Let’s break it down.
Imagine ISIS takes over the country next to yours. Suddenly, because you’re a “non-believer”, your cities, schools, homes and kindergartens are targeted with mass missile attacks. At 3am, air raid sirens go off and you sprint to grab your baby and make it to a bomb shelter in time. They want to kill you, your wife and your baby because…because why?
It’s absurd, it’s disgusting, it’s beyond belief. Welcome to Israel, 2021.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, is eerily similar to ISIS: Sunni Islamic fundamentalists, they glorify violence (the more savage/brutal the better), are an officially designated international terror group, embrace suicide bombing, persecute LGBTQ+ and other minorities, are completely sexist and – most importantly for this subject – are sworn to Israel’s destruction as part of their founding charter, their DNA, their raison d’etre. There goes any “dialogue.”
What a lovely bunch. And to think they’ve garnered support from celebrities, influencers and misinformed college kids. Again, absurd.
If you’re moral, courageous and seek the truth, then you support Israel’s efforts to defend itself, to live in peace, to be a normal country in a pretty crazy part of the world.
It’s a no-brainer. Genocidal Islamic militants versus advanced Western society. It’s as simple as that. And yet, the water has been muddied by media biases, and an “acceptable” narrative.
Hamas: a lovely bunch
There’s also the army of online pro-Hamas foot soldiers and fans. If you were to post something pro-Israel, or even “balanced”, you’d be attacked by a horde of keyboard warriors, threatening you directly. Such is the world we live in. As they say, it’s the empty vessels that make the most noise.
Hamas has chosen to invest millions of dollars in weaponry, attack tunnels into Israel (note: attack tunnels) offensive missile development and production and incitement to violence. It has chosen war, death and destruction over investing in Gazans and their future. It has condemned Gazans to war, children to death, and civilians to destruction through their actions. And all for what?
Hamas have invested millions of dollars in offensive tunnel infrastructure
What do Hamas want?
In any war or conflict, you have to ask, “What do they want?” What does Hamas want? It’s simple. They’ll tell you. Destroy Israel and kill as many Zionists (read Jews) as possible.
Remember, this isn’t up for debate. They say it themselves, proudly.
It’s not about “occupation”, it’s not about “Jerusalem”…it’s about wholesale destruction, us-or-them, a zero-sum game.
What should Israel do?
Ok, so again let’s imagine ISIS is now your neighbor. Suddenly, they open up with a barrage of missiles on your cities and homes. What do you do?
Here are your options:
- Just accept and absorb constant missile attacks, air raid sirens, casualties, traumatized kids and terror infiltrations as a way of life
- Fight back to protect your citizens
I know what I’d choose. And you?
Remember, “dialogue” is not an option. “Peace” is not an option. They are literally sworn to your destruction as the fundamental principle of their existence.
Ok, I follow you…
Now, some might say “Yes but.” Yes but…you should avoid civilian casualties. Yes but…you should be more proportionate…
Hamas clearly and purposefully launch attacks at civilians from densely populated areas – a war crime
It sounds great. But it’s easier said than done. Hamas, as has been well documented, embeds itself within civilian population centers when launching attacks. In order to fight back (see “Option 2” above), Israel has to attack these militants.
It uses precision munitions, it gives warnings before attacks (absurd again), it calls off attacks if civilians are noted in the area. All of this it does as best it can – I know, I’m familiar with the IDF and its ethos. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best it can do without going to “Option 1: Do Nothing” above.
From my conversations with Israelis, Palestinian civilian casualties are seen as a tragedy. But when you’re trying to shield your baby with your body in your stairwell as the sirens and booms echo overhead, you know Israel needs to fight back, as best it can.
Some hypocrisy I’ve heard recently is staggering.
There’s a tendency to equate the two sides, or to try and be balanced. NO. This is clear cut: genocidal Islamists against a democratic, vibrant and free country.
Some may say Israel’s response is “disproportionate”. Following this line, how’s about this: for every missile Hamas aims at Israeli population centers, Israel should aim a non-precision, unguided missile at Gazan population centers. Absurd.
The US, in its war on ISIS, killed thousands of civilians. It’s tragic, it’s heart-breaking, it’s not fair. But like Hamas, ISIS were masters at using civilians as human shields, and like Israel the US realized that in order to root out the evil regime taking advantage of its own citizens, one has to fight back despite unfortunate casualties.
You don’t fight wars to be proportionate. You fight wars to protect your population.
“Cycle of violence-ism”
There was no cycle here. Hamas opened up with a sudden, premeditated barrage of rockets that has more to do with internal Palestinian politics than Israel. Their excuse? “Protecting Jerusalem” and evictions in a Jerusalem neighborhood that had been going through the (very liberal) courts for decades. Regarding Jerusalem, just a reminder: The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, and the third-holiest in Islam after Mecca and Medina. The Temple Mount is open to Muslims, and was throughout Ramadan. It is closed to Jews by order of the Israeli government. That’s right. Jews are not allowed there, only Muslims are.
“Investing in defense makes you guilty-ism”
John Oliver said, “Israel has a so-called Iron Dome…there is a massive imbalance when it comes to the two sides’ weaponry and capabilities. While most of the rockets aimed toward Israeli citizens this week were intercepted, Israel’s airstrikes were not.” He went on to attack Israel and defend Hamas.
So following Oliver’s reasoning, Israel is wrong because it has invested, over the years, in protecting her citizens. Israel is wrong because it can defend itself. Israel is wrong because a free and open society will always triumph over a closed autocratic one. ABSURD!
Another argument is that Israelis have bomb shelters and Gazans don’t. Well, if Hamas had invested in bomb shelters instead of pouring millions of dollars into massive concrete attack tunnels into Israel, they’d be able to protect their citizens. Or (gasp) even build schools, hospitals, power plants, infrastructure, and a peaceful future. But no one expects this of them. Of course.
Gaza has 2 land borders. One with Egypt, and one with Israel. Israel has kept theirs closed, allowing imports but inspecting them for terror-related items. If Israel had not done this, we’d currently be dealing with much more sophisticated weaponry. This legitimate “blockade” has saved thousands of lives.
Put another way, if Israel didn’t check what comes into Gaza, my family and I would be targeted with precision missiles.
I always find it sad that it’s fashionable and acceptable to be anti-Israel, no matter the conflict or reasons behind it.
The fact that this makes you pro-Hamas is lost on most people. Once again, I ask you to remember:
Hamas, which rules Gaza, is eerily similar to ISIS: Sunni Islamic fundamentalists, they glorify violence (the more savage/brutal the better), are an officially designated international terror group, embrace suicide bombing, persecute LGBTQ+ and other minorities, are completely sexist and – most importantly for this subject – are sworn to Israel’s destruction as part of their founding charter, their DNA, their raison d’etre.
If you’re moral, courageous and seek the truth, then you support Israel’s efforts to defend itself, to live in peace, to be a normal country in a pretty crazy part of the world. We need you. We need you to stand up for truth, for justice, for freedom.
It’s not easy to swim against the tide – but that’s what outstanding people, people with right on their side, have always done.
Written better than I ever could: https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-bad-optics-of-fighting-for-your “The Bad Optics of Fighting for Your Life”
Hamas charter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas_Covenant
Hamas majority: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_Legislative_Council