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Naomi Ragen, an Israeli writer, has been posting online a “Gaza War Diary.” A recent installment describes the hardening of Israeli attitudes toward Gazan “civilians,” beginning with those who joined Hamas operatives, and took part enthusiastically in the rapes, tortures, mutilations, and beheadings of Israeli men, women, and children on October 7. These “civilians” who entered Israel in the wake of Hamas also managed to kidnap some Israelis, whom they are presumed to be holding inside Gaza, where those kidnapped are likely being used as sex slaves, or simply as slaves, by these “civilians.” Freed hostages have testified as to how they were spat on and beaten by these “ordinary Gazans” when they were first paraded around Gaza by their Hamas captors. And the “civilians” in Gaza have, according to opinion polls, overwhelmingly approved of the atrocities committed on October 7. Thus, like Naomi Ragen, most Israelis, including those once in the “peace camp,” have come to realize that many of those so-called “innocent civilians” in Gaza not only supported, and still support, the atrocities committed by Hamas operatives, but also that some participated in those atrocities themselves. More from Naomi Ragen on the changes in Israeli public opinion can be found here:
An article written by Dr. Michael Milstein and published today on Ynet English gives an in-depth analysis of how Israeli sympathy for the “poor Gazans” has taken an irreversible 180 degree turn. While before October 7, many Israelis and their political leaders believed that “the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are different from Hamas, which controls them through fear and oppression, and share a universal human longing for a good life…” leading to the “assumption that by improving their situation it would be possible to ensure security, stability and even bend the ideological fervor of Hamas.”
These beliefs were shattered on October 7. “Not only did the Gazan public not protest against Hamas following the attack, but thousands took an active part – publicly and without fear – in the massacres, kidnappings, rapes and lootings, including the theft of bodies as a sort of ‘appreciating asset,’ and of course participated in the victory celebrations that included abuse of the kidnapped and the bodies.”
Released hostages have added to this picture with their experiences at being tortured by women and children while held prisoner. Moreover, the discoveries made by IDF soldiers of the widespread weaponry, tunnel entrances, and hate material found in the average Gazan home, have been a factor in enlightening even the most resistant to reality.
Recently, the head of a soldier decapitated on October 7 was found by the IDF in a refrigerator in Gaza. According to the testimony of a Hamas prisoner, the head had been offered by Gazans for sale for $10,000. The IDF returned it to Israel for burial.
Think about that head of a decapitated soldier put up for sale by Hamas for $10,000. There are no limits to the barbarism of Hamas — or was that head being kept for sale by an “ordinary civilian”?
The Israel Democracy Institute found in a survey conducted last month, that 40% of Israelis believed that the harm to the population in Gaza should have a limited bearing on Israel’s decisions and a similar percentage say it should have no bearing at all. Palestinian surveys conducted at the same time found that 72% to 75% of the Palestinians support the October 7 massacre, and about 70% support the armed struggle as the main means of confronting Israel.”
Let there be no mistake: this is a war between Israel and the Gazans. All of them. It is a war between Israel and the Palestinians, excluding Israeli Arabs. We shouldn’t be feeding them, employing them, minimizing harm to them, or providing them with electricity or shelter. Just as the average Berliner was a Nazi, the average Gazan and West Bank Palestinian, is Hamas-ISIS. They want us dead.
Dr. Milstein believes that we should nevertheless not dehumanize the Gazans: “This would undermine the moral foundations of Israel and its image in the eyes of the world.”
What we have to do then, is dispose of our illusions that anything we do can affect change in their morality, prejudice, savagery, and genocidal dreams. What we need to do is create a buffer zone between us and never, ever allow them to pass over it….
Dr. Milstein has concluded that there is nothing Israel can do — except to commit politicide, and disappear altogether — to in any way diminish the “prejudice, savagery, and genocidal dreams” of the Palestinian Arabs, and especially of those in Gaza. He calls, as have others, for the creation of a buffer zone inside Gaza, all along its border with Israel. That area would become uninhabited, save for the IDF forces that will be deployed in that buffer zone to make sure there is no repetition of October 7.
Naomi Ragen’s uncompromising attitude of mistrust and anger directed not just toward Hamas, but toward those in Gaza whom too many still believe to be “innocent civilians,” shines through her coruscating commentary.
More of Ragen’s “Gaza War Diary” can be found here.