On Saturday, Israel suffered the worst attack on its civilian population in 50 years. Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists in Gaza launched thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers and stormed through the security barrier into Israel where they massacred hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children. An untold number were also taken captive and thousands are seriously injured.
Fifty years ago, Israel was also caught by surprise when Arab armies invaded on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. This time, the Palestinian terrorists chose to attack on Simchat Torah, the most joyous holy day in the Jewish calendar, when Jews celebrate the completion of the annual cycle of studying the Torah and then immediately begin it again.
Their choice of this date is no coincidence. It is a sign that Hamas, like their predecessors, sees itself at war not only with the government of Israel, but also with the Children of Israel and the God of Israel--the Jewish people and Judaism itself.
The attack has been called "Israel's 9/11," and appropriately so. As with America on Sept. 11, 2001, Israel was caught off guard by new terrorist tactics that caused an unprecedented civilian death toll. On a per capita basis, the Israeli death toll is the equivalent of about seven 9/11 attacks.
Imagine if Al Qaeda had massacred more than 21,000 American citizens--on Christmas. Imagine further that, in addition to all the hostages who died immediately upon the impact of the hijacked planes into buildings, Al Qaeda had also kidnapped several thousand American citizens from their homes or public venues, like concerts, and brought them back to Afghanistan to use for ransom or as human shields. That's what Israel is enduring right now.
Already, members of Congress' "Hamas Caucus" have called for an "immediate ceasefire and de-escalation"--in essence, telling Israel not to defend itself. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., issued a statement about the terror attack in Israel and failed even to mention Hamas. She also placed the blame for the carnage--what Tlaib euphemistically called "resistance"--squarely on Israel.
Instead of condemning terrorism, Tlaib lamented the "cycle of violence" and called for an end to "the occupation," by which she means an end to Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish homeland where Jews have lived continuously for thousands of years.
Let's be clear: Those calling for a ceasefire or prattling about a "cycle of violence" are really calling for Israel's unilateral disarmament. They're calling for Hamas and Iran to be able to massacre Israelis with impunity and then be rewarded with sovereign Israeli territory. Americans with a moral compass should recognize these disingenuous declarations for what they are. At best, Tlaib and "the Squad" are useful idiots for a Nazi-like Islamofascist regime bent on the genocide of the Jews. At best.
That is no exaggeration. On Saturday, Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei made his genocidal intent clear in a post on X (formerly Twitter): "God willing, the cancer of the usurper Zionist regime [Israel] will be eradicated at the hands of the Palestinian people and the Resistance forces throughout the region."
His unholy prayer for the mass murder of Jews was posted alongside a video of Israeli youths fleeing from a music festival that was the site of a massacre by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists. More than 260 bodies of murdered Jewish youths have been located so far. Eyewitness accounts have described young Israeli women being "raped ... next to their friends' bodies, dead bodies."
Videos have emerged of Hamas terrorists parading around the naked bodies of their murder victims, taunting captive children, and murdering children in front of their families. In one video, a woman begs the terrorists for her life as they abduct her.
Iran's role in the attack on Israel is clear as day. Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad told the BBC that Iran gave them a green light for the attack. The Wall Street Journal has reported that "according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, ... Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land, and sea incursions."
Tehran's ultimate culpability for the attacks is clear. As Heritage Foundation national security experts Victoria Coates and Robert Greenway explained, "Absent significant training, equipment, and intelligence capabilities supplied by Iran, Hamas would never have been able to have carried out such an operation."
In other words, no Iran, no attacks.
As is so often the case, the Jews are the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Israel might be the first target, but they are far from the last. Last December, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar openly bragged about his plans for world domination:
We believe in what our Prophet Muhammad said: 'Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake, and I have seen its eastern and western ends. The dominion of my nation would reach those ends that have been drawn near me.' ... The entire 510 million square kilometers of Planet Earth will come under [a system] where there is no injustice, no oppression, no Zionism, no treacherous Christianity, and no killings and crimes like those being committed against the Palestinians and against the Arabs in all the Arab countries, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and other countries.
Unfortunately, the Biden administration has failed to recognize that we are in a civilizational war against genocidal maniacs who oppose everything that America and Israel stand for and who are actively seeking nuclear weapons.
Iran is still the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. Nevertheless, in September, the Biden administration paid $6 billion to Iran as ransom for American hostages. That's on top of the tens of billions of dollars in oil sales to China the mullahs have banked since Biden stopped enforcing sanctions more than two years ago. All this money has been, and will be, used to finance the terrorist attacks by Iran's proxies against Israel.
Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that Iran operated a spy ring right under the noses of the Obama and Biden administrations, executing a disinformation campaign designed to present the Iranian regime as a legitimate government engaged in nuclear negotiations in good faith.
Rob Malley, Biden's special envoy to Iran, has been suspended pending an investigation into a security lapse. Malley had been a key administration official working to revive the dangerous nuclear deal that would eventually give Iran the means to produce nuclear weapons and achieve its genocidal goals.
In the past few days, the Biden administration has appropriately condemned Hamas and expressed support for Israel. "The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians," said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson on Saturday. "There is never any justification for terrorism."
A few hours later, President Joe Biden labeled Hamas "a terrorist organization" and stated that that his administration's "support for Israel's security is rock solid and unwavering."
The coming days will reveal whether these words will be matched by actions. To rescue Israeli citizens taken captive by Hamas and to eliminate the mortal threat that Hamas poses to the Jewish state, Israel will need to conduct a military campaign unlike any before.
Squad members will squawk about civilian casualties, but the Biden administration must remember that every spilled drop of Palestinian blood is on the heads of Hamas, the monsters who use their own civilians as human shields as they seek to massacre Jews.
As was the case with the Yom Kippur War, the outcome of the Simchat Torah War must be decisive. Peace will not come through appeasement, concessions, ransom, or "restraint." Peace will come, as Ronald Reagan put it, through strength.
In the immortal words of King David in Psalm 29: "The Lord shall grant strength to His people; the Lord shall bless His people with peace."