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Atrocities in Israel: How should...

Atrocities in Israel: How should America respond?

By: Douglas Carswell - October 11, 2023

Douglas Carswell

Israel, like America, has the munitions and the manpower she needs to defend herself – for now. What we must fear instead is the moral disarmament of the West that has been happening one campus at a time. 

The scenes we saw from southern Israel were gruesome.  Two hundred and fifty young people at a music festival murdered.  Elderly people waiting at a bus stop gunned down.  Women and children abducted at gun point, and carried off to a grisly captivity at the hands of Hamas.

Hamas’ attack on Israel could not conceivably serve any conventional military purpose.  The aim of the attack was to kill and abduct as many civilians as possible.  Indeed, the Israelis suspect that the ‘Tribe of Nova’ music festival, apparently advertised all over social media, was specifically targeted by Hamas.

How should the United States respond?

First, Americans should remember why they support Israel.  A tiny slither of land less than a fifth the size of Louisiana, Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.  In Israel, as in America, government comes from the people and by the people.  

The only example of an open society in the Middle East, Israel is a social and economic success story.  So much so, in fact, Israel’s very existence is a rebuke to the theocrats and thugocracies that surround her.  This is why those theocrats and thugs seek her destruction.

It is easy to support Israel today when the images of the latest atrocities are fresh in our minds.  But we need to brace ourselves to give Israel moral support in the bleak months ahead.

Even now, as Hamas paraded their helpless hostages in Gaza, there are no shortage of Western ‘intellectuals’ quick to come out in support of such savagery.  Those anti-Israel voices will only grow louder as Israel undertakes the grim task of neutralizing further threats from Hamas in Gaza, and possibly even Hezbollah in the north.  

One immediate consequence of Hamas’ attack has been to put Israel’s peace talks with Saudi Arabia on hold.  Indeed, that might have been Iran’s intention in helping encourage and orchestrate the terror attacks, as some reports now suggest seems likely.

The atrocities in Israel should be a wakeup call for America’s foreign policy establishment.  For two decades, Western countries have tried various initiatives to reach out to Iran.  Doing so, we were told, would encourage ‘the moderates’ in Tehran.  Handing over billions of dollars, according to many ‘experts’, would bring about a rapprochement.  

Today, there is not much sign of any moderation by Iran.  Nor have we seen a softening of Tehran’s position.  What we have seen are a lot of dead young Israelis at a music festival, killed by Iranian-backed terrorists.

We must no longer pretend that we can deal with Iran as a normal nation.  

For as long as I can remember, all the sensible foreign policy people in Washington and London talked about the need for a two-state solution in the Middle East.  Today we can see what Hamas are really like, and I wonder if there is anything sensible about giving such people sovereignty over anyone.  

My greatest concern in the aftermath of these attacks in not with the Middle East, but with America.

As news of the atrocities was being reported, several mainstream broadcasters insisted on calling the perpetrators ‘militants’, rather than ‘terrorists.’  In several cities in Europe and North America, we saw pro-Palestinian protesters chanting for the destruction of Israel.   

At Harvard, 31 student groups, including the Muslim Student Association and Students for Health Equity and Justice in Palestine, issued a statement blaming Israel for what happened.

Maybe years of ‘woke’ teaching and recruitment at elite institutions comes with consequences?

After decades of promoting cultural relativism, the absurd idea that all cultures are of equal worth, we end up with an intellectual ‘elite’ unable to differentiate between an imperfect democracy, Israel, and a gang of savages, Hamas.

It is this that really ought to concern us.  Would you be happy having people that think this way running the State Department in 30 years time?  

Israel, like America, has the munitions and the manpower she needs to defend herself against those intent on undermining her way of life.  For now.  What we must fear instead is the moral disarmament of the West that has been happening one campus at a time.   

About the Author(s)
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Douglas Carswell

Douglas Carswell is the President & CEO of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.