As you no doubt know, yesterday Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense — a purely defensive operation designed to stop rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel. And as you also know, too many voices in the media and across the country are focusing on Israel’s strikes while ignoring the context which necessitated them. This means that all of us must now become Israel’s ambassadors and explain to our family, friends and neighbors why Israel has the right — and the responsibility — to defend its citizens.
Israel needs you. And you need the facts:
• In the week preceding the launch of yesterday’s operation, over 120 missile were fired from Gaza into southern Israel.
• Since the beginning of 2012, over 760 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel’s southern communities.
• Since Israel launched this operation yesterday, an additional 245 rockets have been fired into Israel, killing three Israelis and injuring many more.
• These rockets target Israeli civilians, and have forced over one million Israelis into bomb shelters.
• In recent years, Hamas has acquired an arsenal of long range Fajr-5 missiles from Iran capable of hitting Tel Aviv and now two rockets have landed in the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
• Operation Pillar of Defense is a limited operation targeting Hamas’ missile stockpiles and the Hamas terrorists responsible for firing them.
Every nation on earth has the right to defend its citizens from attacks. Most nations would have taken action after one or two missiles were fired into their territory. Israel has once again exercised enormous restraint and waited until over 760 rockets had been fired into its territory before launching Operation Pillar of Defense.
As always, Israel is targeting Hamas’ missiles and the terrorists who fire them while taking every reasonable precaution to avoid harming Palestinian civilians. By contrast, Hamas and its allies are specifically targeting Israeli civilians, while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. There is no moral equivalence in this fight.