As I write it is the middle of the night in the U.S., but morning here in central Europe, where we are awakening to the shocking and barbaric attack Hamas has launched inside Israel from the Gaza strip. Some of the early videos and news accounts are horrific. This is no minor raid. Hamas is targeting civilians, clearly aiming at mass casualties. According to one TV report, Hamas has taken control of some population centers. It can be compared to 9/11.
Early reaction includes some criticism that Israeli intelligence may have missed seeing this coming, especially as this attack occurs around the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war when Israel came perilously close to losing. I think there is a more obvious motive for the timing. Hamas and Hezbollah want to derail the much-rumored normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which will marginalize Hamas and Hezbollah to some extent.
No doubt Hamas expects—and likely hopes for—a strong Israeli response against them in Gaza, and I hope Netanyahu doesn’t hesitate, in the world of Marsellus Wallace, to get medieval on Hamas, and Hezbollah too while they are at it. It risks a wider war with Iran. So be it. (If it were up to me, the entire “civilian” leadership of the Palestinian Authority would be dead by sundown.)
The most urgent question for Americans is how the Biden Administration will react. I do not hesitate go on record with the view that Biden has long been anti-Israel, and is likely a closet anti-Semite. At a minimum we should cut off all U.S. aid to Gaza; Republicans in Congress should demand this. Expect the worst from our State Department.
UPDATE—As predicted in the last sentence above, notice the difference in the statements issued by our State Department (“refrain from retaliatory attacks”), and the European Union (“Israel has the right to defend itself”). It’s a rare day that the EU is tougher than the United States, but there it is.
P.S. Has anyone sent word of the matter up to a certain beach house in Delaware?
More—Netanyahu declares “Israel is at war.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in video statement: “Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not an operation, not an escalation — at war.”
Credit: Israel Defense Ministry pic.twitter.com/B7mxC12dxh
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 7, 2023