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Gaza War Diary: 20 DECEMBER 2023

Among all the worldwide handwringing and concern for the “poor, innocent civilians” of Gaza, I’d like to say a few things about the poor, innocent civilians of Israel for whom no one, save perhaps other Jews and some good-hearted, intelligent individuals worldwide seem to care.

I’d like to talk about the close to 5,000 Israeli soldiers seriously injured and requiring extensive medical care and physical therapy and the 10,000 soldiers who will require therapy for PTSD (so far).

I’d like to talk about the fifty thousand Israeli schoolchildren forced to flee their homes in the South and North under rocket fire and threats from terrorist Muslims of Hamas and Hezbollah. These children, many of them orphaned and traumatized as well as uprooted from their lives, all now have to be placed in other schools, by Israel’s Ministry of Education, which is trying its best to find teachers and classrooms for them all, as well as social workers and psychologists.

It isn’t easy.

I’d like to talk about the women and girls who suffered brutal sexual crimes at the hands of Hamas terrorists as well as crowds of “poor, oppressed citizens of Gaza” who invaded on October 7. While most of the Israeli girls and women tortured and raped by Gazans were murdered, miraculously enough of them survived to the extent that there are NOT ENOUGH THERAPISTS TO TREAT THEM. Let that sink in.

I’d like to talk about a recent study that found that one in three Israelis suffer from PTSD symptoms in connection to the October 7 attacks.

And I’d like you all to consider the pain of young mothers whose husbands haven’t been home for two months; the pain of the children waiting for their fathers to return. And I will only briefly mention the heart stopping anxiety of all Israeli families whose loved ones are now in face to face combat with the monsters of October 7. My daughter, mother of my grandson who is a combat engineer in Gaza, told me that the last week has been particularly harrowing, as her neighbor and a friend lost sons in the past few days, one of them a combat engineer. Imagine going to sleep at night thinking about your child who is doing the work to see that “never again” is really never again.

I’d like to talk about all the Israeli university students now on the front lines in Gaza who will have to miss classes when the universities reopen on December 31, while Arab students, many holding anti-Israel views, will be able to cheerfully go back to school and earn their degrees.

Families of fallen IDF soldiers and those still in Gaza have physically blocked the Keren Shalom Crossing, not allowing “humanitarian” aid trucks to enter, insisting all supplies would be stolen by Hamas (which is the documented truth) and that Israel must not resupply the enemy. This is something I’d be happy to join. A human blockade of Israelis against its government’s weakness and complicity.

But I’d also like to talk about how proud I am to live in this country, this wonderful country with its amazing people. My son sent me an email urging people to attend the funeral of lone soldier Boris Dunavetsky from Russia who fell in Gaza yesterday. Today I saw that thousands had attended. This is always what happens in the case of the death of lone soldiers. The whole country becomes their family.

Today the IDF recovered the recording device on the military dog sent to check out a suspected terrorist stronghold and which was subsequently shot by terrorists. On the tape, one can hear the voices of the three hostages begging in Hebrew to be rescued who were later tragically mistaken for terrorists and killed by soldiers. If only the device had been recovered earlier!

But I would like to bring the words of Iris Haim, mother of Yotam Haim, one of the hostages killed, who today sent the following voice message to the soldiers involved:

Hamas has often used subterfuges like recorded crying in Hebrew of children to lure soldiers to their deaths. I agree with Iris Haim. This is entirely Hamas’ fault. Let’s no one forget who put all of these boys—soldiers and hostages—in harm’s way.

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7 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 20 DECEMBER 2023”

  1. sue Blake

    I get sick at my stomach when I see these Demons (not animals) i like animas. My heart goes out to the children who won’t have a parent or maybe both are gone. I want to mutilate them. I don’t see how any one could do these things and live with themseves afterwards . These heartless pieces of humanity do not deserve to live. I live in Amerca and would like to come over and love on these percious little ones and tryto ease ther pain some. The hoicause survivers to have to go through this again. i am 82 and they don’t want me. I can still help and love on them. please pray for these people.l

  2. Randi

    EVERYONE in Israel is impacted. I was on the train going throughTel Aviv when siren went off, train stopped and everyone hit the floors. It must happen every day somewhere in Israel. I live in a city in the North where finally my granddaughters are now able to go back to gan, but where do they go- in miklats where they are not allowed to go outside and the gannets must “teach” 20 children in a cement room with a chairs, one table and a few supplies. Playgrounds in our city have not heard the sounds of children playing since Oct. 7 but several have been vandalized by local Arab children inspired by what they must see on their TVs or hear in their homes or schools. In the beginning we moved supplies to our local miklat only to realize that Hezbollah missiles come too quickly now that we have literally 5-10 seconds to take cover before the “boom” sounds. “Boomereem” is now part of my three year old granddaughter’s daily vocabulary. Please also remind the world that WE Israelis never asked for this war. We have bent over backwards trying to avoid it, allowing ourselves to be lulled into the false belief that our outstretched arms and turning the other cheek would soften our enemies anger and encourage them to also want peace and a future for their children. We are fighting not because we want to, but because we have to to survive. We did not chose leadership who hides underground or in fancy buildings in other countries while putting rifles and suicide belts on our women and children in an effort to kill other innocent women and children. Contrary to what one of the Jehad Squad said there IS a moral hierarchy between a terrorist society that rapes, murders, tortures, builds enormous tunnels and weaponry with funds meant for food, jobs and education and a society with open doors and hearts who take up arms ONLY in defense and even then do what they can to protect the women and children their own leaders, husbands, fathers and brothers don’t care at all about protecting.

  3. Barbara Kalman

    Your daily diary of the war is my best source on Israel today. I volunteered as Friend of the IDF, Sorel several years ago. At 87 I don’t feel strong enough today or I would do it again. I have read several of your books and plan to read more. Will also suggest them to my several book clubs. Thank you for being a source of information we can trust.

  4. Ryan Keogh

    Wow, I can’t imagine having to be pulled out of college to go fight a war! It must be so hard. The aid blockade sounds like a great idea. No aid until surrender.

  5. Kaufman Eliezer

    Also the many hundreds of thousands of children whose daily school attendance has been disrupted in the last 7 weeks, perhaps classes once or twice a week and that limited to less than regular hours whose parents have to arrange them to be minded when not in school, to the schools with insufficient bomb shelters, to the many teachers who have been called up to serve their country – an endless list

  6. Leah Shnitzler

    Dear Ms. Ragen:
    I thank you for this post! I too have been waiting for someone to notice the poor, innocent
    Israelis whose lives have been turned upside down, as a result of this war. LIttle children who do not see their fathers are terribly affected, schoolchildren having to adjust to new surroundings and classmates, families evacuated to other homes, all of these challenging situations, no one cares to describe. The difficulties involved in keeping to regular schedules of fitness, hobbies, and outdoor exercise all take a psychological toll that no one seems to care much about, except for other Israelis. Thanks for mentioning it.

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