My friend Jon is a “Lone Soldier” in the Israeli Defense Forces. His unit staged for the incursion into Gaza, and then was rotated off to take other duty. Consequently, his normally scheduled leave went ahead as planned in spite of the current engagement.
He is back in Knoxville for the week. He is spread pretty thin trying to visit with everyone, but he managed to come by this afternoon for a couple of beers and some homemade pizza.
I am not Jewish, but as a Libertarian I support the society that stands up for pluralistic democracy, religious tolarance, women’s rights, and freedom. As a Christian, I support the side that fights those who will, when there are no more Jews to kill, come after the anyone else whom they view as infidel. I understand that this is not the point of view of all Muslims, but it is that of many of those who control the levers of power – both at the State and non-State levels. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. One need look no farther than Egypt to see how the Copts were treated after the fall of Mubarak. They were burned from their homes and businesses, many were killed. I could talk about Sudan or Iraq as well where Christians are being slaughtered wholesale.
I am not saying Israel is without fault. Nor is the United States for that matter, we are plenty happy enough to drone people in faraway lands when it suits our needs. But like Israel, most often it is with defensible justification. There is no doubt that targeting mistakes are made, and innocent people have died. But it is not the policy of either of our nations to deliberately target civilians. It is admittedly a talking point, but if rockets from Tijuana were landing in San Diego, the American people would demand that the Army be sent to put a stop to it. Either that, or they would need to be used to stop the Marines from Camp Pendelton from taking care of business themselves.
At any rate, that is my Editorial position, and unless I hear otherwise from Mr. Farago, the position of TTAK as well. Stepping down from my soapbox, I return to the story.
I had a brief moment of inspiration this morning, and gave William Woods, a quick phone call. Having finished my extensive testing and review of the Kraken, I was preparing to send it back to Will. After explaining my idea, he agreed to pass the Kraken onto Jon to take back to Israel and use as a part of his gear. Will’s only request is that Jon bring it back home safely. Jon agreed to use and test the Kraken for the remaining 10 months of his enlistment, and to send us pictures and an occasional letter to share on the blog.
At the time of this writing, there is a tentative cease-fire that is scheduled for the morning. There are promising signs that this may hold. I pray that it holds, because if it does it means that Israel has destroyed enough of the Hamas tunnel network (built with materials stolen from the Palestinian people) that it feels that its citizens (Jew, Christian, and Muslim) are safe from further attack. If the cease fire is broken, then I pray for the safety of all who seek to live in a pluralistic peace. It is my belief that for this to be achieved, then the IDF must succeed in degrading Hamas’s offensive ability. I pray for the safety of those upon whom the task falls.
There are some who take offense at an American fighting under a foreign flag. They are ignorant of history. There is a long tradition of Americans fighting for our allies when they feel the call. American pilots flew as volunteers for both Britain and China in World War Two before the U.S. joined the war. Others went to Spain to fight against Franco. There are other examples from other conflicts as well. Jon is carrying on this tradition by serving in the IDF.
As he was getting to ready to leave Jon thanked me for my support of both him and the State of Israel. The knife is just a small token of support that we here at TTAK can show for the IDF and its mission. As Jon uses the Kraken around his comrades in his unit, it is my hope that they see it as a reminder that there are people around the world who are standing with them in spirit as they fight for liberal democratic values against those to whom it is anathema.