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Roger Gitlin: In support of Israel

Posted: January 17, 2009 7:25 p.m.
Updated: January 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.
As Israel defends itself against Hamas terrorist attacks, critics are having a field day with the Jewish state.

"They are killing innocent women and children," claims Hamas, the elected representatives of the Palestinian state.

Innocent women and children? I think not. How innocent is the woman who allows her home to be a launching pad for Hamas rockets?

Israel continues to endure rocket attacks into its territory, injuring and sometimes killing truly innocent Israeli citizens who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The question begs to be asked?

Does Israel have a right to defend itself?

The answer to this question may seem obvious to you and any reasonably thinking individual, but there are many who passionately believe Israel is an illegal state and an occupier of legitimately Arab lands.

Many who write for the mainstream media and many in the Hollywood Left oppose Israel and criticize her.

I am Jewish and an avowed Zionist. For those of you who may not be familiar with that word, a Zionist supports a political movement that re-establishes a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, also known for its Hebrew name Eretz Yisra'el.

Zionism seeks to encourage Jewish immigration to the Promised Land. In 1947, the United Nations approved a partition calling for two states, one Palestinian, one Jewish.

One year later, from the ashes of the Holocaust, the state of Israel was born. And she has been at war with Arab neighbors ever since.

Would it surprise you to know that Israel is a tiny country by anyone's standard? The entire country of Israel is barely 8,000 square miles and is home to about 7.2 million people, about 75 percent Jewish.

The history and justification for the Jewish state is long and documented, going back to the second millennium B.C. In more recent times, the British mandate of 1919 called the Balfour amendment (named for British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour) called for a Jewish homeland and a separate Arab Palestinian state.

Nearly 6 million Jews perished under the hands of the Nazis, and Israel was born from those ashes.

I am revolted by these elitists of the Hollywood Left who scorn Israel at every opportunity. Israel has a right to defend itself. Don't you get it?

Here is what I don't comprehend. I don't understand Jews who protest Israel during this latest Hamas assault and subsequent Israeli retaliation. I don't get my Jewish brethren who wear masks over their faces, stand with radical Muslims and call for the destruction of Israel.

Take your masks off, you cowards. Tell me why you call for the destruction of the Jewish homeland.

Someone needs to explain to me why anyone Jewish would protest Israel protecting itself against its ultimate destruction among a sea of Muslim enemies, including Hezbollah to the north, Hamas to the south and nuclear-driven Iran to the east.

Israel's list of enemies may exceed a billion people. This tiny country about the size of Massachusetts simply strives to peacefully coexist on a tiny corner of Western Asia.

I checked in with Rabbi Mark Blazer of Temple Beth Ami and he similarly expresses amazement that there are Jews who protest with Palestinians, spewing vicious anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic rhetoric.

"It is vital that people stand up and show their support for Israel as the fight wears on," Blazer said.

"Israel's own policy of minimizing casualties in protecting herself may actually work against her in the court of public opinion." There is one immutable fact. The state of Israel does not exist without the United States of America. The United States sells its ally, Israel, the necessary armaments to defend herself, and Israel gladly pays the bill.

On the eve of the inauguration of the Obama presidency, I patiently wait to observe Barack Obama's official position on Israel. Quite frankly, I don't know where Obama stands on Israel.

Is he a staunch supporter of the Jewish state? I know for a fact that many in the Obama camp deride Israel and would celebrate her collapse. Time will answer that question.

I wait and pray that a young President Obama will develop a certain wisdom and strongly support the Jewish state, standing up to the Muslim terrorists who vow never to negotiate with Israel and who will not rest until Israel is driven into the Mediterranean Sea.

As my way of support of Israel, I purchased an Israel savings bond. My last purchase was in 2006 and will mature with 5 percent interest in 2011.

Interest notwithstanding, I will re-invest my small investment in the state of Israel and I am going to buy another bond in the weeks to come, I support Israel in her hour of need.

Here is the address:

Development Corporation for Israel
575 Lexington Ave
New York, New York 10022-6195.

Buy a bond, support the Jewish state.

Roger Gitlin is a teacher and resident of Santa Clarita. He can be reached at His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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