As I read the shocking details of this latest Hamas attack upon Israel from Gaza, my initial thoughts were: “What can I add in writing to what is already being said?” I am outraged by the details of this surprise attack, the savage attacks against Israeli civilians, people being kidnapped by Hamas terrorists or killed in their homes. President Biden has rightfully condemned the attack. My fervent hope is that unlike previous attacks, this will not be settled by a negotiated cease fire that will only last until Hamas decides to attack again. Hamas must be destroyed and its leaders killed.
That said, the question remains what I can add to the discussion. Here it is: I cannot help but recollect the years I was teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine Extension (1998-2016) and watching all the obscene pro-Palestinian events and speeches railing against Israel and often against Jews as well. I recall countless speakers who came to our campus with their hateful rhetoric. People like Amir Abdel Malik Ali, George Galloway, Ben White, Mohamed al-Asi, Abdul Alim Musa, Hussam Ayloush, Zahra Billoo, Omar Barghouti, Miko Peled, Cynthia McKinney, Matan Cohen, Norman Finkelstein, and so many others I cannot recall. Many of these faces were radical Islamists, many were outright Jew haters. Many were crackpots. And regrettably more than a handful were misguided, misfit Jews, some even with Israeli citizenship. Many represented or were invited to speak by groups like the Muslim Student Union, the oddly-named Jewish Voice for Peace, or Students for Justice in Palestine. Two of the above (Ayloush and Billoo) were-and still are- the CEOs of CAIR in Southern California and Northern California respectively. I have heard all of them speak in person at UC Irvine and other locations. In some cases, they were invited to speak by actual academic departments or leftist anti-Israel professors.
I have personally witnessed the bullying and intimidation against Jewish students by young thugs inspired by the likes of the above speakers. I can bear witness to the wave of anti-Semitism that the pro-Palestinian movement has brought to our campuses, an anti-Semitism that has now metastasized into the community at large. It has been fueled not only by student groups on campus, but certain professors and entire Middle East Studies departments, largely financed by countries like Saudi Arabia.
I wonder what all of these people are thinking today. I assume they are all cheering for Hamas and trying to formulate pro-Palestinian talking points in an effort to justify this unprovoked attack and the murder of who knows how many civilians in their own homes by the savages that Hamas has turned loose. Maybe they are simply hiding under their rocks in embarrassed silence.
As I said above, I am hoping for a total Israeli victory over Hamas. I am not calling for Israel to lay waste to Gaza and massacre innocent civilians. That is what terrorists do. That is what Israel’s enemies do. I have no problem with attacks against Hamas’ headquarters buildings and the targeting of its leaders. One way or another Gaza must be disarmed so that it will not continue to pose a threat to innocent Israeli life in the future.
May G-d be with Israel and the Jewish people.