Under Fire

This week, we are once again called upon to offer prayers and support for our sisters and brothers in Israel as they have faced, as of Thursday evening, over 800 rockets from Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. It is worth bearing in mind that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is implacable, and has continued to plan and execute attacks against Israeli civilians all the time over decades, and in recent weeks, even when it is not firing rockets from Gaza. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that PIJ acts on the direction and with the full support of the Iranian regime. That regime is seeking to stage-manage coordinated attacks from Gaza, Syria and Lebanon against Israel, as well as from towns like Nablus, Jenin & Tulkarm. Iran did this for the first time last month, and the danger of this new strategy seems all too evident. Creating, as Israel has (for now) some distance between PIJ and Hamas (which has not yet entered the current fighting) is a useful objective. 

You can help by encouraging elected officials to voice their support for Israel and asking the administration to use its diplomatic clout to encourage countries like Egypt to seek an end to the rocket fire. As divided as Israel has seemed to be these past months, and as complex as the issues it must resolve are, there is no disunity in the face of this battle. 

Let’s all keep our sisters and brothers in our thoughts this shabbat, and pray that their defenders are strengthened.