Tag Archive | Gaza

Planning Around the Sirens

I wrote this post while sitting in the library on July 20.

Last Friday (July 12) Yitzchak went to the store.  We kept Shlomo home just in case there was a siren, because his gan doesn’t have a shelter.  But, what to do? As I said previously, I can’t carry him down.  So Shlomo and I played outside during the heatwave, for an hour and a half, so that we would be withing Shlomo’s running distance of the shelter.

*We canceled a meeting in a neighboring city on July 10, because of the possibility of a siren while on the road, and not wanting to leave Shlomo in gan while both of us went to the meeting.  It’s not that we never have this concern about both of us being out of the city while Shlomo is in gan, but this time was a tad different, if you get what I mean.  So we canceled.

*Before we leave the house, we go through the route in our heads, to make sure that there will always be a shelter within a few seconds from us, no matter where we are on the route.

*Before Yitzchak goes to the store in the evening, we think twice.  What if there’s a siren while he’s gone?

*Yitzchak measured the amount of time it takes him to bound up the stairs.  If he’s at the bottom and runs to the top to get Shlomo, will we still have time before our minute is up?

*Yesterday (Shabbat, July 19) after the siren, our neighbors wondered whether they should walk their dog or if there would be another siren.  I errantly said that we usually had a few hours in between sirens, so it should be fine.  They left, and about ten minutes later I felt stupid for giving them bad advice.

*I’m sitting in the library (July 20), waiting for a long time to receive my 2-step verification code from Gmail.  I have a project to finish.  Behind me, the librarians are setting up an area for some kind of slideshow or video.  They debate whether to move the tables in the back of the room to somewhere else, just in case everyone has to run out of the room.

The irony of planning life around whether or not there will be a siren.  We don’t change everything, because we can’t change everything, because you can’t just stop life in the middle.  But it’s the little changes in thinking, planning, and how we do things that are the most poignant examples of what it’s like to live under threat of rockets.

Anybody who would like to help families closer to Gaza – those who have between fifteen seconds and a minute, and suffer rocket attacks several times a day, can take a look at Janglo‘s list of things to do to help.  There are also options for helping soldiers and helping the families of the reservists who were called up.

 

Shlomo’s Reaction to the Sirens

Most of you remember me writing about how Shlomo dealt with Operation Defensive Shield.  Suffice it to say that now he is dealing with the situation much differently.  Probably because of a combination of his age and the number of sirens.  In Defensive Shield, he was younger and we only had two or three sirens.  And still, if we forgot to warn him before a drill, he would sometimes get scared.

This time is different.  Much different, much worse.  And I can’t say I blame him.

Shlomo has woken up from nightmares almost every night this past week.  He’s not sleeping well; he can’t sleep well.  A few nights ago he woke up crying that the “shoshanim” (the lights in his room) hurt him.  It’s a story for another post, but suffice it to say that I was extremely happy, because at least it was his normal three-year-old fear, and not another woo-woo (air-raid siren) dream.  Every other nightmare he’s had has been about woo-woos.  He wakes up crying, sleeptalking about woo-woos.

He sleeps with us.  Either he comes to us in the middle of the night, or he insists on going to sleep in our room, or he wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t go back to sleep unless he’s with us.  We let it be.  Yitzchak feels better having Shlomo beside him, even though if you count the seconds, it takes about the same amount of time to pull Shlomo out of his spot by the wall as it takes to pick him up out of his own bed.

During the day, Shlomo goes back and forth between asking for another woo-woo and saying that he doesn’t want one because he’s scared.  He tells me what he does when there is a woo-woo in gan and what we will do if there is a woo-woo at home.   He told me that Friday’s woo-woo didn’t have a boom (the ones in the Iron Dome videos that we show him when he asks for a woo-woo do have booms, obviously, but if you’re in a shelter you don’t usually hear a boom).

Shlomo was sick these past few days.  I think a big part of it – and why it wasn’t just a 24 hour bug – is because he’s not sleeping well.  Which, obviously, is because of the sirens.

He doesn’t want Yitzchak to leave the house without him.  We live on the fourth floor, and the shelter is all the way at the entrance level.  Shlomo could walk down, true, but it would take two minutes and we only have one.  Thank G-d he’s a pretty big kid (height and weight both) and I just can’t pick him up anymore.  When we had an earthquake a few months ago I did, but I regretted it for a few days afterwards and just can’t chance having to run the day after hurting my back.  Obviously, if I had to, I would pick Shlomo up and run, but we are doing everything possible to avoid me having to do that.  So, Yitzchak carries Shlomo down to the shelter.  And because of that, Shlomo is clinging to Yitzchak.  And when I say clinging, I mean clinging – like you’ve never seen a three-year-old do.

I miss the days of Shlomo refusing to go to sleep because he was scared that the “shoshanim” would hurt him.  Yes, it was annoying.  But at least it’s a normal three-year-old irrational fear.  When I go to the bathroom, Shlomo also points out that I don’t fall in the toilet, neither does Yitzchak, and neither does he.  He insists on falling asleep with light.  And it looks like the “shoshanim” fear is instead of the fear of the drain – probably because Shlomo likes to plunge the shower drain and therefore isn’t scared of it.  But all in all, annoying as the “shoshanim” fear is (and sometimes it’s just an excuse to stay up), it’s normal.

Nightmares are not.

And nightmares about woo-woos (AKA air raid sirens) are certainly not.

It makes me mad that my kid is waking up from nightmares every night because of a stupid, inhumane, terrorist group that kills its own children, tries to kill ours, and then blames us for everything.  It makes me mad that because of terrorists – who are murderers, by the way – my kid can’t sleep.

Hamas, and terrorists everywhere, I have a message for you:

אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך שגמלת לנו.  אשרי שיאחז וניפץ את עולליך על הסלע.

This post was written on July 20, while we were waiting for the daily siren, which had not yet come.  Thank G-d, it didn’t come, and hasn’t come – the two in a row on July 19 were the last two so far (watch me jinx myself by writing this . . .).  However, Shlomo is still getting over the trauma, little by little.  It’s going to be a long process, I think.  And Yitzchak and I still jump at unexpected loud noises, especially engines starting up and ambulance sirens.

Wartime Updates

Israel is at war.

Yitzchak is relieved – between Syria, Hamas, and Iran, he’s been tracking the news and worried about who, what, when, where, and how we will have to fight.  So now that we are busy with one of them, he’s relieved – one issue out of the way, and less worries that all three will explode at once.  I understand him.  Really, I do.

It doesn’t make me less nervous.

I will say this once, and I will say it again.

I.  Hate.  Wars.

I hate, and all of Israel hates, dead bodies.  Israel, a country born in the wake of the Holocaust, especially hates dead Jewish bodies.  Especially when the dead Jews are young and innocent.  We will do all we can to avoid having to face dead young Jews.  We will do all we can to prevent young Jews from dying.  And that is why, we left early in Cast Lead, why we did not send in tanks in Defensive Shield, and why we waited so long to do so now, in Protective Edge.  It is also part of the reason why we cannot cite the Second Lebanon War as a success.

Because Israel’s repulsion at the thought of dead young Jews – and the thought of causing their deaths –  is just too much.

This is the reason we went into Gaza now.  Because we understood that our repulsion is going to have to be ignored.  Either the dead young Jews will be civilians, traumatizing families and communities, at unexpected times and in unexpected ways – like the three boys who were kidnapped and murdered, Hy”d – or the dead young Jews will be soldiers, fighting in battle, accomplishing something with their deaths, and fighting in an organized fashion for the rest of the country, for their younger siblings, for their cousins, for their communities, for their children.

And Israel prefers – everyone prefers – to die on the battlefield accomplishing something, than to risk dying for nothing, with the killers running loose, after being captured by terrorists.

So we sent soldiers in.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy.  It doesn’t mean that we aren’t scared.  It doesn’t mean we don’t understand the sacrifice.

Like Bennett said, if we had not done this now, there would be an Israeli 9/11.  We prefer to fight and defeat.  We do not want an Israeli 9/11.  The American one could’ve been avoided.  It was an avoidable tragedy, and those are the worst kind.

I am actually glad that we are getting so many sirens and that they have discovered so many tunnels.  I am glad that they break humanitarian ceasefires and that they have outrageous demands.  It means there is no chance of a ceasefire.  Which means that finally, finally, we have a chance at security.  The flip side of our sirens is that most of them don’t make the news.  And even when they do, we don’t know how many were shot or where they landed – for the simple reason that we don’t want to aid Hamas in bettering their aim.  But the more sirens our particular city gets, the higher the chance of us seeing this through to the end.  So let them throw sirens, as long as we are all at home.  We will find mattresses and sleep in the shelter if need be.  As long as it’s not in vain, and we accomplish everything we went into Gaza for.

——————————————————————-

We are getting more and more used to the sirens.  At the very beginning, it seemed that everyone but us and a few other cities/areas had not had sirens.  (Not counting, of course, the very north of the country, which has had sporadic spillover from Syria for a while, but that Hamas can’t yet reach.)  We knew our turn would come, it was just a question of when.  We knew our ‘neighbor” (a city quite a bit away from us and everyone else) turn would come, too, and wondered about when.  Both us and our neighbors’ turn came at the same time.  Within a few seconds we were in shock, freaked out, and then calmed down and went to the shelter.  I spent three and a half hours in flight-or-fight mode.  The next morning, we had another siren.  I freaked, Yitzchak freaked, we went downstairs to the shelter and were done.

Now we don’t freak.  We just get up and go, racing against the clock.  It’s kind of good that we’re not freaking out anymore.  It’s also sad.

We don’t have one every day.  But a day that has two sirens – and we’ve had two of those days so far, three if you count the first siren we had, when a minute after the first siren there was a second siren (I don’t usually count it though, because we were already in the shelter) – makes up for a day without a siren, when you’re just worrying, wondering, and waiting.  And when you do the math, it comes out to a ratio of about a siren a day, maybe with one extra day in there with no siren to match.

 

 

P.S. – I am writing up a bunch of posts about Protective Edge and setting them to publish during the coming week.

P.P.S. – Anybody who would like to help families closer to Gaza – those who have between fifteen seconds and a minute, and suffer rocket attacks several times a day, can take a look at Janglo‘s list of things to do to help.  There are also options for helping soldiers and helping the families of the reservists who were called up.

 

 

 

60 Rockets

Seriously?

I mean, obviously these terrorists/murderers/idiots don’t know how to aim (thank G-d) and so, thank G-d, no one was hurt and there was only one incidence of property damage so far.

But, hello??  60 rockets in one day is ABSURD.

And by the way, we finally have a video of these Gazan “refugees” firing their rockets at our civilians, from a residential (i.e., civilian) area of Gaza.  In other words, they are inexcusably involving their own innocent (well, whatever) civilians in their war crimes against our innocent (for real) civilians.

Obviously, they are trying to take revenge on us for something or other.  Because we shot three of their terrorists who were firing mortars at us.  Because we caught the ship from Iran.  Because whatever.

But just so that you know . . .

Here’s the video of these animals firing at us from civilian areas.

Of course, the Iron Dome deflected a good portion of these rockets.  But the siren still sounded too many times, and is too traumatizing  – for them and for the rest of us.  I, like you, found out through the news.  Actually, not through the news.  From the Hebrew-language forum I’m on; someone wrote “scary scary scary, 60 rockets in an hour and a half!!”  I thought she was kidding me, though it’s not something you kid about, ever.  But instead of making a fool out of myself, I looked at Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew site – the English one didn’t say anything yet – and found it was true.  Hopefully, I won’t have to find out about rockets from the siren, because we’ll just keep hearing about it after the fact, from the news.  Better yet, there should be nothing to hear.

And, can I say s-*-*-t?  Because my brother-in-law (Jack) is in the army, not even finished his training, and there’s a chance he’ll have to be a security guard at one of the Gaza border checkpoints.  And there’s a smaller chance, but still a chance, that he’ll actually be sent into Gaza.  Remember, he – and the rest of his unit – haven’t even finished training.  But when you need soldiers, you take what you’ve got.  Even if they’re not finished training and very possibly not ready for the task they’re given.

Updated: This morning I found out that 90 rockets were fired at us last night, but thankfully, a third of them were misfired and never crossed into Israel.  In other words, thirty rockets were fired by terrorists, at Gaza.  And since these rockets were fired from civilian areas, it’s safe to assume that they fell in those same civilian areas, injuring and killing “innocent” civilians.  From my perspective, the more potential terrorists are killed by active terrorists, the better.  The dirty work is better done by them than by us – and no one can blame Israel for Gazans killing Gazans, though I’m sure they’ll try.

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Gaza and Their Dam Lies

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This post by A Soldier’s Mother was just too funny to resist.

I do have a few funny posts in the making, honestly I do.  Funny parenting posts, not funny political posts.  But this one is just funny.

She starts her post –

I keep thinking that someone will look at this and get a real laugh. Oh, not for the tragedy of three people dying and 5,000 being evacuated…but about blaming Israel for the worst storm of the century and saying we opened the dams.
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We didn’t. We really didn’t. And we didn’t – because the damn dams, damn well don’t exist. That’s right…there are no dams that we dammed up…in fact, if I’m not mistake, there are no dams at all between Israel and Gaza…and, if there are any rivers that flow into Gaza, well, by the time they get anywhere near Gaza, they’re more of a tiny, tiny, tiny stream than anything that anyone would ever call a river.

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So go on, read it.

“I Am Israel”

I found this picture on A Soldier’s Mother, and it was too beautiful not to share.

iamisrael_n

This is Israel; this is the Jewish nation.  We have survived thousands of years; we have seen empires, some of them the strongest and most powerful of their times, rise to power and then fall.

Israel is a Jewish country, and therefore Israel will endure.  Our country has changed hands several times, but always keeps coming back to us.

At different times, we have conquered and owned all of Sinai, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.  Gaza was sometimes ours, sometimes not.  Judea and Samaria were always ours.  Eilat was conquered later.  We do not wish to conquer any of our present neighbors; we simply wish to keep the land that we have, and make it fruitful.

When we came 64 years ago, this land was almost a complete desert wasteland.  In less than fifty years, we made the desert bloom.

Being Jewish is both a religion and a nationality.

Israel is, and has always been, no matter what it was called, the Jewish homeland.

No other country withstands what we do, on a daily basis, and still continues to be a free, democratic country, giving equal rights to all its citizens, even if not all of its citizens agree that that is what should be done.

What Is Israel Fighting For?

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A rocket is launched from Gaza towards Israel.

A few days ago, I got involved in a comment thread over here.  (This was my mistake; it just got me worked up, and to no end anyways.)  There was a comment that “Palestinians” are treated badly in Israel; I provided a list of real-life examples for why this is not so.  Many Israelis actually feel that Muslims are treated better than everyone else, and sometimes feel that way for very good reasons.

Then someone made a comment that irked me.  They said,  “If I were to tell you, ‘Black people in my country can let their children play in any park they want!’ how would this sound?”  This irked me, really, really irked me, and has irked me since.  So, contrary to my no-politics attempts, I will discuss it.

First of all, black people in America are a completely different situation than Muslims here.  All the African-American community wants is to be accepted and have equal rights, equal choices, and equal respect.  Give it to them, and they become productive members of society, just like everyone else.  In other words, they deserve to have that recognition and those rights, and there is no reason not to give it to them.

Muslims, and more specifically, religious, radical Muslims, including, but not limited to, “Palestinians” do not want to be accepted, or have equal rights, equal choices, and equal respect.  Now, you are going to tell me that this is not true; that some of them do.  You are right; these are the irreligious Muslims.  The more religious ones do not care about these things.  Their issue with Israel is that it is a Jewish country.

Religious Muslims will take acceptance, as well as equal choices, rights, and respect, but that is not their aim.*  They take these things because it aids them in their goal.  And their goal is to “throw the Jews into the sea”.  This is not a war of equal rights.  If it were, it would have ended long ago.  It is a war against infidels, a religious war, and we Jews are the greatest infidels of all.  The reason Morsi will not say “Israel” is not because of how we treat his people.  It is because, for a religious Muslim to say “Israel” is tantamount to disbelief in Islam.

Islam functions on a replacement theology, meaning that Muslims and Islam have replaced Jews and Judaism.  One of the traditional proofs for this replacement theology is that Muslims, for a long time, had control over Israel.  When the British came around, the Muslims didn’t like it, but it wasn’t a religious crisis.  However, for Jews to have control over the State of Israel undermines the very precepts of Islam.  Christians were bad enough.  Jews are intolerable.  That is why we are fighting this war; that is why the Muslims (those of whom live in Israel or Gaza are commonly called “Palestinians”) wish to push us into the sea; that is why they are firing rockets at us and claiming that we stole their land.  That is why they hate us.

And we do not like them, either.  Not because of who they are, but because of what they do and how they act.  (By the way, a refugee camp that has stone buildings, running water, electricity, and third-generation residents is no longer a refugee camp, but a proper city – by anyone’s standards.**)

What if I said to you, “Listen, we have a couple of young adults here who want to study in your college.  There’s a 65-70% chance that they’ll blow up the college, knife you, or shoot you, but we need to be fair, so can you admit them?”  Would you?  I don’t think so.  But you know what?  Israel accepts not just a few of these people, but hundreds, and possibly thousands of them.

Israelis live, every day, alongside potential murderers.  Religious Muslims work in the hospitals, where Jewish patients, in addition to their own worries, worry that the Muslim doctor or nurse walked in with explosives. Religious Muslims work in factories, in schools, and everywhere else.  They are permitted to walk any place where Israelis walk; the reverse, however, is not true.  There is no danger to any Muslim, ever, no matter where they go.  But there are places where Israeli Jews cannot go, because it is dangerous for them to go there.

You want to know why Gaza needs humanitarian aid?  Because it is run by a terrorist group, whose leaders pocket all of the world’s money, using it to build themselves beautiful homes, and using it to fund terrorism, create weapons, and kill people.  Gaza’s leaders do not care about their own people.  If you want to send aid to Gaza, send food, send clothes, send volunteers to teach them.  Do not send money.  And I cannot promise that the food and clothes will not be used to light fires meant for burning U.S. and Israeli flags.  I can only hope.

In other words, the situation in Gaza is not Israel’s fault.  It is the Gazan leaders’ fault, or in simple words, Hamas’ fault.

Israel removed thousands of its citizens from their homes in order to give the “Palestinians” a present and a gesture of peace.  We have been repaid by thousands of rockets, and the world has remained silent, preferring to consistently lay the blame on us.

Here are a few other fun facts:

– The electricity in Gaza is provided by the Israel Electric Company. Gaza has not paid their electric bill (which now amounts to 700 million NIS) in a long time, but the electric company still services them – this despite the fact that it is dangerous to do so, and the electricity is used to aid murdering Israelis. And the Israeli government is helping cover the deficit caused by Gaza electric usage.  When was the last time YOU didn’t pay your electric bill, but they kept providing you with electricity, anyways?

-Israel also provides water to Gaza.  It is pretty safe to assume that Israel funds Gaza’s water, in addition to funding their electricity.  In return we get rockets fired at us.  Who in their right mind would provide water and electricity to people attempting to murder them?  Only Israel.

– If a Jewish Israeli builds his home without the proper paperwork – and sometimes even when he does have the proper paperwork – he can count on it being destroyed. If a Palestinian builds without the proper paperwork, he can count on living there until the end of his long life.

– They do not have to put their sons’ lives on the line in order to make sure that their sons are not killed by terrorists and that their workplaces are not blown up.  In other words, Jewish Israelis get drafted, and have to spend three of their best years in the army, pushing off college, marriage, and jobs.  Muslims are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.  They are never required to join the army.  Jews who do not join the army are placed at a serious disadvantage by Israeli society.  Not so Muslims.

– Palestinians do not usually get murdered in cold blood when they are at home, in their beds, with their children – and with no prior warning, war, or antagonism. Jewish Israelis do.

– Israelis do not usually get on Palestinian buses and blow them up. Nor do they leave bombs at phone booths, walk a few meters away to set it off, and then proceed to watch the carnage with great satisfaction.

Now, just as background information, consider this:  Israel, if it so desired, could completely erase all of the Gaza Strip in four minutes, without using either nuclear weapons or their ground forces.  That’s right; Israel could turn all of the Gaza Strip into a pile of burning rubble in FOUR minutes, using ONLY the air force.  They could; we could; we have the abilities and we have the backup plans to do it.  But, we don’t, nor do we threaten it, or talk about it.  Think about that.  Let it sink in.  Jews are humane.  We do not do this, because we do not want to kill innocent people.  We only want to kill the murderers (also known as terrorists) among them.  (I am not sourcing this for security reasons.)
* If you are a religious Muslim who does not believe in killing Jews, and supports the state of Israel, please let me know, and I will apologize for offending you.  I am also aware that there are some Muslim clerics who are attempting to resolve their replacement theory crisis in a non-violent way.

** See here, just for kicks (and truth).

Don’t Tell Me News

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Today I was talking to a friend on my cellphone when my MIL called.  I wanted to answer her, but figured that it wasn’t worth hanging up with my friend, since I never manage to catch beeps, anyways.  Plus, if it was urgent, she’d call Yitzchak.

Fifteen minutes later, after I was off the phone with my friend, Yitzchak calls me.  He says, “First of all, Jack (his brother, who recently made aliya) is okay.  There was a rocket attack on a city ten minutes away from Ne’an (where Jack is living), and some people were hurt, but Jack is okay.”

“You know what?” I say.  “I didn’t need to hear that.  I didn’t even know that a rocket had fallen.  If I don’t HAVE to hear it, PLEASE don’t tell me news.  I just don’t want to know.”

“Okay, sorry,” Yitzchak says.  (Later today, he informs me that three Chabad chassidim were killed.  I told you, I don’t want to know.)

I don’t want to know the news.  I only heard yesterday that the IDF was calling up reservists, and suddenly, today, they attack Gaza.  It’s smart.  It uses a large element of surprise.  It doesn’t allow Hamas to mobilize forces to avenge their savage leader’s death.

It’s very smart – especially since if they’re calling up reservists, most Israelis will suspect something, and the longer they suspect, the more the news will leak.  Because here in Israel, almost every family has someone in the army or the reserves.  And having the whole country knowing that there’s a war about to break out doesn’t help intelligence, does it?

But you know what?  I don’t want to know.  It’s not that I don’t care.  I do care.  I care very deeply.  But reading the news makes me mad.

It makes me mad that Jewish blood is cheap, that Hamas is allowed to fire dozens of rockets at us each week, or sometimes each day, terrorizing the lives of our brothers, our friends, and our relatives, and sometimes permanently injuring them or killing them.

It makes me mad to think about the emotional scars that will be left on those who survive, even if they are not hit, and by some sheer luck, don’t see a rocket actually fall.

It makes me mad that Jewish blood is so cheap, that Jewish lives are so cheap, that we have to suffer rockets and bombs and terror attacks . . . and we are not allowed to defend ourselves.

Because dare we try to kill a savage terrorist, who does not abide by any of the Geneva conventions, who does not play fair, who kills civilians who did nothing wrong – dare we try to kill those terrorists, the world is horrified.  How dare we – how dare we defend ourselves, how dare we want to live in peace, how dare we kill murderers.

We should make peace.  We should make peace with those who want us dead; we should make peace with liars and murderers who care more about killing us than they do about their children living.  The basic right to defend ourselves, to live, we do not have.  It makes me mad.

So, I do not read the news.  I try to make sure that my loved ones are safe, that we have what we need in case of an emergency, and I don’t want to hear about the rest of the world until this is finished.  Because otherwise, I will lose my sanity in anger.  And I cannot afford to do that.

I cannot afford to be so angry, so paranoid, so downright mad at the stupidity of the world.  To be so angry at the bias and the anti-Semitism; at the propaganda and the lies and the hatred; at the murder and the blindness.  I have things to do; I have a child to take care of.

And in the end, the people who are in charge don’t care about my opinion anyways, nor am I able to do anything to change these facts of life.  So I may as well stuff my head in the sand, avoid Muslims whenever possible, and make sure that we are safe.

Because no one cares.  No one cares if Jewish blood is spilled, no one cares if we live in constant terror.  No one cares.

No other country would have to put up with this kind of savagery, with this kind of terrorism.

But we are Jews, and so the world doesn’t care.  We are Jews.  People are allowed to deny the Holocaust, and people are allowed to spill our blood with no regrets and no thoughts of punishment.  Because we are Jews, our blood is cheap.

It doesn’t matter that we are humans; that the very thought that our blood is cheap is a scary thought; or that we live in fear of terror attacks every day, while we provide water and electricity to the terrorists who are behind these attacks.  We must provide them with water and electricity.

We are Jews, and we are humane.

We are Jews, and if we do not want to help our enemies, then it is our fault that they suffer, and the world hates us.

We are Jews and no one cares about us.  They only care about defending savage terrorists.