(May 25, 2018 / JNS) It’s painfully shocking that Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote on ADL’s website: “It is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border.” This broad statement was not limited to the tiny minority who were not members of a terrorist group. (And even that minority joined violent riots whose goal was to breach Israel’s border fence and descend upon nearby Jewish communities, schools and day-care centers—and all of Israel—to murder innocent Jews.) Thus, we must ask: How is the death of mostly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists a “horrific tragedy?”
In fact, the deaths of these terrorists prevented a real “horrific tragedy”—the murder of thousands of innocent Jews who would have been slain if Hamas’s violent rioters had succeeded.
Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil and PIJ have admitted that 85 percent of the recent Gaza fatalities (50 Hamas, plus three from PIJ, out of 62 in total) were their own operatives. These terrorists were hurling pipe bombs, boulders, grenades and Molotov cocktails; carrying machetes; shooting at Israelis; rushing with wire cutters and planting bombs at the border fence; and destroying Israeli farms with ignited kites emblazoned with swastikas. Swastika flags and banners were everywhere. These were Islamic terrorists committed to brutally murdering every Jew. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar “rallied” the Gazan rioters/troops by proclaiming: “We will tear down the border [with Israel] and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies,” and “we will eat the livers of the Israelis.” The Nazi-like Hamas Charter calls for the murder of every Jew and the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Hamas named its violent actions on the Gaza border “The March of Return,” openly stating the goal was to “return” millions of descendants of Arabs to Israel to end the existence of the Jewish state.
Even Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahhar admitted that calling the Gaza violent onslaught “peaceful” is a deception. He told Al Jazeera: “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.”
Thousands of innocent Israelis who live near the Gaza border, as well as those living further away, are in danger of being slaughtered if Hamas succeeds.
Hamas and PIJ also harm their own people: Hamas-organized Gazan rioters deliberately sabotaged, vandalized and set fire to the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and destroyed gas pipelines from Israel that bring humanitarian aid to Gaza’s residents.
After Israel did everything humanly possible to avoid fatalities (including using tear gas, leaflets and text messages to warn rioters to stay away from the fence), the deaths of these Hamas and PIJ terrorists mean that there is less danger and less evil in the world. The Hamas and PIJ fatalities prevented Hamas and PIJ from slaughtering thousands of innocent Jews.
Thus, it is deeply disturbing that the ADL, and some Jews and others, have been mourning these terrorists’ fatalities.
Such sympathetic proclamations only encourage more Hamas terror against Jews. Such proclamations also encourage the media to distort the truth of the Hamas war against the Jewish state.
Like ADL’s Greenblatt, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also mourned the “tragedy” of persons in Gaza being killed. Sanders proclaimed: “The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israel forces in Gaza is tragic.” Does Sanders really not understand that these were not peaceful demonstrators? Does he really not understand that it was Hamas terrorists who were killed while trying to invade Israel and murder Jews?
And then there’s the elite Beacon School in New York City, which held a “moment of silence” in tribute to the “victims of violence in Gaza” (aka Hamas and PIJ terrorists). Jewish students and their parents were rightly outraged: Parents noted that they did not send their children to school to pray for Hamas murderers.
And incredibly, a group of about two-dozen misguided left-wing Jewish young people gathered near the British Parliament and said the mourners’ Kaddish for the dead Hamas and PIJ operatives—and bullied a woman who told them “Shame on You.” (If you can stomach it, you can watch the video at “Saying Kaddish for Hamas,” filmed by the Israel Advocacy Movement on May 16.)
No one should ever mourn the deaths of Nazis, Al-Qaeda terrorists, ISIS terrorists—or Nazi-like Hamas and PIJ terrorists who were killed while trying to murder Jews and others. If terrorists were attempting to breach America’s Canadian or Mexican borders to kill U.S. citizens, would we not use force to stop them? Would we ever mourn the deaths of such terrorists?
It is a disgrace to call Hamas terrorists’ deaths a “horrific tragedy.” It is a disgrace to hold moments of silence, say Kaddish for or mourn the deaths of Hamas terrorists who were killed while trying to invade and destroy Israel, and murder her people.
Morton Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney is the ZOA director of Special Projects.