Joel R. Schwartzman

2021’s War Against Hamas is Different

This war with Hamas differs from what was in 2014. Netanyahu’s attempts to stay in power may now have just been revived. Trust between Israeli Jews and Arabs has been damaged if not completely destroyed. One would hope that the rioting can be contained and the spill over isn’t going to be permanent. One would also hope that there would be a backlash among Israeli Jews to reject the extremist haters…those who have fomented their own riots amid expressions of senseless hatred or for whatever excuses they are likely to offer.

I don’t think that the Biden administration policies which seem to be a continuation of the Obama era mistakes have done more than to help open the door to what is transpiring now. Certainly, removing the Houthis from the list of terrorist organizations and courting a recalcitrant Iran while dissing our relations with the Saudis have all emboldened Israel’s enemies and thrown the Saudis and Iranians into each other’s arms.

Re-funding UNRWA and the PA in the light of Pay-for-Slay and in the face of the Taylor Force Act was a clear message of the Biden withdrawal of the unchallenged support for Israel that the Trump people displayed. (I am no Trump supporter, but Kushner and Greenblatt got a lot of things right, IMHO. There was welcomed Sunni movement toward Israel and a containment and quieting of Iran to some degree).  I’m not certain how much of the Abrahamic Accords will survive this.

As in the past, Israel may do Hamas a lot of damage, but the rending of Arab-Jewish relations within Israel will not be repaired anytime soon. And the cursed media will keep those fires burning because it makes for great press.

The Middle East has once again gotten very messy. One can call and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but a severe spanking of Hamas will most probably have to occur first. How long that will last and how many innocents will die in the process remains to be seen.

About the Author
After twenty-three years of military service, Rabbi Schwartzman retired at the rank of Colonel in September 1998. From July 1999 to July 2000, Rabbi Schwartzman was Associate Rabbi of Temple Sinai in Denver, Colorado. For a decade thereafter he served as the Rabbi of both Congregation B’nai Chaim in Morrison, Colorado, and the Synagogue of the Summit in Summit County, Colorado.
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