April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Hamas Must Be Destroyed and How Diaspora Jewry can Help

In fighting back against Hamas and other Gazan terrorists, Israel’s goal should be to defeat and destroy Hamas. This means capturing or killing their leaders as well as their soldiers. And Gaza must be completely demilitarized.


Since Israel’s founding, “experts” with fancy degrees and titles have worked to limit Israeli military actions. At first, they promised peace and a new Middle East. These individuals reassured an anxious Israeli population that the threat of Palestinian terrorists will disappear when Palestinians have self-governance. Despite strong reservations, the Oslo peace process was forced upon Israel. The Hamas suicide bombers that followed in its wake did not deter these well-meaning do-gooders. Ehud Barak subsequently removed all Israeli military personnel from Lebanon, hoping that Hezbollah would lay down their arms. Even the Second Intifada did not disrupt this ideology, as Ariel Sharon pushed through the Disengagement from Gaza.


Unfortunately, reality reasserted itself as Hezbollah and Hamas soon used their newfound freedom to launch thousands of rockets and to kill and kidnap Israelis. Israelis voted to stop Oslo. They elected Likud time and again, while punishing the Labor party that forced Oslo on Israel by making it a shadow of its former self.


The failure of Oslo led to the second strategy of maintenance. With each attack by Hamas, Israel responded with a limited military operation, as “proportionality” was repeated by numerous government officials. The goal was to sign a ceasefire agreement and create deterrence, an approach some referred to as “mowing the lawn.” But yesterday’s attack shows that Hamas is not afraid and is not deterred. Instead, it has used these smaller Israeli operations as a training ground to engage with Israeli soldiers and better understand Israel’s military capabilities.


This brings us to the third option: total victory over Hamas and other Gazan paramilitary armies. Every time that Hamas attacks, they demonstrate increased capabilities. Yesterday’s surprise attack showed their militarized use of ground, air, sea, and drone capabilities. Hamas indiscriminately slaughtered Jews in the street, from infants to the elderly. They kidnapped and raped. They desecrated corpses and posted all of this on social media. Sisra’s mother would be proud.


Israel’s response must be based not only on this recent attack, but on Hamas’ future objective. Hamas repeatedly states their intention to destroy Israel. The only way to protect Israelis is to eradicate Hamas, just like the Allied forces did to the Nazis after WWII. Nothing of Hamas should be allowed to remain.


This war will take longer than previous military operations. It will also cause more death and destruction. There will certainly be immediate calls for peace or a negotiated ceasefire. This pressure must be resisted. Hamas is an enemy that will never be deterred and must be completely and utterly destroyed. Negotiations give them legitimacy, while ceasefires allow them to restock their weapons and recruit more terrorists. This façade of calm leads to more Jews being killed in the future.


High-minded individuals who focus on diplomacy, peace, a new Middle East, proportionality, ceasefire, cycle of violence, live in a fantasy world. They are unable – or unwilling – to understand the barbarism that human beings are capable of. They continue to be surprised by reality. They live far enough away that they do not suffer the consequences of their luxury beliefs.


Being uncomfortable with violence is understandable. We all want to be good and nice. Jews who have been oppressed for thousands of years do not want to be seen as oppressors. But this line of thought is an escape from reality and is no more valid than a dream. Beliefs that do not conform to reality leads to not taking the need for self-defense seriously enough. These seemingly noble aspirations are fantasies that make a person feel good inside. Prioritizing the purity of one’s own conscience over the lives of one’s fellow Jews is not righteousness, but self-righteousness.


Many of these individuals have invested their careers in promoting peace. It has become their purpose of existence. These are dangerous people because they are unwilling to admit their own error. To do so will mean that they have wasted years, if not decades, of their life. Their reputations will be in shambles. As Proverbs says, “Have you seen a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope of a fool than of him” (26:12).


We must never forget that the people of Gaza elected Hamas as their representatives. They voted for this heinous attack.


Those who are more concerned for the inevitable Palestinian suffering than Jews being murdered “love their enemies and hate their friends” (2 Samuel 19:7). These are painful words, but they must be said and absorbed.


This is not to be cruel, heaven forbid. It is a painful truth. Being merciful to those who want to kill you makes you an ally to Hamas when they kill Jews in their next attack, Heaven forbid.


Jews in the Diaspora should expect the US and other Western countries to call for a ceasefire within a few days. A division of the US State Department already did:

They deleted the tweet, not because they believed the content was wrong. It was merely a tactical error to call for a ceasefire so soon after the slaughter of 700+ Israelis.  You can be sure that the United States and other countries will try to impose a ceasefire on Israel in the coming days.


Jews in the diaspora must advocate for a total defeat of Hamas, forcefully and vigilantly. Prayers are critical, but they are not enough. Israel needs all its allies to shout, repeatedly, that Hamas is an evil cancer that must be completely destroyed, like the Biblical Amalekites who attacked the weakest and most vulnerable of the people of Israel. American Jews and Israel’s friends must overwhelm Western politicians with their support for Israel. There must be non-stop phone calls to politicians and rallies in support of a complete Israeli victory over Hamas.


Israel must eradicate Hamas from the face of this earth. And we need everyone’s help, and God’s help, to do so.


Rabbi Rafi Eis is the Executive Director of the Herzl Institute and a resident of Efrat, Israel.

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