October 13, 2023

What Lies Ahead in Gaza

As Israel preps to take the ground fight to Hamas, the task before it is monumental.

Perhaps the malign influence of Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for Saturday’s barbaric attack on Israel, is fairly localized. Today, after all, is the date on which the terrorist group’s former leader, Khaled Meshaal, called on Muslims “to stage global demonstrations in support of Palestinians on Friday, and urged Arabs in neighboring countries to take up arms against Israel.”

Or perhaps that malign influence will indeed spread. In the northern France city of Arras, a teacher was stabbed to death today by a knife-wielding assailant. According to witnesses, he shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is greatest,” during the attack.

Meshaal, who led Hamas from 2004 to 2017 and now lives in the safety of nearby Qatar, called on the Islamic world to stage the protests. “[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,” Meshaal said in a recorded statement sent to Reuters.

“Will there be jihad attacks in the U.S. and Europe tomorrow?” asks Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch. “It’s possible. The personnel are certainly in place. But the jihadis are smart enough not to interrupt their enemies when those enemies are in the process of making a mistake, and they know that the Biden regime will start pressuring Israel to make concessions soon, while violent jihad attacks in the U.S. could scare it off from applying that pressure. It’s more likely that simply by issuing this call, Meshaal is attempting to ‘strike terror in the enemies of Allah,’” as the Koran commands.

Spencer continues: “Meshaal specifically called on the governments and peoples of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan to join the fight against Israel, characterizing their involvement as a duty. ‘Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan … This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility.’”

Israel has a responsibility too, though, and that is to destroy the murderous jihadists who threaten its very existence. As Walter Block and Alan Futerman write in The Wall Street Journal:

A mob of Islamist Arabs incited by Jew-hatred entered the town and killed as many Jews as they could find. They went door to door, broke into the homes of their victims, and slaughtered innocent men, women and children. These gangs raped, mutilated and tortured them while screaming “Kill the Jews!”

That was 94 years ago, on Saturday, Aug. 24, 1929, in Hebron. The picture is essentially the same, only that then the Arab riots that included this massacre ended with 133 Jews murdered. This time, it is several times as many, and we don’t know the final figure.

Of course, there was no Jewish state back in 1929, so the attack was predicated on something other than Jewish oppression of the “Palestinians,” a term that isn’t nearly as ancient as it sounds but is nonetheless used to brand the Jews as occupiers.

Let’s be honest: The predicate for that nearly century-old massacre was the same as it ever was: Jew hatred. Which is why Block and Futerman say Israel has a “moral duty” to destroy Hamas. They continue: “This time, the triumph must be so thorough and conclusive that there will never be any other war for this country. Israel has a moral right to finish the job, and the West has a moral duty to support it. Let Israel do what it must to finish this war in the fastest way possible, with the minimum civilian and military casualties on its side.”

Minimizing civilian casualties will be a tall order. As will rescuing the 150 or so hostages being held by Hamas. The IDF has been dropping leaflets over Gaza, telling the inhabitants in the northern part of the territory to head south. But that’s the difference between a civilized people and a barbaric horde. Hamas has been telling the people of Gaza to stay put.

For perspective, let’s recall that the 2006 Gaza campaign began when terrorists captured a single Israeli Defense Forces corporal, Gilad Shalit. That fight lasted four months, during which time the IDF destroyed numerous enemy rocket positions but failed to recover Shalit. Israel ultimately brought him back home five years later, on October 18, 2011, as part of a prisoner swap, but remember: This was a single hostage. Now contrast that with the enormity of the present undertaking: searching for and rescuing some 150 hostages who are no doubt dispersed all throughout Gaza and likely somewhere below ground within the 300-mile network of deep tunnels that Hamas has built over the years.

Israel will also have to battle a mainstream media that invariably buys in to Hamas’s penchant for using women and children as human shields, and then parading their dead bodies toward the nearest Western news crew.

In addition, Israel must face the menace of Iran, which waits in the wings. “What is funny is that at a time when America is calling on parties for self restraint, it is allowing the criminals in the fake Zionist entity to kill women, children and civilians in Gaza,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

That part about killing women, children, and civilians is rich indeed. Hamas are both the aggressors and the butchers in this battle.

Amirabdollahian further warned, “If these organized war crimes that are committed by the Zionist entity don’t stop immediately, then we can imagine any possibility.”

Earlier this morning, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a one-word warning to Iran or any group considering whether to involve itself in the Hamas Israel war: “Don’t.”

“The Jews,” wrote the late, great historian Paul Johnson in his magisterial history of God’s chosen people, “are the most tenacious people in history. Hebron is there to prove it. It lies 20 miles south of Jerusalem, 3,000 feet up in the Judaean hills. … This is where the 4,000-year history of the Jews, in so far as it can be anchored in time and place, began.”

The Israel-bashers on the Left — those who call the Jews “settlers” and “occupiers” of these ancient lands — might try brushing up on their history. And before they denounce Israel for doing the grim and bloody work that it must necessarily do, they might try putting themselves in the shoes of a people whose neighbors are sworn to their utter destruction.

Updated with an additional closing thought.

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