Members of the Counterjihad movement were present in Ashkelon (Israel) today, listening to various experts on Israeli matters in the morning, before taking a conducted tour of the flashpoint areas of Sderot and the Gaza border in the afternoon.
The event was also attended by various leaders of European political parties with a knowledge — and therefore a healthy fear — of Islamic expansionism They included Filip de Winter of the Vlaams Belang, Heinz Christian Strache of FPÖ, and Rene Stadtkewitz, leader of the Geert Wilders-inspired and recently formed German Freedom Party, or Die Freiheit.
Those present were treated to a historical occasion unprecedented in the history of Israeli-European relations, thanks in the main to the reputation of retired IAF Lt Col Eliezer “Cheetah” Cohen, a internationally respected war hero who twisted a few arms and called in a few favours in order to allow various well-lunched foreign civilians gain access to the crack paratroop base directly on the Gaza border.
We were humbled by the actions of these young soldiers, both male and female. The compound was dry and dusty, as were the well-used looking tanks upon which equally dusty soldiers were relaxing before setting off again into the war zone just half a kilometer away.
Taking valuable time out to talk to us, these unassuming soldiers spoke in quiet yet determined voices about their jobs and the importance of what they were doing, which quite literally is protecting the civilian population of Israel from Koranically inspired genocide.
And not just Israel. The physical front line of the Israel-Gaza border is also the metaphorical front line of Islam versus the West; or indeed the meeting point of good and evil, where evil is told that it can advance no more.
It was from this very military base that Gilad Shalit left on patrol one fateful day in June 2006 before being taken prisoner by Hamas. As you read this, Gilad is somewhere in Gaza, thoughtfully booby-trapped by those delightful friends of the European liberal-left, just in case their position were overrun and Gilad rescued.
As we left the compound several jeeps roared off into no man’s land. Those painfully young and idealistic soldiers were once again shouldering a responsibility unknown to the average European. I am not a religious man, but I prayed for their safe return, having heard only moments before that almost every patrol results in enemy contact.
Our next stop was Sderot, the Israeli city just a few kilometers from the Gaza border, best known in the West as the only city in the world to have endured constant rocket attack for over ten years.
The atmosphere was muted, as perhaps one could expect. Fear was not in the air, but there was a marked feeling of something that I — as a European raised in a time of peace — could not quite put my finger on. Not sadness, not anger — stoicism perhaps — but even as I write this I simply I cannot understand what living there must be like, especially for a child.
There is nothing quite so eye-opening as looking at a bomb shelter adjacent to a children’s’ playground. Every child in Sderot is trained to race to a shelter within 15 seconds, which of course means Sderot is an architectural mixture of houses dotted amongst bomb shelters.
Although it has been quiet for the last three months, Sderot has had to become accustomed to being bombarded by up to a hundred Kassam rockets a day, fired indiscriminately from hidden launchers in areas within Gaza chosen for their high civilian density. In this battle of good versus evil it is only liberal-leftists who fail to see the evil that drives the shelling of “enemy” civilians and children whilst hiding behind their own civilians and children.
Unfortunately, the Western media has fallen for this very obvious ploy hook, line and sinker. When Israel reacts, it becomes worldwide news, but there is little mention of the deaths of the inhabitants of Sderot, nor of the horrifying statistic that 90% of Sderot’s children require psychiatric counselling in an attempt to undo the damage that no child should ever have been subjected to.
Returning to our hotel I was struck by another thought. We had to pass through security to gain access to the hotel, just as we did to enter bars and restaurants. Living under siege is something the Israelis have got used to, but for a foreigner it is both shocking and depressing.
Here live a much persecuted people. Granted the keys to their own land, independence, and security so soon after their partial extermination on mainland Europe, it would have been nice to think the Jews of Israel could finally live in peace.
But of course it is not to be. Islam will not allow non-Islamic people to live next door to them in peace, and so this terrible onslaught of violence waged against innocents will continue until the final day of reckoning.