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And then they blew up a hospital.
Just another day in Israel's fight against relentlessly manipulative terrorists.
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In Israel, we knew it was only a matter of time. We’ve seen this story again and again. This is not the first instance, and rest assured it probably won’t be the last.
When Palestinian authorities reported yesterday that Israel attacked a hospital, killing some 500 people, virtually the entire world including many Arab countries, organizations like the antisemetic United Nations and others, politicians, political puppets, thought leaders, influencers, and wannabe influencers immediately took this Palestinian narrative and ran with it to the moon and back — 1,402 times.
Amongst Israelis, even as the Israel Defense Forces announced it was conducting an investigation, we immediately recognized this all-too-familiar game. For years, the Palestinian terrorists have killed their own people — either purposely or accidentally, or a combination of both — and then manipulated these tragedies into an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish libel. And oh what a libel this was!
“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday,” said U.S. President Joe Biden, sitting alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Tel Aviv hotel today. “Based on what I’ve seen, it appears it was done by the other team, and not you.”
Later today, Biden was asked by a group of reporters what information he used to make his assessment about the source of the Gaza hospital blast. He responded: “Data I was shown by my Defense Department.”
Isaac Herzog, the Israeli President (a largely ceremonious position, not to be confused with the prime minister) called accusations that Israel struck the hospital in Gaza “a blood libel.”
“An Islamic Jihad missile has killed many Palestinians at a Gazan hospital — a place where lives should be saved,” Herzog tweeted. “Shame on the media who swallow the lies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad — broadcasting a 21st-century blood libel around the globe. Shame on the vile terrorists in Gaza who willfully spill the blood of the innocent.”
But again, this is nothing new to us Israelis and many Jews across the world. You’ve probably already heard about Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists using civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, to hide themselves and their equipment.
Al-Shifa Hospital (Arabic: مستشفى الشفاء) is the largest medical complex and central hospital in the Gaza Strip. The hospital was described by the Washington Post as a “de-facto headquarters” for Hamas, and even the antisemitic organization Amnesty International reported that this hospital is used by Hamas to torture and murder dissidents.
All of this makes it almost impossible for Israel to preserve freedom, justice, and peace — both for Israelis and Palestinians. So much of the world scorns Israel for trying to be as careful as possible to wiggle through the neverending maze that Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists have created, making them and civilian life so interwoven, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
But us Jews have learned way too many times in our 4,000-plus year history that we literally have no choice but to stand up for ourselves when we are attacked. Many people assume this comes from a place of retribution or revenge, but in Israel, it’s very clear that our response is not retributive or revengeful; it’s simply to prevent future attacks, small or large, which will only harm more innocent Palestinians and Israelis.
I’ll remind you that the State of Israel has never been the first to attack any of its neighbors, or any other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Individual Israelis and groups of Israelis have attacked others, such as in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank), and let me be loud and clear: The vast majority of Israelis (myself included) vehemently reject these attacks.
I think it’s also important to note that these attacks are carried out by a relatively small majority of Israelis. For instance, less than 10-percent of Israeli Jews live in the West Bank. This is in no way meant to excuse or explain these attacks and other provocations, but they are the exception, not the norm.
Still, I believe that after this war, we (Israel) ought to rethink our strategy across the board — including in Judea and Samaria. (I’m not saying we should withdraw or not withdraw from Judea and Samaria. I’m just saying we should rethink our overall strategy to preserve the freedom, justice, and peace of as many people as possible on all sides.)
At the same time, it’s critical for people to understand that Judea and Samaria — what others call “The West Bank” or “the Israeli settlements” — have never truly been a defining issue in the saga that is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Israel dismantled all the settlements in the Gaza Strip and North Samaria in 2005.
Five years earlier, the Israelis again were willing to sacrifice land as part of the Camp David offer (brokered by U.S. President Bill Clinton), and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat responded by initiating the Second Intifada (a violent Palestinian uprising during which Israeli fatalities exceeded 1,000. For reference, only two of the Israel’s wars — the War of Independence and the Yom Kippur War — have claimed more Israeli lives than this intifada.)
“Israel demonstrated twice that it is able and willing to evacuate settlements for peace,” said Kobi Michael, a leading Israeli expert on Palestinian issues. “The Palestinians need to cross the Rubicon and to understand that the only way to live peacefully here in this region is to find a way to do it together with Israel and as part of the new regional architecture that will be based on the normalization process between Israel and the Arab countries with American support.”1
“And this new architecture,” Michael added, “will be able to defeat any efforts of the Iranians to be more influential or to reach hegemony in the broader Middle East.”
This the sober reality, but much of the world isn’t interested in sober realities. Many people have already been convinced or convinced themselves that no matter what Israel and the Jews do, we can never be accepted. Facts and truths are surely demanded when discussing other topics, but when it comes to Israel and the Jews, facts and truths are virtually meaningless.
After a rocket hit a hospital in Gaza, of course the Jews did it. Those overtly aggressive, revengeful, power-hungry, blood-thirsty Jews! We’re not going to wait for the Israeli military — one of the most humanitarian militaries in the world, truthfully — to conclude their investigation, so we can hear from all sides and arrive at a logical, fact-based conclusion. They’ll just lie anyway because that’s who Jews are — filthy liars, scums of the earth, poisonous rats. The Nazis made a massive mistake by not finishing us off, right?
(For those who aren’t sure, I’m certainly being facetious.)
Don’t you wish people would just say it, without beating around the bush: “Let yourselves be massacred, Jews. Don’t fight back. Don’t do anything at all.”
For thousands of years, we Jews couldn’t fight back. We were “guests” in other countries, our rights and liberties often minimized and gaslighted against us. The pogrom that Palestinian terrorists committed against Israelis and foreign nationals on October 7th, 2023 was just another one of the seemingly countless and brutally fatal episodes in Jewish history.
To be clear: A pogrom is a violent riot incited with the aim of massacring or expelling an ethnic or religious group, particularly Jews. The term entered the English language from Russian to describe 19th- and 20th-century attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire. (Similar attacks against Jews which also occurred at other times and places became known retrospectively as pogroms.)
Significant pogroms in the Russian Empire included the Odessa pogroms, Warsaw pogrom (1881), Kishinev pogrom (1903), Kiev pogrom (1905), and Białystok pogrom (1906). After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, several pogroms occurred amidst the power struggles in Eastern Europe, including the Lwów pogrom (1918) and Kiev pogroms (1919).
The most significant pogrom which occurred in Nazi Germany was the 1938 Kristallnacht. At least 91 Jews were killed. Ninety one. For reference, Palestinian terrorists succeeded in killing more than 1,000 Jews on October 7, 2023.
Today, in Israel, President Biden recalled the Holocaust and said the October 7th massacre brought up the scars of that genocide.
“The world watched then. It knew. And the world did nothing,” Biden said. “We will not stand by and do nothing again. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.”
Bergen, Peter. “Analyst: Israel’s costly misunderstanding of Hamas’ true aims.” CNN. October 16, 2023. https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/15/opinions/israel-misunderstood-hamas-kobi-michael-bergen/index.html.