As we were all waking up last Saturday morning, we were shaken by the news of a sneak attack by the terrorist group Hamas from Gaza as they invaded the State of Israel. It occurred on one of the high holy days for Israel and on Shabbat. As the facts began to be known, it was evident that this was not another terrorist act by a single individual or even a group of terrorists. This carefully planned attack on civilians in Israel marked the worst act of war toward the people of the Jewish state in 50 years—50 years almost to the day in fact when the 1973 Yom Kippur war was launched by Egypt and Syria to annihilate Israel. But the 1973 invasion by hostile governments didn’t intentionally target children, women, and the elderly. The barbarian actions of Hamas last week were the most vicious, irrational, and heinous attack on Jews since the Holocaust. Babies were beheaded while sleeping in their cribs. A grandmother in a wheelchair was set on fire as she sat in her wheelchair. Young women were abducted and violently raped and abused in the most despicable manner. Entire families were savagely slaughtered. Hundreds were taken hostage and transported to Gaza to be used as human shields and bargaining chips later.
The stunned Israeli government and its people had been caught completely off guard, its typically stellar intelligence operation having completely failed to know about or warn about the impending attack.
Hamas, a proxy of Iran who fully funds them, have governed Gaza since 2007, just 2 years after Israel forcibly moved all Jews out of Gaza in order to give Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority in what was supposed to be a land for peace deal. Israel gave up the land. The Palestinians gave up nothing except their worthless word, and have spent the past 15 years regularly firing rockets into the civilian communities of southern Israel. But the thousands of rockets over many years were unexpectedly matched last week by thousands fired at once throughout Israel. Simultaneously, thousands of Hamas terrorists came pouring into Israel on motorcycles, pickup trucks, gliders, and boats. The carefully orchestrated attack focused on overpowering the border, killing policemen and soldiers or whoever came to fight. But the Israelis were unprepared and within hours, Hamas had brought the tiny nation of Israel to its knees, both figuratively and literally.
Initial shock gave way to outrage and promise of retaliation to avenge the sadistic and intentional torture of innocent Israeli children, women, and the elderly. Most civilized governments soundly condemned the actions of Hamas not only for their cowardly nature, but for the evil manner of their atrocities. Of course there were the predictable disgusting words from the so-called “Squad” in Congress, made up of Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who blamed Israel for the slaughter of their own people and defended the indescribable assaults on the innocent civilians. Their remarks were so revolting that even the White House, who normally defends the Squad, called their comments “repugnant and disgraceful.”
Naturally, we can depend on elitist well-educated, but ignorant students from high-priced schools like Harvard to take the most ridiculous stance and they didn’t disappoint. Over 20 student groups issued a statement of support for what Hamas had done and of course blame Israel for it all. Any parent spending a dime or a dollar to send money to that once great, but now disgraceful institution should get their money and their child back.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has been in the crosshairs of a protracted political fight for the past few years, has been able to unite all factions of the country in a concerted effort to end Hamas once and for all. In the past, Hamas terror attacks were met with limited retaliation that resulted in temporary calm, but Hamas simply waited for the checks from Iran to clear and rebooted their weapons. This time is different. The massacre of innocent civilians in a wholesale slaughter has lit the fire of justice. Israel has declared war, and mobilized all of its reserves and active duty forces for the fight.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem as we’re instructed to do. Pray for the Israeli people to be safe again in their God-given homeland. Pray for the thousands whose loved ones were murdered or kidnapped. And yes, pray for those who identify as Palestinians but who do NOT support the butchering of Israelis. 50 years ago, Golda Meir, then Prime Minister of Israel said “We will have peace in the Middle East when Arab mothers love their own children more than they hate ours.”
We are still waiting for that day to come.