Dear Friend of Israel,
We think of kites and balloons as children’s toys – innocent symbols of fun and pure enjoyment.
Yet, in recent weeks these “toys” have taken on a sinister meaning for Israelis. Terrorists bent on Israel’s destruction have been flying kites and balloons carrying incendiary material over the Gaza border. The fiery kites and balloons fall on adjacent Israeli farmland and nature preserves, setting them ablaze and consuming thousands of acres.
It is a human and environmental disaster. Though, thank God, no one has been injured yet, recently more than 4,000 acres have been burned by more than 250 fires started by kites and balloons. The cost in damages has been high, and will only increase. And firefighters must react quickly to ensure these fires don’t spread, diverting critical human resources from other needs and putting first responders at risk.
This is nothing less than terrorist arson. So far, Israel is still searching for a way to stave off these attacks, which are like nothing she has ever seen before. The attacks show that terrorists, in their blind hatred for Israel, will stop at nothing to sow death and destruction among innocent people.
All this comes as Israel prepares for more violent protests at the Gaza border to commemorate what Palestinians call “Naksa Day” – the anniversary of Israel’s defeat of Arab armies during the 1967 Six-Day War. Faced with these conflicts and violent aggression on multiple fronts, it is a wonder Israel can cope.
And yet, cope we do. Emboldened by God’s promise that “no weapon forged against you will prevail” (Isaiah 54:17), we Israelis go about our daily lives despite the efforts of those who would sow chaos and discord. And we even work at the same time to make the world a better place, developing technology that benefits all, and offering a compassionate hand to those who need it.
Your support of Israel – like the support you so generously offer to The Fellowship – helps us to go on, and to always remember that we are not alone. For that, my friend, I am eternally grateful.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President