“Engage, engage!” says David Siegel, Israel Counsul General



Mr David Siegel, the Israeli Counsel General, has been much in demand these last weeks. Previously Siegel served as Israel’s Chief of Staff to Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs so he’s experienced in the ways of Israeli self-defense. Siegel has been effectively heightening awareness and understanding of the situation in Israel across seven states, from Hawaii to Colorado. Siegel spoke to The Jewish Home this week, regarding the conflict in Israel.

Siegel spoke of the tremendous support he has received, with many letters sent by Members of Congress, Church leaders, Governors including a strong letter from Governor Sandoval from Nevada that recognized Israel is “a democracy defending itself”. On July 17, Siegel chaired an online event for the largest Christian group in America, Christians for Israel International. The event was attended by more than 1000 members and the group has their annual conference in Washington DC this week where they hope to again influence policy makers.

Global understanding and American support for Israel is crucial and everyone can help towards this goal by self educating and by sharing that knowledge which will inform colleagues, family, teachers and kids. Siegel urges communities to reach out with conversation that can focus attention on the aggression that Israel is facing. “Knowledge is the best way that we can make an impact. Too many people are ignorant of the current crisis but support comes from local awareness and a loud community voice is crucial. More than ever, Israel is robust in its information campaign. Local communities need to join the effort.”

Up to date information is now available on AIPAC.org, the organization that works to, “strengthen, promote and protect” the Israel / American relationship. 24 hour news can be watched at 123.israel.org and dozens of online sites carry up to the minute information.

Siegel spoke of the difficulties that this major military campaign will face and the exacting measures that are being implemented. Operation Protective Edge has a clear goal; to restore peace and security on a sustainable basis. The Israeli goals are limited and realistic and Israel has been clear that all options are available for ending the danger. “Israel did not look for this fight,” added Siegel. So far, support is in place from the United Nations and the quartet as well as major neighbors to Israel who are the major stakeholders in the outcome. Even the Palestinian Authority are putting the onus on Hamas to stop the violence.

On Friday the IDF discovered 23 large underground tunnels, many so large that a truck can be driven through them. Now dismantled, the conflict continues as Hamas refuse a peace fire. Last week there was a 5 hour peace fire that was designed for humanitarian aid to reach Gaza by truck. More than 100 trucks entered Gaza but the missiles did not stop. Nor did Hamas stop firing missiles during the 5 hour ceasefire that the Egyptians negotiated.

With evidence of human rights violations pouring into the UN, the key powers understand the situation facing Israel. The terror groups involved, Isis (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) and Hamas have no known goal and no respect for people. Schools, mosques and hospitals are being used as launch pads for missile attacks and the complete disregard for human life has become painfully obvious with eyewitness accounts and iphone coverage being circulated. Siegel emphasized the problem “Hamas is brutal in its cowardly tactics.”