From Gaza with Hate

Israel under attack from the Air and the Airwaves

By David E. Kaplan

Abba; Az’aka….”.

It’s 2.00am, and that’s the voice of my 3-year-old grandson having woken to the piercing siren shrill from his 12th floor bedroom in a Tel Aviv high-rise, and screaming in Hebrew – “Daddy, siren!”.

Within 12 seconds, the family is out of the apartment and closeted in a central bomb shelter on their floor waiting for the next sound  – hopefully – a deafening “Boom-Boom”. I write “hopefully”, because the alternate sound to the “Boom-Boom” of Israel’s defensive Iron Dome missile intercepting a missile from Gaza is that of the rocket penetration through Israel’s defensive net and striking a civilian target.

Flames light the Night.  Sometime after 2.00am, a rocket from rom Gaza scores a direct hit on a residential building in Petah Tikva.

That is exactly what happened a few minutes later as a rocket ploughed into an apartment complex in Petach Tikva, a few kilometers east of Tel Aviv. The building instantly burst into a five-floor towering flame and five elderly residents were rushed to hospital. That there were no fatalities was a miracle. I stared at the flames on TV and thought:

 “How could anyone survive that?”

This is daily life in Israel today as nearly 2000 rockets have rained down on Israel since the beginning of the war started by Hamas but instigated, encouraged and sponsored by Iran. Apart from the mounting death and daily destruction, there is the anxiety whether experienced by a 3-year-old or a  67-year old woman resident of Rishon Lezion who died early on Wednesday after suffering heart failure on hearing of her friend being killed in a rocket attack on her home.

Yes, we’ve been through this before but not with such concentrated intensity. If we were horrified back in 2014 during the seven week Protective Edge by 200 rockets from Gaza coming over in one day – at its peak – that same number these days can come at us in less than five minutes.

Israel Under Fire. The aftermath of the Gaza rocket strike at Petah Tikva apartment block.(Photo: Meshi Ben Ami)


The aim of Hamas is to overwhelm and undermine Israel’s defensive missile system – and at times it is working as the rising casualties and destruction will attest. Every night, we can expect at some stage to hear what can only be described as the soundtrack to a war movie, and then we scramble for the news on social media and TV, to see the visual results as we silently pray:

 “Please, no more death!”

Israel is locked into a lottery of life and death against an enemy not aiming for a Palestinian state but destroying a Jewish one – the only Jewish state in the world.

Sderot Under Attack. Flames appear from the bedroom of 5-year-old Ido Avigal  who died following wounds he sustained following a direct rocket hit on May 12, 2021 (Sderot Municipality)

Having been through this script before, we never have to wait too long before the world media predictably turns against Israel focusing less on the rockets fired from Gaza on civilian targets in Israel and more on Israel’s aerial defensive action in Gaza.

I turn on CNN this Friday morning and hear Diana Buttu the Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and a former spokesperson for the PLO from Ramallah tell anchorman Michael Holmes that this is the result of years “of Israeli ethnic cleansing” and “that is why it is so important for the international community to put pressure,” not on Hamas but “on Israel to end this.”

Transparent Bias. Michael Holmes on CNN slanders Israel and not allows Dianna Butto’s assertions against Israel to go unchallenged but nods approval with her positions.

Note the tone and transparent bias of Holmes when he frames his next question:

Has this barrage of rockets from Gaza been a tactical blunder by Hamas in the sense of being what was a fairly popular uprising in Jerusalem over evictions and therefore made it easier for Israel to justify using overwhelming force as it always does. Was it a blunder by Hamas?”

Butto replies:

You know Michael, this did not begin with the rockets, but the decision by this Israeli government to  incite, inflame and to kill,” born out for Butto, “by Israeli calls to flatten Gaza.”

Tel Aviv Today! Inspecting a damaged apartment complex in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim on May 12, 2021, after it was hit by a rocket fired from Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. (Alexandra Vardi/AFP)

Holmes not only allows Butto to get away with these outrageous allegations – he facilitates it!

Accepting her  vituperative verbiage without challenge, he then asks:

What does the international community need to do not only to broker this round of violence  but set up some pathway forward?”

Butto is on a roll with this CNN anchorman and answers:

It’s simple, Michael. All they need to do is put sanctions on Israel; it’s really that simple. Instead we see leader after leader coddle Israel…. There is an active BDS campaign, which needs to be adopted and pushed….just as there were mechanisms to end apartheid in South Africa,  these same mechanisms can be used to end Israeli apartheid.”

Accepting this analysis, Holmes concludes his patently anti-Israel interview by directing some token ‘blame’  at the Palestinians by asking:

 “The Palestinians surely need to get their act together; elections were postponed and there isn’t a strong leadership and then you have Hamas in Gaza doing what they do. In other words, Israel needs Hamas as a visible enemy …… What do the Palestinian wings have to do to get their house in order?”

Butto replies that while the Palestinians need a new leadership, “this should not detract that it is up to Israel, forced by the international community to end this military occupation. They don’t need to have a Palestinian leadership in place to end the occupation.”

Free Hand. This former PLO spokeswoman had carte blanche  to sprout her allegations against Israel on CNN without any challenge whatsoever.

This shows how Israel is under attack not only from the air but the airwaves!

Do the TV network news commentators sitting in New York, London, Paris, or Johannesburg ever ask the question:

What if one rocket, never mind 200 in 5 minutes, landed in London, or Paris or New York or Johannesburg – what would our leaders do?” 

From once the plucky underdog supported by Western public opinion, today, Israel is the object of a global campaign to demonise the state and question its very right to exist.

Which means, if Israel has no right to exist, it has no right to defend itself.

Only a month ago on April 7, Israel commemorated on Yom HaShoah, the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result not ONLY of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators but of a world that mostly stood by and allowed it to happen.

5-year-old boy Ido Avigal (z”l) was killed in his home in Sderot by a rocket fired from Gaza, May 12, 2021. (Twitter)

Israelis can see – It would do so again!

And what can one say about the DNA of Hamas after releasing a statement following the rapid firing of 100 rockets at Israel yesterday that:

 “firing on Tel Aviv is easier than drinking water”?

When “drinking”, Jews toast, “L’Chaim” – “to life”. Hamas prefers: “to death”!

That’s the fundamental difference!

All I know as we prepare for another night of Gaza sending their aerial messages of hate, no 3-year-old in his bed with his fluffy friends should even know the word “Az’aka”!

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs (0&EO).

2 thoughts on “From Gaza with Hate

  1. A thoughtful and troubling piece David. Hope that you and family keep safe, including of course the 3 year old grandson

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