The world has been traumatized by the savagery that was committed against Israelis and citizens of 40 other countries by Hamas sadists on Oct. 7. Operatives in the terrorist organization breached the southern border that separates the Gaza Strip and Israel, and slaughtered thousands of Jews. The horror that was perpetrated in this mega-pogrom is so profound and so deep that the physical and mental wounds will never completely heal.
What motivated and enabled the bloodlust of the men who went on this rampage? Could it be that the terrorists consider the Jews to be the equivalent of “apes and pigs”? This is the language in a speech made by Hamas’s senior official Ismail Radwan in 2018, “and they will be burned along with the apes and pigs, that is with the Jews, whom Allah transformed into apes and pigs … .” Hamas went on a mission to kill, rape, burn and decapitate Jews, not people. Members breached the fence to slaughter the “pigs and apes.”
The reign of terror of Hamas must end for the good of both Palestinians and Israelis. For now, there is a gaping distance between peace and war if Hamas does not even view Jews as humans. They are not shy about shouting these evil words to the world. We must listen.
On May 15, 2008—the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence—President George W. Bush gave a speech to the Knesset. He said: “And earlier today I visited Masada, an inspiring monument to courage and sacrifice. At this historic site, Israeli soldiers swear an oath: ‘Masada shall never fall again.’ Citizens of Israel: Masada shall never fall again, and America will be at your side.”
President Joe Biden reaffirmed America’s commitment to Israel and to human decency in his speech on Oct. 10. He said, “For 75 years, Israel has stood as the ultimate guarantor of security of the Jewish people around the world so that the atrocities of the past could never happen again. And let there be no doubt: The United States has Israel’s back.”
If Jews are serious about “never again,” we must clearly understand what both our allies and our enemies are willing to do. We must take their words and actions seriously. We just got a very clear and sickening lesson of what happens when we don’t listen and don’t believe our enemies. The world has also received a deafeningly clear message from the United States as Biden ordered two carrier strike groups to patrol the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Never again should we let naiveté be mistaken for deep thought and leadership. If we do, then mutually assured destruction for the Palestinians and the Israelis becomes a possibility with a higher probability. Never again should we confuse the ignorant call to defund Israel’s ability to defend itself with a strategy for peace. Imagine the death and destruction Israelis and Gazans would now be experiencing if a significant percentage of Hamas and Hezbollah missiles were not being destroyed by the Iron Dome air-defense system. Israel, out of a necessity to survive, would have been obligated to unleash even more extreme defensive measures. How many missiles are being deterred from even being fired at Israel because of Iron Dome?
Never again should members of Congress refuse to listen when our allies come to speak to the people of the United States. It is their responsibility to listen. Those members of Congress who boycotted Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address in July of 2023 in a vain attempt to delegitimize Israel should go back to their offices, read his speech and make an effort to understand what he was saying and what he was warning. He said: “Iran is the only nation on the planet publicly calling, plotting and developing means to annihilate another nation, a member of the family of nations, the State of Israel. Israel has no border with Iran. Israel has no resources contested by Iran. Israel has no conflict with the Iranian people. And yet, the Iranian regime—together with its proxies throughout the Middle East—is aiming and working towards destroying the State of Israel, killing the Jews and challenging the entire free world.”
Yes, it is Iranian missiles that have been raining down on Israeli cities since Oct. 7; in fact, since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Hamas uses Gaza as a beachhead for the destruction of Israel. Israel does what it can and must to constrain this threat. This is now the “day after.” Has the world finally learned that Hamas is a pure terror group? Hamas has not been shy about its intentions over the years through both its words and actions.
Never again should politicians who live behind the iron of the United States military lecture Israel about beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Hezbollah and Hamas are out for Israeli blood, Jewish blood. Hamas is the roadblock to peace, not Israel. Naiveté and ignorance are leading us all on the road to perdition.