Rules of business: T’d up again!

Last week’s article, ‘Violating one of the cardinal rules of business!‘, discussed how in business there are certain topics that are basically supposed to be off-limits and how sometimes that rule needs to be ignored!

These topics to be avoided typically include religion, world events and politics but, in that article, this basic tenet  was violated over the issue of Israel, Hamas and the right to self defense.

In a nutshell the article had asked…

If someone was trying to kill your family…

Or destroy the town you live in,
Or eradicate the entire state that you call home,
Or basically was trying to reduce your entire country to ashes, what would YOU do?

Today I was sent a letter written by a woman who offered an inside look at the conflict there and wanted to share it despite the fact that this would be the second technical foul within the space of a week.

Letter from an Israeli concerning life, death, right and wrong!

Is the current conflict between Israel and Hamas a battle between right and wrong an good versus evil?

It absolutely is and, as with any battle of this type, there is going to be collateral damage in the form of innocent people caught in the crossfire being injured and killed.

But, unlike in conventional fights, here one side will use its own people as human shields while deliberately trying to kill women and children on the other side.

Its opponent, however, gives warning before an attack in an attempt to avoid the accidental injuring or killing of anyone!

This is a letter written by a woman who is living this conflict on the ground.

‘Thoughts on Israel’s current situation’

Dear family and friends,

Life in Israel has never been boring, but obviously now things have really heated up. My kids say this is the first war that they old enough and aware enough to really understand what’s happening. Our soldiers are not some far-away people that we’ve never met. They’re our neighbors’ and friends’ kids whom we’ve seen grow up, my children’s friends and acquaintances, and also our precious nephew. Every single one of the soldiers, whether I’ve actually met him/her or not, feels like my own child. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the way most Israelis feel about our chayalim. They have forfeited the carefree, fun lifestyle that kids their age anywhere else in the world are enjoying, to put themselves on the line for the safety and security of their families and neighbors and all of Am Yisrael.

This war was so clearly not something that the Israeli people or leadership wanted. It was forced on us, and now must be fought until the dangers posed by our terrorist neighbors have been thwarted for good.

For years, ever since the insane giveaway in 2005 of Gaza to the Arabs who then elected Hamas as their leadership, the people living in the southern part of Israel were subjected to regular rocket attacks, aimed indiscriminately but intended solely to inflict civilian casualties. Each and every rocket and/or missile indisputably constitutes a war crime and violation of international law. For the past several weeks, the rest of us all over the country have also experienced incoming rockets, shot from places within Gaza without any particular direction except to hit civilian targets. Thank God for the miraculous efficiency of the Iron Dome, which has eliminated the danger from almost all of the rockets aimed at civilian centers. Still, millions of people have dropped everything to run to bomb shelters and safe areas, having at most 90 seconds in which to find shelter. Where Cary works mornings and afternoons, sirens have halted work several times every single day while doctors, nurses, and patients run for shelter.

We do not delude ourselves, just because we have safe shelters to run to and the Iron Dome hopefully working at maximum efficiency, that the rockets do not present a tremendous potential danger. In those cases in which people did not get to safety, some were (I’m sorry to say it so bluntly) incinerated. Where the Iron Dome did not intercept incoming rockets, entire houses have been levelled to the ground, leaving only the bomb shelters into which thankfully the families ran.

We here in Israel have prioritized millions and millions of dollars toward protecting our people, with bomb shelters everywhere and the creation and maintenance of the Iron Dome. (I have heard estimates that it costs between $50,000-$100,000 for every Iron Dome interception, and there have been hundreds in the past few weeks.) On the other hand, the brainwashed people of Gaza have essentially been handed bulls-eyes to pin on themselves. Their deaths and injuries serve as excellent material for the terrorists’ PR war against the People of Israel. The leadership they elected has chosen not to provide any bomb shelters or any protection whatsoever. On the contrary, they encourage the people to stay in their homes even when they are fully aware they have been targeted for hits. And why are civilian neighborhoods being targeted? Because the terrorist leadership has specifically set up their rocket launchers in people’s living rooms, in hospitals and schools and places of worship. Unbelievable but true. The terrorist leaders, needless to say, spinelessly hide themselves well underground, often under hospitals and schools. They don’t need to worry about getting killed. But the citizens of Gaza are, as far as they’re concerned, completely indispensable.

What other country in the world would forfeit the advantage of surprise, to make phone calls to the residents in a building, drop hundreds of leaflets, and send warnings to the rooftops of targeted buildings? But that’s what Israel ‘s military does every time before shooting a building from which a missile or rocket has been launched. Thousands of Gazans have in fact heeded the warnings and moved elsewhere, but many others have listened to their leaders and stayed put, turning themselves into martyrs for the cause of jihad.

At the same time, as has now become clear, all those millions of tons of concrete and other building supplies that Israel so generously allowed through to Gaza, on the pretense that they would be used (as they would in any normal, civilized place on the planet) for building homes and schools, were instead used to build a massive network of tunnels leading everywhere, each one with many shafts spreading in all directions, in which rockets, guns, and other murder supplies are being stored. Within the past week alone, Israel intercepted several entries into civilian areas from Gazan tunnel-terrorists, popping their heads up in Israeli land and then intending to carry out murderous activities among innocent and helpless civilians. Thank God they were found these past few times. But these tunnels must be destroyed, and quickly.

How is a civilized nation supposed to fight an enemy that fights in this way?

And then the world media, as well as many of the world’s leaders, are obsessed with the “body count,” making Israel look like the bad guy in this conflict, while urging us to stop the fighting immediately despite the obvious fact that the terrorists could then regroup yet again in the near future. The NY Times, for example, seems to feature only photos of dead and dying Gazan civilians. Why do they not show the innumerable photos evidencing the tunnels filled with artillery and rockets? Or the photos of terrorists shooting with one hand while holding helpless children, to shield themselves, in the other? Or of rocket launching pads set up in people’s homes or in schools? The Israeli side, on the other hand, is shown in the media as nothing but militaristic soldiers. How about showing the photos of distraught girlfriends collapsing on the graves of their fallen loved ones? How about photos of grieving parents and siblings? Or elderly or handicapped people desperately trying to get to safety within 15 to 90 seconds of a siren alert? Or children suffering from all kinds of emotional difficulties due to the constant stress of running from rockets? Do people actually believe that we are not as human on this side as they claim to be on the other side?

In what sort of calculation is my life worth less than theirs, my children less valuable than theirs?

And why is the bar set so low for the Arabs, as if no one expects them to be able to meet the standard expected of any other normal, civilized, productive human beings on the planet? Is that not the most blatant form of racism?

I hope that my family members are able to see beyond the coverage they are getting in the media, to realize what’s really going on here. I cannot imagine a more just war, clearly Good vs. Evil. We need love and support from our friends and family, to know that we are not alone, to know that you are thinking of us and praying for the safety and success of Israel and its army in this horrific conflict.

Thanks for listening,


2014 New York Law Journal Reader Rankings
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Written by Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

Remember that you have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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