Date: 01/11/2023 Time: 08:46
By Timothy P. Carney
When a story takes up most of the news, there is room for plenty of commentary on many different angles. In the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, murdering hundreds of Israeli civilians, including children and the elderly, there’s a lot to talk about.
We could talk about Israel’s intelligence failures that allowed this to happen, and in turn about the effects on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future. We could talk about the Palestinian civilian deaths caused by weeks of Israeli bombing and about the conditions in which they lived before Oct. 7.
We can and should talk about these matters and much more, but they are all secondary stories. The primary story regarding Israel is this: Hamas is an evil organization that planned and executed mass murder and the rape of more than a thousand Israeli civilians and has captured, held hostage, and tortured many other Israelis and others.
Even if we’re talking about the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, the primary story is that Hamas is an evil organization. I’m not saying Israel has done everything perfectly before or after Oct. 7, but Hamas had primary responsibility to care for its people, and it failed, valuing conflict with Israel over care for its people. And Hamas, as the instigator of the current war, bears primary responsibility for Israel’s airstrikes, especially given Hamas’s fondness for using Palestinians as human shields.
Yet this primary point — that Hamas is evil — is lost on some. Check this opinion piece in the New York Times:
The authors lament that “There is precious little space on social media for nuance or neutrality when it comes to the war between Israel and Hamas.”
The authors reject the idea that one ought clearly to take a side in this war between Israel and Hamas. They explicitly did not write that the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians is complex. They lamented “taking sides” between Israel and a murderous terrorist organization that recently launched one of the most heinous terrorist assaults in recorded history.
Yes, we should take sides. Again, we can argue about whether Israel is taking enough care to avoid harm to civilians in Gaza, but that’s a discussion we have after we make it clear that Hamas started this war, that Israel is justified in trying to eradicate Hamas, and that Hamas could end the war today by surrendering its power and returning all hostages.
The evil of Hamas is the primary story here.
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