Monday, December 4, 2023

Gaza: Fighting Resumes - Joseph Klein


by Joseph Klein

Israel sends a message.


[Make sure to read Joseph Klein’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]

As fighting resumed in Gaza after a seven day pause, a woman draped in a Palestinian flag used gasoline to set herself on fire on December 1st in front of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. Her performative display of self-destructive protest against Israel was surreal, considering the fact that it was the Hamas terrorists who savagely burned some of their civilian victims alive, including children and babies, on October 7th. This lady, along with the rabid pro-Palestinian protesters chanting “from the river to the sea” and other anti-Semitic slogans, are defending genocidal terrorists who vow to eliminate the Jewish state of Israel and kill as many Jews as possible.

Hamas intentionally targets civilians in Israel for slaughter and abduction. The terrorist organization also places its own civilian population in mortal danger by embedding itself within or under residential and office buildings occupied by Gazan civilians, and facilities used by civilians such as hospitals and schools. In short, Hamas is guilty of committing a double war crime.

Meanwhile, Israel is doing its utmost to reduce the loss of civilian lives in Gaza as its military focuses on hunting down the terrorists responsible for the heinous crimes against humanity on October 7th and destroying their infrastructure. Israel, unlike the genocidal terrorist Israel is fighting, does not intentionally target civilians. It is abiding to the extent it can with provisions of the Geneva Conventions and other international law pertaining to “protected” persons.

Under the Geneva Conventions, “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.” That includes civilian hospitals if they are used, “outside of their humanitarian duties,” to commit harmful acts.  Evacuation of a given area is permitted “if the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.” Israel is acting consistently with these rules of war.

Hamas started this war on October 7th when it unilaterally broke the ceasefire then in place with its surprise invasion of Israel. Hamas also broke the agreement for pauses it reached with Israel to let Hamas’s hostages and Palestinians imprisoned in Israel go free and to let vital necessities into Gaza. Hamas claimed credit for the shooting of three Israelis to death in Jerusalem on November 30th while the latest pause was still in effect, and it fired rockets from Gaza into Israel. Hamas also reneged on its commitment to release all the female Israeli hostages it was still holding.

The war in Gaza has now extended to the southern portion of the strip where Hamas leaders are said to be hiding. Israel has taken unprecedented steps to advise civilian residents in the affected combat zone to head further south and west for safer ground and to provide other advance warnings. Israel has also agreed to designate far larger safe zones in southern Gaza than originally planned. Israel is taking these precautions to save civilian lives even though in doing so Israel risks telegraphing its military plans to Hamas and could hamper its efforts to eradicate Hamas.

The usual chorus of pro-Hamas protesters, pseudo human rights organizations, celebrities, lamestream media, United Nations officials, and world leaders continues to blame Israel for the fighting and its aftermath. Israel faced blistering criticism and protests at the United Nations’ annual climate summit, which began on November 30th and was supposed to be focused solely on addressing climate change. None of this is surprising since anti-Semitism is more virulent worldwide than it has been since World War II, including in the United States.

President Biden and his administration’s senior officials have moved from unambiguously supporting Israel’s right in self-defense to destroy Hamas to pressuring Israel to greatly restrain its military activities that it is undertaking in a fight for its survival. For example, Secretary of State Antony Blinken just recently warned Israel in private that it does not have “the credit” to keep it war against Hamas going for months, even if that is how long it would take to dismantle Hamas.

Israel does not need the Biden administration’s micromanagement of its military operations. And Israel does not need the Biden administration’s repeated lectures regarding its obligations under international law, which Israel has done its best to abide by even as Hamas uses civilians as human shields.

“The way Israel defends itself matters,” Secretary Blinken declared at a recent press conference. Israel, he said, must act in accordance with “humanitarian law and the laws of war, even when confronting a terrorist group that respects neither.” Secretary Blinken added that Israel must avoid the targeting of “life-critical infrastructure like hospitals” even though U.S. intelligence agreed with Israel’s assessment that Hamas has been using hospitals as a cover for commanding and executing its terrorist operations.

Vice President Kamala Harris said on December 2nd that Israel must do more to protect Palestinian civilian lives without suggesting how that can be accomplished safely while Hamas terrorists embed themselves into the civilian population. Is the Israeli Defense Force supposed to knock on every home and office door first in the combat zone and inquire whether the inhabitants declare themselves to be affiliated with Hamas or not before taking any military operations there?

As reported by the New York Times, the vice president “also rejected an idea suggested recently by some Israeli officials that the borders of Gaza could shrink after the war is over to accommodate a security ‘buffer zone’ between the interior of Gaza and Israel.”

For Vice President Harris, who failed in her assignment to deal with the root causes of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, border security – whether for the United States or Israel – is an afterthought. In fact, the Biden administration’s open border policies have provided an easy path for terrorists to enter the United States.

U.S. Border Patrol encounters with so many illegal immigrants between Ports of Entry since President Biden took office have included more than 250 individuals on the terrorist watchlist. That figure does not take into account the terrorists who may well be among the approximately 1.8 million illegal gotaways who managed to evade border patrol and enter the United States on President Biden’s watch.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Threat Assessment for 2024 warned that “terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States…Individuals with potential terrorism connections continue to attempt to enter the Homeland.” It cautioned that Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorists including the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations, can be expected to “continue its efforts to advance plots against individuals in the United States.”

On November 15th FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and provided a chilling account of threats to U.S. national security arising from the border crisis and the nearly two million gotaways amidst the tensions in the Middle East.

“Can the FBI guarantee American people that known or suspected terrorists, including any from Hamas or other terror groups, are not amongst those gotaways?” asked the Committee Chairman Mark Green. FBI Director Wray replied, “Well, certainly the group of people that you’re talking about are source of great concern for us.” He added that “any time you have a group of people in the United States that we don’t know nearly enough about, that is a source of concern for us from a perspective in our lane of protecting Americans.” The FBI director acknowledged that the number of known or suspected terrorists attempting to cross the border has been on the rise in recent years. This number reached a record level in fiscal year 2023, which ended on September 30, 2023.

On October 31st, Director Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that “The reality is that the terrorism threat has been elevated throughout 2023, but the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole other level.” Director Wray said that Hamas and other foreign terrorist groups like it “have called for attacks against Americans and the West.” He added, “We also cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or another foreign terrorist organization may exploit the current conflict to conduct attacks here on our own soil.”

Israel is fighting for its own survival against Hamas, which has sworn to wipe out Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. But America’s military support for Israel’s war against Hamas should not be considered a mere act of charity for America’s closest ally in the Middle East. The United States has a direct stake in the outcome of this war in protecting its own citizens.

Hamas terrorists killed thirty-five Americans on October 7th and abducted ten more. It is believed that eight Americans are still being held hostage by Hamas. The Biden administration has shown less concern for these Americans than for the Palestinian civilians in Gaza whom Hamas has put in harm’s way.

Iran is going after both the “Little Satan” (Israel) and the “Great Satan” (the United States) through its terrorist proxies. The Iranian regime that finances, trains, and arms Hamas and its other terrorist proxies is the common enemy of Israel and the United States. So far, the Biden administration has delivered only a slap on the wrist to the Iranian-sponsored terrorist militias who have attacked U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq since October 7th. The administration has done little to prevent Iranian-backed terrorists from entering the United States, including Hamas fighters and sympathizers.

Israel’s complete annihilation of the Hamas threat in Gaza will send a message to other terrorists sponsored by Iran and to the Iranian regime itself of the price they will pay if they attack Israel and harm Israeli citizens. The Biden administration has drawn back from sending its own message of resolve to stop the terrorists from harming any more Americans.

Israel is not only fighting for its own survival but is doing the United States a service by taking on Iran’s most dangerous terrorist proxies, particularly the Hamas and Hezbollah Islamist extremists. The Biden administration must back Israel’s military mission to destroy Hamas to the hilt, not only because it is the right thing to do but also because the fight against Hamas and other Iran-sponsored terrorists is America’s fight too.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer, and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, The United Nations & Radical Islam.


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