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Is This War?

Israel IDF Middle East Arab Palestinian conflictHere in Israel we had been grinding our teeth for days, wondering why the IDF didn’t go in to Gaza and blast the terrorists each to their 72 virgins awaiting them in the next world. Rockets and bombs rained down on our civilian populations, yet the IDF hardly responded. We puzzled at the formidable restraint demonstrated by the army. We were perplexed by the forbearance of our soldiers.

On Wednesday the IDF finally returned fire. But not before the army, the ethical army, distributed thousands of leaflets warning Gazan civilians to stay clear of terrorist centers – the targets of the IDF’s “Pillar of Cloud” campaign.

In a carefully planned and deadly accurate maneuver the army first removed the snake head: Achmed Ja’abri, the Hamas leader with the blood of dozens of Israelis on his hands, was targeted and killed. Then followed aerial attacks on weapons factories, stores and rocket launch sites, including dozens of underground sites. Military reports confirm that as usual, many of the weapons stores are in residential areas. The Arabs know that the IDF will do all and anything not to harm civilians. Wherever possible.

Life in Tel Aviv is surreal. True, we are all glued to our news sources almost 24/7. At the Carmel Market this morning I heard the sirens wailing over Be’er Sheva, via the tomato-vendor’s radio. It seems that Hamas fires into population centers at carefully arranged times: Because of the need to warn of falling rockets, the radio and TV systems automatically broadcast these alerts; so the enemy rockets are fired around the top of the news hour, when most listeners will be tuned in – and will hear the warning sirens.

Yet I bought my tomatoes, avoided the expensive strawberries (too early in the season) and biked back home, glad not to have to battle with the heavy traffic by car. Life in Tel Aviv (and Jerusalem and other still-out-of-range cities) goes on.

My radio is on. I’m not hopeful for a fast end to this conflict. My first war in Israel was in 1967 when I was here as a volunteer. I’d rather buy tomatoes without hearing air-raid sirens. I think the Gazans would too. If only they had a better leadership.

Jonathan Danilowitz is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist who lives in Israel.

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