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Chris Hayes is right, but wrong

Chris Hayes’ monologue last night on MSNBC about the war in Gaza is the truth.
Hayes is right in most of what he says (with the exception of two matters – the use of civilians and civilian locations by Hamas and the matter of targeting journalists).

Chris Hayes is not an antisemite. Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. Criticism of 53 years of occupation is not anti-Semitism either. Calling for “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea” is indeed anti-Semitism.

Antisemitism is comparing Israel to Hamas. IDF soldiers do not rape, set fire to, dismember and murder Palestinians.

This is the difference between Israel and Hamas terrorists. But not all residents of Gaza are Hamas or terrorists.

It is true that Israeli leaders talk and promote the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, as if 2.2 million Gazans are terrorists. From the prime minister, the ministers, the president and even members of the opposition who call for mass killing.

It is true that the hand of the IDF soldiers is light on the trigger, which stems from the brainwashing campaign that Israeli society has undergone and the vision promoted by the fanatical right-wing for the last 14 years – shoot to kill and only then stop to ask questions. I wrote about it here. We saw it in the killing of the three abductees, Yotam Haim, Samer Talalka and Alon Shamriz, who did everything they could to live. It was not enough for them in front of soldier(s) brainwashed by Ben Gvir, Dov Lior, Zvi Tao and the Kahana doctrine.

One of the problems is that the Israeli public is not exposed to what is happening in Gaza in terms of the dimensions of destruction, 60% of the buildings in Gaza were damaged and thousands of are dead. This is a difficult problem in the ability to create the feeling among the Israeli public that the war has really reached an end point. When you don’t see the extent of the damage, the prevailing feeling among the public is that you can go on and on. But that is not the case. Even at the basic logistical level, Israel is running out of ammunition, just like Hamas.

We are only exposed to the operational success stories or to Israeli casualties.

But Chris Hayes is wrong about a very basic thing. Like most critics of Israel.

There is no real solution to the situation where terrorists who murder women and children sit hundreds of meters from our houses, want to rape, burn, dismember and murder you and your family, and have already proven that they want and are able to do so.

How can the residents of Nir Oz or Beeri or Kissufim whose relatives and neighbors were massacred and kidnapped on October 7 return to their kibbutz in such a situation? What guarantees that it won’t happen again in a year or two?

There is no real solution to dealing with terrorism. Certainly not in such a small area, certainly not in such a close proximity. There is no other nation that currently faces such a situation.

The solution to my understanding? Acknowledge that we took a horrible blow on October 7th (yes, sometimes we lose a battle, and should prepare for the big campaign), the unilateral cessation of fire, the release of the hostages through negotiations and the immediate pursuit of a political settlement, for Peace. A peace much like the one that ended decades of wars with Egypt and Jordan.

So it’s okay to voice and hear criticism of Israel, by foreign nations, publicists and even university students..

Our inability to listen to criticism is exactly the reason October 7 happened. “The conception” that we know best and there is nothing that can be said by anyone. This is exactly the repetition of this conception, the blindness that afflicted all systems before and on October 7 and 50 years earlier in 1973. It will happen again in the future if we don’t change direction.

About the Author
Attorney, former communications director for the Israeli government, lobbyist, strategy, former reporter for Galei Tzahal and Haaretz, former Shaliach to the US, CEO of The Israeli TV & Film Producers Association, Campaign manger for several parties and incumbents. Led several social causes, organizations, causes and unions. Life long volunteer and student.
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