In this week’s episode of “Top Story,” JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin is joined by Israel Defense Forces international spokesman Maj. Doron Spielman.
Despite their sorrow over the casualties of the Hamas attacks and the cost of the military operation to defeat the terror organization, Israelis are united behind the goal of eliminating Hamas from the Gaza Strip, Spielman says.
Spielman says that the morale of IDF troops is high because they know they are defending their families. But the home front is also united and Israelis are setting aside the political strife that characterized their society before the attacks, as the country now works together to defeat an enemy that committed the worst mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.
While it might not be apparent to some looking on from abroad, Israelis understand the only way to bring all of the hostages home is to pursue the military campaign to eradicate Hamas, Spielman says.
He dismisses the false claims that Israel targets civilians. While Israel tries to ensure the safety of its troops, the IDF does not bomb Gaza indiscriminately, as virtually any other army would have done.
“I don’t think there’s been another army in history that has ever taken this much concern for a civilian population,” Spielman says, “of the enemy it is trying to defeat.”
Not only does Israel allow aid to enter areas controlled by its enemy, but the IDF telegraphs its strategy to ensure that civilians flee combat zones, Spielman says. “People eventually are going to be looking back to Israel as probably the unreachable model of what an army can do to take care of a civilian population.”
The IDF is “trained well and they are a moral group of people and it’s not perfect because this is war,” he says. “But this is what makes us a Jewish army. It’s trying to balance those things at once. That’s how we are different from the people we are fighting.”
Hamas is the polar opposite, according to Spielman. “Anyone who dies, but them, is good. An Israeli dies, they celebrate. A Gazan dies, they celebrate,” he says.
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