Fifteen seconds. That’s roughly about the time it takes to tie your shoelaces or send a text message.
Fifteen seconds is also the amount of time I had this morning to put on my clothes, get my fiancé and help our next-door neighbour (an elderly Holocaust survivor) to a bomb shelter, after Palestinian Hamas terrorists fired a rocket at Tel Aviv.
As I write this, my country Israel is under a barrage of rocket fire from Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
Hundreds of rockets have been fired into the heart of Israel in the past few days now, including now also Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Over a million people, including women, children and the elderly, have been forced to run for bomb shelters, while 3.5 million Israelis (almost half the population!) are now in the direct line of fire.
In the last day, I have been forced to run into a bomb shelter three times. I am in Tel Aviv. For other Israelis, in the south, running to bomb shelter has become an hourly occurrence during these days.
To put things in perspective: 3.5 million Israelis is about 40 percent of the population. 40 percent of the UK population is about three times the entire population of London.
This situation is simply intolerable. No nation can accept such incessant rocket attacks on its people and neither will we.
But the world seems oblivious, as Palestinian rockets continue to rain down on Israel, even as I write this.
Where are all those so-called enlightened liberals, who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror against Jews?
What about human rights organisations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and Oxfam, who do not waste a single opportunity to condemn Israel for human rights violations against the Palestinians? Are the human rights of Israelis not equally important? Or is Jewish blood really that cheap?
And then there is the mainstream media, like the BBC, which lead their stories about the rocket attacks with headlines like ‘Israel launches new air strikes on Gaza Strip’ and not the more accurate ‘Palestinian Terrorists in Gaza Rain Down Hundreds of Rockets Against Millions of Israelis.’
This week, parents across many parts of Israel have been instructed not to send their kids to school and to stay near bomb shelters, while 24 prematurely born babies and 34 newborns had to be moved last night to a protected area in Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, due to the rocket attacks from Gaza.
What sort of inhumane way is that for children to live?
A number of Israelis have already been injured, though thankfully without fatalities. The only reason more have not been hurt is because Israel has invested millions of dollars in bomb shelters and the Iron Dome defence system. Meanwhile, Hamas, whose very raison d’être is the destruction of Israel and which is recognised as a terrorist organisation both by the EU and UK, has invested millions of dollars in foreign aid (including British tax payer dollars) into more rockets.
This is the same Hamas, which is funded and armed by Iran, that was only two months ago welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, our so-called ‘partner for peace’ into his unity government, while the international community, including the EU and UK, rushed to embrace it.
The same Hamas that a month ago kidnapped three Israeli teenagers and then brutally murdered them.
And the same Hamas whose leaders have previously said “we desire death as much as you [Israelis] desire life” and only today stated that “all Israelis have become legitimate targets.”
Where is the world outrage?
Foreign Secretary Hague was correct to condemn the Hamas rocket attacks, saying “the people of Israel have the right to live without constant fear for their security.” But in the next sentence, he, like many other world leaders, predictably urged for “restraint.”
Can you imagine if even one rocket was fired on London? Or Washington, Paris or Moscow?
What kind of ‘restraint’ would they show?
The fact of the matter is there is no such thing as ‘restraint’ or a ‘proportionate response’ to terrorism, to brutal murderers who idolise death and see every Jew as a target.
This cowardly and brutal Palestinian assault on the Jewish State is a crystallisation that the West, with Israel at the forefront, is fighting a war against pure evil, which knows no boundary and abides by no rules or norms of war.
No nation can accept such incessant terror against its people and Israel is entitled to take whatever action we deem necessary to protect our civilians from Palestinian terror.
Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights activist and freelance journalist living in Israel.