Believe Them

Believe Them


Leonard Zwelling

The great Peggy Noonan writes on December 7 in The Wall Street Journal about the sexual nature of the horrendous crimes committed by Hamas on October 7. I have no intention of repeating the details which have been widely reported two months after the fact. Many prominent liberal women’s groups have remained silent on this issue. That’s appalling, but not uncharacteristic of the left. The left is only incensed when it chooses to be or when one of its preferred minorities is slighted.

The point of Noonan’s article is there at the end when she quotes Maya Angelou about believing who people are when they first reveal themselves to you.

There can be no question about what Hamas represents. Evil.

Now, what does this have to do with the Israeli response to October 7 that is taking place in Gaza right now? It’s the point that this blog has made over and over again. Sometimes, there really aren’t two sides.

Up until October 7, one could argue that the plight of the Palestinian people was real and that surely there is validity in their desire for a land of their own. That land cannot be Israel, I’m afraid. The Arabs lost that war many times. But it could be part of the West Bank and the Palestinian leadership had that deal in 2000, but rejected it. Abba Eban was right. Yasser Arafat never “missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

After October 7, it has all changed. The Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas to lead them. Rather than invest in the infrastructure that could have made Gaza a productive and prosperous place, Hamas built tunnels and collected arms. Then, Hamas struck with a level of viciousness rarely seen in the history of the region.

There is no justification for the murder and rape of innocent civilians in southern Israel unless you believe that people at a music festival are combatants. That’s a sentence so ridiculous that I cannot believe that I had to write it. It is also true that the vast number of Palestinians in Gaza were not involved in the atrocities of October 7, but are now paying the price. Why? Because Israel feels that it has no other choice any longer. There can be no doubt with whom the Israelis are dealing as the leadership of the Palestinians in Gaza, and, undoubtedly, Hamas would also be the leaders of the West Bank if there were ever elections again. Israel can no longer tolerate living next to a group that would order Israel’s extinction. So, Israel struck back. And, hard.

The United Nations seems most concerned about the humanitarian tragedy occurring in Gaza now. Where was the UN when 1200 Israelis were slaughtered and raped and over 200 kidnapped?

If the UN wants the humanitarian crisis to stop it’s simple.

First, all the hostages still alive must be returned to Israel. Those who have died must be accounted for. The families need closure. Now.

Second, Hamas needs to vacate the premises in Gaza and the West Bank. I don’t care where they go. It might be a wise choice to leave because Israel will kill as many as it can.

Third, the Sunni Arab states of the Gulf need to assume the protection of the Palestinians and be the leaders in developing a two-state solution with land in the West Bank and Gaza. If Israeli settlers need to be uprooted, that’s OK. The Israeli government probably should not have allowed the establishment of these developments on contested land anyway. Another stupid Netanyahu decision.

Fourth, then, and only then, there will be a cease fire and the UN can come in and provide aid to the Palestinians.

If things do not go this way, Israel’s people will demand only three things of its current government:

Get the hostages all back.

Do whatever you need to do to the Palestinians in Gaza to make that happen.

Force the resignation of the Netanyahu coalition government and hold new elections.

If the UN really wants the killing in Gaza to stop, own up to what happened on October 7 and give us a solution. Without that, the rape, murder, and torture of Israelis will be avenged at ten-fold the price paid by Israel. The Israelis have been given no choice. This was always in the hands of Hamas. The Israeli response was what they wanted and what they hoped for is world condemnation. They got some of that, but as the Hamas deeds of October 7 become more clearly elucidated, the Israeli response seems more rational.

Sorry, this does not have two sides. Brutality like that of October 7 will be answered with violence until the source of that violence is gone.

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