Jerusalem 11/16/12: My friend who lives in the small rural town of Kiryat Malachi where I visited her a week ago, called me some time in the afternoon yesterday. I instantly noticed something was wrong. She sounded hysterical as she recounted what she’d just witnessed.

What happened in Kiryat Malachi yesterday has been taking place in Israel since the establishment of the Jewish national homeland. Three people were killed and a four members of the same family were injured as a Kassam rocket scored a direct hit on an apartment building where a Chabad family was staying.  News of the tragedy spread like wildfire as people scrambled to leave the south for places that would themselves soon become threatened by Hamas rocket fire. We were getting closer to war. Again.

What’s changed since Israel’s government pulled out of Gaza in the summer of 2005? Most Israelis agree that the situation has steadily declined and that offering Gaza to Hamas terrorists was perhaps the gravest mistake any Israeli government has ever committed.

I say “mistake,” while those who lived in the Jewish settlement of Gush Katif and thousands like them call it a “crime” that can never be erased from our national narrative. Still, there are politicians from parties like Kadima, Labor and Meretz who call themselves “Zionists,” yet are unwilling to concede that “disengaging” from Gush Katif was a mistake. Not only that, but they have the gall to call for restraint on the part of Israel. My guess is that were their own families in danger, they’d immediately change their position.

Today, I woke up to hear the Israeli army radio announcing that Egyptian prime minister, Hisham Qandil, close aid to recently-elected president, Mohammad Morsi, had arrived in Gaza. He was welcomed there by Hamas head, Ismail Hanniya. Hanniya apparently felt safe enough to leave his hideout and visit a hospital where Palestinians who’d been wounded by Israeli warplanes lay. As is custom amongst Arab leaders, Hanniya and Qandil hugged and kissed, while their foot soldiers continued bombarding Israeli cities and villages. More than a million Israelis had to run for shelter today, and more will run tomorrow.

Our enemies remain poised on wiping us off the map, and our leaders aren’t fast—or confident enough in our irrevocable right to defend ourselves. There will be cabinet meetings and eventually, a ground offensive into Gaza. Maybe we’ll even take back Gush Katif while routing the Hamas, but all this won’t come fast enough for those we’ve already lost, amongst them, Mira Scharf, Chabad emissary to India (her family took over for the Holtzberg’s after they’d been murdered by Muslim terrorists), Ahron Smadja, 49, and Yitzchak Amsallem, 24.

Mira’s funeral in India was attended by many of the Israeli backpackers she’d met and invited to her home for Shabbat meals. Her father-in-law, Rabbi Yehoshua Scharf, recalled her as devoted to her work. “In our generation everyone is looking for luxury, but they lived in minimalist conditions in a Chabad house that was open to the public 24 hours a day,” he said. (courtesy