Chabad shluchim on the front lines, spearheading a spiritual victory for the Jewish People.

By Yochanan Gordon

It’s been a very wild and tension-ridden eight days since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense. I find myself checking in every couple of minutes trying to be close to the action while not being there physically, and standing with and praying for the well-being of all members of the Israeli army.

Just yesterday a few of us were discussing our opinions of whether Israel should begin a ground offensive in Gaza or go along with international calls for a cease-fire, which in all probability will give the Gazans another chance at rebuilding the smuggling tunnels and terror arsenal as they have with every brokered cease-fire in recent memory. I stated my opinion matter-of-factly that there is no recourse other than a ground operation to deliver a blow to these barbarians, causing them to beg from their knees for a cease-fire. Someone retorted that it’s easy sitting here in the comfort and security of America to order a ground incursion at no expense to me. While I do feel and continuously pray for the success of our troops in harm’s way, this year those feelings have been escalated since my brother-in-law recently joined the IDF and is currently very much in the thick of things.

Although he is a rather rambunctious young man, as we chatted last night on whats-app (for all those familiar with the different chat forums on the newer smartphones), he expressed his excitement and eagerness to enter Gaza and finish the job that they began just over eight days ago. Under normal circumstances I too would opt for a mutually agreed cease-fire and the return of all soldiers to their bases out of the line of fire. But I think that as someone who prays for the safety and security of Israel and all its citizens, I am interested in seeing things quiet down there indefinitely, and not just for a week, a month, or a year. Hamas, as well as all the neighboring sponsors of terror, have proven their inability to keep their side of an agreement. Essentially, American calls for a cease-fire are just a diplomatic way of asking Israel to stop the aggression because, as I said, Hamas has shown their resilience in rebuilding their terror infrastructure as opposed to ever making any concessions towards peace and coexistence.

So with multiple reports on Tuesday of an agreed cease-fire which was supposed to take effect at midnight, a conflicting report out of Israel denied that report, stating that no agreement was ever agreed to on the Israeli side. Wednesday morning, after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations shuttled throughout the region trying ever so feverishly to broker a cease-fire, we awoke to reports of a bus-bombing in the center of Tel Aviv, injuring 23 but thankfully not claiming any lives. Reports conveyed the White House’s condemnation of the attack which was administered by Al Aqsa Brigades, and affirmed their unshakable support in aiding in any way possible.

The way I view the latest bus-bombing concurrent with escalated talks for a cease-fire is Hamas spitting in the face of the U.S. and letting their true colors be known. I just can’t see how America could continue efforts to achieve a cease-fire after this has occurred with the Secretary of State on Israeli soil. I could just imagine what the international response would be if it was Israel that ordered an attack in the wake of peace talks. At this point the only gesture from America that would show its unshakable support of Israel’s right to defend itself would be to skip town and allow the Israeli government to take matters into its own hands.

To stand by Israel in this troubling time is to aid them in achieving long-lasting peace and security because that is what is right from Israel’s perspective. If there was ever reassurance that Hamas is incapable of withholding its love for terror and bloodshed, it is their inability to stand by while both sides are working on brokering a deal to end the fighting. At this point the White House should be ordering the ground incursion into Gaza as a gesture of support for Israel’s war against terror.

Let’s end with a prayer for the security of our armed forces who stand prepared to enter into Gaza and rid the Jewish homeland of the true occupiers, allowing us once again to live safely and securely in the entire land. May G‑d watch over each soldier and send in this month of Kislev, a month of light and deliverance, a victory for Tzahal and the downfall of our enemies. v

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