OpinionIsrael at War

Let Israelis be ethical warriors

If Israel’s hands are not shackled, the war will end quicker and with less suffering.

IDF soldiers leave the Gaza Strip in the Beit Hanun area as part of a rotation of forces, Jan. 30, 2024. Credit: TPS.
IDF soldiers leave the Gaza Strip in the Beit Hanun area as part of a rotation of forces, Jan. 30, 2024. Credit: TPS.
Gina Ross
Gina Ross
Gina Ross, MFCC, is the founder/president of the International Trauma-Healing Institutes in the United States and Israel, and co-founder of a Trauma Center in Jerusalem.

Even after Oct. 7, the world continues to willfully ignore Palestinian leaders’ genocidal threats. Western leaders continue to push for a two-state solution, even though it is an existential danger to Israel. The West’s bloody 20th century seems to have scarred and terrified it to such an extent that it avoids confronting danger even if it leads to another Holocaust and immiserates the Palestinians.

Though 80% of the American population supports Israel in its war against Hamas, many so-called “good people” support, justify or deny Oct. 7. They are often highly educated elites and young people brainwashed by a misguided Western academia. Both mainstream and social media compound the problem through misinformation and double standards. 

Astoundingly, at a time when “micro-aggressions” against any other group result in immediate cancellation, antisemitism is protected in the name of free speech. “Micro-aggressions” result mainly in hurt feelings, while demonization of Jews causes hate crimes and threats of further massacres.

While they are a small minority, there are even Jews and Israelis who believe Palestinian violence is Israel’s fault. They usually claim that the Palestinians are violent because they have nothing to lose. They further assert that this is a territorial problem that can be resolved by Israeli concessions. Such people believe they will be spared by the haters, oblivious to the fact that they are and will always be targets.

They genuinely believe that they are “good people” because they support the apparent underdog at their own cost and care about their enemy more than they care about themselves or their fellow Jews. They think they are demonstrating how compassionate they are.

We must wonder: Over 2,000 years in the Diaspora, did we develop a secondary identity as a people that abhors and never uses violence, no matter the cost to itself? Did many of us come to believe that this is the essence of Judaism? If so, they are wrong. The Torah teaches us to love the stranger, but it never commands us to love our mortal enemies and let them massacre us.

Could this dysfunctional Diaspora mentality influence the world’s attitude towards Jews in general? It has been said that people often love dead Jews but hate living Jews. If so, do we unwittingly encourage such an attitude? Let’s hope not. It only results in irrational expectations and demands. It makes the world believe it has the right to dictate our morality and our behavior.

It is true that, as moral people who have suffered immense horror and cruelty, we are required to be empathetic towards any people’s suffering. But in the case of this war, moral clarity requires that we put the blame on Hamas, on the Gazans who support Hamas and on the international media and organizations who refuse to denounce Hamas’s atrocities. They are responsible for Gaza’s suffering, not Israel. Failing to accept this responsibility will only perpetuate suffering.

Sadly, Gazans brainwashed by Hamas will not accept living in peace with Israel. The proof is that they are not calling on Hamas to return the hostages and surrender. They did not condemn Hamas’s savagery but celebrated and participated in it.

It is time for the world to wake up and realize that only vanquishing Hamas will give peace a chance. It will save Israeli and Gazan lives, not to mention those of Diaspora Jews. It will save the West. It will save the Arab countries silently praying for their radical Islamic archenemy to disappear.

It is time to recognize that Jews do not need the world to protect their moral purity. Jews know how to do that themselves. Let Israel fulfill its obligation of self-defense and serve as the world’s frontline against evil rather than canaries in the coal mine. Israel will accomplish its task quicker and with less suffering if its hands are not shackled and the media does not misrepresent the facts. Israelis must be free to be ethical warriors. Everyone will be better off.

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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