Fighting a war is not the best way to resolve disputes. But there are certain situations in which fighting a war is the only way. Israel’s war with Hamas, which began after the horrific terrorist attacks on southern Israel on Oct. 7, didn’t leave Israel much choice.
Israel was attacked. One thousand four hundred of its citizens were murdered. Hundreds of its citizens were kidnapped. Thousands of its citizens were injured. And the entirety of its citizenry was shaken.
Israel’s only logical response was to strike back. No honest assessment of the situation could reach a different conclusion – unless one’s sympathies lie with those who kill, mutilate, rape and torture in the name of “freedom” and embrace the killing of Jews solely because they are Jews.
Israel’s challenge in Gaza plays out before us daily. How does one wage war in a confined geographic area where more than 2 million people are jammed into refugee camps, crowded housing and abject poverty and rely on daily infusions of international aid and support to survive, while camped above a Hamas-developed complex of underground tunnels, weapons repositories, military headquarters and protected shelters?
Every military strategist who has opined on the challenge comes to the same conclusion: The Hamas infestation of Gaza, its deliberate use of Gaza’s citizens, hospitals, mosques and schools as shields to cover and protect terror activities and Hamas’ underground tunnels, hiding places and attack angles make the Israeli military challenge in Gaza more difficult than anything ever seen in the history of modern warfare.
Yet those strategists recognize that Israel must respond to Hamas’ murder spree and rescue its citizen captives and understand that Israel is fully justified in seeking to wipe out Hamas and its leadership. So, they throw up their hands in frustration and say that Israel should be careful in Gaza and do everything possible to protect innocent civilians caught in the crossfire and bomb blasts of this war.
We agree. And based on what we have seen, Israel is working hard to honor its obligations to civilians while pursuing a deliberate and forceful attack on Hamas and its infrastructure. The process may not be perfect, but it is head and shoulders above what any other warring nation has done. And no one seems to have a better idea other than telling Israel to stop or pause its response.
Beginning more than four weeks ago, civilians were warned to leave northern Gaza and go to safer space in the south. Many followed that guidance. Others decided to stay or were prohibited from leaving by Hamas. That wasn’t Israel’s fault. But Israel is being blamed for it. And when Israel bombed the Jabalya neighborhood’s well-known Hamas military headquarters after repeated evacuation notices and killed dozens of Hamas leaders and soldiers, the focus turned again to the innocents who died in those blasts.
Don’t get us wrong. We mourn every life lost. Especially the innocents. But what is the alternative? Does anyone really expect Israel to allow Hamas to regroup, rearm, revitalize and prepare for another brutalizing attack simply because they are interwoven into Gaza’s civilian population?
War is hell. Lives will unfortunately continue to be lost. Blame that on Hamas. Israel has no choice. The future of the Jewish state is at stake, and we support Israel’s morally sensitive and righteous war effort to defend the Jewish people and the Jewish state.