My girlfriend, who is Jewish, recently went to Israel with some of her college classmates and the guy who was in charge of her group is currently in Israel. His name is Dovev Barak, and he recently sent this dispatch to her from Israel:
If you are wondering what is going on let me tell you the story because Im guessing that the news in the US is not so accurate sometimes...
During the last 3 years a few Israeli town in the south have been attacked by home-made missiles (called 'Kassam') from Gaza. Every day at least 10 missiles or more hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
Three weeks ago three groups of terrorists (including those from Hamas which is backed by Iran) attacked an Israeli outpost close to Gaza by digging a tunnel under the border between Gaza and Israel. They killed two soldiers and kidnapped another demanding the immediate release of 1000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for some information about the kidnapped soldier. According to the Geneva Convention they must allow the Red Cross to visit the soldier but the terrorists havent allowed access.
Yesterday, a group of terrorists from Hezbollah crossed the border into Israel and attacked 2 Israeli Jeeps. The terrorists killed 3 soldiers and kidnapped 2 soldiers. Another 4 soldiers were killed trying to rescue their kidnapped friends when their tank ran over a roadside bomb planted by the Hezbollah terrorists.
Israel, of course, responded by attacking the infrastructure (roads and bridges) in southern Lebanonin order to prevent the terrorists from taking the kidnapped soldiers even farther into Lebanon. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah told reporters that the two soldiers had been taken to a place "far, far away" and that an Israeli military campaign would not win their release. Hezhollah also fired missiles at towns like Tzfat, Karmiel, and Nahariya.
Today Israel responded again. Firing missiles and rockets from Lebanon or Gaza into Israel terrorists entering Israel and attacking civilians and military personel is an act of war. Israel cant allow another country to attack her and because of that Israel attacked Lebanese strategic locations. Just an hour ago another 2 missiles hit Haifa. So far, two civilians have been killed in those attacks, seven soldiers have been killed, and 2 other soldiers have been kidnapped.
Are we at war? I think we are, although everything continues like normal in the center of Israel. Everyone is going to work although some people are being called up to duty in the Israeli Army reserves.
I know that in the American and European news it seems that Israel is the bad guy and world leaders might be condeming Israel, but honestly, Israel, like the US and any other normal country, cant let its citizens and soldiers be attacked like that. To do nothing would invite the other terrorist organizations to attack.
Well said Dovev. I hope to hear more from him soon, so check back frequently.