War is complicated.
But some things — even in war — are not. That Hamas is evil is one such exception. That Israel has no choice but to eradicate the murderous Palestinian Islamic terrorist group is another.
Unfortunately, our “nuanced” debates about the war in the West have caused us to lose sight of these two fundamental truths. For example, in a heated exchange with Piers Morgan, former UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn flatly refused 15 times in less than two minutes to answer whether he thinks Hamas is a terrorist group. Protesters on college campuses, who tellingly did not care much about Palestinian rights until the day after Hamas launched a brutal string of senseless terrorist attacks, murdering 1,400 Israelis and taking 229 more hostage, have taken a sudden, inexplicable interest in the supposedly convoluted history of Israeli-Palestinian relations — as if regurgitating a complex history somehow lessens the horrors of a terrorist group whose explicit orders on October 7th were to “kill as many people as possible.”
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All this is to distract from the two fundamental truths that Hamas is evil and that Israel must defend itself. We cannot have a conversation if we cannot agree on these basic moral judgments.
And yet that is exactly what the opposition to Israel in the West demands — a conversation. Amazingly, the onus is on Israel to negotiate a ceasefire even though they did not start this war; even though Hamas is openly and brazenly threatening to repeat their October 7th attacks a “second, a third, a fourth” time until Israel is annihilated; and even though, as Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro predicted, “If Israel put down its guns tomorrow, there would be a second holocaust; If the Palestinians put down their guns tomorrow, there would be a Palestinian state."
Hamas Official Ghazi Hamad: We Will Repeat the October 7 Attack Time and Again Until Israel Is Annihilated; We Are Victims - Everything We Do Is Justified #Hamas #Gaza #Palestinians pic.twitter.com/kXu3U0BtAP— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) November 1, 2023
Civilian casualties in war are always horrific. They are also largely the fault of those who instigated the war. Therefore, we must remember that civilian casualties in Gaza, as tragic as each one may be, would not have happened if Hamas had not started this war and if Hamas did not hide behind hospitals, schools, and other public buildings. Israel’s efforts to defend itself against cold-blooded killers, who, in their founding charter, dismiss any “solution for the Palestinian question except… Jihad” will inevitably result in accidental nonmilitary deaths. However, that is very different from invading a country during a pre-existing ceasefire with the directive to “achieve the highest level of human losses.” As the Wall Street Journal noted, for Hamas, “massacre wasn’t a byproduct of the attack but a central objective.”
You simply cannot negotiate with that kind of evil. Anyone who wishes to protect civilian lives — as we all should — should direct their fury solely at Hamas, not Israel.
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Fortunately, many have done exactly that, resulting in a bipartisan coming together in support of Zionism. Tuesday, for example, an estimated 290,000 Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., to march for Israel. The crowd was addressed by Republican and Democrat leadership alike, with both parties committing support to Israel and Jewish Americans. Additionally, despite tremendous pressure from the far-left wing of his party, President Joe Biden has (thus far) resisted calls to pursue a ceasefire.
War can be complicated, but this is not — Israel must win this war. And for the good of everyone in the region, including Palestinian civilians, Hamas, like ISIS before it, must be destroyed.