As if the news from Israel could not get any more shocking, an Oct. 10 headline announced, “Babies beheaded, 40 children shot dead in a single settlement, and families burnt alive by Hamas.” This is an unfathomable level of evil, a report of barbarism that is almost incomprehensible. Yet in response to such demonic acts, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech, “We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime.”
How utterly despicable.
The terrorists had blood on their hands. He has blood on his lips. (And, despite his denials of involvement in the massacre, he certainly has blood on his hands too.)
But it is not just yet radical terrorist leaders like Khamenei who are celebrating these murderous, barbaric deeds. (I wish I had more adjectives to describe how wicked the actions of Hamas have been, but they are truly indescribable.)
The Daily Wire reported that, “The largest network of campus anti-Israel groups is organizing a ‘Day of Resistance’ on Thursday to rally support for the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, calling the murder of nearly 1,000 Israelis, including women and children, a ‘historic win for the Palestinian resistance.’”
Babies beheaded by Hamas. A win! Little children slaughtered in front of their weeping mothers. A win! Ninety-year-old grandmothers shot in the head. A win! Women raped and abused. A win!
And all this in the name of “justice,” as indicated by the name of this network: Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
They stated, “Our people choose resistance over negotiated cages on our homeland. Fearlessly, our people struggle for complete liberation and return.”
Resistance? The willful, intentional, even gleeful butchering of whole families in cold blood is resistance? And it is “fearless” to murder hundreds of unarmed people pleading for their lives?
To the SJP I say this: your position is evil and your hearts are evil. May God have mercy on your souls.
You might say, “But you rejoice in the suffering of the Palestinians. Who are you to speak?”
To the contrary, I grieve over the suffering of the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza right now.
As I posted on Facebook on Monday, “Tragically, many innocent Palestinians will suffer terribly in the days to come, including women and children. That should matter to us as human beings, let alone as followers of Jesus.” I mean that from the heart, and not a single supporter of Israel I know takes delight in the suffering of these innocent non-combatants.
But, I added, “whereas Hamas targeted Israeli civilians and rejoiced in the butchering of the innocent, the IDF will do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties. And when they do occur, I can assure you that Israeli soldiers will not be parading naked corpses of Palestinian women while shouting praises to God as the Israeli crowds cheer on. So, yes, the suffering of Palestinians is as grievous as the suffering of Israelis. Absolutely. But let us not make false moral equivalences now.”
We can discuss the grievances of the Palestinians, doing our best to separate myth from fact, but not today. Not now. We can review the recent history of the region, dating back to the late 1800s (or to biblical times) and analyze who has a right to what — but let that wait for another day.
At this moment in history, the first thing that must be done is for all of us to stand together, Muslim and Christian and Jew (and people of other religions and non-religions), Israeli and Palestinian alike, and say, “What Hamas did is outright, unjustifiable evil. Plain and simple. We denounce it.”
Yet contrary sentiments abound.
“Don’t believe us; take their word for it.
“A speaker at the [New York pro-Palestinian] rally on Sunday shouted to the crowd ‘as you might have seen, there was some sort of rave or desert party where they were having a great time until the resistance came in electrified hang gliders and took at least several dozen hipsters.’
“He was greeted with whoops and laughter.
“A Cal State-Long Beach student group held a ‘Day of Resistance’ (to celebrate Palestinian terrorism).
“Prominent on the event poster was a paraglider of the kind Hamas used to infiltrate Israel and attack a desert rave where Louk and dozens of others were either killed or taken hostage.
“Those same ‘decolonizers’ then paraded the likely dead Louk’s body in the back of a pickup truck.”
So the heartless slaughter of young people in cold blood at a peaceful music festival — again, almost certainly not Bibi Netanyahu voters or rightwingers — is a cool thing. Actually, it’s somewhat funny. Maybe the whoops and laughter would have been even louder if the crowd knew that it wasn’t “at least several dozen hipsters” whom Hamas “took” but more than 260. (Some of them were literally taken, as in taken hostage; the great majority were just slaughtered.)
This, too, is evil.
You say, “What about Jewish or Israeli calls to ‘kill all Arabs’ or to completely wipe out Gaza?”
I denounce those clearly and without equivocation. Full stop. And where they represent the sentiments of groups and not simply individuals, I denounce them all the more forcefully. Evil is evil, wherever you find it.
But please tell me where organized Jewish gatherings are saying, “Let’s behead Palestinian babies! Let’s butcher their moms!”
Please tell me where the nation of Israel has ever rejoiced — celebrating in the streets and praising God — at the news of Palestinian babies and children being killed.
It is the Palestinians, both in the West Bank and Gaza, who name children’s schools after mass murderers of Israelis, dubbing them martyrs and heroes. The equivalent in Israel does not exist. (A September 2018 article noted that, “76 Palestinian Authority schools named after terrorists and Nazi collaborators and honoring Martyrs and Martyrdom.” And remember: the PA is considered moderate compared to Hamas.)
It would be one thing if Hamas had led an attack against an Israeli military installation. I would still take issue with that, but I could understand pro-Palestinian supporters praising this bold act of “resistance.” But praising some of the most horrific acts of heartless cruelty we have ever seen is evil and inexcusable.
In my last article, I referenced the reluctance of many celebrities to stand with Israel, lest they appear insensitive and politically incorrect. While writing this article, I noticed a statement from Gigi Hadid, whose sister Bella is strongly anti-Israel and whose father is an outspoken Palestinian-American.
I can appreciate her sentiments when she wrote on Instagram, “My thoughts are with all those affected by the unjustifiable tragedy, and every day that innocent lives are taken by this conflict — too many of which are children. While I have hopes and dreams for Palestinians, none of them include the harm of a Jewish person.”
She added, “The terrorizing of innocent people is not in alignment with & does not do any good for the ‘Free Palestine’ movement. The idea that it does has fueled a painful, decades-long cycle of back & forth retaliation.”
And this: “No innocent civilian, Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to be a victim” of the bloodshed.
Despite our political and ideological differences, I applaud Hadid’s statement. Why can’t others say the same?
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