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When attempting to discover more about the two hostages who were rescued on February 12th, the first headline that I found on Google was written by The Associated Press and read “Israel-Hamas war: Israeli hostage rescue in Rafah kills 67”. This was a rather striking headline in my opinion. It paints a picture that the rescue of hostages, who had been in captivity for 128 days and had experienced atrocities beyond our comprehension, was a bad thing. So what actually happened? Why did these 67 people die? Is it a bad thing for hostages to be rescued? 

The IDF Went Into the Gaza City of Rafah…

Following the IDF’s prior guidance to move into southern Gaza, Rafah has increased in population significantly and many have labeled this as a humanitarian crisis due to the fact that the Gazans have “nowhere else to go”. The international pressure is being placed solely on Israel, despite the fact that Egypt has chosen to leave its borders shut to Gaza civilians.

Preceding the IDF’s entry into southern Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office put out a statement  that outlined two imperative understandings. The first was as follows:

“It is impossible to achieve the war goal of eliminating Hamas and leave four Hamas battalions in Rafah.”

This has been the focal point of the war following the October 7th massacre, to dismantle the entirety of Hamas. The dismantling of a hostile terror entity would be just as, if not more, beneficial to the Gazans as it would be to the Israelis. A terrorist group governing a people group, whom they regularly use as “human shields” and keep in poverty, is not a governing body that should stay in place.

The second understanding mentioned in the statement addressed worldwide concerns: 

“On the other hand, it is clear that a massive operation in Rafah requires the evacuation of the civilian population from the combat zones.

Israel has been working on a means to evacuate the civilian population to a new and large “tent city” of sorts on the coast, but as of Monday, this proposal had not been approved by the Egyptian government.

The U.S. National Security Spokesman, John Kirby, made this statement regarding the U.S. stance on the Israeli entry into Rafah:

“[The U.S.] never said that they can’t go into Rafah to remove Hamas. Hamas remains a viable threat to the Israeli people. And the Israelis and the IDF, absolutely, are going to continue operations against their leadership and their infrastructure, as they should. We don’t want to see another October 7th.”

Kirby then continued, “What we’ve said is we don’t believe that it’s advisable to go in in a major way in Rafah without a proper, executable, effective, and credible plan for the safety of the more than a million Palestinians that are taking refuge in Rafah. They’ve left the north, and they certainly went south out of Khan Younis to try to get out of the fighting. So, Israel has an obligation to make sure that they can protect them.”

What Happened the Night the Hostages Were Rescued?

In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli special forces breached a building which held two hostages, Fernando Marman and Louis Har. These men were held by armed Hamas terrorists and additional armed gunmen were in the buildings adjacent to the one that housed the hostages. While protecting them with their own bodies, the Israeli forces managed to bring the hostages to safety whilst taking on gunfire from multiple sources simultaneously. Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesman for the IDF stated: “By 01:50, aerial fire was activated by the Israeli Air Force and Southern Command, to enable the force’s disengagement and to strike Hamas terrorists in the area.”

 An eyewitness recalled the night’s events saying that after freeing the hostages, whom he labeled “prisoners”, the IDF ordered aerial strikes on the building that had held the hostages, in addition to the buildings surrounding it.

These freed hostages were taken to Sheba Medical Center to have tests run and have since been reunited with their families. This leaves us with the horrifying question that was provoked by The Associated Press’s headline….

Is it a bad thing for hostages to be rescued?

This should never have to be a question that is even considered, but, unfortunately, in the current anti-Israel climate, this question and multiple other questions that frame Israel as the antagonist are constantly being pushed by the mainstream media. It is absolutely not a bad thing for hostages to be rescued, in fact, this news should be celebrated around the world. Two men, aged 60 and 70, have been freed from the torturous captivity that they had been trapped in for 128 days. All civilian casualties are saddening, however, it must be remembered that Israel did not provoke, nor start this war; Israel has responded defensively to an attack that resulted in over 1,200 Israelis dead and approximately 250 kidnapped. This attack was orchestrated by both members of Hamas and regular citizens in Gaza.  Regarding death tolls calculated in Gaza, they do not differentiate between the civilians and terrorists. War has never been and will never be something that can be looked upon without cringing; war is not a pretty or simple thing, but in certain circumstances, such as this, war is entirely necessary. Israel has and continues to take extreme caution in order to preserve civilian lives. Despite the world’s criticism, now is the time to rejoice with the people of Israel that two hostages have been freed from their former captivity and have been able to reunite with their families. 

The recent death of Louisiana native Tawfic Abdeljabbar has left many news outlets in an uproar since he was an American citizen who was killed in the “West Bank”. The claims of “increased settler violence” have been emphasized repeatedly since the war began on October 7th and this, seemingly, drives this point home to many individuals. There is a significant increase in the focus of this issue now that an American citizen has been killed during this conflict, but there is an exponential amount of information that has been left out. The actual reality is that twenty-three American citizens have been killed in Israel since October 7th, but the reason that it has just now become an issue is because the first twenty-two Americans that were killed were Jewish.

What’s the Story Here and Why is the Outcry for American Casualties Just Now Occurring?

The narrative pushed by many media outlets is this: Tawfic was an exceptional young man who had his whole life ahead of him and never got into any trouble. This invokes a major question: was Tawfic really an innocent young man or did he provoke aggression? 

After being raised in a New Orleans suburb, Tawfic’s family moved to Judea and Samaria following his junior year of high school to better connect to their “Palestinian heritage”, but he had the intentions of moving back to Louisiana to pursue a degree in engineering at the University of New Orleans. His family, however, plans to remain in Judea and Samaria for the foreseeable future.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for Tawfic’s death, but received a report referencing an off-duty police officer and a civilian who shot in the direction of a Palestinian who was suspected to be hurling rocks. The Israeli police have opened an investigation in regards to the claim that a soldier, who was present during the time of the incident, was firing at the individual.There have also been claims by Tawfic’s uncle that he was throwing rocks, but these claims have been disputed by other members of Tawfic’s family.  The president of a mosque in the greater New Orleans area has claimed that it was “Israeli settlers” that ultimately shot and killed Tawfic. He also expressed his frustration at the lack of acknowledgement shown by members of the State and Federal government in this quote

“He’s an American. He lives in Louisiana. I didn’t hear from anyone … No one issued a statement or release or tried to reach us or reach out to the community,” he said. “It shows you how much discrimination is going on. We did not receive the proper attention for this child as they normally give if he was in a different race or he was in a different country.”

This claim directly says that, “no one has issued a statement,” however, US National Security spokesman John Kirby addressed Tawfic’s death in this statement

“We don’t have perfect context about exactly what happened, but we’re seriously concerned about it.”

There was also an additional statement made by the State Department regarding Tawfic’s death.

With all of the claims and contradictions in mind, it can be difficult to sift through the reality of what the situation may or may not have been. Tawfic’s death is undoubtedly a tragedy due to the fact that he was a 17 year old young man, however, there appears to be a very real possibility that he was throwing rocks and inciting violence. Just to be clear, rocks thrown by rowdy Palestinian teenagers have killed Jews in the past. If Tawfic was throwing rocks, wouldn’t that then make him a terrorist? The claims that his death was not addressed due to his race is also false. His death has been addressed by the IDF and Israeli police and his death has also been far more acknowledged by the media than that of Jewish deaths. So let’s look into the American-Jewish deaths that have occurred since October 7th.

Why Doesn’t the News Care About the Jewish Americans Who Have Been Killed?

The US State Department has recorded a total of twenty-three American deaths, including Tawfic,  since the war started on October 7th. So why are we just now hearing about an American’s tragic death occurring during the war? Twenty-one of the Americans killed were courageously serving in the IDF and an additional one was serving in the Israeli National Police. These are just the American deaths that have occurred since October 7th and not the American deaths that occurred during the massacre.

The coverage of Tawfic’s death brings to light a serious concern. Is the media only concerned with the deaths of Palestinians? Does the media care about any Jewish deaths? If this prejudiced coverage is the unfortunate reality, then how many Jews have been murdered in Israel and across the world that the media has turned a blind eye to? Every person in the previously mentioned twenty-three deaths throughout the last four months have been an American citizen, yet we hadn’t heard of the first twenty-two. The twenty-two Jewish people who lost their lives were valiantly serving and protecting the Land of Israel, but the most recent death lost his life for inciting violence against Jews. These skewed stories must come to a halt and begin to show the real, true story despite the slanted morals of the ones distorting and distributing the story.

One of the imperative responsibilities for every individual during this war and the future after its resolution is to witness first-hand the destruction that took place on October 7th in order to be a personal attestor of the reality of what happened. As many media outlets attempt to deny the severity of the atrocities that took place, it is critical that we must be able to personally attest to its horrifying reality.

When we entered our bus, we were surrounded by the noise of our beautiful, nature-filled, bubble-like group, but upon arriving at Kibbutz Be’eri, we quickly became aware of just how intense the battle was, and still is in Be’eri. Within seconds of stepping off the bus, we heard the shooting of artillery aimed towards Gaza that sent ripples down each of our spines and resulted in flinches from many members in our groups. What felt like thirty seconds later, you would then hear that same artillery shell hit its target in what was a relatively “quiet” burst of noise.

Before and After the Initial Arrival.

We were informed that we had the unfortunate, yet necessary, opportunity to go to Kibbutz Be’eri roughly a week prior to making the trip. Upon learning that we were going to go to the kibbutz, I made the decision to make myself more aware of the raw details about what happened, specifically in Be’eri, in order to better understand the reality and the situation of what happened there. I read article after article recounting the events that had taken place during the painstakingly long days in Be’eri while Hamas held nearly unrestrained power during the three days of fighting. Prior to the knowledge that we were going to personally visit Be’eri, I had chosen to slightly isolate myself from the details of what had taken place during the October 7th massacre. I felt that, while it was important to know the “jist” of what had occurred, the small, stomach-turning details that caused the massacre to be even more atrocious, would be more harmful than beneficial to me. Especially since I was in Israel at the time of the attack. 

Once we arrived, we split into two groups, one went with Yuval and our group went with Eyal; both were residents of Kibbutz Be’eri. Eyal showed us his home and shared his personal story of that day and then began to show us other homes and shared others’ stories with us. Stepping over rubble and hearing the shattered glass crunch underneath the weight of each of our footsteps brought a stark contrast to what was undoubtedly a once happy and joyful home to each family. 

There was no mercy shown nor any distinction made by these evil perpetrators when it came to the murders they committed: Vivian Silver, a peace advocate and the director of the Arab Jewish Center For Empowerment, Equality, and Cooperation was murdered in her home in Be’eri. She was thought to be taken hostage because her body was not found. However, she was later pronounced dead after archeologists discovered a DNA sample belonging to her from the charred remnants of her home. The damage to these homes and innocent, loving people were so gruesome that archeologists had to be brought in to sift through the ashes in order to see if there were any traces of prior human life that could no longer be discovered by the paramedics. Young children were murdered without second thought. An eighty year old man was shot and later died after he pleaded to his attackers by bartering with them that they could take all of his belongings, but begged that they wouldn’t shoot him. We heard his final moments on a recording of a phone call with one of his daughters as she desperately tried to inform him how to stop his bleeding and tell him that he would live. His desperate responses still echo in my mind: he told her that he was losing blood and that he couldn’t hear her. Some of the most heart wrenching words were these: “somebody help me, please somebody save me,” and “goodbye.” His other daughter lived nearby and had the horrifying experience of helplessly watching his home, her childhood home, go up in flames with him inside of it. She had attempted to rescue him by running out of her home with a knife, but the area was so overrun with terrorists that she was forced to retreat back to her own home.

We witnessed where the Evens family desperately tried to hide after fleeing their home, but were later found killed. They and their two teenagers were able to protect the two youngest children from the same fate that they themselves had received by using themselves as shields.

We saw a street where every single house had someone who was brutally murdered within it. We also saw the ruins of the Bachars’ home, a family whose 13 year old daughter had made a video call to the ambulance services in an attempt to save her wounded father. House after house was riddled with bullet holes, marks of explosions, discoloration from the smoke that filled nearly every inch of the homes, and belongings scattered over the floors. We saw one home where there had been food still in the oven waiting to be happily eaten by a family at the breakfast table. Later, we saw a town home that had been bulldozed and burnt that bore witness that a young family had been living there by a smoke-stained stuffed animal sitting on the blackened window sill. 

A Community of Comradery.

Kibbutz Be’eri was a community filled with love. Their hearts overflowed with love for each other and love for nature. The entire kibbutz was a beautiful display of what was certainly an oasis of greenery and life in the Negev. As the tragedies unfolded on October 7th, neighbors WhatsApped and called each other constantly. They shared with each other where the terrorists were and where and when families could escape from their burning homes, they asked one another for advice on how to keep the smoke from entering the safe rooms, they shared the best way to secure their safe room doors in a way that, when the terrorists started shooting through the door, only their hands would be shot and that they would not receive any lethal wounds. They shared when the terrorists would enter their homes and their neighbors’ homes and would share with one another when one of the community members was murdered. This kibbutz of roughly 1,200 people prior to the attack that helped and supported each other throughout the entirety of the massacre gives the heartfelt understanding that they were undeniably a family. 

An Attack of Contradictions.

There is nothing about this attack that is even slightly understandable. The attackers had made detailed maps of the community prior to the attack in order to know who would be home at the time of the slaughter, yet appeared to still hit homes at random. At some safe rooms they would spend hours attempting to break in, but at others they would give up and move on after only a short period of time. They claim to be fighting for “freedom from the Israeli occupation”, yet chose to attack the people who made the strongest efforts for peace and friendship on behalf of the Palestinians. The only understandable intention of the attack is this: their intention was to kill without mercy, without hesitation, and without reason and to kidnap without distinction. Nearly 1 out of every 10 residents were killed in Be’eri, but the streets were also strewn with corpses of innocent, scared, and desperate people from the Nova festival, the courageous soldiers and first responders who fought against the enemy, and the bodies of the terrorists who committed these atrocities. Be’eri’s once serene streets had become streets filled with horror and tragedy. 

Be’eri was once an oasis and it will be again one day. Many community members have a desire to return and rebuild their lives from the ashes. Hamas had the intention of burning and burying the Jewish people, but Hamas seems to have forgotten that every time the Jewish people have experienced a massacre, they rebuild and return with a renewed zeal and strength. Be’eri will once again be an oasis, but this time it will boast of its perseverance and return to beauty from its bloodied rubble. 

Since Israel’s security cabinet approved the passage of aid through the Kerem Shalom border crossing last month, tensions have been escalating near the Gaza border with many Israelis opposed to the flow of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. Demonstrators, many of them families and friends of hostages still held in Gaza, have been gathering at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the southern entry point from Israel into Gaza. Their unified demand: no more aid should enter Gaza until all hostages are released.

The protest, which intensified last Wednesday, effectively halted the passage of aid trucks into Gaza. Out of 70 to 100 trucks which normally cross, only a mere nine managed to bypass the demonstrators. The protestors voiced their anguish and frustration over the ongoing captivity of their loved ones with slogans such as “No aid will pass until the last hostage returns.” and, “Don’t give aid to the enemy!”

WATCH: 100 Aid Trucks Were Just BLOCKED From Entering Gaza & Joe Biden is Furious

“There is nothing humanitarian about this aid”

The protestors have valid concerns with the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Since the aid meant for Gazan civilians began flowing into Gaza, videos and other reports have surfaced of Hamas fighters stealing the supplies. Israel has sent medicine into Gaza for the hostages, but there is no indication the medications ever reached them.

In addition, UNRWA, the United Nations organization responsible for distributing the aid to Palestinians in Gaza who need it, has shown itself totally inept, corrupt, and even complicit with Hamas in its activities. A recent revelation exposed UNRWA employees participating in the massacres of October 7, 2023.

Pressure on Israel from the United States to send aid to Gaza

The Biden Administration, which pressured Israel to open the crossing in the first place last month, urged Israel to not let the crossing be blocked, informing Israel that the Kerem Shalom crossing must remain open and operate as usual.

In response, Tzav-9, one of the groups organizing the blockades, issued this statement:

“…We suggest that the administration and the President of the United States direct all their efforts and heartfelt concern for the immediate release of the one-year-old baby Kfir Bibas together with 135 abductees. We continue our activity with all our might and call on the entire public in the country, religious and secular from the right and the left, from the city, the village and the kibbutz to come with us and block the Kerem Shalom crossing. No aid goes through until the last of the abductees returns.”

The IDF and Israeli police began setting up roadblocks, and hundreds of protesters began flocking to the crossing on foot. At publishing time, the IDF had announced a closed military zone surrounding the crossing, keeping protesters away from the road, and arresting some.

If there was even a slight assumption that the members of Hamas and those implicit in Hamas’ activities have even an ounce of humanity, recent events confirm that their ideology is massively flawed. Even if one were to entirely base their opinion of Hamas on their actions following the October 7th massacre and not include the massacre itself in their opinions, there is still no evidence that these barbarians possess the slightest of morals.

Despite Hamas openly expressing their disregard for human life, they have recently hammered in this fact by now making a publicized game out of the lives of some of the hostages held captive in Gaza. In three different videos, three individuals were mentioned: Noa Argamani, Yossi Sharabi and Itai Savirsky. Noa’s kidnapping from the music festival went viral as she was seen on the back of a motorcycle reaching out desperately to her boyfriend, who was also being taken hostage. Yossi Sharabi and Itai Savirsky were both kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri, the kibbutz where nearly 1 out of every 10 members were killed. Itai Savirsky was not from Kibbutz Be’eri, but was visiting his parents for the holidays there. Sadly, his parents were murdered in the massacre. Yossi Sharabi was a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri and was kidnapped along with his brother, Eli Sharabi, whose wife and two daughters were murdered, and Ofir Engel, a resident of Jerusalem who was also visiting his family for the holiday, but was later released following the hostage deal.

Hamas’ Shameless Dehumanization of Hostages.

Hamas aired three videos with three innocent captives. The first showed clips of the hostages delivering a similar message asking for a stop to the war and to be brought home. Hamas ended the videos with the ominous message: “tomorrow we will inform you of their fate.” The second video asked the audience what they believed the fate of these three hostages was in English, Hebrew, and Arabic: that they all were killed, that some were killed and some injured, or that all were alive. This video ended by sharing that the fate of these hostages would be revealed that evening. The last video, published a few hours later, showed Noa Argamani sharing that Itai Savirsky and Yossi Sharabi had been killed “in an Israeli airstrike”.

The IDF denied these claims, labeling them as a “Hamas lie”. IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari made this statement in relation to the deaths of these two hostages:

“Itai was not shot by our forces – this is a Hamas lie. The building where they were being held was not a target, and it was not struck by our forces.” The IDF spokesman also said that the IDF “did not know their real-time location; we do not strike in places where we know there may be hostages. In hindsight, we know we struck targets near to the location where they were being held. We are investigating the event and its circumstances, examining the images distributed by Hamas, alongside additional information at our disposal.”

While some may believe Hamas’ half-baked story regarding the deaths of these two hostages, it is apparent that a coincidence in the timing of the release of these sickening videos and the deaths of the hostages is extremely unrealistic. The fact that Hamas had made a game out of the lives of these three individuals and that two of them were later revealed to be dead at the same time that their fate was set to be revealed is extremely incriminating. 

Labeling the videos as “psychological warfare”, Israeli officials have largely avoided responding to Hamas’ publications of the hostages. This should be assuring to Israel’s supporters, that Israel and the IDF have no intentions of playing Hamas’ perturbed game and are maintaining a very straightforward, no nonsense mindset in regards to this war and the hostage situation.

Why Would Hamas Do This?

This question can be applied to nearly every decision and every action Hamas has made since its inception, but in regards to the massacre and the wretched videos recently released, this entirely dehumanizes the hostages to the viewers of Hamas’ propaganda. These individuals have been broadcasted as less-than human and have become pawns in Hamas’ vile representation of their lives. Hamas has never and will never care about what will happen to these hostages and if they are able to cause their lives and deaths to make a smaller emotional impact on those watching, then they are effectively manipulating the masses into viewing their horrifying actions as ordinary.

Every single day that these hostages are held captive by Hamas is another day that they can’t afford; they have to be returned to Israel as soon as possible. One more day in captivity may be one day too many. Ultimately Hamas’ reasoning is none other than this: to murder every Jew and to commit atrocities against them every chance they can. If this behavior is not addressed by the world and taken seriously, then there is a strong chance that another tragedy, similar to what has happened in the last four months, may happen again. We, as individuals with a voice and an impact, must ensure that a tragedy such as this may never occur again. 

Have you ever heard the following before? Terrorist attacks are only committed by “uneducated, oppressed Palestinians” who are trying to be free from the “Israeli Occupation”. Sorry to bust your bubble, but that’s not actually the case. The level of education received is not the determining factor when it comes to terrorists murdering or attempting to murder innocent Jews in cold blood. In addition, their sheer hate for the Jewish people also blinds them to the point that they even kill their own people. The debunking of this myth will prove that the seething malice these individuals possess for the Jewish people harms not only the Jews, but also results in the senseless deaths of the same people they claim to be fighting for.

Some of These Terrorists Are More Educated Than 85% of Americans.

On January 7th, a terrorist attack took place on the road between Ofra and Psagot, two Jewish villages in Samaria. According to i24 News, after the attack, three individuals were apprehended; two of them were employed as doctors and the other as a nurse. To provide some context, to become a doctor in the United States you must attend a minimum of eleven years of college education, but to contrast this, the number of Americans who possessed a master’s degree (eight years) or higher in 2021 was only 14.4% according to the United States Census Bureau. This means that two of the terrorists involved in the attack, (which, by the way, took the life of an Arab-Israeli citizen), were more educated than 85.6% of Americans aged 25 and older.

As another example, on January 7th, 2023, two Al Jazeera journalists were killed and multiple others injured while riding in the car with a terrorist who was operating a drone that was putting Israeli soldiers at risk. The two journalists killed were known members of Gaza-based terrorist groups. One was a deputy squad commander of Hamas’ Gaza City Brigade and the other a member of the electronic engineering unit of the PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad). These journalists may not have been the operators of this specific drone, but they did possess enough knowledge and a career that gave them the ability to, not only avoid affiliating themselves with terrorists, but also to avoid being terrorists themselves.

Unfortunately, none of this should be new knowledge for the public; it has been proven time and time again that doctors have been implicit in terrorist activities operating within their own hospitals, and teachers have been implicit in terrorist activities that have been taught within the very curriculums that have been propelled into the ears of Arab children whilst terrorists build tunnels underneath the same schools. 

Who Are Some of These Highly “Uneducated” Individuals?

Many of the individuals committing these abhorrent deeds are not mindless, incompetent foot soldiers; they are educated, calculated killers with no reverence for life.

  • Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, had attended a United Nations run school and then later graduated from Islamic University with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Literature in 1987. 
  • Khaled Mashal, the former leader of Hamas, graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in Physics from Kuwait University.
  • Salh al-Arouri, Hamas’ second-in-command prior to his death, graduated from Hebron University with a bachelor’s degree in Islamic Sharia.

These men who hold these positions of power and influence were and are intelligent enough to have used their knowledge to choose peaceful paths. The issue, however, is not that these calculated killers are uneducated; the issue is that it has been instilled in the minds of these individuals to murder the Jewish people and steal the Land of Israel by any and every means necessary: even to the point of causing their own brethren to suffer. They have chosen to use their knowledge to design elaborate plans of violence and evil and, in many cases, only became more radicalized and more vile during their time of higher education. The “Israeli Occupation and oppression that hinders the ability of the Palestinians to receive proper education” does not exist and has never been the reason for them murdering innocent Jewish civilians. The cause is that they have been taught from their youth to steal, kill, and destroy the very essence of Jewish life.

Without a single civilian casualty, the seven killed in what was assumed to be Israel’s precise drone strike in Beirut on Tuesday were all Hamas operatives and leaders. These seven criminals were, according to The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Mahmoud Zaki Shahin, Muhammad Bshasha, Muhammad al-Rees, Ahmed Hamoud, Azzam Hasni al-Aqra – a commander in Hamas’ military wing from the village of Qublan in the Nablus district, Samir Fendi, a commander in Hamas’ military wing and in charge of its activities in Lebanon, and Sheikh Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and in charge of the movement in Judea and Samaria.

Who Was the Main Target of This Assassination? 

Saleh al-Arouri, also referred to as Salih Muhammad Sulayman al-Aruri and Salih Suleiman, was born in 1966 in the town of Arura, near Ramallah, in Judea and Samaria. During his time at Hebron University studying Sharia Law in 1985, he became part of the Muslim Brotherhood and followed its path of the creation of Hamas in 1987. These formative years of radicalization led to al-Arouri’s co-founding role in the formation of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing.

What Role Did Al-Arouri Play in Recent Hamas History?

Al-Arouri was the leader of Hamas military operations in Judea and Samaria, a member of Hamas’s Politburo, and the deputy chairman of Hamas. This means he was the number two person in Hamas, under only Ismail Haniyeh.

In 2014, al-Arouri claimed Hamas’s responsibility for the kidnapping of three teenage boys from the Gush Etzion Junction in Judea. These young boys, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, were found weeks later murdered near Hebron.

Later, in September of 2015, The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated al-Arouri as a specially designated global terrorist and in 2018 the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program put a five million dollar bounty on al-Arouri’s head.

In the summer of 2023, al-Arouri played a hand in the formation of the Al-Ayash Battalion, whose purpose is to bring the same terror that seeps within every crevice of the Gaza Strip into Judea and Samaria. This group was responsible for the rockets that were launched from the Jenin area in Samaria in 2023 and later a manufacturing location was found by the IDF. 

Some have theorized that al-Arouri may have been linked to Hamas’s October 7th attack against Israel. A few weeks after the attack, the IDF destroyed al-Arouri’s house in Arura, but he was not living there at the time. According to the European Council on Foreign Relations, al-Arouri was deported from Israel to Syria in 2010, then after three years he moved to Turkey, and later he moved to Lebanon.

What Does This Mean For Israel, Lebanon, Gaza, and the Surrounding Region?

It takes little imagination to recognize the critical hit that Hamas just received. The death of the second in command, who was leader of Hamas’ military in Judea and Samaria and a main connector of Hamas’ relations with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran, and with Fatah (closely connected with the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority) is an irreparable loss to the terrorist group and their operations.

The question is how will this hit be received? Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General was already scheduled to deliver a speech on Wednesday, January 3 at 18:00 (UTC +2), the fourth anniversary of the death of top commanders General Qassem Suleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. However the events that took place the night prior caused the speech to take a different direction. In one statement Nasrallah made this declaration:

 “Until now, we are fighting on the [Israel-Lebanon] front with set calculations, but if the enemy [Israel] wages war on Lebanon, our fight will be without limits, rules and regulations, and it [Israel] knows what I mean.” He also expressed intent to share further details of his plans of responding to this new development of the war in an additional speech on Friday.

Hezbollah senior official, Hussein Yazbek, was killed along with three other members of Hezbollah Wednesday night in the city of Naqoura. The intentional strikes on the terrorist groups’ highly regarded operatives shows Israel’s acute intent to protect its citizens and dismantling Hamas by every means necessary.​​ Eradicating al-Arouri in Beirut and neutralizing these Hezbollah officials may be taken as a sign that Israel is not afraid to engage with Hezbollah.

With Lebanon having a heightened intention of brutality against Israel and Israel showing no signs of a fearful recession, things could escalate even more in the near future. As the U.S. sends airstrikes on Baghdad and attempts to keep the Houthis at bay, Israel seems to be facing an increased number of enemies. If Hezbollah were to declare war on Israel, it could be an easy foresight that Iran may quickly align themselves with their two allies: Hamas and Hezbollah. 

If there were to be that many fronts against Israel, from an earthly view, the outcome could appear to be hopelessly bleak. However, if Israel had ever fought battles by solely earthly means, there very well may have not been a state of Israel today. Israel has faced many battles where there have been no earthly reason that Israel should have come out the victor, yet they have won time and time again. When every odd appears to be against Israel, that is when the God who goes before and fights for Israel makes Himself known in a mighty way. Israel has gained a significant victory by eliminating Hamas and Hezbollah officials and one can be certain that this will not be their last victory in this war.

Can you imagine a Jew entering Bethlehem today? Under control of the Palestinian Authority since the Oslo Accords, it is now illegal for a Jew to do so. Jews and tourists who have been mistaken as Jews have been assaulted by lynch mobs. The UN, Russia, China, most Muslim States, and even the US would condemn a Jew who tries to enter this territory. Yet this was the place that 2.5 billion Christians just celebrated as the birthplace of a Jew – 2023 years ago. 

Unfortunately, this basic fact – that Jesus was a Jew from Judea – has been attacked over and over again, firstly by *Palestinianists and now increasingly by some left-wingers, both to split the Judeo-Christian alliance. Now, they say, Jesus was a Palestinian from the “West Bank”. 

The first results on Google of the question “is Jesus a Zionist” all attack the very notion. Zionism, they say, is antithetical to Jesus. But Jesus was a practicing Jew all his life. A Jew who understood the truth, as central to Judeo-Christian Civilization as secular ethics, that G-d gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people forever. He was a Jew who fought for the freedom of Jews to be Jews – anywhere and everywhere in the land of Israel. 

The idea that Jesus was a Palestinian is hilariously ridiculous from a historical perspective. The word “Palestinian” (an originally Roman word unpronounceable in Arabic) was only used to describe the territory about 150 years after Jesus’s life, when the Romans renamed the province following the massive Bar Kokhba revolt against Roman rule. Furthermore, most of the modern uses of the word “Palestinian” refer to the concept of an Arab-Palestinian national identity. This was popularized in the 1960’s by the KGB and the Arab League, but even the national charter of the organization they created to pursue Palestinian nationalism – the PLO – states they are part of one “Inseparable Part of the Arab Nation.” Hamas, likewise and ironically, wants a global Islamist Caliphate, and rejects the concept of Palestinian Nationalism. The idea is a tool used by “Palestinians” and their supporters to make them seem like the underdog against Israel, and representative of much larger and more sinister forces (whether that was Arab Pan-Nationalists and the authoritarian Soviet Superpower in the 1960’s or Islamic Jihadists today.)

Hamas and other Palestinianist terror groups (and those who justify them) in are, much like the Roman Empire of old, part of an empire antithetical to Judeo-Christian values (theirs emanating out of Arab anger at a Jewish state and Iranian, Turkish and Qatari money that corrupts the globe.) And there is nothing more against the teachings of both Judaism and Christianity than the genocidal acts of mass murder perpetrated by the October 7th invasion of the State of Israel, and the Anti-Semitism which has swept the world since. Rejecting the obviously orwellian lie of Jesus as a Palestinian is important – for both Jews and Christians alike. It becomes harder than ever as the propaganda in the West increases, but as Jews and Christians, we must have faith. Faith that, if we keep to the truth, G-d will redeem us from the “house of slavery” which shackles the world using, amongst other tools, the lie of an ancient Palestinian-Arab people. 

Addendum: To all the idiots – most notably AOC – who think there are Jewish Palestinian Arabs: You aren’t Christian or Jewish, so stop pretending you care about this as anything other than a way to attack Jews. As for the claim: It’s utter bunk. Modern day “Palestinians” are Arab-Muslims, not Jews. If you can’t understand an Ashkenazi Jew you scream at for being a “colonizer” is deeply embedded in the land, but “Palestinians” are a people descended religiously, culturally, and in most cases literally from Arabia, you are crazy. 

*A cult-like ideology which views all of Israel as “occupied” from an Arab Palestinian people which in reality didn’t exist until after the founding of Israel. 

Short Bio: 

JS Weiss is a pro-sanity advocate who works for the Coalition for Jewish Values in Washington DC.

As the world continues to watch the events of the war with Hamas unfold, many have called for a more permanent solution to help create an environment of “peace” in the Middle East. These same people have blamed this lack of peace on Israel, but is Israel really the party at fault for this hostility? The calls for permanent ceasefires and a two-state solution persist despite Hamas being the party that broke the most recent ceasefire. This poses the question: “Have the Palestinians historically been the party responsible for the failure of the two-state solution?”

How many Peace Talks have been Discussed in Modern History?

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, there have been a whopping 38 discussions concerning peace between Israel and its disputed land mass with the first discussion beginning in 1925. This means that there have been talks as to how the Jews and their neighbors would live in a peaceful environment since before Israel declared its statehood in 1948. 

One of the most notable peace deals proposed to the Palestinians was as follows:

“In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. In addition, he agreed to dismantle 63 isolated settlements. In exchange for the 3% annexation of the West Bank, Israel would increase the size of the Gaza territory by roughly a third. Barak also made previously unthinkable concessions on Jerusalem, agreeing that Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would become the capital of the new state. The Palestinians would maintain control over their holy places and have “religious sovereignty” over the Temple Mount. The proposal also guaranteed Palestinian refugees the right of return to the Palestinian state and reparations from a $30 billion international fund that would be collected to compensate them.”

Yasser Arafat rejected this offer with no counter offer due to the reasoning that he was unwilling to stop inflicting terror upon the Jewish people. The events following this refused peace talk led to an additional five years of terror that resulted in over 1,000 Israeli deaths. 

This is not an uncommon trend; the Palestinian leadership regularly rejects offers of peace and breaks ceasefires with Israel. These decisions of prolonging violence are also made by Hamas leadership in Gaza today. This quote from the spokesperson for the Consulate of Israel in New York, Itay Milner, expresses this fact well: 

“October 6th, there was a cease-fire. This war was forced on us by Hamas.” 

Not only did Hamas initiate this war, but also broke the most recent ceasefire while an estimated 137 hostages were still in their possession.

The continued calls for a permanent ceasefire appear to be without sound reasoning. As the pro-Palestine population claims that Israel must stop this violence and commit to a ceasefire, they seem to have forgotten that Israel has agreed to multiple peace deals and ceasefires with the Palestinians, but the Palestinians have disagreed with or broken nearly every posed offer.

Why don’t Ceasefires Work?

The answer is relatively simple for such a complex war. A ceasefire won’t work because the people in Gaza do not want it to work. In order for a ceasefire to be carried out and continued, both parties must be in unison on the concept of peace. While Israel has shown extreme willingness and intent to begin a new chapter of peace with Gaza, even to the point of giving the entirety of the Gaza Strip into the possession of the Palestinians in 2005, the elected leadership and civilians in Gaza do not hold the same determination to see peace with Israel. The vocalized intent of the Gazans is to commit genocide against the Jewish people and conquer the entire Land of Israel: both Israel proper and the debated areas. When one party advocates for peace and the other party advocates for domination, ceasefires will not last.

Since a ceasefire doesn’t appear to be a long term solution to the war, what does have the potential of being a long-lasting answer? The only apparent solution to this problem is to continue the mission at hand of dismantling the entirety of Hamas. There will not be peace in the Middle East as long as one of the two parties is unwilling to compromise or stay faithful to their agreed upon word. The responsibility for the ongoing war falls onto the ones who attacked Israel on October 7th and then broke the ceasefire with Israel on December 1st: Hamas. It would be irresponsible for Israel to idly watch as their own country and citizens are being targeted for death. Israel has no alternative to taking action against those responsible for the murders and kidnappings against their own civilians. 

As the war with Gaza rages on, many are beginning to ask this question: “Who is Hamas?” The understanding of who this group is and what they stand for vary from crowd to crowd. Are they fighting for the freedom of the Palestinians in the “Occupied Territories”? Are they a rag-tag group of hoodlums who haphazardly harm people? Or are they a known, hostile, terrorist entity with leadership, footsoldiers, and the intention of harming any and all Jews as they attempt to obliterate the entirety of the land of Israel?

The societal understanding of Hamas is not as cut and dry as it should be. The US recognized Hamas as a terror organization in 1997 and still does today, but the UN does not recognize Hamas as a terror organization. You read that right: the UN does not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization. This is despite the continued terror attacks, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and additional atrocities they’ve inflicted against many people, especially the Jewish people.

What’s the History of HAMAS?

Hamas’ history is relatively modern when one considers the long history of Israel and its enemies. According to the US Director of National Intelligence, the group now known as Hamas was founded in late 1987 during the first Palestinian Intifada and has had the intention of establishing an Islamic Palestinian State in the place of Israel since its conception. 

The branches of Hamas’ governing system are far from unorganized and uncalculated. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the government stretches from Gaza to Judea and Samaria throughout jails, welfare systems, governing bodies, and nearly every other societal foothold. While the current leader, Ismail Haniyeh, is operating out of Qatar, the now deceased founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, received his zeal for violence during his time in Cairo, Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood. Since Hamas’ origins begin with the Muslim Brotherhood, to truly understand Hamas ideology we must also understand the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Who and What is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Muslim Brotherhood began shortly after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Despite the group denouncing terrorism, a quote like this from the founder of the Brotherhood, Hasan al-Banna, alludes to a different ideology: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”  

Even more incriminating is the organization’s motto:  “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

The Muslim Brotherhood has directly produced some of the most vile terrorists known in history and this fact hasn’t changed in the modern climate. The Brotherhood is still producing and encouraging its members to engage in and incite acts of violence against many people groups. Despite their efforts to claim that they have become less violent than in prior years, in September 2010, Muhammad Badi’ gave a sermon in which he said, “… the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life.”

Hamas’ beginnings in 1987 initiated many speculations that it would not be as violent as its predecessor; these hopes were, unfortunately, crushed. HAMAS is an acronym meaning “Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement) according to the Director of National Intelligence . This name alludes to the idea that they’re fighting against an oppressive situation; however, their true intentions are vividly clear. The Jewish Virtual Library lays out this grouping of quotes in a concise and easily understandable way: 

“In the published Islamic Covenant, it states that “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad (holy war).” The group warns that any Muslim who leaves “the circle of struggle with Zionism” is guilty of “high treason.” Hamas’ platform calls for creating an Islamic republic in Palestine to replace Israel. Muslims should “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” 

Even though they may claim to be fighting for freedom from oppression, it is clear to see their intentions are to dominate Israel and every Jew living within it.

In the Hamas Covenant, their intentions against Israel and the Jewish people become even clearer in this excerpt: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’”

The degree to which the ideology of Hamas and its affiliate, the Muslim Brotherhood, has penetrated nearly every societal setting in many Palestinian territories within the Gaza Strip, Judea, and Samaria is frightening. Just as the Muslim Brotherhood spread its agenda across many nations throughout the world, Hamas has spread its agenda within Israel and many of the surrounding countries. The violent, tyrannical ideology is found in mosques, schools, and politics. Hamas’ operations are also found in countries like Lebanon, Qatar, and Egypt.

It may be easy to think that their vile intentions cannot come to fruition due to lack of manpower and organization, but the reality is far more concerning. Hamas has approximately 25,000 members and an orderly, organized hierarchy and political system within their tyrannical terror.

What Do These Origins Mean?

We’ve established that Hamas’ intentions are less than peaceful, but somehow the international community still doesn’t unilaterally consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The EU has recognized Hamas as a terrorist organization and the US designated it a terrorist entity nearly 30 years ago, but countries such as the UK and Australia only designated it as such in recent years. Despite the many years of terror inflicted by Hamas, Switzerland just made the decision to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization following the October 7th attack on Israel. Countries like Turkey and Iran continue to support Hamas by means of funding and allowing senior personnel to operate out of their countries.

As mentioned prior, the UN, abhorrently, still refuses to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization even during this uptick in violence from Hamas toward Israel. Despite the call to action from US Senator Susan Collins urging this designation and multiple countries taking renewed initiative against this hostile entity, the UN’s lack of action remains consistent with their historical trend of opposing Israel.

The world must not allow this irreverence of life to continue and instead recognize Hamas as what it truly is. Every individual must share Hamas’ heinous plans with others and no longer allow this false narrative of Hamas fighting for freedom to continue in any circle. It is long overdue that every person acknowledges that Hamas’ aggression toward Israel makes it a substantial terrorist organization. 

Hamas’ intentions are not currently, and have never been to free the “oppressed Palestinians.” From the early beginnings of the organization, their nefarious intentions have been to destroy all Jewish life, Jewish presence, the Jewish state, and all individuals who support a Zionist cause. The pushed concept that Hamas is fighting and murdering for a “good” cause must not continue to penetrate the minds of innocent, susceptible people. As the world powers are beginning to acknowledge Hamas for its true intentions, that notion must also be acknowledged in every community across the world.

Women’s rights have been one of the primary focuses and debates among the majority of people in recent years. Women have had a long history of being treated as royals and as far from royalty as imaginable. In order to ensure that women are treated with kindness and respect, many have begun to wonder what that looks like. While the pinnacle of this debate seems to be focused on whether a woman’s place is in the workforce or the home, these concerns pale in comparison to the women’s rights that are currently being violated in Israel. If the citizens of the world truly care about women and the way they are treated, now is the time to speak up in the defense of the innocent women who have experienced atrocities beyond most people’s comprehension. If we have decided to take the stance to listen to, believe, and support women, then we cannot pick and choose which women to support or not support. We must support the unlistened to, unacknowledged women.

Does the UN Care About Women?

UN Resolution 1820 states that the UN: “recognizes sexual violence as a weapon and tactic of war; notes that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute a war crime, a crime against humanity, or a constitutive act with respect to genocide, stresses the need for the exclusion of sexual violence crimes from amnesty provisions in the context of conflict resolution processes and calls upon the member states to comply with their obligations for prosecuting persons responsible for such acts, to ensure that all victims of sexual violence, particularly women and girls, have equal protection under the law and equal access to justice, and stresses the importance of ending impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking sustainable peace, justice, truth, and national reconciliation.”

This resolution is entirely necessary and something every person should agree on, however, the UN doesn’t appear to be applying it to Jewish victims nor to the horrors that Israeli women and children suffered at the hands of Hamas.

The measure of violence that was executed upon these innocent women is so sadistic that it is unimaginable that any human would be able to commit these deeds and horrifying enough to make any person who has even a slight moral compass tremble and feel sick to their stomach. These men raped multiple women and girls and according to the Times of Israel were given permission to rape a girl’s corpse. Israel Today shared information that some Gazans mutilated these innocent civilians to the point that it was difficult to tell whether they were male or female. 

The UN has released multiple articles noting the “dire” situation in the Gaza Strip directly inflicted by Israel but has made little mention of the recognized war crimes committed by the same people Israel has defended itself against. This, rightfully, has many Jewish women up in arms, but, sadly, it seems as though no one else is infuriated by this. The UN has the responsibility to uphold their own resolution even when it contradicts the narrative of which  they are attempting to convince the majorities. 

The women and children of Israel should have never suffered the atrocities and, even more so, it should not be implied that these crimes were justified due to the “Israeli occupation.” This willful condonement only further exploits the disregard for Jewish lives.

Does the World Actually Care About Women’s Safety?

If those who were attacked on October 7th, 2023, had been your mother, sister, or daughter, would you have wanted to hear that they “deserved” what had happened to them? Or would you have wanted the world to act on their behalf and impose justice upon the ones who had enacted these barbaric atrocities against them? The events that occurred on October 7th were not “acts of resistance,” they were acts of hatred, evil, and disregard for life. The beliefs of individuals regarding the “Israeli oppression” in the Gaza Strip should be completely irrelevant when referring to the crimes committed against the families and civilians in these innocent Israeli towns. No amount of “oppression” warrants the blatant war crimes enacted against the Jewish people during this dark day in history. No woman or child deserved a single one of the vile deeds that were inflicted upon them, and they should be defended and fought for on a world scale. If you truly believe that women should have rights, now is the time to stand up for that belief.

The focal lens of the world is fixed on the evil entity of Hamas in Gaza. This tunnel vision has one extremely dangerous downfall; Hamas is not solely located in Gaza. Hamas’s reach spans far outside of the borders of Israel, but has an especially dense devotion instilled in its followers within Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank).

Myth: Hamas Is Not Operating in Judea and Samaria.

As the Jihadist agenda of Hamas unfolds throughout the southern region of Israel and the Gaza Strip, the support of Hamas within Judea and Samaria has begun to skyrocket. While the terror group has initiated acts of terror against Israelis, the view of the Arab world has shifted to view Hamas as a group whose mission is the same as theirs: the death of the Jewish people. This newfound admiration is spurring many protests to take place in Arab villages throughout Judea and Samaria and has begun to challenge the current leadership, the Palestinian Authority. 

The Palestinian Authority does participate in acts of terror against the Jewish people, but not on the same scale as Hamas. This has led many Palestinans to feel disappointment in their governing body for their lack of large-scale action against the entirety of the Land of Israel.

This renewed and re-energized support for Hamas grew even more following the trade of Palestinian terrorists for Israeli hostages. This trade was a pivotal moment in morale boost for many of the Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. With an entirely unequal scale, only 110 innocent Israelis were released from captivity while 180 convicted Palestinian terrorists were released from Israeli jails. The view held by many of the individuals living within the Arab villages is that Hamas was able to force the Israeli government’s hand into releasing known criminals who have already shown the intention of furthering the agenda of Hamas.

Why Is It Important to Pay Attention to Hamas Everywhere?

This steadily growing Jihadist support is an immense threat to every Jew in the land of Israel and every person who aligns themselves against the senseless murder of innocent Jews. As towns like Be’eri, Kerem Shalom, Nachal Oz, and numerous others were invaded on October 7th, 2023, the borders that were the defense from Gaza in southern Israel are nearly non-existent in Judea and Samaria. In the Biblical Heartland of Israel, the Jewish and Arab communities are scattered throughout the region with Arab communities slowly encroaching into the areas designated solely for Jews. The Jews daily experience Maccabean odds as they are outnumbered by the Arabs in this small expanse of land with only 500,000 Jews compared to 2 million Arabs. Even with these concerning numbers, the Jewish communities possess frighteningly scarce supplies; they lack the manpower necessary to defend the 200 Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and with the manpower they do have, many of the security forces don’t have the very gear that is necessary for their protection and defense such as: helmets, protective vests, and even flashlights. 

If the Arabs (whose population is 400% the population of the Jews), in Judea and Samaria were to attempt an attack comparable to the one that Hamas conducted on October 7th, the outcome could be even more disastrous. 

The viewpoint of this region must begin to broaden to shed light on the reality of the situation in Israel. This war is not only being fought in the Gaza Strip, but also covers the entirety of the country. If this fact is not acknowledged, calamity could ensue. Despite the fact that Israel is taking heat for its intentions of dismantling every Hamas member and its government, this is the only solution to halting the vicious intentions that are permeating the minds of Arabs living inside the scope of Israel. Every Jihadist, genocidal person affiliated with Hamas must be addressed and managed in order to ensure the safety of every person in Israel. These maniacal criminals will murder any individual who they deem suspicious: Jew, Arab, Christian, Atheist, or otherwise. This group has no intention of sparing or saving lives, but only of domination. It is time for the world to realize the entire area that this hostility encompasses.

This morning as my five year old was having a temper tantrum after spilling his second cup of cereal on the way to the car, I scooped the little guy up, put him in his seat and started to buckle him in. “You’re pushing me!” he shouted. He’s very cute (he looks like his mother) but–especially when we’re late for school because I’ve been glued to the news coming out of Israel–he can really drive me crazy. I had to cut him some slack, though, because when I looked at him I couldn’t help but think, “poor guy, you really have no idea that there are (at least) thousands of people who would slaughter you in your little blue car bed if they only had the chance and countless others around the world who would gleefully defend and even celebrate your killers.” So, I just gave him a kiss on his little head and drove to school thinking about how if, instead of Cleveland we lived in southern Israel, he might be decapitated or burnt to ashes or a hostage in Gaza. After October 7th, it’s hard to look at any of my children without having that thought. 

As someone who is familiar with Jewish history, this fear is, unfortunately, not foreign. What is surprising to American Jews is the shockingly open support, justifications and celebrations of the murder and kidnapping of innocent Jews–including infants, elderly and people with disabilities. Evidently, being a Jew makes one ineligible for the protection of intersectionality. BLM Chicago’s logo, lionizing the Hamas baby-killers, apparently has no concern for the suffering of Ethiopian Israelis. The progressive, humanists in Sydney who chanted, “gas the Jews and f… the Jews,” before Israel even responded in Gaza, are happy to cheer for the execution of Israel’s LGBTQ+ community. And, of course, the peaceful supporters of the Global Day of Jihad have no qualms about targeting individuals with disabilities, as long as they’re Jewish. And although Hamas leaders have promised to carry out more gruesome attacks until Israel is annihilated, the only Jewish state now faces mounting pressure to stop defending itself. Israel cannot accept another ceasefire with an enemy who cheers the death of Jewish children and places its own in harm’s way–a repugnant tactic designed to turn Israel into the villain in a war it never wanted. 

Fortunately, we do have friends in this world who are willing to call evil what it is and stand for what is right. Among them, the bipartisan speakers at this week’s March for Israel in Washington. The Biden administration has, for the most part, taken a strong moral stand in these horrific times. However, even Israel’s friends have frequently repeated a claim that I wish were true, but I know to be false. The president, secretary of state and countless others continue to remind us that, “we know Hamas doesn’t represent the Palestinian people.” If only they did not elect Hamas after Israel left the Gaza strip in 2005. Is that not the definition of representing a people? And what about the videos of the brutality of October 7th, that show Gazan civilians openly celebrating the violence–just as Palestinians did on 9/11. Every decent person wants to believe that they are just like us. Why would your average person wish harm upon someone they don’t even know? This is not something our western minds can seem to comprehend. We come from a civilization that values all human life and believes that each individual–regardless of identity–has the right to live with dignity. But understand that the “holy warriors”  who carried out this stomach-churning violence also come from a civilization. 

That is why our hearts break for the children of Gaza as well. Not because they have a bounty on their heads like Jewish children do. It is heartbreaking because their leadership is happy for them to die as a “shaheed” so they can be used as propaganda tools against Israel. I’m not just inferring this from their well-known, cynical tactic of using children and hospital patients as human shields. They say it out loud. For example, in a TV interview, Hamas’s Ali Bakar said plainly, “The Israelis are known to love life. We, on the other hand, sacrifice ourselves. We consider our dead to be martyrs.” We in the West just don’t accept this. That can’t be what he really means. They must just want to live freely like we do. They must want to watch football and play with their kids on Thanksgiving like we do. For how long will we keep lying to ourselves? They have been telling us all along. And although that dark day in October was not the first time they showed us what they want, it was certainly the clearest demonstration of the depths of their hatred and barbarism. Reports of the atrocities committed in Israel have been repeatedly described as “incomprehensible.” Well we’d better start comprehending. We’d better listen to the cries of the children who were forced to watch their parents’ execution. We’d better hear the shreeks of the parents who had to watch their children’s precious bodies defiled. We’d better see the innocent Jewish blood smeared all over the houses and on the diaper-wearing infants of the kibbutzim and towns of southern Israel. We’d better smell the burning flesh of Jewish babies, torched in their own homes–not in Poland of 1943, but in Israel of 2023. For if we don’t–if we continue telling ourselves that this kind of evil is incomprehensible–then the 1200 killed, 240 captured and thousands of injured will be just the beginning. And it won’t stop in Israel, just like Al-Qaeda and ISIS didn’t stop in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

If we do want to live in a world in which such evil truly is “incomprehensible,” then we should heed the words of Psalms, some of the greatest poetry of that Western canon upon which our just and decent civilization was built: 

Who is the one who desires life? Who loves long days, to see goodness?

Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. (Psalms, 34)

Those of us who love life and not death, good and not evil–we have a responsibility. Guard your tongue from defending and justifying evil. Guard your lips from equivocating and deceitfully claiming that a massacre of unarmed Jews in their homes is a “political issue.” If you love life, then love Jewish life as well. If you want to see goodness in the world, then speak the truth. If we can’t do that, then what’s next? We’ve suffered the agony of September 11th and the horror of October 7th. Do we dare to imagine what November might bring?

The world is still reeling from the horrific tragedies that took place in Israel on Oct 7th, 2023. 1,400 Israeli citizens were barbarically murdered by Hamas, and more than 200 were taken as hostages. This level of brutality against the Jewish people has not been seen since the Holocaust. Now Hezbollah is threatening Israel’s northern border with more than 100,000 missiles which are far more advanced than the rockets Hamas has been firing from Gaza.  

Most of the world has their eye on those two fronts – the northern and southern borders of Israel. There is, however, another critical front that many are unaware of. This front is especially significant for us Bible-believing, Christian Zionists. What most people don’t know is that there are Hamas, Fatah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iranian agents, and other terrorist groups operating inside of Judea & Samaria. The majority of the Arab “Palestinians” seen as “peaceful civilians” agree with the ideology of these terrorist groups. Just a few days after the horrific massacre, thousands of Palestinians marched in support of Hamas inside Arab cities in Judea and Samaria. They chant “from the river to the sea,” which is a call for the genocide of the seven million Jewish people living in Israel, right along with the terrorists. 

Please note that this area is Judea and Samaria. This is the biblical heartland of Israel, where the vast majority of the Bible was either written or occurred. These are the exact locations where God spoke to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, “To you, I will give THIS land.” 

In the early 1900’s, the Jewish people embarked on the “greater exodus.” Thousands of God’s people began pouring back into His land. Knowing the biblical significance of Judea and Samaria, some went and began to build up the small Jewish communities there. There were attacks from the Arabs, many of them Christian. Tragically, the Arabs completed their work of making Judea and Samaria judenrein (ethnically cleansed of Jews) during the 1929 massacre in Hebron. Thank God, after the six-day war, Israel regained its heartland. In the 1980s, courageous Jewish pioneers began to move back into these biblically rich areas and re-settle the land.

Today, there are 500,000 Jews who live in the 200 re-established communities in Judea and Samaria. The families are thriving, with twenty-five percent of the population being under the age of 14. These precious people live in these areas because they believe in the promises of God and in His plan for the redemption of the world. They pray multiple times every day for the Messiah to come and be their king.

It is these 200 small communities of God-fearing Jews who are surrounded by more than two million hostile Arabs. The communities do not have the high-tech fences that the Gaza border had. Some do not have a fence at all. In addition to this, their men have been called up to serve on the southern or northern borders. They are ill-equipped and inadequately defended due to Israel’s security forces being stretched thin.

On top of all this, the USA has demanded that none of the weapons being given to Israel to fight terror be distributed to any of the communities or security personnel on the Biblical Heartland side of the Green Line. Unfortunately, the Biden administration still holds to their ludicrous stance that the Jewish pioneers of Judea and Samaria – the “settlers,” are more dangerous than their hostile Arab neighbors, whom President Biden continues to equip with arms and military equipment.

This extremely critical situation was immediately apparent to me and our organization, HaYovel. Miraculously, God has allowed us to stand here alongside these 200 communities since 2004. As the only Christian organization in the area, we have developed close relationships, understand the struggles, and are determined to share these truths with anyone willing to listen. Immediately after October 7th, seeing the seriousness of the situation, we went to the heads of the regional councils in the area and asked how we could help. As we suspected, the need is basic protective gear and surveillance equipment. We asked for a list of equipment. They came back with a list including protective vests, thermal drones, night vision goggles, binoculars, flashlights, security cameras, gates for small farms and communities, etc. The items on the list are truly very basic necessities for security.

We did our research to find out where we could acquire the equipment, how we could get it shipped to Israel, what paperwork we needed, etc. Within a week we launched what we have named “Operation Ittai.”

In 2 Samuel 15, King David was experiencing some of his most difficult days as king. Things become so tumultuous that David is forced to leave Jerusalem. As he is making his way out of the city he notices a non-Jew, Ittai, a man from Gath (modern-day Gaza) who had arrived in Israel only the day before. David called out to Ittai and said: 

“Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”

Instead of following King David’s advice, Ittai boldly responded: 

“As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”

Ironically, Ittai was from Gath, the same town where Goliath came from! Instead of following what may have seemed like the easier route at the time and becoming an enemy of King David, Ittia decided to throw his lot in with him. 

Today, Israel is facing their worst crisis since their founding in 1948. We, non-Jewish, Christian, Bible believers, from the nations, have a choice to make. Will we be modern-day Ittais and stand with Israel in this time of need? Or will we join with Hamas (modern-day Goliath) and stand against Israel?

Today, we have an incredible opportunity to bless Israel. We can stand with these valiant men and women of faith. It is the right thing to do. Think about the fruit that this could bear. If we come together and equip these communities, not only will they be ready in case, God forbid, the Arabs attempt to do what they did in Gaza, but more families will feel safe enough to move here. We have a real opportunity to meet a serious need and be part of building up Judea and Samaria – the biblical heartland of Israel. Let’s not be like those who did nothing when Jews were being sent to the gas chambers. On October 7th, Jews were slaughtered during your lifetime. Please, for God’s holy name sake, do all you can right now.   

At the time of this writing, we have airlifted two shipments of equipment and delivered them to the communities in the Biblical Heartland. As you read this, suppliers, purchasers, exporters, importers, and dealers are lined up and ready to move all the equipment we can purchase directly into Israel and then into the Jewish communities and farms in Israel’s Heartland. Please go to www.serveisrael.com and join us to protect the five hundred thousand vulnerable Jewish men, women, and children of Judea and Samaria today.

One of the most circulated words at the present is “genocide.” This word has horrendous connotations revolving around it and shouldn’t be used in a light and uneducated manner. To ensure it has the correct context, we need to be certain we fully understand its meaning and historical use.

What is Genocide?

Merriam-Webster defines genocide as follows: “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” Israel has not put out a single statement calling to destroy every Palestinian. Israel has, however, made statements claiming intent to eradicate the Hamas terror organization. Unless you believe every Palestinian is involved with Hamas, then Israel has shown no intent or action related to genocide.

Despite the claim that Israel is genocidal, combatting a known terrorist organization following a large-scale terror attack is an entirely legitimate response. Dismantling terror tunnels and unearthing the buildings that house Hamas leaders and soldiers is also an entirely legitimate response.

The contrast you will see in the attack that Hamas enacted against Israel on October 7th, 2023 and the defensive measures Israel has taken since then comes down to one entirely essential and extremely relevant piece of information. Israel is not targeting innocent civilians. In fact, prior to entering the Gaza Strip, Israel issued a statement to Gazan citizens warning them to evacuate the northern part of the region and Gaza City prior to the IDF’s ground invasion. The UN Secretary-General’s press encounter on October 13th acknowledges this fact in the following statement: 

“After days of airstrikes, the Israeli Defense Forces have ordered the Palestinians in Gaza City and its surroundings to move to the south of the territory.” 

This means that Israel has done everything in its own power and capability to avoid innocent Gazan deaths, even to the extent of the IDF aiding Gaza citizens in escaping from hospitals and specifying an open route by which to travel. Israel cannot be held accountable for individuals’ decisions to ignore this advice and stay in the region that Israel ordered to be evacuated.

As Israel does everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties, Hamas leaders and terrorists take an opposite stance by using these civilians as human shields. Hamas tunnels have been found underneath multiple buildings that house people who should be protected by any and all measures, including sick persons and children. Instead, Hamas exploits Israel’s humanity and unwillingness to kill these especially vulnerable citizens by not only hiding out in these structures and building terror tunnels beneath them but also by putting their terrorist headquarters in the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza.

While no casualty of war is ever without meaning and loss, the blame cannot be projected entirely on the side of the victim of the initial attack who risks losing terrorist targets by warning innocent civilians to evacuate prior to invasion. Terming Israel “genocidal” in its response to this horrendous attack is entirely false and should hold absolutely no regard by any person.

This is What Actual Genocidal Intent Looks Like

Hamas, on the other hand, has made their genocidal intentions extremely clear in their Hamas Covenant. Here are some excerpts from this covenant: 

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” 

The covenant later says:

“The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say to Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

The majority of the world, unfortunately, appears to be willfully ignorant of these differences in ideology despite this information being easily accessible. Thus Israel is continually regarded as the aggressor.

Let’s Reference Times in History Where Genocide Took Place

The Genocide Education Project lists some dark periods in history where genocide occurred. Here are a few the onslaughts mentioned on their website:

  • The Rwandan Genocide: “Beginning on April 6, 1994, groups of ethnic Hutu, armed mostly with machetes, began a campaign of terror and bloodshed which embroiled the Central African country of Rwanda. For about 100 days, the Hutu militias, known in Rwanda as Interhamwe, followed what evidence suggests was a clear and premeditated attempt to exterminate the country’s ethnic Tutsi population. The Rwandan state radio, controlled by Hutu extremists, further encouraged the killings by broadcasting non-stop hate propaganda and even pinpointed the locations of Tutsis in hiding. The killings only ended after armed Tutsi rebels, invading from neighboring countries, managed to defeat the Hutus and halt the genocide in July 1994. By then, over one-tenth of the population, an estimated 800,000 persons, had been killed. The country’s industrial infrastructure had been destroyed and much of its population had been dislocated.”
  • Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina: “In the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, conflict between the three main ethnic groups – the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims – resulted in genocide committed by the Serbs against Bosnian Muslims. In the late 1980’s a Serbian named Slobodan Milosevic came to power. In 1992 acts of “ethnic cleansing” started in Bosnia, a mostly Muslim country where the Serb minority made up only 32% of the population. Milosevic responded to Bosnia’s declaration of independence by attacking Sarajevo, where Serb snipers shot down civilians. The Bosnian Muslims were outgunned and the Serbs continued to gain ground. They systematically rounded up local Muslims and committed acts of mass murder, deported men and boys to concentration camps, and forced repopulation of entire towns. Serbs also terrorized Muslim families by using rape as a weapon against women and girls. Over 200,000 Muslim civilians were systematically murdered and 2,000,000 became refugees at the hands of the Serbs.”
  • The Holocaust: “It began with a simple boycott of Jewish shops and ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz as Hitler and his Nazi followers attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe.  The Holocaust took the lives of close to six million Jews during the World War II era. Anti-semitism was the central component of Nazi ideology.  While the Nazis also murdered many millions of Poles, Russians, Roma, Sinti, Serbs, Czechs, homosexuals, and political opponents, only the Jews were slated for total annihilation. The “final solution” was partially successful through the process of genocide.  The Nazi Party who first targeted the Jews, then isolated them into ghettos, then deported their victims to concentration camps where most perished. Others became Nazi victims not because of who they were but because of what they did – Jehovah’s Witnesses, the dissenting clergy, Communists, Socialists, and other political enemies.”

Let’s put some emphasis on a portion of  the above sentence… “only the Jews were slated for total annihilation.” Unfortunately, we see much of the same ideology taking place today, however, this time, instead of the responsibility and blame falling on the party responsible (Hamas), the group being targeted for total annihilation is the same group being accused of genocide.

Many of these historical genocides have a  concerning resemblance to the events that took place on October 7th: the targeting of one people group, the raping of women and girls, and the hateful propaganda that preceded and followed the attack. 

In contrast, the attempts by Israel to avoid innocent Gazan casualties, the lack of acts of violence against women and girls, and the focus on dismantling a terrorist organization, not a people group, does not, in any way, follow the historic examples of genocide. 

How Does This Understanding Help Us? 

The understanding of what genocide is and the recognition that Israel is not committing genocide does not lessen the value of the life of every person in Gaza. Each and every person is created in God’s image, but the unjust contrast in news relating to Gaza and Israel must be acknowledged.

The narrative that the Jewish people are guilty and deserve the violence they experienced is what led millions of people to allow innocent Jewish deaths to occur en masse during the Holocaust. We must not allow this narrative to continue to the point that we see a genocide against the Jewish people take place once again.

This morning, at 7 AM Israel time, a truce between Israel and Hamas took effect. Israel entered into negotiations in hopes of securing the release of approximately 240 Israelis being held captive in Gaza since October 7th. 

Here’s what’s been made public about the terms of this tentative four-day pause in the fight to eradicate Hamas. Israel has agreed to release up to 300 prisoners—150 in the first stage of the ceasefire—held in Israeli prisons for crimes less than murder. Most of the prisoners are from East Jerusalem, and many of them are under the age of 18, or women. Hamas has said the IDF agreed to suspend aerial activity over Northern Gaza during certain times of the day, and halt flights over southern Gaza altogether for the next four days. In addition, Israel will allow larger amounts of fuel to cross from Egypt into Gaza. In return, Hamas has agreed to release 50 of the hostages—around 30 children and 20 mothers and other women.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/cabinet-approves-deal-for-return-of-50-hostages-in-exchange-for-multi-day-ceasefire/

Ahead of an Israeli Knesset Cabinet vote to approve the deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that the war would continue after the ceasefire. “We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.” Israel has stated that its goals in this war are to eliminate Hamas and bring back all the hostages.

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who sits in Israel’s War Cabinet, said the hostage deal is “difficult” and “painful” but he believes “it is also right.” Israel’s full 38-member government Cabinet voted 35-3 to approve the four-day ceasefire. The three cabinet members opposed to the deal are from the right-wing Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party. Party leaders were vocal in their opposition to any deal that does not include the return of all the hostages. “We don’t have the right to agree to separating them and have only some of them return,” party leader Itamar Ben Gvir said. “And we definitely cannot accept an outline that sees the release of female and underage terrorists when we don’t get everyone back.”

Concerns revolve around the fact that these negotiations are taking place with a terrorist organization that has no value for human life. Hamas will doubtlessly use this time of quiet to rearm and reorganize, which greatly increases the potential of a  prolonged war and greater loss of life. 

Officials in another right-wing party, the Religious Zionist Party, previously opposed the deal, but came to support it after discussions with defense officials. “It is no secret that before the cabinet discussion, we thought otherwise…” wrote party head Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in a statement, noting that conversations with IDF officials convinced them that Israel would continue its mission to destroy Hamas in Gaza.

Smotrich cited unspecified “clear mechanisms” within the deal to prevent “future… surrender to [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar’s manipulation.” He also thanked the IDF for the pressure they put on the terrorist group that created the conditions for the hostage deal, pledging continued government support for the military’s efforts.

https://www.jns.org/israel-to-complete-the-elimination-of-hamas-after-ceasefire

It’s no surprise that Hamas leaders would be desperate for some respite after the relentless targeted campaign Israel has waged on their commanders, outposts, weapons arsenals, and other infrastructure. However, Hamas also has a horrible record of violating ceasefires, often using them as opportunities to stage surprise attacks on Israel. 

Already, minutes after the ceasefire went into effect, sirens sounded in southern Israel, indicating Hamas was possibly in violation of the ceasefire. Soon after though, trucks with aid began to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Now, Israelis are holding their breaths in anticipation, as Hamas has agreed to release the first 12 or 13 hostages, starting at 4PM Israel time on Friday.

The following is an excerpt from a Facebook conversation I had recently. It has been edited slightly for clarity and heavily for grammar (but you’ll probably still find some typos). 

In fact, about 15 years ago if you had asked my opinion on the Israel/Palestine matter I would have likely sided with the Palestinians. Why? Because they have excellent propaganda. However, since that time I have traveled to Israel over ten times and have educated myself on this very small piece of land that the world is obsessed with. I’ve looked with my own eyes at the situation and drawn my own conclusions. I’ve witnessed events here, and then watched the news story the following day. Just like they did with COVID, the media is lying to you. I find it interesting that you accuse me of believing the media at face value, yet you are obviously the one following CBC, CNN and the lot with regards to Israel. Let’s just take a step back and look at a few facts. Who does the media support, Israel or the Palestinians? It’s certainly not Israel. 

The media is always quick to point out when Israel attacks Gaza, yet they fail to mention the Hamas rockets fired into Israel just days before that forced the Jewish nation to defend themselves. They frame Israel as the aggressor, when they are only acting in self defense. Am I saying that Israel is blameless and perfect? No, not at all. They have made plenty of mistakes and they will continue to make more, simply because they are humans. However their intent is protecting their homeland and their citizens in the most humane way possible – in fact it’s to a fault. If Hamas had attacked any other country the way they attacked Israel, Hamas would have been wiped off the map years ago, just like ISIS was, and just like the Nazi’s were. 

Here’s another interesting fact that you won’t see on the news. Israel has a security fence. They have bomb shelters. They have billion dollar defense projects like the Iron Dome and David’s Sling. What do the Palestinians have? Nothing. They have no defensive strategy. The reasons why are simple, Jews are not attacking them. I am aware that there are exceptions to this statement, but they are just that, exceptions outside the norm. Again, these are things I’ve seen personally and experienced. 

Actually, let’s take a moment to look at these Jewish offenses since Biden has specifically condemned them recently, even going so far as to claim that they have increased in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).  From Oct 7, 2023 – Nov 7,2023 there were 173 incidences of illegal activity attributed to Jews in Judea and Samaria. Compared to that same time period 1 year ago, there were 360 offenses. That’s roughly half. Keep in mind that these stats include agricultural vandalism, which while certainly not something to condone, really shouldn’t be something that the president of the United States need to be concerned about. So of the 173 offenses, 97 were agricultural vandalism and of the 360 offenses, 184 were agricultural vandalism leaving us with 76 and 176 respectively. 

So if we remove agricultural vandalism from the tally (since it’s not considered a violent crime), it puts us at 76 incidents. Population statistics are notoriously difficult to calculate in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) but in 2017 it was estimated to be around 2.9 million people. Of that, about half a million are Jews. So we are looking at 76 violent incidents from a population of 500,000. That’s 15 incidents per every 100,000 Jews. I’ll leave it to you to look up the stats for some other countries but let’s just say the USA shouldn’t be pointing any fingers. 

Now of course, Israel is currently attacking Gaza, but again, this is a defensive operation in response to the Oct 7 attacks. However, before most air strikes the IAF (Israeli Air Force) will actually drop leaflets warning the civilians to flee the area because they are going to bomb it. That’s a terrible offensive strategy, but again, Israel is trying to avoid civilian casualties – to a fault. In fact, Israel told the people of Gaza to move to the southern part of the strip out of harm’s way before they entered Gaza. Hamas actually blocked the people from listening to Israel and forced many of them to stay in the northern part. 

Going back to the bomb shelters, where are they in Gaza? They aren’t. Why not? Because Hamas steals the humanitarian aid and instead builds terror tunnels. Hamas cares nothing for the people of Gaza. The only value they have to Hamas is as human shields and as propaganda footage on the news when Israel is forced to kill them. They are pawns in a horrible game that Hamas is playing. Their lives were significantly better before Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and hopefully they will be able to build a better future for themselves when Hamas is gone. 

On the topic of civilian casualties, let’s consider a few things. First, I am opposed to all civilian deaths. However oftentimes in war they are unavoidable, especially when a terrorist entity is breaking international law and embedding themselves in a civilian population – like Hamas is. That said, the civilians that are being killed in Gaza are being killed primarily as a result of targeted bombing. Not that they are the target, but Hamas has built its rocket launching sites, its command centers, and its weapon stores inside schools, inside hospitals, inside mosques and apartment complexes. These are the targets that Israel is bombing, not the civilians. When we look at the Israeli civilian casualties, there is a stark contrast. It is babies burnt alive in ovens, pregnant mother’s stomachs cut open, elderly persons beaten and decapitated. This is not the same. These are not accidental civilian deaths, they were intentionally targeted as civilians and they CAN NOT be put in the same category as the civilian deaths in Gaza. 

Anyways, all that to say, come to Israel and experience the situation first hand. It may take a while, but if you are truly open to the facts you will soon understand why I stand with Israel.

The photos of four cowboys traveling through JFK airport to Israel have gone absolutely viral, trending on social media with millions of views spread across the internet. If you’re affiliated with anything related to Israel, you’ve probably seen their photos multiple times everyday on multiple social and traditional media platforms.  

So… Why Are These Cowboys in Israel?

To help, of course! What else are cowboys known for? While rumors are floating around that they’re here to go and help on the southern border and in Gaza, they’re actually here to help in Judea and Samaria, the Biblical Heartland, with Operation Ittai. 

John, Zeke, Yoss, and Luke, from Montana and Arkansas, came to Israel DURING war time for one purpose: to strengthen and support the Jewish people during this awful war. While many people have spent the last few weeks looking for flights to leave Israel, these four cowboys from the United States were finding their flights to travel to Israel. 

When they were first spotted in JFK airport, and then again in Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, their cowboy hats and belt buckles took the mostly Jewish travelers by surprise. Several random photos were taken, posted to social media, and a viral sensation erupted. 

Since arriving, the four young cowboys have been inundated with interview requests, photographers and invitations to Shabbat gatherings, and tours all over Israel. Whilst taking these invitations as an opportunity to encourage and strengthen the people of Israel, they are also focusing on their original mission for coming to Israel: Operation Ittai. 

What is Operation Ittai? 

Operation Ittai’s mission is to equip and defend the 200 communities in Judea and Samaria, airlifting critical and essential supplies and equipment that they have been forced to do without since most of Israel’s military has been called to the war fronts. These supplies are basic and essential needs and none of the products are purchased unnecessarily or in excess. The primary supplies we’re helping these farms and communities obtain are flashlights, helmets, bulletproof vests, drones, and other necessary needs for these under-equipped communities. 

You might be wondering why there is a need for supplies in Judea and Samaria. The war is mainly on the northern and southern borders, right? Not entirely. Hostile Arabs surround every Jewish community in Judea and Samaria and many have direct affiliations with Hamas. Since October 7th, 2023, Israeli security forces have already arrested more than 700 Hamas operatives in the so-called ‘West Bank”. Even more concerning, the Jewish and Arab communities in Judea and Samaria don’t have as defined and respected borders as the fence surrounding the Gaza Strip and between Israel and Lebanon. This means the war truly affects every single person in Israel, not just in an emotional sense, but also in a security sense. 


We named this project Operation Ittai because of the story in 2nd Samuel 15. In this passage, we read about the period of time when David and Israel were attacked by Absalom. Ittai was from Gath, which is close to modern day Gaza, and he chose to stand with King David and all of Israel no matter what the life or death consequences may have been. Ittai was a normal man from the nations, as many of us are, but when Israel faced a time of crisis and need, he chose to not turn a blind eye and flee, but to align himself with Israel and fight for them. Today we have an opportunity to be an Ittai in our generation. 

How Can We Be Like the “Viral” Cowboys from America?

While not every person can come into Israel clad in their boots, buckles, and ten gallon hats, every person can share the workload with the cowboys by participating in Operation Ittai by spreading the word of the reality of the situation here in Judea and Samaria, sharing about this project, and by donating to this cause. By the time you’ve accomplished all that, you may have just earned your own pair of boots and a cowboy hat. Now to just get that accent down….

“Two-State Solution” is a phrase that’s buzzing in your book club, church circle, workplace, and in nearly every news’ headline right now. If you consider it at the surface level, it sounds like a fair option that will help end the war in Israel and save lives, right? Unfortunately, the reality is far different.

What Would the Borders of Israel and a Palestinian State Be?

According to a documented discussion between President Biden and Mahmoud Abbas (Chairman of the Palestinian Authority) in July of 2022, the understood dimensions of a Palestinian state would be the entire region of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. This would essentially carve out the entire center of Israel’s landscape.

What is the Two-State Solution?

Britannica phrases it like this: “The Two-state Solution is a proposed framework for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by establishing two states for two peoples: Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people. In 1993 the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on a plan to implement a two-state solution as part of the Oslo Accords, leading to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA).”

The agreed parameters of the Two-State solution were this: “On September 13th, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiator Mahmoud Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, commonly referred to as the “Oslo Accords,” at the White House. Israel accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO renounced terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace. Both sides agreed that a Palestinian Authority (PA) would be established and assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over a five-year period.”

Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) have been divided into three different parts: Area A, Area B, and Area C. 

Area A is strictly for Arabs: the only citizens living in this region are Arabs and the governing/policing powers come from the Palestinian Authority. In fact, there are large red signs outside of every Area A in Judea and Samaria warning every Jew that it is illegal for them to enter these areas, and if they do, their lives are at risk.

Area B is for both Jews and Arabs, but not in the way you’re probably thinking. Only Arabs can live in Area B and it’s governed by the PA, but it’s policed by the Israeli military. Jews can drive through these areas, but every time they do, they are risking their lives. Countless innocent lives have been lost in Area B towns such as Huwarrah, a current terrorist hotspot in Samaria. 

Area C is for Jews – at least it’s supposed to be. Land is being stolen from the Jews by the Arabs in Judea and Samaria every single day, despite the fact that, according to Regavim, there is ample space for Arab construction projects in Areas A and B.

Here’s the issue with the Oslo Accords: the governing body in Areas A and B is the Palestinian Authority, currently controlled by Fatah, who is best described in this excerpt by JVL

“In 1993, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin exchanged letters in which the PLO and Israel reciprocally recognized each other. Arafat also renounced violence, but the PLO never abandoned terror, which ultimately led to the collapse of the Oslo negotiations that followed mutual recognition and has impeded peace talks ever since.”

Fatah actually translates to “conquer” and when you look at their flag you will see a pair of crossed guns over the state of Israel, making it clear what their intentions really are.

To recap, the governing body over Areas A and B has the intention of conquering Israel, which they are very clearly attempting to achieve, from stealing land in Area C to stealing innocent lives across the entire expanse of Judea and Samaria. This shows that the Oslo Accords are only being upheld by one of the two parties, therefore making them non-effective. 

A Two-State Solution doesn’t just involve Judea and Samaria, however, it also includes the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is a fantastic example of an Arab-governed area within the 1967 borders of Israel that are currently showing less than promising results. As evidenced by the current war at hand, the elected governing body in Gaza, Hamas, doesn’t exactly have an overall goal of peace when it comes to its neighbor, Israel. 

A Two-State Solution Would Not Help the Arabs Either

We see through this current prototype of a Two-State Solution that it wouldn’t necessarily be an ideal option for the Arabs who would reside within these newly established borders either. The culture of the citizens of Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip are far from prosperous. The women and children face immense oppression and abuse, people who convert from Islam to any other religion are brutally tortured and murdered, and countless other heinous murders and persecutions take place against civilians for various other reasons.

Not only that, but many of the leaders in these areas control the majority of the monetary and humanitarian aid that come into these areas. This fact isn’t hidden, but rather well known. The LinkedIn account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel posted the net worth of Hamas’s current and prior leaders, and the numbers are horrifyingly high when considering the poverty experienced by the people who should be taken care of by these men in power. The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh’s net worth is $4 billion dollars, Moussa Abu Marzook’s net worth is $3 billion, and Khaled Meshaal’s net worth is a staggering $5 billion dollars. You read that right, five billion dollars. According to the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Mahmoud Abbas’s net worth was already over $100 million dollars in 2017. So what are they doing with these literal millions and billions of dollars? Some go toward their operations and plans, some to living high and luxurious lifestyles, and some to paying their terrorist “chess pieces” for viciously murdering innocent Jewish people. 

Wait, Terrorists Are Getting Paid for Hurting and Murdering People?

Terrorists and/or their families receive a large sum of money monthly for each and every life they steal. Per the Taylor Force Act, the United States is not allowed to donate money to organizations that are known to pay terrorists, but under the Biden administration, this unlawful and immoral act has continued. The money that the United States sends to the PA (Palestinian Authority) with the intention of helping those in severe poverty actually goes to line the pockets of terrorists. This grievous deed isn’t done haphazardly either. There is a monetary system dependent on if the terrorist has a family, how long they are incarcerated, where they live, and other factors. For a 0-3 year sentence in 2018, the payment was 1,400 shekels a month and for a 30+ year sentence the total payment per month is 12,000 shekels per month, for the extent of their life. Not only does this place a monetary value over innocent Jewish lives, but it also creates extreme incentives for many of the Arabs in these cities to murder Jews. Receiving a salary for murdering Jews is one of the highest paychecks they can receive in many of these areas. You can find the full chart on the Pay to Slay policy here. Today, the Palestinian Authority pays out a staggering $360 million dollars annually under their pay-to-slay program. 

These Aren’t the Only Issues of a Two-State Solution…

There’s another major issue woven into the complicated fabric of a Two-State Solution that’s not typically mentioned when this plan is discussed; the defense of Israel. We’ve already mentioned that both Fatah and Hamas are hostile entities to Israel’s statehood and the lives which dwell within it, but if these entities were to gain control over the entirety of the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, and East Jerusalem, the repercussions would be catastrophic. If these new borders were to actually be established, Israel would have a width of the country, from the Mediterranean Sea to the current Judea and Samaria border, that is only nine miles. I’m from Texas, and there are ranchers in the Lone Star State with driveways longer than nine miles! With a territory that small, it would be nearly impossible to defend a country from entities that are so adamant on the destruction of said country.

To Bring It All Together

A Two-State Solution sounds like an ideal option on the surface, but the issues within run quite deep. We see in the current prototype that there are extreme acts of violence against Jewish people in Arab governed areas, extreme oppression against many of the Arabs within these areas, obedience to the law is only kept by one party involved (not by the Arabs), and the new borders would have serious implications on the overall security of Israel.

What Is the Solution to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict?

Opinions may vary, but taking the land Israel rightfully gained during the 1967 war is not a solution for any logical thinker. As of right now, Israel has set its course to eradicate the entirety of the terrorist body, Hamas, but what does a non-Hamas run Gaza look like? Hamas has been the ruling power in Gaza since the 2007 elections and the citizens in that region have been filled with malicious Hamas ideology beginning as early as elementary curriculum. What and who would fill the inevitable power void that will be left once Israel has destroyed Hamas? Rumors have flown that Israel may decide to take back the territory of Gaza, but it seems to be a relatively slim possibility. 

As the war continues to unfold, we will begin to see what the outcome will be and must remain steadfast in our prayers of protection for the innocent lives that are still being taken and for the hostages still being held in Gaza. Right now is the day and the hour to advocate for the Jewish people and against a Two-State Solution.

I’ve struggled to put my thoughts into words since this war began. Since day one, I’ve consumed more than my share of media, images and stories that have slowly been emerging, and it seems, have only gotten worse in scope. For once, the truth was worse than fiction. For once, the real story was far more horrific than what was initially reported in the media. For once, both left and right united in their condemnation of the atrocities that were seen on October 7th, 2023, a day that has already gone down in history as the “Black Sabbath”. 

Although we are 3 ½ weeks into this war, with no signs Hamas or Hezbollah deescalating soon, the empathy that liberal media networks provided to Israel in the beginning stages has already subsided. The mainstream media has turned its full attention to Israel’s supposed responsibility for the innocent civilians in Gaza, calling their strikes on Hamas genocide, and the fact that civilians have been killed as a result war crimes that have been committed by Israel. 

It’s as if the media genuinely believes that those with two eyes and ears cannot see through the facade. For those who may have gotten overwhelmed by the sheer volume and complexity of the news coverage however, here are a few facts for you: 

  • No innocent Jews would be dead right now if it were not for Hamas’ attack on October 7th, 2023. 
  • No innocent Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza would be dead right now if it were not for Hamas’ attack on October 7th, 2023 
  • Hospitals in Gaza would not be in danger right now if it were not for the fact that Hamas’ headquarters are located inside the hospital complex. 
  • Hospitals, humanitarian groups, and Gaza’s economy in general would not be suffering right now if it were not for the fact that Hamas is stealing electricity, water, supplies and fuel from the people of Gaza. 
  • Less Palestinian-Arabs would be dead right now if Hamas had not stopped their own people from fleeing when Israel warned them to. Instead, they were caught shooting their own people in the streets, blocking their escape and ordering them back into their homes so that they could serve as human shields. 
  • Gaza could and would have been a flourishing region, if it were not for the fact that Hamas’ top leaders pocketed billions of dollars for themselves, today living in Qatar so as to be safe from Israel’s security agencies. 
  • Israel would not be in a war for their survival right now if it were not for the fact that millions of Palestinian-Arabs, and their supporters all over the world, would not have repeatedly called for genocide against the Jewish people. 

From the river to the sea is not a nice, pro-Palestinian chant. It’s not a slogan for the Palestinians’ freedom. Instead, it is a call for the eradication of the Jewish people from their ancient homeland, from the Jordan River, to the Mediterranean Sea, including everything and everyone in between. 

Sometimes as Christians we have been asked: if I lived in Europe in 1938, and realized that Jews were being targeted and killed, would I have opened my home, risked my life and my family’s life, and given them shelter? True believers in the Bible obviously answer that question with a resounding “yes”. 

I have a question for you. When do you think that Christians in Europe fully realized the extent of Hitler’s final solution, with his determination to wipe the Jewish race from the earth? One month into the war? Six months? One year? Two? 

Make no mistake. Do not fool yourself into believing that there is no need to risk your livelihood, safety, financial security, and reputation on behalf of God’s chosen people right now.  

I don’t have any predictions as to how long this war will last. I do know, however, that an ugly, anti-Zionist head is raising itself all over the world. No matter the outcome of this perilous time, the time has come for Bible believers to stand. Stand with Israel. Stand with Zion. Stand with the Jewish people. Stand with God’s Kingdom.