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Gaza War Diary: 23 MARCH 2024

While I believe in freedom of choice, especially when it comes to religious practice, I can’t help but feel sorry for my non-observant Jewish countrymen who miss out on so much that would give them strength and hope.

For example, today in synagogue, we read the Biblical portion that reminds us to never forget what our enemies have done to us. In this case, the enemy was Amalek (Deuteronomy 25 17-19) in which we are commanded to remember the evil of Amalek and to eradicate it from the face of the earth. Who was Amalek? When the Israelites left Egypt, no nation dared pick a fight with them. Who would start a fight with a people whose God just destroyed the mighty Egypt with ten horrendous plagues, and drowned the surviving Eygptian army in the sea? Only Amalek, driven by profound hatred which defied logic, came to wage battle. Each year we read: “Don’t forget what Amalek did to you on the road after you left Egypt, how he attacked you when you were exhausted, mercilessly cutting off your stragglers, with no fear of God. When your God, gives you rest from all your enemies that surround you in the land that He gives you as an inhertance to possess, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from the face of the earth. Don’t forget!”

The morning prayer was followed by the evening commencement of the holiday of Purim which commemorates the genocidal attempt against the Jews in the fourth BCE century Persian Empire. Haman, the perpetrator of the plot to have every Jew murdered in the Empire’s 127 provinces in which all the Jews of the world then lived, had taken personal affront from a Jew named Mordechai who refused, in his eyes, to give him the proper respect. Such is the flimsy trappings of mass murder. Reading the story of Purim is a religious duty for observant Jews. This year, it was amazingly resonant. Esther, who is a Jew and Mordechai’s niece, is the Queen. She is hiding her nationality. But when genocide is decreed, Mordechai tells her she must do what she can to convince the King to change his mind. She is afraid. Those who approach the King without a summons, risk death.

But Mordechai answers her: “Do not imagine to yourself that you will escape in the king’s house from among all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere, and you and your father’s household will perish; and who knows whether it was for this reason you attained such a position?”

A good lesson for Hollywood Jews, and Jews elsewhere who think that in supporting Hamas they will escape anti-Jewish hatred.

The story of Purim is a story of evil that is thwarted and turns back on the perpetrator. Those that wished to kill the Jews, are killed. Haman and his sons are hung on the scaffold built to hang Mordechai. Horror, sadness, and evil meant for the Jews, is transformed into rejoicing, celebration, and victory.

The story is a message that can only comfort us now, in the midst of this terrible war. Unfortnately, as yet, it has not repeated itself, although the signs of victory are all around us.

The battle of Shifa Hospital, which is becoming clear was to be Hamas’ attempt to turn back the tide of their failed genocidal war against the Jews, has been an umitigated disastor for them, with 160 dead terrorists, 800 prisoners, and loads of forfeited weapons. Interestingly, many of those taken prisoner surrendered, despite all their weapons, something we have seen many times when the IDF confronts Hamas, who are only brave when facing unarmed little girls, the elderly and other helpless victims.

Someone who knows suggested to me that before Israel left Shifa the last time, they put in cameras and so were aware when Hamas returned to the hospital, but were not quick to invade, waiting patiently for the hospital to fill up with Hamas terrorists before making a move. Clever. Hopefully, it’s Hamas’ last stand.

“If they don’t release our hostages, we should threaten to take every Hamas murderer and execute them and bring their bodies back to Gaza in dump trucks,” I overheard someone say heatedly. But someone else replied: “They don’t care. How many of them are dead? Where are their mothers, their wives, their children? Do you see anyone in Gaza mourning their dead? No one. Their religion tells them to be happy that they’ve been martyred. So that won’t work.”

No. You can’t punish people who feel death is better than life by killing them. You just have to stop them from killing you.

In the meantime, Hamas has been quick to do the only thing they are apparently skilled at: lying. They now have a coordinated campaign to accuse the IDF of raping women at the hospital. As if! I’m sure some crying Arab woman will soon dutifully appear on camera. They also say the IDF killed a doctor for refusing to evacuate. They don’t mention the “doctor” in question was the brother of one of Haniya’s top advisors, seen kissing Haniya’s head in a photo.

We in Israel mourn the death of 143 (the count at this time) innocent Russians, reportedly Christians, in an ISIS terrorist attack on a concert hall near Moscow. We hope that Putin will now understand that supporting Hamas is shooting yourself and your people in the head.

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6 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 23 MARCH 2024”

  1. Brenda Matsumura

    When I saw Putin on Israeli Newstation welcoming HAMAS, Abbas of PA and others; I wondered what they were up to. I wonder and worry about Biden and his Administration too. Guess like Icarus, Putin flew too close to the sun. I found myself thinking the dead Shifa Terrorists should be shoved in one of their tunnels and sealed. It can’t be done, but hearing hostages say they were given an onion to share, or 3 dates, while Gazans scream about price gouging, makes it wrong to hate and become the ugly creatures that massacred the innocent 7/10/23. The Democrats of U. S. Are no friends to Israel. Ashamed of this Govt., who behave more like Nazis everyday. One only need look at the destruction of America to see what they are capable of. Hope springs eternal for Israel and it’s people and brave young men an women fighting evil every single day.

  2. KD


    You will remember that I emailed you a photo of organic red peppers from Israel being sold in a local supermarket. That was the only shop out of the supermarket chain in the whole area that sold Israeli peppers. All the other shops from the same supermarket chain sold peppers from Spain.

    I bought some of the peppers from Israel earlier in the week (in fact, I ate the last one this evening.) So they were still for sale a few days ago.

    However, I have to tell you that I went into the same shop earlier today, and was disappointed to find that the organic peppers on sale were from Spain.

    It would appear that the manager of that particular shop has toed the party line, and is no longer buying their peppers from Israel.


  3. Elizabeth Behrman

    I agree, today’s torah and haftorah readings really hit home.
    The part that is for me hardest to believe is the world-wide condemnation of Israel that accuses us of exactly what our enemies not only want to do but have done to the extent they are capable, and even boast about it. They started this war and they can end it anytime by giving back our people and surrendering, but somehow it is still all our fault.
    I hope Israel knows how much the vast majority of us do support Israel and the IDF.
    Chazak chazak v’nichazek

  4. Sid Levine

    In reading the Biblical portion that reminds us to never forget what our enemies have done to us. In this case, the enemy was Amalek (Deuteronomy 25 17-19) we listen but unfortunately do not hear. Put it simply we have gone through the motions and rite for Parshat Zachor for many years whilst actually ignoring what modern day Amalek – PLO/Fatah/Hamas/Hezbollah/ Iran/Saudi Arabia/Syria etc have been screaming aloud has been saying because we have chosen not to hear.
    It is surely time to carry out the Biblical injunction today to destroy Amalek in all its forms and not do what King Saul did when commanded and let their leader live. Samuel the prophet destroyed the leader of Amalek at the time. – – a lesson for today!

    It is as if somehow we never expected Amalek to rise up. But we have also ignored what is recited in the Pesach Haggada – “in every generation there are those who rise up to hate us”

  5. Ryan

    Terrible tragedy there, but countries that support terrorism risk becoming victims of terrorism themselves. It is apparently easier for the Russians to fight a war than to protect their own people in their own country.

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