Responsibility and Guilt
The IDF and its Chief of Staff have acknowledged responsibility for the tragic deaths of the three hostages who were killed by friendly fire. And that is appropriate, for it seems clear that mistakes were made and procedures not followed. Investigations will and should ensue.
But that responsibility is not blame. That responsibility is not fault. That responsibility is not guilt.
There is only one guilty party to blame here and only one party at fault and that is Hamas.
Hamas unlawfully kidnapped hostages and held them for ransom. Hamas denied access to the Red Cross. Hamas wages war in violation of every civilized code, with combatants indistinguishable from civilians, booby-trapped dolls, and recordings of crying babies to attract opposing soldiers into ambushes by appealing to their hearts and souls. The IDF must be constantly vigilant against suicide bombers and disguised civilians.
Every drop of blood that is spilled in Gaza, on either side, is on the hands of Hamas. Every single drop.
The mind reels and the heart breaks contemplating the agony of the victims, the intensified pain of the parents and families whose loved ones were so close to rescue, the guilt and despair of the sharpshooters who thought they were doing their jobs and protecting their comrades–but those should all pale against the righteous fury we should all feel against Hamas and its supporters.
Murderers, rapists, savages, criminals, brutes, barbarians, monsters.
Let us hear no more about the innocent victims of the IDF, which so courageously seeks to fight the most humane war against the most inhumane of enemies. Let us hear no more about Israeli war crimes, when the IDF so bravely and transparently acknowledged its mistake immediately, and seeks to follow humane guidelines under the most abhorrent conditions.
These three were the innocent victims, and their deaths may be laid at the door of Hamas, and nowhere else. May God avenge their murders upon the truly guilty.
There will be intensified pressure to obtain the release of the surviving hostages, and that is appropriate, because events such as these underscore the horror that has befallen them at the hands of the terrorists. Let no stone be unturned in efforts to free them. And no pressure on Hamas should be relaxed, because only continued pressure will yield any results at all.
Hamas must surrender unconditionally and release the hostages. Or they must be eliminated.
And the world should unite in revulsion at the behavior of Hamas and at its terrible consequences.