Letter – Israel’s Dilemma

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Trending News

On October 7, 50 years after the last unprovoked mass enemy incursion into the sovereign state of Israel, hundreds of Hamas terrorists entered southern Israel from Gaza with the intent to murder as many Jews – mostly civilians – as possible and to kidnap hundreds of Israeli’s of varying ages to gain negotiating leverage. Peace and democracy loving citizens of the world were shocked and appalled as the news unfolded, and now pray for the quite-uncertain return of these hostages.
Some pundits, while recognizing the brutality of this multi-pronged attack, can’t help but point to the “Israeli occupation” of Gaza as the fuel that lit this devil’s fire. Others, less informed by history, feel this horrific event is justified in part by the “occupation.” It should – but won’t – be clear to all interested parties that the brutal occupier of Gaza is, in fact, Hamas.

Israel would like nothing more than to not have to “occupy” any Palestinian territories. As proven by long-standing agreements with Jordan and Egypt, Israel is a trustworthy peace partner. In the past, Jordan and Egypt joined in the attempt to annihilate Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and, having failed repeatedly, turned instead to peaceful economic and security exchange that has benefitted all parties for decades.

Palestinian leaders living in both the West Bank and Gaza, whom the pundits impute to desiring peaceful sovereign co-existence with Israel, have never said they desire such a peace. When Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, offered Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, 92% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza in the year 2000, Arafat refused. When Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a former military major general, pulled the Israeli settlements out of Gaza in 2005 as a highly significant peace offering, it only led to the takeover by Hamas two years later and a series of wars leading to Israel’s current dilemma.

The dilemma is that Israel lacks a peace partner within the Palestinian leadership. There are no Anwar Sadats or King Husseins to lead the Palestinians to a better future. Hamas’ charter calls for the “obliteration of Israel” and goes on to say, “so called peaceful solutions…..are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.” There’s no equivocating there. And, with Hamas, there is no hope.

Clearly the constant bombings of Israel, and now the murder of more than 1,000 Israelis, has nothing to do with what kind of “occupier” Israel is. As long as Hamas holds the people of Gaza hostage – if, in fact, the majority of Gazan’s would rather live peaceful and productive lives – Israel will have no choice but to defend its country and its people, however challenging and tragic that proves to be for Israelis and for those residents in Gaza who do not harbor hatred in their hearts.

Jay Klebanoff