“Hamas is a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews.”
— U.S. President Joe Biden
As Israel mourns its losses and attempts to rescue hostages, it faces mounting threats from new directions. While a second U.S. carrier fleet steams towards the Middle East, 2,000 American troops are on their way and U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit shows solidarity with the Jewish state, Hamas and Hezbollah continue to rain missiles down on Israeli civilians from the south and the north.
What started with a barbaric massacre by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7 that claimed more than 1,400 lives continues to terrorize Israelis as the Iranian-backed terror organization forces Israelis into bomb shelters multiple times a day. Most schools are closed and family life is upended as parents are called up to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, and family and friends grieve the dead and worry about the hostages.
Hamas is holding hostages from more than 30 countries, including babies, women and Holocaust survivors, and has yet to allow them access to the Red Cross. Hamas members hijacked victims’ social-media accounts to issue death threats to Israelis, intensifying the trauma. To root out the terrorists and free the hostages, the IDF has taken action to eliminate Hamas in Gaza. Innocent Palestinians are caught in the crossfire as they are used as human shields by the terrorists.
Israel is evacuating civilians from cities on the Lebanese border as Iran-backed Hezbollah—150,000 rockets pointed at Israeli civilians—appears ready to open a second front against Israel from the north. Israelis living close to the Gaza border also were forced to leave their homes. Violence surges in the West Bank as Hamas-affiliated terrorists present the threat of yet another war front.
American Jews are increasingly living in fear, and some feel abandoned by their non-Jewish friends. The fear is most intensely felt on university campuses, but also evident in high schools and local communities. Rallies across the United States include celebrations of the vicious slaughtering of Jews and denials of Hamas’s savagery. Some protesters deny that Jews were raped and beheaded, branding it as misinformation.
Voices of the victims
Dr. Tarek Abu Arar, a Muslim, stopped his car to help a distressed motorist, but it turned out to be a Hamas ambush. The terrorists shot him in the chest and only lived because he wore a bulletproof vest. The assailants realized he might be an Arab. They tied the Israeli doctor to a pole in the center of an intersection and forced him to watch them shoot and kill everyone traveling by car for two hours—and then shot him in the leg. The terrorists also thought that having a hostage would provide them with a human shield to prevent an air attack. Eventually, the IDF rescued him.
Video of a 21-year-old French Israeli woman taken hostage during the savage massacre at the music festival was released by Hamas to the outrage of French President Emmanuel Macron, who decried it as a degradation “to take innocent people hostage and put them on show in this odious way.” The video shows Mia Shem lying on a bed with her right arm bandaged and a fresh scar clearly visible. Holding a picture of her daughter, Keren Scharf Shem said: “I am begging the world to bring my baby back home. She only went to the festival party to have some fun and now she is in Gaza, and she is not the only one.”
American Jewish students live in fear on campus
Cornell University Professor Russell Rickford on the Hamas slaughter: “It was exhilarating. It was energizing. I was exhilarated.”
Cornell student Netanel Shapira responded: “You can’t have a situation where you have a professor on this campus who makes comments like it should feel exhilarating to massacre civilians and murder babies. And that he felt exhilarated by it. That’s the first step to the incitement of violence towards a group.”
University president Martha Pollack said “I am sickened by statements glorifying the evilness of Hamas terrorism. There is no justification for or moral equivalent to these violent and abhorrent acts.”
While some university administrators are taking a strong stand against Hamas and attacks on Jewish students, others have been silent at best or refuse to take a stand in the name of academic freedom. A recent survey reveals that a shocking 84% of Jewish students in the United States fear that antisemitism poses a threat to the country.
Lauren Cayle, a junior at American University in Washington, D.C., said “I’ve been encouraged by Jewish professors to hide my Jewish star.”
Josh Gilman, an American Jew, wrote, Why you might have lost all your Jewish friends this week and didn’t even know it, saying that when you are Jewish, “you are always aware that there is a large population in the world that wants to kill you.”
Gilman ponders the silence on social media: “Here is what your Jewish friends are wondering right now. So, why didn’t you post this time? Maybe you didn’t say something to your Jewish friends because you truly don’t understand that they consider every slaughtered baby, raped girl and murdered man to be their own family.”
Points to consider:
- The Hamas mission: Eliminate Israel, kill all Jews.
President Biden declared in his recent national address that the purpose of Hamas is “the annihilation of the State of Israel and the murder of Jewish people.” This is the organization’s sole purpose for existing according to the Hamas charter; it is not to improve the lives of Palestinian civilians. It is difficult for most people to comprehend that Hamas terrorists and the Iranian leadership could possibly want to annihilate the Jewish people, even after Hitler and the Nazis tried. Repeatedly, this is what these terrorists demand and repeatedly Israel is forced to make concessions. The massacre in southern Israel was the largest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust. The Jewish state is defending all Israelis, including non-Jews.
- Hamas does not value human life, Muslim or Jewish.
Hamas is an evil force that enthusiastically sacrifices its own citizens. The death toll is rising in Gaza, and Hamas is to blame. They sacrifice their own civilians as human shields. Hamas terrorists do not wear military uniforms, and they build their terror infrastructure in homes, schools and hospitals. Israel is asking Palestinian civilians living in northern Gaza to head south. Tragically, Hamas wants them to remain.
- Israel has the right to defend itself.
Israel is the only democratic country that is pressured to defend itself for defending itself. In the immediate aftermath of the massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis—from toddlers to Holocaust survivors—the Jewish state has been pressured to show restraint. For Israel, the current war against Hamas is a defensive war for the survival of its nation. But it is not only a war against Hamas. Iran pays, arms and trains Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. All are terror groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Israelis want to live in peace. Israel has the right—and the obligation—to defend itself from future invasions, rocket strikes and terrorist attacks.
- Hamas does not share our basic human values.
Israel is fighting for a democratic world. The terrorists despise democratic values. Palestinians living in Gaza do not have freedom of speech, assembly, religion or voting. Hamas terrorists are not freedom fighters, they are militant dictators. They do not value human life, dignity or freedom. Any defense of Hamas is defense of slaughter. Any time a democracy is attacked, all democracies need to stand up or hate will spread to other persecuted groups.
- Hate does not justify hate.
Hate does not justify hate, which is why Israel didn’t take immediate action in Gaza. The Jewish state is not seeking revenge, it wants to free hostages, defend its citizens and ensure its people can live in safety and peace. The Hamas ideology reaches far and wide. Every time there is a war against Israel by Hamas, there is an increase in anti-Jewish attacks in America. The Anti-Defamation League is already reporting a stunning new rise in antisemitism. Jewish students are afraid to go outside on university campuses, and there is a relentless assault against Jews on social media. This hatred doesn’t just affect Jews. An Illinois landlord fatally stabbed a 6-year-old Palestinian-American 26 times and severely wounded his mother. We must stand up to condemn all forms of hate.