On a recent visit to Germany, I toured Dachau – a former Nazi concentration camp and now a memorial site where, to the great credit of modern-day Germans, they’ve adopted Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s admonition that “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”
Of the innumerable accounts of Nazi inhumanity, the most soul crushing was the report of soldiers throwing Jewish babies out maternity ward windows. That is, until stories surfaced on October 7th of Hamas terrorists beheading babies during their rampage into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 to enable Palestinian self-determination. As the world’s largest per-capita recipient of foreign aid, Gaza could have become Singapore-on-the-Mediterranean, absent Hamas’s diversion of billions into terrorism.
Now having committed the worst crime against Jews since the Holocaust, Hamas – whose slogan is “we love death more than Jews love life”– has again baited Israel into defensive actions.
Hiding among civilians in their command center underneath Gaza’s largest hospital, the Iranian-backed terrorist group knows that retaliation-caused devastation is their most lethal weapon because dead Palestinian babies trump dead Jewish babies for the morally confused.
While victim’s bodies were still warm, Gazans and global jihadists celebrated the gruesome torture, rape, executions, butchery and burning alive of over 1,400 innocents, including 31 Americans. As 242 hostages – among them 32 children and a 9-month-old baby – descended into living hell, protestors in Sydney, Australia shouted, “gas the Jews.”
Shockingly, this extremism is proliferating on US college campuses, once bastions of liberal, progressive, humanitarian values, now cesspools of strident antisemitism, hostile behavior and violent rhetoric. According to the National Students for Justice in Palestine messaging toolkit, Hamas’s massacre is “a historic win” for “justifiable resistance” to Israel’s “settler-colony.”
Ironically, many who’ve embraced diversity, equity and inclusion while charging others with waging “literal genocide” against marginalized identities are now removing posters of October 7th victims and hostages and chanting for ethnic cleansing and Israel’s elimination: “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free;” “There is only one solution, intifada revolution;” and “We can’t wait for the caliphate.”
While international media saw proof of Hamas’s genocidal savagery – including graphic footage from terrorists’ body cameras – and after Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad pledged to repeat attacks “until Israel is annihilated,” blind followers parrot Hamas, charging Israel with keeping Gazans in a concentration camp, and genocide – ignoring real genocides in Syria, Yemen, or Darfur.
Though supposedly taught to place evidence, reason, and logic over dogma, jihadi sympathizers won’t consider these moral inequities: Israel uses missile defenses to protect civilians while Hamas uses civilians to protect missiles; war is Israel’s last resort and Hamas’ first; Israel forewarns innocents in attack zones, while Hamas uses innocents as propaganda-aiding cannon-fodder; Israel’s society is diverse and inclusive while Gaza’s is repressive.
In truth, Gazans are terribly oppressed and deserve freedom – from Hamas, which is the enemy of the Palestinian people and Middle East peace. It’s a tragedy that they are denied the opportunity, rights, and standard-of-living of Arab-Israelis who are one-fifth of Israel’s population with representation in Israel’s parliament and Supreme Court.
So, why do 48 percent of America’s 18-24-year-olds side with Hamas, according to a Harvard/Harris poll, while 84 percent of all Americans side with Israel?
Stanford undergrad Julia Steinberg explains in her Free Press commentary, “Why My Generation Hates Jews.” Having been “raised on Instagram and Twitter,” she writes, “our ideas are tweet-length and infographic-sized…The oppressor/oppressed framework was made for us” with “the oppressed…our intellectual north star.”
Regarding Israel, she says her “peers have been indoctrinated to believe that Jews are oppressors.” And “the oppressor is always wrong and the oppressed are always right.”
Thankfully, many Arab leaders disagree. Foreign policy analyst Walter Russell Mead observed that though Iran wanted Hamas’s attack to divide Israel from Arab states, it’s backfiring. “Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all signaled that they intend… to go on working with Jerusalem for a safer, more stable Middle East.”
“Iran and its murderous proxies are mortal threats to the economic future that Arab rulers want and their people need,” he concludes, especially considering the imperative to diversify from fossil fuels by allying with Israel’s “Start-up Nation.”
Among Israel’s unequivocal global supporters are German leaders mindful of the Nazi past, and Elie Wiesel’s plea for humanity. From the left, Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck declared “Israel’s security is part of Germany’s raison d’etre.” And from the right, AFD party founder Alexander Gauland asserted “when we stand with Israel, we’re defending our way of living and thinking.”
Ultimately, the upsurge of global antisemitism is powerful justification for the state of Israel and the notion that Jewish lives matter. If Palestinians had moral leaders who believed their lives mattered too, wouldn’t that make peace more likely, assuring every baby matters?