OpinionIsrael at War

The Hamas one-eyed jack

Israel must extract a price too steep for even mass murderers to pay.

Days after Oct. 7, the destruction can be seen after the assault by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be'eri, near Gaza border in southern Israel, Oct. 11, 2023. Photo by Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90.
Days after Oct. 7, the destruction can be seen after the assault by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Be'eri, near Gaza border in southern Israel, Oct. 11, 2023. Photo by Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90.
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Gruesome details of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israeli civilians continue to come to light. Hamas gunmen who have been captured or found wounded are quite candid in taped interviews about their killing spree. They apparently remain unapologetic about the heinous crimes they have committed, given they correctly assume that their mollifiers in the West—from the secretary-general of the United Nations to university presidents—have issues with unequivocally damning their mass killing.

Daily, such people offer timely reinstruction about their kindred predecessors between 1939 and 1945, and thus how and why the world then was and is now again so willfully blind to the Final Solution

The testimonies of Hamas killers—along with the helmet-camera and mobile-phone live-streamings taken by hundreds of the murderers in the proud photographic tradition of the Einsatzgruppen (the mass murders were likely videoed to provide incentives for enlistment in Hamas)—confirm the emerging pathologists’ reports on the dead from Israel.

This multifaceted evidence confirms a picture that all the pro-Hamas demonstrators at Harvard, in the streets of New York and Los Angeles, and in the halls of our Congress can no longer deny—if they even made such an attempt rather than cheered it on.

It is hard to think of any pre-civilizational act that Hamas did not relish. Their death work included but was not limited to executions, torture, beheadings, desecration of corpses, rape, necrophilia, incinerating people alive, dismemberment and hostage-taking. The captured killers mentioned that their Hamas leaders expressly ordered them to behead and mutilate. All that and more are what Ivy League and Stanford students apparently believe to be legitimate forms of “resistance”—and by their support have now become party to.

The Democratic left is screaming “proportionality” and “stop the cycle of violence” at Israel to cease their retaliatory attempts to destroy Hamas. Their apparent theory is that Hamas has an inherent right to invade and commit barbarities while continuously shooting thousands of rockets hourly and with impunity at Israeli civilians—and yet any response that inadvertently kills Gazan civilians, perhaps most likely impressed Gazans used as shields by Hamas, constitutes a war crime. So in the unhinged West, it is now a more moral act to launch rockets designed only to kill civilians than it is to take out those killing pads.

From the Hamas prisoners’ own admissions and from their videos of the attack, it is additionally clear that many Gazan citizens were eager to tag along in the killing, torture and looting—albeit only once it became clear to them that the targets were mostly unarmed women, children, infants and the elderly, and that the IDF was not there in force.

It was again analogous to the Eastern Front of World War II, when Baltic and Ukrainian prisoners, thugs and Einsatzkommandos eagerly joined with the SS to murder Jews—and often outdid their death instructors.

Purportedly, free apartments and $10,000 bounties were offered by the Hamas leadership to Gazans who brought back Israeli hostages. And at that moment, though not now, there seemed to be hundreds of takers zealously following the Hamas death squads into Israel, including a few who had been prior guest workers in border kibbutzim.

That picture of eager civilian involvement was apparently confirmed by videos that emerged from the Gazan street, as the Israeli captives and dead were spit upon, struck and reviled by civilian mobs—at least in the heady days after news of the easy killing of Jews in Israel but before the IDF aerial response.

No doubt public opposition to Hamas is impossible for Gazans, but the idea that a vast majority of civilians became sickened by Hamas and ashamed of their subhuman killing is so far not demonstrable.

Similarly, the idea that any Western leader should accept at face value the casualty figures from Hamas ought to be evaluated in light of Hamas leaders still swearing that their henchmen did not murder civilians or commit atrocities in Israel. In Hamas’s world, there were no beheadings—and an Israeli rocket hit a hospital, killing 500.

For the truth, instead listen to what the killers themselves recited. Watch their own triumphalist videos taken in medias res. Read the placards and listen to the chants at pro-Hamas rallies on campuses and in American cities. The picture emerges of a death cult, proud of its macabre civilian body count in Israel and of the public support it thereby won—at least until the IDF demonstrates in Gaza the wages of such one-sided murdering.

So, yes, much of the acclaim for Hamas is not just found in its ferocious barbarity, but also fueled by a feeling that the killers are “winning” the propaganda war. Thus their cowardly but useful idiots of the West increasingly ally with the “oppressed” oppressor that can both butcher and claim victimhood simultaneously—and not only get away with it, but win global support for it.

And this is all the more reason why Israel must crush and thereby humiliate Hamas—as a lesson to its numerous enemies that the price for butchering innocents will always be too steep for even mass murderers to pay.

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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