Let’s get our facts straight. The stated goal of Hamas is to destroy Israel, pushing it into oblivion “from the river to the sea,” as U.S Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) parroted recently in her de facto support of the Hamas terrorists. From the time they were elected by the Palestinian people after the more moderate Palestinian Authority retreated from Gaza, they have launched Iranian-made missiles at Israel, built clandestine tunnels under Gaza used to attack Israel, manufactured weapons in the basements of hospitals and schools, stripped their people of basic civil rights, and on October 7th waged a genocidal war on Israel with an attack that included rape, murder, decapitation, shooting and burning of civilians (including babies!), and forcefully kidnapping some 240 hostages and taking them, kicking and screaming, to Gaza, where they are still being held, God only knows where, dead, alive, or maimed.
Hamas has not stated any demands for their release, nor are the hostages being treated as prisoners of war, so, the prognosis of their survival and safe release is dire, perhaps fatal. If Hamas let’s them go in exchange for an Israeli military pull back to the border, they must figure that once the hostages are safe, IDF will return with guns and bombs and troops aplenty until they are all extracted from their rat holes and killed. Therefore, unless the IDF can find the hostages and free them, Hamas demons will probably kill them all as they tried to do on October 7.
That, Pro Palestinian Protestors (PPP), is a genocidal war crime, not anything Israel is doing to Palestinians. What the IDF is doing is what any country that’s been attacked would do: retaliate, hoping to find the hostages alive and to kill as many Hamas terrorists as possible, difficult since they wear no uniforms and shield themselves amongst and with Palestinian civilians including houses, hospitals, and schools. That is another war crime against even their own people.
The Hamas regime has managed to gain power and transform Gaza into a totalitarian state. Consequently, there are no Bill of Rights. And the only education allowed is one that teaches its children to hate Israel and to kill Jews. It is Hamas’s violent and distorted version of Islam, which is, at its roots, a peaceful and God-loving religion. Hamas is essentially equivalent to ISIS. If a Palestinian citizen speaks out against them, they can expect severe punishment. Hamas has created an Orwellian state.
Israel is a democratic country but is not perfect, nor are other democracies. Its coalition extremist right wing government is aggressive and anti-Palestinian, as evidence by Israeli settlers who are driving out Palestinian squatters who have lived there so long they should now be considered natives. In 1948, Palestine was ceded to Jews by the British as the legal state of Israel, which then offered a large area of land as a separate state for Palestinians who chose to leave. Their leader at the time, Yassir Arafat, turned that offer down, declaring that the state of Israel did not and should not exist. Some Arabs stayed and were actually accepted as full citizens even though they were not Jewish. Israel’s intent at that time was to live in peace with its neighbors. It did not enter the area with guns ablazing. It was only when attacked by all its neighbors that it defended itself, as any country would. And it was attacked immediately by several of its surrounding Arab countries. Israel, however, managed to stave off the multi-front attack. This happened again in 1967, and the Six-Day War, a defensive war for Israel, again ended with Israel the victor, this time capturing a large area of land on the West Bank of the Jordan River. In a defensive war, many scholars, and the UN, have judged that captured land can be kept by the defensive victor, in this case the West Bank of the Jordan River; ergo, Israel settlers may be legally justified in taking back this land from Palestinians who adopted it as their de facto country.
However, bulldozing Palestinian homes and muscling out entire families is not the answer, at least not according to the dictates of the Torah, the Golden Rule, and common decency. Any solution to this present crisis in Gaza must include what is happening in the West Bank. Something comprehensive. Something inclusive. Something just. Some compassionate that leads to a lasting peace. Otherwise, the same pattern of violence and revenge will follow. I suspect this is not possible to attain with the present extreme right wing Israeli government in power, led by Netanyahu with his religious coalition who could care less for the welfare of the Palestinian people. It is also not possible with the current Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and certainly not with an Hamas-controlled Gaza. Both have perpetuated the violence and intolerance against the existence of Israel.
But Israel is not about to pack up its bags and leave. Not on your life. To those demonstrating and professing the dictates of PPP, you are supporting stated Palestinian principles, and, in doing so, you are against the continuance of the legal and democratic state of Israel. You may not like to hear this but you are therefore anti-semites who are linked with the Jew haters of history which, even today, continue to rise like pus from an infected wound.
Yes, you can be against some of the policies of Israel and still support Israel as a nation, just as some, like myself. But, no, if you support the abolition of Israel, as do Hamas and the Palestinian citizens who tolerate them, then you leave Jews worldwide without a homeland to retreat to, and you are then anti-semitic. You can’t have it both ways.
Israel will not turn its other cheek, for its cheek is too bloodied and sensitive from the treatment of those Jew haters. Israel is at long last a return to its ancestral homeland for the Jewish people. I know even if Trump and his MAGA cult ever retake America (their current poster is a Hitler-sounding, “Peace through Strength”), or if Putin conquers Ukraine (and he continues to mimic the pogroms of his predecessors), I and my Jewish brothers and sisters can have a place to retreat to where we will be accepted and welcomed and honored.
As far as the present war in Gaza is concerned, calls for an unconditional cease fire are absurd. What country would stop fighting unconditionally when 240 of its citizens are being held as hostage by the enemy? None. So why should Israel stop fighting without Hamas returning the hostages unharmed to the border? It should not, without such an agreement and action. And those who are making such demands of Israel are–I know you won’t like this but what else can I believe–anti-semites.
In the name of our ancestors, never again will we give up that homeland. But, hopefully, with wise and compassionate governance, Israel can and will share it, and offer prosperity to those willing to embrace Israel with friendship and acceptance. That’s the sine qua non required from both sides for this long standing dispute to resolve, and peace to embed itself in the Middle East, along with an end to worldwide anti-semitism that continues to plague and haunt us.