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George Deek var den siste taleren på MIFFs støttemarkering for Israel i Oslo søndag 10. august. Her følger manuset til George Deeks tale på engelsk. I bunn av artikkelen kan du se video av talen.
Dear Friends, I want to thank you for coming here for supporting the State of Israel and for standing up for peace.
I know that for some of you the decision to come here was not easy. I know that there are people who don’t want your voice to be heard.
People who think that freedom of speech is important, but only for as long as you agree with them.
I want to thank you for not letting those voices intimidate you. Thank you for your courage.
But friends, it is not the joy of victory that gathers us here today, but the tears of sorrow.
Sorrow – for the tragic suffering caused by a war that never should have happened.
When Hamas began firing rockets at our civilians, we did not respond.
We held back because we knew what the terrible consequences of war would be.
We hoped that Hamas would do the one thing that could have prevented the suffering – stop firing rockets at our civilians. That’s all.
But they didn’t. In two weeks they fired 300 rockets towards Israeli cities, schools, kindergartens, people’s houses and factories.
We kept calling: stop the rockets, quiet will be met with quiet. Hamas only grew bolder and crueler.
We accepted 10 ceasefires, but every time we cease – Hamas fires.
And while we were dealing with terror falling from above, Hamas launched terror from below ground, as well.
Friends make no mistake: these are not holes. These are sophisticated tunnels, with electricity, with railroads. The creativity, the hard work, child labor – all aimed at one thing only: to kidnap and murder Israelis.
The level of dedication is sickening.
On July 7th, Israel said “enough is enough”. Hamas saw our restraint as a sign for weakness. They could not have been more wrong.
Because Israel always has and always will defend itself from those who seek to harm it with the determination that you find only in those whose ultimate aim is not victory but peace, not triumph but life, that ability to live without fear.
Hamas calls themselves freedom fighters – but the truth is: they are not fighting for freedom, they are fighting against it.
Hamas calls itself an Islamic movement. But the truth is: nothing could be further from the spirit of Islam.
There is a good reason to be concerned. The wave of radical Islam in the Middle East is one of the most disturbing developments of our time.
It is devastating to see how such evils are being committed in the name of the God of love and peace.
For the first time in 2,000 years, there are no Christians left in Mosul of Iraq.
The Christians in our region – whose freedom of religion is not protected as mine is in Israel – are victims of one of the greatest crimes against humanity of our times.
And let us not forget that the majority of victims of Muslim violence and terror – are Muslims.
Our heart goes out to all those who are murdered or persecuted, in the course of using religion to disguise this campaign that is taking the entire region back to the dark ages.
Israel is standing at the frontline of this battle against radicalism and extremism.
Hamas, like ISIS, shares a disdain for democracy, contempt for modernity, and a willingness to target innocent civilians.
To those who criticize Israel I say:
We share your grief over the death of innocent people.
We share your rage over the human tragedies that are unfolding.
We are willing to accept criticism. We are not perfect.
But we cannot accept your criticism when you remain silent over calls to destroy Israel.
We cannot accept your silence over the dehumanization of Israel.
But we cannot accept your silence over Hamas war crimes.
We cannot accept your silence over Hamas abuse of the people in Gaza.
We cannot accept your silence of Hamas calls to murder Jews.
Because your silence is deafening.
You want Gaza to live in dignity – so do we!
You want Palestinian children to grow up with hope – so do we!
Last November Israel was asked to treat a Palestinian girl named Amal, who suffered from a serious infection in the digestive system. As always, we said yes.
Amal was rushed to Schneider Hospital in Petach-Tikva, where she was treated by our best doctors, healed, and sent back to be with her family in Gaza.
This is not a special case – Israel provided medical treatments to hundreds of Palestinians.
What makes this story unique is the fact that Amal is the granddaughter of no other than Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas in Gaza.
That has been the message of Israel to its neighbors throughout its 66 years:
We have no hate towards anyone – all we ask for, is for our right to live in peace, without fear of terrorism, without fear of annihilation.
And therefore, we call on Hamas:
Stop using your skills to build tunnels of cement – Start using your cement to build schools that will develop your skills.
Stop firing rockets from community centers, stop storing arms in hospitals and mosques, stop surrounding yourself with civilian human shields – And let the people of Gaza enjoy the flourishing place that Gaza should have become long ago.
Disarm, stop smuggling weapons, Stop darkening Gaza’s life – And let Gaza open up and become part of our bright world.
In other words: Stop wanting Israel to die – Start wanting your children to live!
Listen to your people, listen to their calls:
92% of Gaza wants to stop the fire.
68% of Gaza wants reconstruction – not rearmament.
72% of Gaza wants peace with Israel
The people of Gaza and the people of Israel want to live in peace.
We DESERVE to live in peace.
A day will come, and we will stop fighting each other, A day will come and we will start helping one another to live in freedom and dignity.
That day will come. It could be a hundred years away – Or it could be today.
It’s up to Hamas – to disarm and to recognize Israel.
And for the sake of Palestinian children, and Israeli children,
Let that day be today.