Jews Around the World Fear Another Holocaust
I have been following the news from Israel very closely since first learning of the horrifying attacks of Oct. 7. As someone who has traveled to the Holy Land on nearly two dozen occasions and seen the country from north to south, I was affected. But nothing has prepared me for what has come after the fateful day of that horrifying pogrom committed by Hamas terrorists who run the Gaza Strip.
As a broadcast owner and journalist reporting the news for decades, I cannot recall hearing about such a brutal and bloody terrorist savagery like the one that took place earlier this month. It is hard to actually wrap your head around it. The ruthless and despicable murder of 1,400 innocent people in the most violent manner. Children burned alive; families killed in their beds; dancing young people at a festival celebrating peace gunned down with rifle fire. We saw the videos and they provided a small window into the horror, but they could clearly never capture what it must have felt like to Israelis to be on the receiving end of such hate-fueled, murderous violence.
Yet it was not until I spoke with friends of mine recently (we've had freelance journalists in Israel for over 10 years) that I truly understood the level of pain that Jewish people right here in America are feeling at this time. There is a sense of anger, fear, abandonment, loneliness and isolation. Just consider for a moment how Oct. 7 and Israel's subsequent military efforts to demolish Hamas and defend its people have played out across the globe.
There was no immediate convening of the United Nations to issue a resolution deploring the beheading of Israelis or the kidnapping of over 200 people ranging from infants to the elderly, including Americans. The streets of London were never filled with protests demanding that the hostages taken by Hamas be immediately released. Yet as soon as Israel took the fight to Hamas, the streets were filled with protests accusing Israel of genocide and demanding an immediate ceasefire. We should not forget that there was a ceasefire in effect on Oct. 6, and in the days, weeks, months and years since Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip to allow the Palestinians to govern themselves there.
But worldwide protests and social media have lit up with demands for immediate cessation by the Israel Defense Forces. Deranged members of Congress have spoken in support of the Palestinian cause in the days immediately following the savage assault by the Palestinian government in Gaza. Jewish Americans are seeing this and are rightfully distraught.
They are angry that Israel is being forced to carry out military action that it knows will result in the unfortunate deaths of civilians. That's neither what Israel nor the Jewish people writ large want -- but they are being forced to choose between inaction and slaughter, or self-defense that produces collateral damage.
Deaths of noncombatant Palestinians are the inevitable outcome from Hamas building its command infrastructures in bunkers and directly below a major hospital in Gaza. When playgrounds, schools and mosques become armories and launching pads for indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel, the Jewish state is left with no choice but to take the fight to Hamas, knowing full well that innocents will perish. To Hamas, every Israeli is a legitimate target, while Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties.
Hamas knew that it could carry out a shocking assault reminiscent of ISIS and the attacks of 9/11 with cover from the international community, who would immediately condemn Israeli military action to protect its citizens and defang Hamas. Hamas wants Palestinians to do so, since it makes for good publicity in the service of their aim to demonize Israel.
When Palestinians attempted to move southward after Israel blanketed northern Gaza with flyers telling Palestinian residents to flee in order to avoid being caught in its impending military advance, Hamas blocked the roads. In some cases, its thugs even shot Palestinians who refused to turn back and return to harm's way.
Jewish Americans know that it was only a few years ago that the world largely looked the other way while Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jews. Today, we understand in clear terms better than ever how such a thing could happen.
I am utterly shocked and cannot fathom why there are so many people in the world and right here at home who refuse to see the truth. They blindly condemn Israel and seethe with hatred against the Jewish people. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said, Israel's war with Hamas is a battle between light and dark, life and death, good versus evil.
With antisemitic attacks rising and mobs inciting against Israel, the Jewish people are hurting.
Now more than ever, they need to know that they are not alone. And that Israel and the Jewish people will have the support from those who will be there for them when they need us the most.
Armstrong Williams is manager/sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. To find out more about him and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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