OpinionMiddle East

The second war against the Jews 

Iran’s rulers are globalizing it.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right) embraces Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Source: Khamenei's Twitter account, posted May 24, 2021.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right) embraces Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Source: Khamenei's Twitter account, posted May 24, 2021.
Clifford D. May
Clifford D. May is the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), as well as a columnist for “The Washington Times.”

World War II was also “The War Against the Jews.” That was the title of Lucy Dawidowicz’s landmark 1975 book. But the Nazis took pains to conceal the fact that their goal was the physical extermination of Europe’s Jewish communities.

For example, they told international observers that the Theresienstadt concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic was a “spa town” for elderly Jews.

That was then, this is now: Iran’s rulers have been vowing “Death to Israel” since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

And the Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel on Oct. 7—Tehran’s allies and pawns—are proudly genocidal.

A video record compiled by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and screened for reporters includes a young invader from Gaza telling his family via cell phone: “I killed 10 Jews with my own hands! Put on Mom! Your son is a hero!”

IDF troops are now searching Gaza for these murderers, rapists and kidnappers of children, as well as hundreds of civilian hostages. Israeli soldiers have been trained to do everything possible to spare Gazans who don’t want to fight for Hamas. 

But you know who is eager to see Gazan civilians dead in the streets? Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s leader.

“We need the blood of women, children and the elderly of Gaza so as to awaken our revolutionary spirit,” he declared from Qatar, whose government hosts him.

“Hamas is the only ‘army’ in history that has planned its operations deliberately to have its own civilians killed by its enemy,” observes retired British Army Col. Richard Kemp. “Its whole strategy is based on that.”

And an effective strategy it is, judging by the crowds from London to Sydney to New York that have been cheering the slaughter of Jews and the use of dead Palestinians for propaganda.

And then there are those attempting to get in on the action—for example the mob that stormed an airport in the Russian Republic of Dagestan looking for Jews to lynch. (Footnote: Dagestan is a Muslim land conquered and ruled by the Russian Empire.)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres infamously excused Hamas’s war crimes, saying that Palestinians have suffered from “occupation”—though he must know that Israelis withdrew from Gaza almost two decades ago.

He added that “hopes for a political solution have been vanishing.” He also must know that two-state solutions—meaning both sides agreeing to compromises and peaceful coexistence—were rejected by Palestinian leaders in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2001 and 2008.

The Hamas Charter articulates a principle: Infidels cannot be permitted self-rule on lands conquered by Muslim armies at any point in history. Hamas considers such lands “endowments” from Allah “consecrated for future Muslim generations.”

The Charter adds that “there is no solution to the Palestinian question except through Jihad.”

Since 2007, after winning a civil war against Fatah, its main rival, Hamas has ruled Gaza, tolerating no dissent. Israelis tried to keep them from importing weapons (unsuccessfully, it turns out) while providing electricity, water and other humanitarian goods.

Why didn’t Hamas utilize the enormous flow of aid they’ve received to become self-sufficient? Because if Hamas’s enemies are willing to assist them—in the quaint hope of ameliorating their hatred—why should Hamas leaders bother?

Even after the atrocities of Oct. 7 and the war that has followed—with rockets still launching from Gaza every day—the “international community” insists that Hamas is entitled to Israel’s help.

Human Rights Watch last week angrily complained: “Prior to hostilities, about 500 trucks entered Gaza from Israel and Egypt daily” but now Israelis are allowing “no more than 20 supply truckloads per day.”

The Israeli military now says it is planning to increase the flow of assistance and has designated a zone in southern Gaza to accommodate hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced by the fighting in the north where military operations are concentrated.

Why can’t the displaced take refuge in Egypt? Hamas is preventing that because it wants as many human shields as it can get. And the Egyptian government is uninterested in helping its neighbors.

Though we don’t know how this war will end, we can predict that Gazans will be much worse off—and that will be thanks to Hamas, which will pay a steep price, and to Iran’s rulers, who don’t expect to.

Is there a chance they’re wrong?

Among the key revelations in Lucy Dawidowicz’s book is that Hitler’s obsession with murdering Jews became detrimental to his broader strategic interest: not being defeated by the Allies.

Trains that could have moved German troops to battles were instead used to send Jews to death camps. Jews that could have been deployed as slave laborers were instead sent to gas chambers.

Israel has mostly just observed as Tehran transformed Lebanon into an impoverished satrapy, sent foreign Shi’ite settler-colonists to replace Sunni Arabs in Syria, used Shi’ite militias to take over Iraq and backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

At the same time, Iran’s rulers have been lighting a “ring of fire” around Israel: backing, training and arming anti-Israeli terrorist groups across all Israel’s borders and armistice lines.

Israelis are now viewing these developments through a different lens.

Could Tehran’s War Against the Jews, its determination to bring about a “Final Solution” to the “Israel problem”—the Nazis called it the “Jewish problem”—undermine its strategic interest in empire-building?

That would be a good outcome for the Middle East and the oppressed people of Iran. And for Americans, of course.

Because the long-term goal of Tehran’s jihadis is and always has been “Death to America!” even if they understand that Constantinople was not destroyed in a day.

Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.

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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