By Hanan Goder, Ambassador of Israel to Nepal

As Israel has gradually resumed control and cleared the border areas flooded with terrorists, the extent of the Hamas massacre has been revealed:

As of today, we have counted more than 1,400 people murdered, among them babies, children, women and elderly people. This number includes 10 Nepalese that participated in the “Learn and Earn Program” and more than other 50 nationals. Entire families were butchered in their homes. Infants were mutilated and children gunned to death with their parents. Approximately 260 young men and women were slaughtered, most of them shot to death, at a music festival. More than 3,800 people were injured, many of them still hanging between life and death. 200 have been abducted to Gaza, their fate unknown. In addition, Hamas terrorists launched more than 6000 rockets against its civilian population.

The Hamas attack in the south was the premeditated mass murder of innocent civilians. The launching of rockets against the Israel’s population is a further attempt to terrorize and kill innocent citizens.

It is time to dispel myths and come to reality:

The first myth is the unholy equation made by many mainstream media outlets, in a futile attempt to preserve a non-existent balance, to deceptively describe the conflict as “violence on both sides.”

However, while Israel seeks peace and coexistence, the Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hamas, choose death and devastation. While throughout the conflict Israel has made great efforts to minimize harm to civilians, the militant Palestinians aim at innocent civilians as their primary objective. Hamas commits a double war crime – targeting Israeli civilians while using the residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields.

There can be no comparison. There is no equivalence between those attacking innocent civilians and those defending themselves against such attacks.

While Israeli rockets are used to protect civilians and Palestinian civilians are used to protect to their rockets.

The second myth is one, repeated by many, that the use of force is ineffective or inherently immoral. This is false. There are times when the use of force is a necessity, an obligation and the only moral course of action. Facing the depth of evil of terrorists like those in Hamas, who set out to murder babies and slaughter innocent people in their beds, it is the obligation of every state or entity to stop them from accomplishing their goals and to prevent such atrocities by any available means.

It is unacceptable that the right to use force in self-defense is questioned in relation to Israel. Like every other state in the world, Israel has the right and the obligation to protect its citizens and to take all necessary measures to defend its people.

It is abhorrent that there are those who question that right. When media personalities and others question Israel’s right to self-defense, the people of Israel ask: how many Israelis must be killed in order for that right to be recognized, as it is for any other nation on this planet?

The third myth to be highlighted is one that touches on the essence of the conflict between Israel and the extremist Palestinians. The falsehood that needs to be dispelled is that the conflict is only about tangible elements, like territory, water or other material assets. One of the most clichéd statements is that ‘if Israel would only do this or that then there will be peace.’ The attack on southern Israel demonstrates the fact that Hamas, like other extremists in the Palestinian camp, have no interest in compromise or coexistence. They wish to eradicate Israel and refuse to recognize it in any shape or form.

This is an existential battle, in which Israel’s survival is at stake. Israel has gone a long way in trying to achieve peaceful coexistence. It recognized the Palestinian Authority and relinquished territory to the Palestinians. Israel vacated the entire Gaza Strip, including the dismantling of all Jewish settlements in that territory. However, Israel was not rewarded with peace. Instead, the territories it vacated were then turned into terrorist training camps and launching pads for attacks. There is a growing realization that peace will only come when the majority of the Palestinians choose coexistence over conflict and eject the extremists from their midst.

There are many who ask how they can help Israel at this time of need. It warms the hearts of the people of Israel to witness such offers of support and they are deeply appreciated.

Beyond the emotional and material support provided by many, no less important is moral support. Public statements by elected officials, solidarity communal gatherings in synagogues and churches, and the illumination of public buildings in blue and white (the colors of our flag) are all fine examples of reassuring actions.

In today’s world of social media, everyone has a voice and anyone can be an ambassador of good will. If you wish to support Israel, spread the word of truth and help us dispel the myths.

Israel highly values the support extended to Israel by Nepali Government and so many citizens. Condemning the attack by the Hamas Terrorists and standing with Israel in this difficult time is essential and reminds us the historic decision taken by B. P. Koirala to establish diplomatic relations between Nepal and Israel in 1960.

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