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We shouldn't blame Israel for surviving attacks – or defending against them: Mitch Albom

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What if Israel didn’t have the Iron Dome?

The missile defense system has been like something out of an Avengers movie this past week. It has intercepted hundreds and hundreds of missiles fired by Hamas, destroying them before they hit their targets. It’s estimated that 90% of those rockets have been neutralized this way.

That success should be hailed for the lives it has saved – Jews and Arabs alike. Instead, Israel has endured what it often does when violence from its neighbors forces it to defend itself:

Criticism.

From politicians, media elites, TV commentators, you name it, Israel is cast as the big bully, and the Palestinians, who are caught in the middle, the innocent victims. Hamas, a hateful terrorist organization by any definition — and the entity which started all of this — somehow gets a pass.

Israeli medics evacuate a woman from a targeted residential neighborhood where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the area, in Ramat Gan, central Israel, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

So take the Iron Dome out of the discussion. Say it was never invented. Say every one of the nearly 2,000 missiles Hamas fired last week – 2,000 missiles! – actually fell on Israeli soil, killing countless civilians, destroying building after building and street after street.

Two thousand missiles, pummeling a nation.

Then what would people say?

Who’s really to blame?

Whatever they’d say then, they should be saying now, because Hamas, with all those missiles Iran helped them build – Iran, hardly a friend to America — isn’t firing them for the fun of it. The intent is to kill, destroy and cripple Israelis. And just because Israel has been fortunate enough to invent a solid defense system is no reason not to point the blame squarely at the instigator here: Hamas.

“We had 700 missiles fired at us in a 24-hour period,” Aviv Ezra, the consul general of Israel to the Midwest, told me last week. “I ask you, what would America do in a case like that?”

We would defend ourselves. That’s what Israel did, and what President Joe Biden said “Israel has a right” to do. But when Israeli rockets, aiming to destroy underground tunnels and weapons installments, also caused civilian deaths that are unavoidable when the enemy operates from within a population – and the reason groups like Hamas do so — angry fingers wagged all over the globe.



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