[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
With the support of the Iranian regime, its terrorist proxy Hamas unleashed horrific attacks on a massive scale against Israeli civilians by land, sea, and air on October 7th. The terrorists launched their savage rampage on the Jewish Sabbath and holiday of Simchat Torah, committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against defenseless Israeli civilians in what is being called Israel’s 9/11.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “We are at war, not an operation, not rounds, but at war.” He vowed that Hamas will pay an “unprecedented price,” adding, “We will defeat them to death and take revenge for this black day.”
The war could be on the cusp of widening, with Iran’s Lebanese-based terrorist proxy Hezbollah firing missiles into the northern part of Israel. A two-front war would put all of Israel’s population in mortal danger.
Israel has not faced a war of this magnitude since the Yom Kippur War that Egypt and Syria launched against Israel on October 6, 1973.
Israel’s counteroffensive has already begun. Hopefully, this time the Israeli military will finally do whatever it takes to destroy Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad once and for all and that Israel will reject any calls for a ceasefire in the interim.
Hamas fired several thousand rockets into Israel from Gaza in one day. The huge barrage overwhelmed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, which could not prevent some of the rockets from reaching their targets with devastating results. The terrorists also broke through border fences between the Gaza Strip and Israel to carry out their barbaric ground attacks.
The terrorists so far have murdered at least 700 Israelis and wounded many more. Several Americans were also reportedly killed. The terrorists have taken at least 100 hostages, including dozens of American citizens, and transported them to Gaza. In scenes reminiscent of Nazi Germany, the terrorists shot civilians at point blank range and abducted Israeli women, children and the elderly from their homes and Israeli streets. Some of the hostages have been reportedly taken into the tunnels beneath Gaza where the Palestinian terrorists store their weaponry, effectively turning the hostages into human shields. No doubt, the hostages who remain alive will serve as bargaining chips for the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails.
The sub-human terrorists also paraded Israelis’ mutilated bodies in Gaza to cheering crowds of Palestinians.
”The child’s silent cries for the missing parents, the silence of soldiers under siege, and the gunfire breaking out in front of kindergartens and supermarkets in Sderot, echo the unspeakable horrors of a conflict that knows no boundaries, a vivid testament to the wanton brutality and ruthlessness of Hamas’s aggression and unprecedented invasion against Israel,” wrote Gregg Roman, Director of the Middle East Forum, in a blog published by the Times of Israel. “The current situation is not just an act of terrorism: it is an invasion, an orchestrated massacre gleaming with the sinister glare of genocidal intent.”
The United Nations Security Council was called into emergency session on Sunday, the day after Hamas’s invasion. Prior to the closed meeting, the Palestinian Authority’s representative to the UN placed all the blame on Israel for the war that the Palestinian Authority’s archrival Hamas initiated. He recited the usual litany of charges against Israel, including that it is “racist” and “colonialist,” that it prefers war and occupation to peace, and that it denies the Palestinians their humanity.
We have seen this movie too many times before. Indeed, UN senior officials are already engaging in their usual exercise of moral equivalence. Once again, they refuse to acknowledge Israel’s moral and legal right of self defense against the Palestinian terrorists’ systematic invasion and ruthless killings and kidnappings of innocent Israeli civilians.
The spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a statement urging “maximum restraint.”
“I appeal to all sides to stop the fighting immediately and protect civilians everywhere and at all times,” said Martin Griffiths, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Calls to exercise “maximum restraint” and to “stop the fighting immediately” after Hamas’s massacre and abduction of hundreds of Jews insult the victims and their grieving families and friends. Hamas started this brutal war. Israel must finish it, using all military means to destroy the Palestinian terrorists’ military and intelligence infrastructure, their weapons production capacity and supply lines for weapons parts, and their leaders’ known hideouts (hopefully with the leaders inside). Whatever collateral damage the Palestinian civilian population may suffer as a result is on the Palestinian terrorists’ hands, not Israel’s.
Palestinian terrorists and their enablers will no doubt trot out in the coming days their usual accusations, using doctored photos, that Israel’s forceful military response to the war that Hamas started is inflicting collective punishment on “innocent” Palestinians. Anti-Israel human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Arab and other Muslim leaders, and UN bureaucrats will amplify this propaganda as they have done so many times before.
The truth is that Hamas, the de facto governing authority in Gaza, is collectively punishing the Palestinian civilians living in Gaza under its rule, not Israel. Hamas has diverted valuable resources from helping to improve Gaza residents’ day-to-day lives to fulfilling the terrorists’ number one priority instead – trying to destroy the Jewish state in a genocidal war. And Hamas has used Palestinian civilians as human shields in this war.
Hamas could not have conducted this kind of complex, multi-dimensional invasion of Israel on its own. It depends on the Iranian regime, the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, for military, financial, logistics, training, and planning support. There is a report that the Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps coordinated planning for the invasion of Israel with Hamas for weeks before Hamas moved forward with Iran’s blessing.
A statement posted on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s account on social platform X (formerly Twitter) extolled the terrorist attacks on Israel conducted by Hamas: “God willing, the cancer of the usurper Zionist regime will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region. #AlAqsaStorm”
“In this operation, the element of surprise and other combined methods were used, which show the Palestinian people’s confidence in the face of the occupiers,” said Iran’s ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani as quoted by ISNA, Iran’s semi-official news agency.
The Iranian regime has a common interest with the Palestinian terrorists it supports to scuttle the prospects for an historic normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Hamas’s invasion and Israel’s strong military response have brought the Palestinian issue to the fore, playing into Iran’s hands. The Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, are suddenly put on the spot. They are forced to choose between making peace with Israel first before the Palestinians’ demands are fully met or standing with the Palestinians in their fight against the so-called Israeli “occupation.” This strategy appears to be working.
Saudi Arabia is blaming Israel for provoking Hamas to attack. “The kingdom calls for an immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides, the protection of civilians, and restraint,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on the day of Hamas’s bloody invasion. “The Kingdom recalls its repeated warnings of the dangers of the explosion of the situations as a result of the continued occupations, the deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repeating of systematic provocation against its sanctities.”
President Biden expressed strong support for Israel. He said that his “administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.” He warned that “This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.”
A good sign is that the Pentagon is sending military assets to the Eastern Mediterranean region in a show of support for Israel. However, the Biden administration had made it easier for the Iranian regime to finance Hamas’s terrorist activities in the first place. The Biden administration freed up $6 billion in frozen funds as part of a prisoner exchange deal, a windfall that Iran can spend without any real accountability. Moreover, the Biden administration has allowed Iran to sell much more oil than it would have been able to do if the sanctions had been strongly enforced. The Biden administration’s lax enforcement has resulted in an extra bonanza of nearly $30 billion dollars in revenue.
President Biden still has a chance to at least partially reverse the perception that he is a weak leader and appeaser. He must remain steadfast in supporting Israel’s right to defend itself for however long it takes and must authorize special operations missions to free the American citizens held captive by the Hamas terrorists.