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Picking the winning team

For many years, I have participated in an NCAA basketball pool. Before filling out my bracket, I researched the expert picks, only to later learn that the experts were no better at picking the winners than I was. The tournament is, after all, aptly named March Madness.

Fortunately, for topics much more important than basketball, there are experts who are able to enlighten us.

In order to understand the military situation in Gaza, I read articles by John Spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point, and a soldier for 25 years, including two combat tours in Iraq.

Spencer said of Israel, “In my long career studying and advising on urban warfare for the U.S. military, I’ve never known an army to take such measures to attend to the enemy’s civilian population, especially while simultaneously combating the enemy in the very same buildings. Israel has implemented more precautions to prevent civilian harm than any military in history—above and beyond what international law requires and more than the U.S. did in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Spencer then went on to describe how strategically disadvantageous it is for an army to broadcast details of its impending attacks, and how Israel, in an attempt to reduce civilian casualties, did just that.

Israel dropped over 7 million flyers, made over 70,000 phone calls, sent over 13 million text messages, left over 15 million voice messages, and gave out its military maps, all in attempts to notify civilians, urging them to leave the area.

Spencer said, “The U.S. and its allies should be studying how they can apply the IDF’s tactics for protecting civilians.”

To gain insight on the veracity of Hamas’ reported casualty numbers, I read an analysis by renowned Wharton statistics professor, Abraham Wyner, who said that anyone who understands how naturally occurring numbers work would know that Hamas’ numbers are fake. Wyner said, “The graph of total deaths by date is increasing with almost metronomical linearity. Hamas assigned about 70% of the total to be women and children, splitting that amount randomly from day to day. Then they in-filled the number of men as set by the predetermined total. Hamas also blames all deaths on Israel even if caused by Hamas’ own misfired rockets, accidental explosions, deliberate killings or internal battles.”

Since Hamas brutally attacked Israel on Oct. 7, protestors have blamed Israel and bolstered Hamas. They might not know that in 2005, Israel, hoping for peace, removed all Israeli residents, dug up Jewish graves, withdrew all soldiers, and handed Gaza to the Palestinians. Unfortunately, Israel did not get peace in return. Instead, the Palestinians saw the withdrawal as a sign of weakness. Since then, Hamas has fired tens of thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, used incendiary balloons to burn Israeli land, and built 400 miles of tunnels to attack Israel.

Israel never wanted to fight this war Hamas foisted upon it. War, as they say, is hell, and no one should be cheering for it, but Israel must win. Appearing weak will only invite more violence from Israel’s neighbors, strengthen Iran and Russia, and lead to more terrorism worldwide.

Henry Kissinger once said, “The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.”

Everyone who expresses an opinion on this war must consider whether the victors should be a democratic country where women have equal rights, where LGBTQ can live without fear, where there is free speech and freedom of religion, or whether the victors should be a terrorist-led government where women are legally unequal, where LGBTQ are thrown off roofs, where certain speech can result in a death sentence, and where radical Islamism is imposed on all.

Picking the winners of a basketball tournament is hard. Picking the rightful winner of this war is easy. There is no shot clock running. Take the time to learn the facts. If you support Hamas’ terrorism and tyranny instead of Israel’s freedom and equality, you are picking the wrong team.

About the Author
Marjorie lives in Providence, RI. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Computer Science, and is a Senior Database Specialist in a large, international technology company. She is a frequent writer on antisemitism and Israel.
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