An open letter of apology to the media:

My letter to the world media:

This is currently featured in The Times of Israel:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/my-letter-of-apology-to-the-world-media/

A letter of apology.

Dear Editor

Please allow me to apologise on behalf of all the citizens of the State of Israel. I humbly apologise to you and your readers and to the world for our leaders defending our right to live. Here in Israel, we consider living a basic human right.
The indignation of journalists, commentators and your readership has prompted them to spew forth some of the most vile invective we have seen other than that of Der Sturmer circa 1940’s and the letters and op-eds posted in your publication have educated me in a new level of hatred.
I apologise that it is left up to our army to make sure that the citizens of Gaza are evacuated from dangerous zones safely through pamphlets, text messages and roof knocking. I guess my text message and pamphlet were lost due to Hamas being on strike. Literally.
I apologise that we have not racked up those large numbers of Israeli casualties you were hoping for. I apologise for a government who values my life and those of my fellow citizens so much they do anything in their power to protect it. Whatever internal squabbles we may have or policies we agree or don’t agree on, life is valuable. I am sorry for our defense forces, made up of representatives of all sectors of Israeli society, who both prepare us and defend us with their lives. I am sorry for our Iron Dome batteries that intercept the rockets aiming for our death and destruction. For those of you calling Israel an Apartheid state, Iron Dome makes no distinction between Jew, Christian or Arab. We are all targets.
I apologise that our government has made sure that we are equipped with bomb shelters and know how much time we need to take cover. I am sorry that Hamas prefer to build weapons smuggling tunnels instead of protecting their citizens but the “death industry” (their words not mine – google it yourself) has proven more lucrative than saving lives.
Most of all, I am sorry that this upsets you so much that in countries across the world you choose to take out your frustration on members of the Jewish community, attacking people physically, in the media and in barely disguised hateful press releases.
Please accept my humble apologies for any inconvenience we may have caused you.

Rolene Marks
Modiin
Israel

Rain of Terror

By the time you finish reading this blog post, sirens would have sent Israeli citizens running for safety into their bomb shelters. Hamas terrorists have been firing hundreds of rockets into Israel and every civilian is a target. In the 15 seconds it took you to read these few sentences, citizens of our southern communities had to run for cover. Imagine living your life in 15 second increments. Think about what you can do in 15 seconds….

It has probably taken you a minute or so to read the whole paragraph. This is how much time those of us in Modiin, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and surrounds have to get into our shelter. Sobering isn’t it? This is a conflict we do not want, invited on us by Hamas terrorists who are hell bent on the destruction of Israel.

Yesterday Israel launched its military campaign to end Hamas rain of terror on Israel. Dubbed “Operation Protective Edge” the IDF are targeting Hamas’ terror infrastructure which is largely sponsored by Iran.

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Hamas have no compunction of hiding their missiles and rockets amongst their civilian population. Using Mosques, schools and apartments as launching pads, these cowardly terrorists hide behind their civilians who unwillingly become human shields.

Enough is enough. Hamas don’t only hold Israelis hostage with incessant rocket fire but also children in the Gaza Strip who are caught in the line of fire. The IDF tries to minimize as many casualties as possible by releasing leaflets and phoning residents, warning of impending attacks. Guess my leaflet from Hamas must have gotten lost in the mail…?

Many, especially those in the international press moan that Israel uses “disproportionate response” or “collective punishment”. Um, excuse me? What would be proportionate response and isn’t firing rockets that cover the whole of Israel “collective punishment”? Many deride Israel’s lack of casualties. This is not a zero sum game and here are some of the fundamental differences:

• Hamas use their civilian population as human shields. If you don’t believe me, listen to Hamas leader, Ismail Haniya boasting about this:

• Israel builds shelters for her civilians. Hamas build weapon smuggling tunnels. As part of this Operation, IDF soldiers uncovered a tunnel where terrorists were working with explosives for a planned attack against Israel. They were dispatched to the next world . Perhaps instead of castigating Israel for Gaza fatalities, the world should hold Hamas accountable for endangering their civilians?

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• Israel does everything possible to protect and prepare her citizens. Well briefed and prepared by our IDF Home Front Command, Israelis know where to go and what to do and how to help our most vulnerable citizens. In the clip below, children are taught in a song what to do when they hear the Code Red siren.

These are difficult times for Israel as we face yet another conflagration with our neighbours. Israelis are a people who value life above all else, they may fire at us but we are strong, resilient and we will prevail. They may try to break us but will never succeed. They may try to destroy us but we will survive and thrive. We will continue to build, innovate, revolutionize, inspire and help those who need assistance.

Rockets may rain and sirens might wail but we remain strong.
We are Israel and I couldn’t be more proud!

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Our Shattered Hearts

This blog post is currently featured in Israel Forever:

http://israelforever.org/interact/blog/our_shattered_hearts/

Where do I even begin to find the words to describe what we in Israel are feeling right now? We are in shock. We are angry. We are grief stricken. Our collective heart is broken. We are demanding vengeance.

It has been almost three weeks since Eyal Yifrach 19, Gilad Shaar 16 and Naftali Frankel 16, were kidnapped by Hamas terrorist on their way home from yeshiva. Today, our worst fears were confirmed. Two Hamas terrorists (not militants, fundamentalists or extremists but TERRORISTS) kidnapped these three boys, two who were still minors and shot them to death within minutes of their abduction and hid their bodies under a pile of rocks in an empty field.

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For almost three weeks we have hoped and prayed that these three boys would be returned to the bosom of their families.  How to we even begin to imagine or understand the pain that these families are feeling?  They have been beacons of strength, dignity and unity for all of us and we have taken succour from their example. On many occasions they have spoken of feeling like they are being held in a tight embrace by all of Israel.  Today we embrace you even tighter, we grieve with you, we mourn your loss. Tonight Israel weeps.

For almost three weeks we have been a nation united in solidarity and hope. Today we are united in grief.

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We have come to know Eyal, Gilad and Naftali personally. Over the last three weeks we learnt that Naftali was a good student and taught himself to play guitar. Eyal volunteered with children less fortunate than himself and was committed to advocating for the release of former kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit .  Gilad was a youth counselor who loved to bake and spend time with his grandparents.

These three young men had no vengeance in their hearts. These three young men for the last weeks have become our brothers, our family, our sons. These three young men we hoped with all our might would return home safely.

We ask why but we know the answer. The oldest hatred in the world.  The oldest hatred in the world does not know an age limit or a border.  What kind of monster slaughters children like this? Our Jewish children.  In Israel, children belong to all of us and these monsters know that we value our children above all else. These monsters know that to hurt our children rips at our very core. We are our Brother’s Keeper.

Eyal, Gilad, Naftali. You represented the best of us. You united us in hope and now we unite in our grief for you.  We will hold your families in our tight embrace. We pray they are comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. We will never forget you.

Eyal. Gilad. Naftali. May your memory be a blessing.

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