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Today I saw this article from the Washington Post that documents the Israeli efforts to gather evidence of the rapes committed on October 7th.
Footage showed several women stripped of their clothing. One video showed a woman, her hands zip-tied behind her back, with blood on the crotch of her pants.
As of this writing, the fighting in Gaza continues to rage, as the Israelis have surrounded the Hamas forces, now trapped in the elaborate tunnels that had allowed Hamas to launch its unprovoked and bloody assault against Israel on October 7—yet another day that will live in infamy—with its 1,300 Israelis dead and tortured and thousands more wounded. The fierce Israeli response has without question killed a large number of civilians, many of whom have been used by Hamas as human shields in violation of the laws of war. The proposal recently put on the table by President Biden and his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is to allow for an immediate “pause,” which the New York Times calls something short of a traditional cease-fire, even if for some indefinite duration. The humanitarian case for the pause is that it will let desperately needed supplies reach the Palestinian civilian population and will allow for the orderly movement of women and children to lands south of Gaza City in relative safety.
But the Biden proposal falls short on at least on one point. It claims that the pause gives both sides time to negotiate for the release of Hamas’s hostages. But Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu surely has the right opening negotiation gambit: there must be no pause until the hostages are unconditionally released. The sequence really matters. It is naïve to ignore that any pause for such negotiations would give Hamas a chance to draw out the negotiations indefinitely, and further to insist that certain other conditions be satisfied by the Israelis, including the release of Hamas soldiers and other prisoners in Israel now held for the commission of violent offenses—people who could rejoin the struggle once the pause has been concluded. Why is Israel bound to negotiate for the release of hostages who never should have been captured in the first place? The Israelis have already secured the release of five hostages, but no one can claim that they must now give something to Hamas in return.
As is well known, many of the hostages are not Israelis, but come from other countries. Thus, the total includes some 54 citizens of Thailand, none of whom has dual citizenship with Israel, and at least 138 hostages with foreign passports from places like Argentina, Germany, the United States, France, and Russia, some of whom may well be dual Israeli citizens. One of the marks of terrorism is the indiscriminate use of force, and Hamas has yet again exceeded the bounds of decency by holding these innocent parties in its attempt to extract gains from Israel. It is within Hamas’s power to release these persons—all of them—immediately, and to account for those who have died during their long ordeal. For anyone to insist that the hostage release become part of some negotiations puts these captives at undue risk.
…and hollow women, too.
I’ve been writing for years about the rise of toxic ideologies on America’s college campuses – totalitarian, anti-Israel, outright anti-Semitic – but still have been surprised by what has happened in these places since October 7. We need to discuss the reasons why it’s gotten so bad.
Hey, members of the “Squad,” Tlaib, Omar, AOC, Pressley! Hey, so-called civilized countries, United Nations, elite universities, and all depraved, Hamas-supporting deniers of Israel’s right to exist. I have a message for you, straight from the heart of “Palestine”:
Your cause is “sick” and comes “from the pit of hell.”
In the light of recent events, I have been poking around trying to gain a broader insight into ideas that may shape the Gazans’ worldview. I ran across the concept of Dar al-harb. I expect that the Richochet community would have some experience and insight on the topic. I would appreciate your thoughts and reflections. […]
There have been many questions asked about the Israeli delay in the invasion of Gaza. Some say that the US and other nations are responsible for the delay.
Perhaps the answer has more to do with military tactics. Israel is not allowing fuel deliveries into Gaza. When the fuel for generators is depleted, Hamas fighters will have to leave their tunnels and face Israeli armor and air strikes.
There is no question that the struggle in Gaza is as much about words as it is about hostages, guns, and rockets. In my last column, I decried the constant efforts by Western journalists to downgrade the culpability of Hamas terrorists by calling them “fighters” and “militants.” Belatedly, one such offender, the BBC, issued a wishy-washy explanation for its past practice of calling these terrorists “militants” and “gunmen.” But its explanations and its backtracking on one inflammatory story, paralleling a similar weak response in the New York Times, did not undo the untold harm from its sloppy reporting, which sparked additional protests in Arab lands by first saying that an Israeli missile, and not an errant Hamas rocket bound for Israel, damaged a Gaza hospital.
Its act of “speculation,” as the BBC characterized it, was relatively small change compared to the nonstop campaign by Hamas and its supporters to brand Israel an outcast “colonial” nation whose “occupation” and “apartheid” actions justified Hamas “resistance,” even in the form of mass slaughter of innocent Israelis whose only crime is to live in a land that Hamas claims as part of a greater Palestine that runs from “the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea,” an area, which now becomes increasingly clearer, that should in their view be “Judenrein,” that is, free of all Jewish people.
It is wholly illegitimate to treat these political claims, even if true, as any justification for the mass slaughter that took place, which has spurred Israel’s determination to rid Gaza of all elements of Hamas, after which it might be possible to have some responsible discussion of future relationship between the two warring peoples. But that discussion can begin only if the supposed justifications for the “resistance” are decisively laid aside.
Why do the heathen rage? That was the question posed by David in Psalm 2 of the Old Testament. And by the way, David was king of the United Kingdom of Israel some 1,600 years before there was any such thing as Islam. So, just to be clear, the Jews were there first, long before Islam was spread across the region through violent conquest. But the answer to the question posed in the psalm is that they, the heathen, are basically at war with God and his laws.
And O how the heathen do rage! Throughout the West — formerly known as “Christendom” and now known as a self-loathing civilization in severe decline — they rage in every major city and especially on the hallowed grounds of so-called “institutions of higher learning.” Take Harvard, for example. Originally established as a college whose main purpose was to educate clergy, more than 30 student groups recently justified the actions of the terrorist group/death cult known as Hamas after its murderous, bloodthirsty incursion into Israel from Gaza.
Clarity often emerges from the fog of war. One such occasion happened October 7, when Hamas forces burst out of Gaza with the express mission of brutally slaughtering men, women, and children just miles away in Israel. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams—with some 1,300 Israelis dead, thousands more wounded, and some 150 missing or held hostage. Situations like this require a high level of moral clarity to recognize that such brutality cannot be tolerated under some relativist theory that ignores the profound difference between victims and murderers. Some leaders, and some nations, have responded with clear words and strict sanctions, with the understanding that in times of moral crisis and personal peril, extra vigilance and even sharp limitations on civil liberties may unfortunately be needed. President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin should be commended for their forceful leadership. France’s Emmanuel Macron should likewise be praised for his forthright decision to ban pro-Palestine protests and to work feverishly toward the release of French hostages held by Hamas. And praise is due to Benjamin Netanyahu for his courageous efforts to lead a coalition of Israelis who are shocked by the tragic events.
To make my views perfectly clear, it is imperative for Israel, the United States, and a recalcitrant United Nations to do all within their power to rescue civilians from the curse of the war, lest anyone try to create an obscene parallel between Hamas, which wreaks terror on civilians, and Israel, which seeks to ferret out terrorism. Moreover, Egypt should yield to the rising demands to open the Rafah crossing into Gaza to allow refugees access to the many tons of desperately needed relief sitting idle on the Egyptian side of the border, and other nations should make ample contributions to reduce Egypt’s financial burdens. It is also the responsibility of Hamas to its own people to support efforts to save and protect lives—instead of urging innocents to remain in the evacuation area to serve as human shields against invasion.
It is necessary to strongly reject the efforts of too many individuals and groups to double down on these atrocities, treating the butchery in Israel as the first step in some grand and noble plan to kill all Israelis or drive them into the sea. More subtle is the campaigning by supposedly civilized, thoughtful individuals to downgrade the seriousness of the events by using Orwellian tricks of language. Thus they twist their moral blindness into a purportedly objective, neutral view on mass slaughter—an issue that has no two sides.
The pressures have been increasing on Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza for a couple of years to come to the peace negotiation table, and Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, has added fuel to the fire. And the Palestinians are feeling the heat. The situation between Israel and the Palestinians became especially intense […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy watching Democrats publicly feud over how prominent the impeachment issue should be in 2018. They also shake their heads as the Seattle City Council tries to fight homelessness by taxing companies $275 for every employee if the business makes more than $20 million per year. They fire back as Never Trump “Republican” Steve Schmidt says Trump’s decision to embassy is only a calculation for the midterm elections and that the president has blood on his hands from the violence along the Israel-Gaza border. And Jim offers a champagne toast to mark the passing of prolific author and National Review friend Tom Wolfe.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem after three previous administrations acknowledged Jerusalem as the Israeli capital but refused to move the embassy. They also wince as Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoes legislation that would allow residents to carry guns without a permit, leading Jim to wonder whether the anti-gun backlash after Parkland is making GOP officials more timid. And they roll their eyes as the media condemn Israel for defending its borders against thousands of Palestinians specifically sent to the border to instigate a response from Israel.
Let me be blunt. The Iranian deal always was a disaster and, after President Netanyahu’s presentation, we’re relearning what we already knew. Mama Toad’s post did a great job of soliciting input from Ricochetti about Netanyahu’s statement. And if you want an outsider’s view, take a look at David Harsanyi’s article in The Federalist. I encourage you to offer your opinion on this dangerous and ridiculous agreement, but this OP will take two different directions, particularly regarding Israel. One question is: what do we do next on the Iran agreement? The second addresses a different topic: what do you think are the dangers of the protests in Gaza at the border with Israel?
So let’s look at Iran first. They’ve lied from the start, in spite of “guarantees” for transparency and investigations by the IAEA. In its February 22, 2018 report, the IAEA summary reads as follows:
The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. The Director General will continue to report as appropriate.
It appears the Israel is taking off the gloves for real; they are taking down whole apartment buildings instead of just destroying launching sites. At the first report, I assumed that the IDF made a mistake and did too much structural damage. After a 12 story apartment building was followed by a 7 story one […]
My son Ari went to the Gaza border with his Israeli army unit a few weeks ago, as rocket attacks on Israel intensified. The army took away their cellphones, so when the casualty reports began, we didn’t know where he was. The one consolation — such as it is — is that families are notified before casualties are mentioned publicly. We cry for the families of the casualties, but our thoughts are on the next casualty report.
My son’s battalion, Golani 13, lost seven men in the early fighting. The Golani commander, who is Druze, inspired the nation by sustaining an eye injury and insisting to return to combat to lead his soldiers.