October 7, 2023, witnessed the largest deadly attack against Jews since the Holocaust. The massacre not only killed 1,200 people, it also involved horrific barbarism — including burning human beings alive, the rape of women, beheadings, other mutilations… the list goes on. And 240 people — most of them civilians — were kidnapped and forcibly taken back to Gaza. More than 100 remain in captivity to this day.
Hamas, for its part, reportedly believed that Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, Iran’s proxies in Syria and Iraq, West Bank Palestinians, and most important, Iran, would immediately join in the fray. Israel would be destroyed within a few days, according to the plan. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
The resulting war has visited widespread death and destruction on Gaza. Although it is inarguably a humanitarian tragedy, two things are clear: But for the Hamas attack, 1,450 Israelis would not have been murdered or taken into captivity. But for the Hamas attack, more than 20,000 dead Gazans (of whom 8,000 were terrorists, according to Israel) would still be alive.
The IDF might be the cause-in-fact of what has taken place in Gaza, but Hamas is the true guilty party. By embedding its forces within civilian populations; by building military tunnels under hospitals, schools, hotels, homes, and other civilian infrastructure; by launching a murderous onslaught on October 7, Hamas has shown the world that it does not care one iota about Palestinian lives. If it did, it would surrender now and lay down its weapons.
What Hamas does care about — as its charter makes clear — is the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews. And that’s just the beginning: Hamas and other extremist Muslim groups believe peace on Earth can only be achieved when Islam rules the entire world. They say so openly.
To all the armchair generals critical of the IDF’s actions, I issue this challenge: Propose a way the Israeli army can destroy an entrenched, determined terrorist organization like Hamas — which exists in one of the most densely populated areas on earth — without inflicting substantial civilian casualties. If your idea pans out, I guarantee you’ll receive a Nobel Peace Prize.
The alternative — that Hamas be allowed to regroup, rearm, and continue to attack Israel — is unthinkable. Indeed, a senior Hamas official has stated unapologetically that the terrorist organization plans to launch additional October 7 massacres “again and again.” No country would agree to live under that sword of Damocles.
The population of the U.S. is approximately 33 times that of Israel, so the 1,200 murdered Israelis are equivalent to nearly 40,000 Americans. How would America respond if terrorists from — hypothetically — Mexico crossed the border and massacred 40,000 San Diegans in a single day?
Unfortunately, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to Jewish people defending themselves. Author Dara Horn titled her recent book People Love Dead Jews.. But living Jews… not so much. As one review put it: “[Horn] challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, and so little respect for Jewish lives unfolding in the present.”
The explosion of antisemitic and anti-Israel hatred since October 7 has been extremely sobering. For example, one poll found 51% of the young Americans surveyed think Israel should be “ended” and handed over to Hamas. Such views will be the subject of future commentaries. For now, I’ll simply assert that the creation of Israel in the ancient Jewish homeland as a haven for Jews was not a mistake. It was the justified, righteous, long-awaited answer to a grievous historical wrong: the forced expulsion of the Jews by the Roman Empire, followed by 2,000 years of persecution against the Jewish people.
That is why the world’s only Jewish state must never fall!
— Lenny Giteck, Publisher and Editor
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