Some commentary on the Gaza situation, from Ted Cruz.
“This war was supposed to isolate Israel. Instead, the opposite happened.”
[Update a few minutes later]
On the surface, our world is strikingly similar to the world you live in. Anyone who has visited Israel can tell you this is a thoroughly first-world environment. Now superimpose the rest of our reality onto that physical world: the air raid sirens, the whisking of the kids into the shelter, the daily funerals of the young heroes who put their bodies between our children and the monsters, the fathers’ knees buckling while they try to choke out the Kaddish over their fallen sons, the hollow-eyed mothers, the sobbing children, the tableaux of soldiers weeping on each other’s shoulders as they bury their dead.
Most of the horrors of this go-round are sadly familiar, but there is a new development this time around that has kicked all of this into a whole new realm of nightmare. That’s the network of tunnels, as vast and complex as a subway system, dug under the very ground on which Israelis walk. The soldiers braving and destroying these tunnels are discovering not only vast supplies of machine guns and ammunition and grenades, but also stores of handcuffs and tranquilizers. Consider the reality of that for a moment. Not only are our people meant to be mown down in large numbers, but we are also intended to be dragged down, alive, into the darkness.
Nothing about any of this is theoretical. Heavily armed men have already come up out of the ground inside our territory — disguised in IDF uniforms, a further nauseating touch — and have engaged and killed our soldiers, 18- and 19- and 20-year-olds who died preventing vastly greater carnage within the kibbutzim. A close school friend of my 11-year-old son does not know his uncle because he was shot to death by a Palestinian terrorist, and this same child’s first cousin just came back from Gaza with grave head injuries. One of the three teenaged boys snatched and murdered by Palestinian terrorists on their way home from school earlier this summer was the nephew of a friend of ours. The wedding of our friend’s daughter coincided with the shiva (the mourning period). The sanctified name of the murdered boy was invoked under the chupah (the wedding canopy). Can you conceive of this? It is close; it is personal. This is the reality of our lives here.
I am in the challenging position of having to maintain a chipper front for my three young children while a) finding some language with which to explain the war to them; b) pretending everything is normal; and c) pretending everything will eventually be okay. I do not believe everything will be okay. It requires a monumental effort to manufacture an optimistic front. Now, don’t get me wrong: this is absolutely not to say I have lost faith in our army. Quite the opposite: I could not possibly have greater faith in our army, and I thank God for our soldiers every day. The trouble is that our very acts of self-defense are automatically read by most of the world as offense, so anything we do to protect ourselves — anything at all, right down to building bomb shelters for our civilians — is evidence of our aggression. The world is filled with outrage that so few of us are dead. How dare you protect yourselves, Jews? How dare you not die in larger numbers?
Yes, failure to die in sufficient numbers is yet another of their numerous war crimes.
Like legends of ancient trolls, those tunnels are indeed the stuff of nightmares. Which is, of course, part of their intent.