November 30, 2023

I used to be in Austin, Texas, for work on Saturday once I obtained a name from my commander within the Israel Protection Forces to return to Israel and head to the entrance line. I didn’t hesitate. I knew that the residents of my nation have been in actual hazard. My responsibility in the beginning is to affix the struggle in opposition to those that unleashed a bloodbath on my individuals. I boarded the primary flight I came upon of Austin to move dwelling to affix the I.D.F. reserves, the place I function a brigade operations command officer.

Throughout my lengthy flight to Israel, my thoughts couldn’t relaxation. I used to be making an attempt to jot down down my emotions and ideas about the whole lot taking place — and the whole lot that’s about to occur — in my beloved nation.

Little by little, the size of the horrors of probably the most brutal assault that Israelis have skilled for the reason that institution of the state have been being revealed. A whole bunch of Hamas terrorists slaughtered greater than 1,200 individuals, together with ladies, youngsters and older individuals. About 150 residents and troopers have been taken captive. There’s nothing on the earth that may justify the homicide of a whole lot of harmless individuals.

However I’d wish to say one factor clearly, earlier than I am going to battle: There’s no such factor as “unavoidable.” This struggle might have been prevented, and nobody did sufficient to stop it. Israel didn’t do sufficient to make peace; we simply conquered the Palestinian territories within the West Financial institution, expanded the unlawful settlements and imposed a long-term siege on the Gaza Strip.

For 56 years Israel has been subjecting Palestinians to oppressive army rule. In my guide “Love Israel, Help Palestine,” I wrote: “Israeli society has to ask itself crucial questions on the place and why the blood of its little kids was spilled. A Messianic non secular minority has dragged us right into a muddy swamp, and we’re following them as if it have been the piper from Hamelin.” After I wrote these phrases final 12 months, I didn’t understand how deep within the mud we have been, and the way far more blood might be shed in so little time.

I’m now going to defend my nation in opposition to enemies who wish to kill my individuals. Our enemies are the lethal terrorist organizations which can be being managed by Islamic extremists.

Palestinians aren’t the enemy. The tens of millions of Palestinians who reside proper right here subsequent to us, between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan, will not be our enemy. Identical to the vast majority of Israelis wish to reside a relaxed, peaceable and dignified life, so do Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians alike have been within the grip of a non secular minority for many years. On each side, the intractable positions of a small group have dragged us into violence. It doesn’t matter who’s extra merciless or extra ruthless. The ideologies of each have fueled this battle, resulting in the deaths of too many harmless civilians.

As a serious within the reserves, it is very important me to make it clear that on this already unstoppable new struggle, we can’t permit the bloodbath of harmless Israelis to outcome within the bloodbath of harmless Palestinians. Israel should keep in mind that there are greater than two million individuals residing within the Gaza Strip. The overwhelming majority of them are harmless. Israel should do the whole lot in its energy to keep away from killing harmless individuals and to give attention to destroying the militant military of Hamas.

This struggle, like others earlier than it, will finish eventually. I’m not certain I’ll come again from it alive, however I do know {that a} minute after the struggle is over, each Israelis and Palestinians must reckon with the leaders who led them to this second. We should get up and never let the extremists rule. Palestinians and Israelis should denounce the extremists who’re pushed by non secular fanaticism. The Israelis must oust Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and their far-right circle from energy, and the Palestinians must oust the management of Hamas.

I attempt to search for shreds of hope. The Yom Kippur Conflict, probably the most troublesome struggle that Israel had identified till this week, began abruptly in 1973. After a peace settlement between Israel and Egypt was lastly signed in 1979, the border with Egypt — one which was as soon as the positioning of the lifeless and wounded — grew to become a border of peace.

Israelis should understand that there isn’t any larger safety asset than peace. The strongest military can’t shield the nation the best way peace does. This present struggle proves it as soon as once more. Israel has adopted the trail of struggle for too lengthy.

On the finish, after the entire lifeless Israelis and Palestinians are buried, after we have now completed washing away the rivers of blood, the individuals who share a house on this land must perceive that there isn’t any different alternative however to observe the trail of peace. That’s the place true victory lies.

Nir Avishai Cohen, a serious within the reserves of the Israel Protection Forces, is the creator of the guide “Love Israel, Help Palestine.”

The Occasions is dedicated to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to listen to what you concentrate on this or any of our articles. Listed here are some tips. And right here’s our e mail:

Comply with The New York Occasions Opinion part on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *