Arnold Flick

Hamas in Gaza the priority

From Hutz l’Aretz…Israel seems to have lost its momentum against Hamas in Rafah.

Clearly, Israel knows the outcome should Hamas be permitted to continue there or anywhere in Gaza. Netanyahu was clear on this in October 2023 as was Biden who echoed him a few days later; should Hamas continue it would rebuild, rearm, and repeat the October 7 atrocity several times over. Under this threat many Israelis would flee to other countries; they would not subject their children to this risk nor to the tension and daily concern of random rockets while awaiting the attack. This flight in turn would reduce the Jewish population to the point where the glorious achievement which is modern Israel would disappear; “existential” says Netanyahu.

So what happened? Islam and its left-wing allies across the globe mobilized against Israel and no where was this more powerful than in the USA. In the State of Michigan, 200,000 voters cast a “no choice” vote rather than vote for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Crowds of Muslims and their politically “progressive” supporters blocked bridges and highways. Many Jews openly supported this; did you watch the Academy Awards TV show last month? It is worth noting that many of my anti-Israel Jewish acquaintances are the grandchildren of communists or bundists from the 1930’s, and of parents active in the anti-VietNam war riots of the late 1960s.

They include rabbis and their flocks from many of the strange USA strains of “progressive” Jewry. They include Jews who are very removed from any contact with USA organized Jewry. And of course these anti-Israel Jews also include the ultra-left, who will desert their relative to join a crowd screaming about climate or diversity. This current anti-Israel movement has swept universities and threatened openly Jewish students.

The deep penetration of this hostility to Israel was revealed in the Congressional Hearings of last year where Congresswoman Elise Stefanik challenged the passivity to violence against Jews by the Deans of Harvard, Pennsylvania and MIT. All this anti-Israel fervor was noted by the Democratic party and its candidate Joe Biden. They saw a losing election looming in November. In their attempt to reverse this trend and regain the support of the mobs, they pressed Israel to ease on Hamas, and Israel, reliant on US for arms, complied.

Now the Iran attack has given Israel some freedom to act against Hamas. Suddenly, many countries are with Israel against Hamas. Some of the hate-Israel crowd in the USA are overplaying their act by burning USA flags and by blocking highways; this disrupts the lives of the non-committed and costs the hate crowd political support.

Israel however seems unaware of the opportunity of this moment. It is dithering about a response to Iran and what to do about Hezbollah. I think Israel should worry about Hezbollah later and forget an Iranian reply; these can wait, but Hamas cannot. Israel needs to deal with its greatest threat first.

About the Author
Arnold L. Flick was born 1930 of secular, Zionist, Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He has followed events in Israel since age seven when he first solicited for the “Jews of Palestine” on the streets of Los Angeles as a young member of Habonim. He was in Israel for four months 1990-91 and for two months 2002. He is active in the House of Israel Balboa park, a non-profit museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, that provides information about Israel to its 15,000 annual visitors.
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