.

  4. Charlie Feinstein Reply

    Naomi – you seem surprised that after the Sharon disengagement from Gaza, Bush gave “his word” that the USA would have Israel’s back, and it turned out to be meaningless.
    You forget that we also gave “our word” that if Ukraine dismantled their
    nuclear capabilities, the US would forever have their back.
    How did that turn out?

  5. Elayne Riskin Reply

    Today’s article was wonderful. I felt like patting you on the back and giving you a hug 🤗. I would love to have you return on Election Day on November 5, to vote that mentally disabled man out of office!! He doesn’t know what he is doing. It’s a mess here!! Hope the powers that be read your blogs. They might learn something. Be well and good luck 🍀 Your reader, Elayne Riskin

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