The Weirdest War in History
You could not have scripted the Israel-Hamas war to be any more bizarre, even if you tried.
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Sometimes you find yourself being woken up at 6:58 on a Saturday morning by Palestinian terrorists firing rockets at your home, and sometimes you find yourself wondering how “from the river to the sea” became the new “Heil Hitler,” only that the former waxes much more poetically.
Predictably, though, a survey of those who sympathize with the Palestinians showed that less than half of them were able to name the river (the Jordan River) and the sea (the Mediterranean Sea) in this chant.1 Alternative answers included the Nile and the Euphrates, the Caribbean, the Dead Sea (which is a lake), and the Atlantic Ocean.
Ukraine was invaded by Russia, and no one seemed to tell Ukraine how to defend itself. But after the Hamas invaded Israel, everyone thinks they know better than the IDF chief of staff.
The Gaza Strip has been compared to an open-air prison for years by anti-Israel activists and media outlets. It turns out, pre-war Gaza was modern, beautiful, and developed — with large, furnished houses, wide avenues, public areas, a promenade, and parks. “If this is how a city looks after two decades of ‘siege,’ then I want to be sieged,” said one IDF soldier who just finished serving for more than 100 days in Gaza.2
The world has largely focused on the Palestinian humanitarian situation, while ignoring or overlooking that hundreds of abductees have been going through hell for months, and their abduction is one of the core reasons why the war started in the first place.
The Israelis are being held back by foreign actors from charging a steep and necessary price to Hamas, which actually foreshadows that they are perpetuating the war. The question should be how to prevent the next war, but the pattern of foreign actors’ activity indicates that there will definitely be another war between Israel and Hamas.
While the U.S. will not say that it wants a permanent ceasefire, the Americans are seeking a humanitarian pause that they can turn permanent, to advance regional initiatives that include an Israel-Saudi Arabia normalization agreement and the creation of a political horizon toward an eventual Palestinian state — even if it means allowing Hamas to remain in some form. But allowing Hamas to remain in any form is a clear impediment to Israel-Saudi Arabia normalization and a Palestinian state.
The same pro-Palestinian demonstrators holding up signs saying “You don’t get to choose how we resist” are the same demonstrators who are trying to tell Israelis how to resist decades of rampant, horrific Palestinian terrorism.
There is no war where the losing party does not pay on the ground, by giving up land. But Israel’s main ally, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, has rebuffed even a temporary buffer zone the IDF is trying to establish on the Gaza side of the border with Israel.
The BBC said that it does not call the “Hamas gunmen” who carried out appalling atrocities in southern Israel “terrorists” because “terrorism is a loaded word” and it is “simply not the BBC’s job to tell people who to support and who to condemn — who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.”3 For the BBC, apparently, even the most heinous acts like raping teenage girls, burning entire families to death, beheading babies, and kidnapping elderly women does not mean those who engaged in these actions are “the bad guys.”
Israel wants minimal civilian casualties on the other side and on its own side. Hamas wants maximum civilian casualties on the other side and on its own side. One of these things is not like the other, yet millions of people are both implicitly and explicitly rooting for Hamas.
Russia started a war, kidnapped children, is an ally of Iran, and Gen Z went bonkers. Hamas started a war, kidnapped children, is an ally of Iran, and Gen Z is mesmerised by Islam.
The Palestinian Authority that Biden’s administration wants to “revitalize” is profoundly unpopular in Gaza and the Palestinian West Bank, continues to lose literal ground to terror cells, and still pays terrorists to murder people in Israel. The worse the terror attack, the more they pay.
People across the world are calling to restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, even though more than 10 percent of its workforce in Gaza has been linked to terror groups, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Meanwhile, people across the world are also calling to condition military aid to Israel over its “misconduct” in the war, despite military experts agreeing that the Jewish state has taken extraordinary measures to protect civilians. Surely, it makes sense to punish Israel for protecting civilians, while rewarding Palestinian terror groups for employing them.
Pro-Palestinian activists accuse the democratic State of Israel of lying and, in the same breath, cite Hamas (the world’s fifth-most active terror organization) as a reliable source of information. They appear to agree with Hamas that, in Israel, nobody is a civilian, while in Gaza, nobody is a combatant.
Despite the war, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv rank higher in terms of safety than most American cities, including places like New York City and Los Angeles. Ironically, South Africa (which has accused the Jewish state of “genocide” at the World Court) has four of its cities in the top 10 least safe cities, three of which are in the top five — including the nation’s capital, Pretoria.4
Palestinian terrorists unleashed the most cruel and unusual behaviors on October 7th, massacring some 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others, including children, while shouting “Allah is the greatest!” — yet many folks in the West somehow think that their core values are in line with radical Islam.
The same people who were not overly concerned about Israeli women being gang-raped are so up in arms at photos of Palestinian terrorists surrendering in their underwear. According to pro-Palestinian logic, rape is resistance and rounding up terrorists is genocide.
The IDF revealed a major Hamas tunnel in Gaza, previously used by senior members of the terrorist organization and later repurposed to hold hostages. What did they find? Building materials, medicine, and food, all sponsored by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. What great humanitarian work.
The people advocating for a Palestinian state and a “return to the 1967 borders” fail to mention that Gaza was under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was part of Jordan, prior to 1967.
During the hostage negotiations with Hamas, we have reached an absurd situation in which everyone is waiting for the last word from Hamas. As one U.S. politician so aptly said: “That the international community would cut a deal with the devil (i.e. Hamas) is so scandalous and shocking in its stupidity, that it leaves one speechless.”5
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he keeps the Israeli hostages dog tag necklace “in the right pocket of my coat.” Nothing says “Jews don’t matter” like putting a necklace where no one can see it.
The same pro-Palestinian demonstrators advocating for a ceasefire — to save Hamas — “by any means necessary” are so critical of Israelis defending themselves “by any means necessary.”
A veteran British politician is quitting the government after being subjected to a campaign of death threats and intimidation over his pro-Israel views, which culminated in an arson attack on his constituency office in December. Meanwhile, two U.S. politicians just voted against a bill barring participants in the October 7th Palestinian terror attacks from entering the United States.
As reports come out that Israel is flooding Gaza’s terror tunnels with seawater, it is instructive to look back at 2015, when Egypt did the same thing to destroy the smuggling tunnels connecting the strip with Egyptian territory. While Gazans were upset, they emphasized that they still loved their brothers in Egypt, but when Israel does it, “dirty water” and “landslide” are the prevailing narratives.
Jews and Muslims can live safely together in Israel, whereas Jews and Muslims cannot live safely together in the Palestinian territories, or in Arab countries. Those who proclaim to know so much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict completely ignore this reality.
The cruelty of Hamas, compared to the humanity of Israel, can be described as such: While the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, was examining last week the proposal for a hostage deal, members of his family were receiving life-saving medical treatment at Soroka Hospital in Israel.6
People are saying that we should be “fair and balanced” in analyzing the fight between Israel and Hamas. One is a democracy, the other is a genocidal terrorist organization oppressing both Israelis and Palestinians. But sure, “fair and balanced” seems appropriate.
Mouthpieces for Hamas like the United Nations claim that hundreds of thousands of Gazans “face catastrophic hunger.”7 But one of the UN’s agencies, the World Food Programme, confirmed that 12 of the 13 aid bottlenecks depend on the UN.8 In case people forgot, there is a word for blaming your own problems on the Jews: antisemitism.
When the IDF goes out of its way to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza, Israel is committing genocide. When Egypt refuses to allow Gazans a safe haven, the Egyptians are still regarded by Gazans as their friends. Why? Because the Egyptians are not Jewish.
“From Which River to Which Sea?” The Wall Street Journal.
“We all were lied to: Gaza was a modern, developed city before October 7 - opinion.” The Jerusalem Post.
“Why BBC doesn’t call Hamas militants ‘terrorists’ - John Simpson.” BBC.
“Crime Index by City 2024.” Numbeo.
Ritchie Torres on X
“בזמן שהנייה "מתלבט" על עסקה: אחייניתו הישראלית ילדה פג, בסורוקה נאבקים על חייו.” Ynet News.
UNRWA ON X
COGAT on X