Rabbi Marvin Hier's Remarks at the Rally for Israeli Solidarity

Rally for Israel
July 13, 2006
Remarks by Rabbi Marvin Hier

We have come here today to express solidarity with the government and the people of Israel who have been victims of vicious unprovoked attacks from Hezbollah and Hamas. 

Let us be very clear, this is not a conflict over borders, not about 1967 or 1948.  This is about enemies who have one purpose in mind, a Middle East that is Judenrein, free of Jews. 

For years, the critics of Israel opined that when Israel pulls out of Lebanon and Gaza, when it allows the Palestinians to write their history, to define their own destiny, when they are empowered to rebuild their own economy, then they will devote their energies to peace. 

Well, Israel pulled out of Lebanon, after guarantees by the international community that the Lebanese government would exercise jurisdiction over its territory and control Hezbollah.  But it didn’t and look what happened?  An unprovoked terrorist attack and the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.

In the South, Prime Minister Sharon withdrew from Gaza in a bold attempt to jumpstart the peace process.  What was the Palestinian response?  They went to the polls and elected Hamas, a terrorist government whose undisputed leader Khaled Meshaal lives in Damascus.  Almost immediately, Hamas began firing more then 1,000 rockets at the city of Sderot which is not disputed territory, but an uncontested part of Israel. 

Day after day, month after month, the rockets fell, but the world watched and did nothing.  Hamas felt emboldened and dug a tunnel into Israel, kidnapping Corporal Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier and holding him hostage, but again, the world took no concrete action.

However, as soon as did Israel acted in defense of her citizens, as any other country would, the criticisms began.  A disproportionate response, a form of collective punishment, the sonic booms over Gaza are scarring the Palestinian children.  Then following a predictable pattern comes the threat of yet another UN Security Council resolution, placing the majority of the blame at Israel’s doorstep. 

For more than 50 years, this has been the principal failure of the UN’s Middle East diplomacy.  There is never a price to pay for those who initiate terrorism.  It is only those who respond to terrorism that face international condemnation.  The time has come for the United Nations to finally recognize that there is no difference between Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.  These are the same terrorists, cut from the same cloth, with the same objective of destroying the infidels and bringing down Western Civilization.

One final comment – in a conflict, there is always unwanted collateral damage.  When the allies responded to Nazi terror, there was no electricity and heat, there were food shortages and long lines in German cities, but the Allies were engaged in a life struggle against evil, and that is the price the German people had to pay for cheering, supporting and glorifying their Fuehrer.

The State of Israel did not want this conflict, the terrorists did.  And those who idolize them, protect them and support them, have no one but themselves to blame for the current disaster.

Today is a public fast day, the 17th day of Tammuz, commemorating the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. Behind me is the remembrance wall with the carved names of the cities and towns destroyed by the Nazis during the Holocaust and beside us stands a modern menorah, which symbolizes the State of Israel. To Hamas & Hezbollah, we say this, ‘Long after you have been defeated, the people of Israel will live on from generation to generation.’