The surprise attack of Hamas upon Israel must go down as one of the great crimes of history. It ranks with Putin’s attack on Ukraine. It ranks with Russia’s pogroms against the Jews. It ranks with Hitler’s invasion of Poland. It ranks with Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. And it ranks with the United States attack upon Native Americans at Wounded Knee. Hamas terrorists engaged in wanton slaughter and kidnapping of Israel civilians and soldiers in a dawn air, sea, and land sneak attack on October 7th during the Jewish festive holiday of Sukkot. At the same time they launched thousands of missiles, supplied by Iran, at southern Israeli cities, villages, and kibbutzim.
Their motive? God only knows. But this terrorist group and Gaza governing agency has consistently professed hatred towards Israel and Jews, and whose only professed goal is to push the Jewish state into the sea and reclaim it for themselves.
Yes, the history of the region is complicated and the behavior of Jewish extremist settlers in the West Bank is often unconscionable. But nothing deserves what Hamas did to Israeli innocents this day, and continue to do with the dangerous holding of hostages that include women, children, infants, elderly, the disabled, and soldiers–held in houses they know the Israeli air force will bomb in retaliation.
Iran is complicit in this massacre and apparently helped plan and arm it. Iran too is opposed to Israel and has openly vowed for its destruction. Such is the world we now live in. Is there a way out? Is there a way to peace?
I propose that there is always a way to peace. But before there is a way to any goal, there must be a will to accomplish that way. And therein lies the problem, the dilemma, and time after time, the tragedies, as we now see again in another gross and grotesque form.
So to find a solution, the world must find a will that is agreeable to both parties. Extreme retaliation by Israel is inevitable but will accomplish as much as the U.S retaliation against Iraq and Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks which was little to nothing. They were more political than designed to solve any inherent problems. Yes, Hamas must be removed as the leadership of the Gaza Strip. They have no regard for the safety and welfare on the people there. But that is the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority. And again, it’s complicated.
The Biden Administration is fully backing Israel and is sending more weapons. That too is a political response, and is no real solution. The UN offers no viable solutions and in fact, has more than a few members who continue to support such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hezbollah. Solutions will not materialize on the floors of any government. They must take place in the back rooms of relevant governments, away from the media and the harsh, often misguided glare of social media.
And perhaps this atrocity may lead to the dissolution of Israel’s present extremist government of PM Netanyahu and his right wing Hassidic allies. That’s an important key to get this situation under control and back on track, if it is ever to do so. Netanyahu formed this destructive coalition to avoid prosecution for corruption, as his friend Trump is running for president again to eventually avoid conviction and possible jail time.
The political track we must return to is one that honors and fosters democratic rules and procedures, effectively opposing authoritarians who have a vested interest in the kind of Bannanistic chaos and destruction we have seen the past few days in Israel and Gaza.