The Situation Is Not That Complicated
I was almost finished writing this month’s column when the Hamas attack on Simchat Torah took place. Somewhat appropriately, that article had been about the way politics are used to create antisemitism—specifically, the antisemitism that results from the constant lies and exploitation of the issue of Judea and Samaria.
I thought I was angry when I was writing that column.
Then the entire Jewish world was punched in the gut and forced to confront an evil that has been mostly contained since 1945.
My anger was intense. My sorrow was intense. My brain has been on overload ever since.
My favorite part of the Passover Haggadah has always been:
“Pour out Your wrath upon the nations that do not acknowledge You, and upon the kingdoms that do not call upon Your Name. For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. Pour out Your indignation upon them, and let the wrath of Your anger overtake them. Pursue them with anger, and destroy them from beneath the heavens of the L-rd.”
I am praying that the soulless, putrid, cowardly scum who carried out the attacks on our people suffer wrath and the full fury of Hashem at the hands of the brave, valiant soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces, in a way that has been reserved only for the most evil among us. I hope they suffer. I hope that anyone who even THINKS about harming a Jew from that point forward will fear that same all-encompassing wrath.
There is no pain that is too extreme for these sons of Amalek, whether it is physical, psychological or both. I hope their pain is never-ending.
I am angry with the political situation that created an atmosphere that allowed Hamas, and Iran, to believe that they could do this. You don’t give $6 billion to Iran (whether the money was used or not is unimportant), $7 million to the Israel-hating United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ((UNRWA), additional untold billions by lifting sanctions on Iranian oil, without emboldening Iran, which has vowed to wipe us off the map (G-d forbid) for decades.
Like most of you, I can’t open any of my social media feeds without seeing the faces of precious Jewish life after precious Jewish life: each ripped from their friends, their families and all of Klal Yisrael (the entire Jewish community). Like most of you, it is hard to see, hard to process, and most of all, it’s hard to believe that it even happened.
I don’t have family (that I know of) who died in the Shoah. I did, however, grow up with the near constant presence of my parents’ friends Henry and Anna. They were Holocaust survivors. Henry had been in Auschwitz, where his entire family, wife and children, had been murdered. Anna’s entire family had also been murdered by the Germans.
They met at a displaced-persons camp after the war and then moved to America. Henry became a mentor to my mother in the garment industry; she was one of that industry’s first female executives on the West Coast. They were among the original founders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
As a child, I did not understand the significance of my mother telling me that Henry viewed me “like a son.” When I was older, the significance of that fact had an enormous impact on me.
n I also worked for a time at the (ridiculously named) Museum of Tolerance. The most important part of the experience was the talks given by survivors. I attended as many as I could. Even in 1999, I understood that these people were gifts from G-d, crucial links not just to history, but to a Jewish world taken from us a just a few decades before I was born.
The clearest lesson I learned from Henry, Anna, and every survivor I heard lecture was this: Evil is real.
The other lesson was that the ONLY way to defeat evil is to acknowledge it, confront it and destroy it.
Destroy it completely.
Judaism cherishes life in a way that most cultures and religions do not. However, it also demands that if someone is trying to murder you, you kill them first. Why? Because the person trying to kill you is committing an act of evil. By killing him and saving your own life, you are carrying out an act of pikuach nefesh: saving a life.
Israel must completely destroy the evil people who committed unspeakable atrocities against us. We will survive, and we will flourish, and one day “Hamas,” the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” “Islamic Jihad,” “Hezbollah,” and yes, the post 1967 notion of “Palestinians,” will each be just as distant a historic concept as Babylonia, Persia and the Roman Empire. Their descendants may survive, but the pure evil, the perversion of mind and the inversion of everything good that the culture of Islamism represents, will not.
Are there civilians in Gaza, or among the Palestinians in general? Yes. But never forget that these people elected Hamas to rule over them, just as the Germans elected Hitler to the German Chancellery. In fact, more Palestinians voted for Hamas (45%), then Germans voted for the Nazi Party (37%). That is the same Hamas that has in its charter a promise to destroy the Jewish people. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never voted for ANYONE whose stated goal is genocide. When you do, you are complicit in whatever comes next. That should be obvious to everyone.
Another reason to confront Hamas, and any other threat to our people, is that if we don’t, it will be (G-d forbid) open season on Jews. Again.
In fact, this is the first real test of the idea that the State of Israel exists primarily to safeguard all Jewish lives. That’s why, and this may be a minority opinion, it angers me that for the last 30 years, the government of Israel has placated the West, particularly the United States, with policy after policy that put OUR lives in danger. Because when Israel is weak, we are all at risk.
The pro-Hamas campaigns all over the world these past weeks should have made that clear to all of us. I watched for years as Israel pretended that it is a virtue to warn our enemies before we end their miserable existences. Or that it was ever going to end differently if they “mowed the lawn” in operation after operation after operation, each designed only to brush back the threat, not annihilate it.
Jew haters always play the long game and have zero respect for human life. Do you think that killing a few thousand of them each year, while they continue to multiply and teach their offspring to hate us, all while waging a massive PR war against our people, was going to lead to any other result than what we witnessed on October 7th?
The coming war has to be Dresden, Tokyo, Nagasaki, etc. It must be ALL-OUT WAR. I am hoping, G-d willing, that by the time this is published we will be victorious. I am very realistically concerned that the rhetoric won’t match the actions, as it often didn’t with Ariel Sharon, and as it often hasn’t with Bibi.
I always end my column with “Am Yisrael chai,” “the people of Israel live.” Do we want to survive (which we surely will B”H) because we made it through another slaughter, or do we want to fulfill the promise of the State of Israel and SURVIVE ON OUR OWN TERMS because this time we have modern warplanes, weaponry and advanced military technology? Are we nebbishly victims, or are we a nation of fearsome Jewish warriors?
This war will also have serious ramifications for the rest of the West. I watched the same vermin give out candy after 9/11 and watched them do it again after the Simchat Torah pogrom. The difference is that in 2001, it was limited to the “West Bank.” This time the celebrations were also in Gaza, Dearborn, Michigan; New York; Los Angeles (where I am); Chicago; Sydney; London, etc. Which means that during those 22 years, all we learned was to be cowed by empty terms like “Islamophobia” and “racism.” The poison spread because we were moral cowards.
None of this happened in a vacuum.
Watching what has been happening in Israel over the past year or so has been rough. Particularly the issue of reforming Israel’s judiciary, the media’s often misleading portrayal of that issue, and the protests that followed, all created division among our people which was unprecedented in the modern era, and very clearly dangerous.
One thing that is crucial to remember is that the world can be a very dark place. We know that too well from the Shoah.
Our security requires unity. Courage requires moral clarity.
Our morality requires something different than the liberal democratic ideas of the West. Torah morality, Jewish morality, demands ZERO compassion for those who do evil. Moral superiority does NOT mean fighting limited wars pretending that our enemies are like us. It doesn’t mean deluding ourselves into believing that they value life, value freedom, and value their people. They do not.
The Jewish army fights a Jewish war when it fights for Torah values, which yes, demand that every life is precious, but also that evil must be utterly destroyed. That is the task we are embarking on.
Those who attacked us didn’t just attack us, but it was an attack on G-d.
These people hate us because they hate the morality that G-d gave us, through the Torah. Their darkness is the complete absence of light. It allowed them to behave like inhuman savages. This is why the darkness must be destroyed, without hesitation, and with the knowledge that the battles to come aren’t complex, but are, literally, battles to defeat the evil that Jews know all too well.
Which also is why we know exactly how to defeat it.
Never be afraid. Never give in.
Am Yisrael chai!
Joshua Namm is a longtime Jewish community pro, passionate Israel advocate, and co-founder/co-CEO of Moptu, a unique social platform designed specifically for article sharing and dedicated to the principle of free speech.