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For Love of Israel

A Commentary By Susan Estrich

"Go back to the oven," the woman in her hijab in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., yelled to the Jewish Americans demonstrating their support for Israel. "You need a big oven, that's what you need."

This is why I love Israel and always have. It is because Israel will never surrender to their hatred.

Israel is tiny. If you live in Massachusetts, as I did when I traveled there two decades ago, imagine Rhode Island being in the hands of those who are committed to destruction, sending rockets over your common border. If you live in Los Angeles, as I do now, imagine San Diego being not only a different state, but a committed enemy whose official government has long been listed as a terrorist organization.

How do you live like that? How do you raise your children knowing that, when they graduate from high school, they will go to war against those who do not place the same value on human life as you do, fighting people who send their children to be suicide bombers?

Amid the violence in Gaza, Israel stopped shooting for three hours yesterday to allow the people to get food and supplies, to allow trucks with medical supplies to deliver them in safety. Imagine Hamas doing the same thing to help Israeli civilians. I cannot. Not for a minute.

I do not always like everything Israel does. I do not always like everything my own country does. But I love Israel for the determination and courage of its people in standing up to the terrorists who would destroy it. And I detest those who traffic in anti-Semitism and then seek to excuse their hatred of me by saying no, it isn't Jews they hate. Just Israel. Liars.

The world is busy condemning Israel. The media are busy doubting its future. Time magazine goes on for pages about why Israel can't win. Maybe it can't, but it also can't lose.

Dick Morris says this is the doves' war, the last chance for the left-leaning government of Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak to beat back the prospect of defeat by the more hard-line Binyamin Netanyahu. Politics is relative. From what I know, there are no doves in Israel. How can you be a dove when the rockets are landing 17 miles outside of Tel Aviv? You can fight or you can fight more. If Hamas can get away with murder, why should Iran fear at all?

No one likes seeing civilians suffer and die. No one likes seeing hospitals overrun, supplies running out, doctors near exhaustion. But terrorists who use schools and hospitals as launching pads for attacks should not complain when the bombs hit the targets they have created. No one likes to see children die, but so-called leaders who use their children as pawns and train them to kill should not expect sympathy when the lives they risk so carelessly are then lost.

If I knew the answer, I would tell you. I don't. But I know what isn't the answer. It is not the answer to sit back and let the rockets rain down. It is not the answer to let terrorists attack you and not fight back.

We will not go back to the ovens. Israel was the answer to the ovens, and if Israel is your enemy, so am I.


See Other Political Commentaries

See Other Commentaries by Susan Estrich

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports.

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