Daniel Dolgicer

Opium for the Woke

I’m currently in Israel, and woke up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday to an air raid siren. I thought, for a fleeting moment, that it may be a test, or an error. But the wallowing sirens were activated again, and again, through the morning. Terrorists from Gaza initiated a multifront surprise attack against Israel by land, air, and sea. Thousands of rockets rained upon Israeli cities. Hamas terrorists entered Israel, on pick-up trucks and hang gliders, and rampaged through Sderot and other Israeli villages near the Gaza border, raping and murdering civilians in cold blood — elderly, men, women, babies, passersby. The perpetrators passed around candy, paraded around with dead bodies, and of course, shouted “God is great.” The images are that of a massacre, a pogrom, without regard to decency or life — or to any modicum of God, for that matter.

And this is why Israel builds walls. Because when there is a breach, innocent civilians pay with their lives.

And this is why Israel needs a strong army. Because without the means to defend itself, Israel — and the Jewish people — would cease to exist.

It’s somewhat amusing that so many Americans urge Israel to practice restraint in the face of a savage onslaught. This begs the question: What is a proper response to those who seek to kill you, your family, your people? The United States invaded two countries after it was hit with a terrorist attack in 2001. Those who are victimized by the bloodthirstiness of terror can’t afford restraint, or to pursue illusory diplomacy with those who will stop at nothing to kill. What would a negotiation look like? The time and place of your decapitation? Vitriol against Israel, and against Jews, has taken on a life of its own in much of the Arab world. And this makes diplomacy — peace between peoples–impossible.

Those who slaughter innocent civilians, who celebrate murder, who find delight in the death of others — they cannot be partners in negotiation. They are animals. And they must be treated like animals.

And I’ll reiterate that, in some contexts, a wall is what the moment demands — to separate, essentially, the animal from the zookeeper. George Kennan was onto something — containment may be the most practical policy.

Let us discard of cultural relativism — the naive belief that cultures and societies are inherently good, if only they’re understood from their own unique worldview. This is, bluntly put, nonsense — opium for the woke, red meat for the left. Some societies are better than others. Some societies grasp, if even imperfectly, to standards of decency that should undergird civilization — while other societies stomp on those standards, as Palestinian terrorists stomped on the dead bodies of innocent civilians that they kidnapped, raped, and murdered. Those who gleefully bathe in the blood of innocents, who invoke the greatness of God while publicly desecrating the young women they’ve raped and murdered — they lay bare an uncomfortable truth: That there is a taste for violence that underpins Palestinian society — a rabid hatred, an exorbitant indecency, powered by medievalist interpretations of Islam, that contravenes all that Westerners hold dear. It is not possible to make peace with the Palestinians, led by Hamas, any more than it is to make peace with al-Qaeda. This is difficult for most people in the Western world to understand.

What must be understood, as well, is that Hamas’ motivation is not the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish one. This isn’t about 1967 borders, or occupied territories. After all, attempts to destroy Israel began the day after its establishment, far predating Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hamas seeks the destruction of the Jewish State and the death of Jews.

It is a pathetic spectacle that hordes of activists shout “Free Gaza!” in the name of those who execute the elderly at bus stops, kidnap and cage small children, and joyously drown in the blood of their victims. How could onlookers have so lost their minds, that they can look at the mutilated bodies of dead young women, and somehow grasp for moral justification? These are people who celebrate death, who seek death, who see honor in death, who kidnap an 85-year old grandmother, murder her, steal her phone, and post a photo of her corpse on her Facebook page. 

These are people in the grip of a religious delusion from which there is seldom an escape other than dying in its name — and those who support them in the West are useful idiots, manipulated by groupthink and outrage, led like sheep to spray verbal ammunition while ignorant of facts, unwittingly entering into a buffoonish marriage between American leftist and political Islam. 

And here, those who chant about freeing Gaza are the buffoons — romanced on TikTok into alignment with a bloodthirsty ideology.

The popular slogan, invoked blindly by so many, “from the river to the sea,” invokes a genocide of the Jewish people living in Israel. This — the 700 people killed on October 7, 2023 — is what it looks like, and this is why Israel needs the means to defend itself. History won’t give the Jewish people a second chance.

This is, too, a massive failure on the part of the Israeli government. How — how?! — were Hamas terrorists able to cross from Gaza to Israel as though they are traveling from Germany to Switzerland? 

Israeli intelligence is often able to learn about terrorist plots before they are executed. That the militants were able to stage such a large-scale, coordinated attack, and enter Israel, all apparently without triggering Israeli intelligence concerns, will surely become an issue for the current government. Once order is restored, those in power will need to answer questions and bear responsibility — and Netanyahu won’t look good.

Israel was seen as the gold standard in terms of intelligence, surveillance, and border security. This is a massive intelligence failure. As the saying goes, complacency kills.

Israel has, of late, been distracted by internal affairs — its leaders mired in a debate about reforming the judiciary — and the terrorists likely saw an opportunity to attack while the Israeli government was distracted, and the Israeli people divided.

It’s not unlike The Yom Kippur War of 1973, which began with a surprise attack on October 6th — much like today, on a Jewish holiday, when much of Israel was asleep, and unprepared. It’s likely not a coincidence that the attack today occurred almost 50 years to the minute that Arab armies launched a surprise attack on the Jewish calendar’s holiest day. Israel overcame that attempt to destroy it — but just barely, and paid a heavy price. Sometimes victory isn’t triumphant; it’s merely survival.

If Hamas cared about the welfare of people in Gaza, it wouldn’t leave Israel with no choice but to launch a forceful counterattack. Israel’s only option is to bring massive destruction onto Hamas, even in the schools and the hospitals in which its operatives take cover. It lays bare that Hamas concerns itself with killing Jews — as is outlined in its 1987 founding charter — not with the lives of its own people.

David Ben-Gurion said to Ariel Sharon that there must be a heavy price for Jewish blood–otherwise, we will not be able to survive. The days in which Jews are passive in the face of genocidal enemies–those days are over.

If you say nothing when half of Israel comes under massive rocket bombardment and ground invasion from Gaza, but only speak up when we inevitably defend ourselves, better not to say anything at all.

I’m not necessarily a believer in God, but providence is with us–not with those who desecrate and destroy.

I expect the world to take real notice — only when Israel responds. For shame…

About the Author
Daniel Dolgicer is a native of New York City, and an alumnus of Cardozo School of Law and Reichman University. He's had a lifelong connection with Israel and Zionism and commentates mainly on American and Israeli politics. He lives between New York and Tel Aviv. He once won $100 for knowing the capital of New Zealand.
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