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OpinionIsrael at War

Israel’s war against terror goes beyond the Middle East

Numerous Israelis have now given their lives for a cause that directly aligns with American interests.

The “USS Carney” guided missile destroyer shot down 14 Houthi drones fired at vessels in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Dec. 16, 2023. Photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Charles A. Ordoqui/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons.
The “USS Carney” guided missile destroyer shot down 14 Houthi drones fired at vessels in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Dec. 16, 2023. Photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Charles A. Ordoqui/U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons.
Rabbi Avi Weiss. Credit: Courtesy.
Rabbi Avi Weiss
Rabbi Avi Weiss is the founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, the Bayit, and founder and co-founder, respectively, of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat rabbinical schools.He is a longtime activist for Israel, Jewish causes and human rights.
Eitan Fischberger
Eitan Fischberger is a Middle East analyst based in Israel. His work has been published in National Review, NBC News, New York Daily News, Tablet Magazine and other news outlets. Tweet him @EFischberger.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, successive Israeli governments have made clear that American soldiers should never be placed in harm’s way to defend the Jewish state. Born in the aftermath of the Holocaust, when Jews were powerless to defend themselves, Israel declared “Never Again.” It would, on its own, secure its citizenry.

But in an ironic twist, the reverse is happening today. In the wake of the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, when the terror group slaughtered 1,200 people, including more than 30 Americans, and took 240 people hostage, including 11 Americans, Israeli soldiers have been risking their lives. Yet these brave women and men not only fight for the Jewish homeland but for Jews worldwide, and, more broadly and strikingly, for the entire free world—first and foremost, for America.

On Oct. 7, Hamas savagely killed any Jew they could find, beginning with every single Israeli Jew. After the attack, Hamas official Ghazi Hamad stated that the massacre “is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.” Israel, like any other country, cannot tolerate an inimical terrorist organization on its doorstep that is ready at any opportunity to murder its citizens en masse.

However, their bloodlust would not stop at the edge of Israel’s borders. Once finished with the Jewish state, they would set their sights on attacking Jews throughout the world. They openly acknowledge their genocidal intent in their founding charter, which states that their “struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious” and that “the Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees … ”

For good reason, the Hamas pogrom is seen by the larger Jewish community as a personal attack against every Jew.

America, too, is in danger. If Hamas is successful against Israel, its next step is to attack American interests throughout the Middle East and at home. As senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad said in December: “We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic caliphate … we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era.”

We have seen threats like these against Americans at home and abroad manifest in deadly attacks, whether it was Hezbollah’s 1983 assault against the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, resulting in the deaths of 241 military personnel, or the terrorist attacks on the American homeland on Sept. 11, 2001. Much like Osama bin Laden—the terrorist of terrorists—the cruel leaders of Hamas will have no compunctions to launch similarly deadly attacks.

Hamas is part of an international terror network comprising multiple terrorist groups, which also includes Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen, whose attacks against American troops and international shipping corridors in the Middle East have intensified dramatically since Oct. 7. Since Oct. 17, U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria have been attacked at least 74 times by these terror groups and their allies.

The leader of this murderous coalition—subtly orchestrating the attacks from the shadows like a puppet master controlling its subjects—is the virulently anti-American Iranian regime, which not only threatens Israel but the democratic free world. Thus, a victory for Israel over one of Iran’s key proxies is a victory for America as well.

During the Cold War, Israel made a vital contribution to U.S. security when it transferred military weapons and armaments it captured from the Soviet-equipped Egyptian and Syrian armies to the United States. Today, Israel’s contribution to American freedom has reached an even higher level. In Israel’s quest for victory, it is suffering the inevitable loss of some of its finest men and women who have fallen not only to defend the Israeli ideal but, in defense of American freedom as well.

The Biden administration’s pressure on Israel for a premature ceasefire, therefore, is a strategic blunder. If Israel stops the war in Gaza before Hamas is destroyed, and if Hamas in any way remains in power, both Israel and the United States will have suffered a colossal setback.

American soldiers have not died in defense of Israel. But numerous Israelis have now given their lives for a cause that directly aligns with American interests. The United States must give Israel free rein to conduct this war as it needs to. Israel’s best interest is America’s best interest—nothing more, nothing less.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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