Israel in context

A battle against evil

By: Bev Goldman

“They validated their actions to their own children, thus breeding the next generation of pure implacable evil.”

“What we know, what Stefan Zweig didn’t know but what we know now, is that the Jewish people have seen off every single one of their enemies for millennia. They have outlived every single one of the enemies who have sought to destroy them, from Pharoah to Hitler. And they will see this enemy off as well. And I say that with absolute certainty.”

Powerful words from Douglas Murray, British author and political commentator, founder of the 2007 Centre for Social Cohesion. He affirms unapologetically, unreservedly, and resolutely his support for Israel. He defines himself as a Jew, a Zionist, and an Israeli. But he is much more than that: he is a man of morality, integrity, decency, and principle.

Saturday 7th October 2023: a day that will forever be etched into the consciousness, the memory, the sentience of Jews around the world. On that day, pure implacable evil entered the sovereign state of Israel, invaded kibbutzim and police stations, broke into family homes, tortured and tormented, tyrannised and violated, took hostages, beheaded babies, murdered children, women, the elderly, and the handicapped. These evil creatures celebrated their heinous actions with cheers and whoops of victory, with balloons and sweets, with dancing in the streets; and they validated their actions to their own children, thus breeding the next generation of pure implacable evil.

The carnage and devastation wreaked on that day, which was also the last day of Succot, and during the weeks that followed, have left the Jewish world reeling in shock and horror, in grief and in anguish. Those who would destroy Israel and the Jewish nation perpetrated never-before acts of brutality and savagery; and the depths of depravity to which they descended – as they did in Kfar Aza and Be’eri, where “two piles of 10 children each were tied back-to-back and burnt to death” – cannot be comprehended.

Politicians, statesmen, royalty, political analysts, civil society, religious leaders of all faiths, academics, entertainers – thousands and thousands have voiced their shock and horror at the slaughter which caught the people of Israel, the government, and the security and intelligence services completely off guard. The attack was incredibly well-planned and executed. The Hamas terrorists, focusing only on the ultimate destruction of the state of Israel and the death of every Jew, rampaged through border towns near Gaza, firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately and then storming Israel by land, sea, and air. Not since the end of the Holocaust have there been so many Jewish deaths. Not since prior to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 has the nation-wide mourning, keening, anguish, and grief been so heart-rending, so excruciating, so harrowing.

In South Africa, the rally arranged by the SAZF afforded us the chance to hear the outpouring of anguish for the losses from a number of speakers, not all Jewish, not all white. It also enabled us finally to recognise the calamitous reality of a government that has not only failed but has desecrated and besmirched the history of the Jews in South Africa, the thousands who helped build this country, who fought relentlessly against the evils of apartheid, who showed unswerving loyalty and dedication to the new democratic government, a government that promised so much, but delivered so little.

A few facts on Israel, and a short history lesson:

  • About 15,5 million Jews around the world represent 0,2% of the global population.
  • In 2020, Muslims numbered approximately 1,9 billion followers.
  • Of 195 countries across the world, Israel by area is ranked 153rd worldwide.
  • Israel is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria and Jordan to the east, Egypt to the south – 4 sworn enemies despite some protestations to the contrary.
  • There are 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world; there is only one Jewish state.
  • The Arab world inhabits 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Jewish world has only one country.

On 15th August 2005, 9000 Israeli citizens living in 25 settlements in Gaza were forcibly evicted by the IDF, even digging up Jewish graves. By 22 September 2005, Israel’s withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip to the 1967 Green Line, and the eviction of the four settlements in Samaria, was completed. It was assumed that the many structures in the former settlements, including the extensive greenhouses, would be used to benefit Palestinian housing and industry. However, in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli withdrawal, Palestinians entered the former Israeli settlements and burned buildings, including synagogues, and looted materials from buildings and greenhouses. What should have been buildings in the settlements for Palestinian industry, for educational institutions, and for private housing became instead, after June 2007 when the terrorist organisation Hamas took charge of the Gaza Strip from the PA, a haven for evil, a “tunnel economy” for armed groups and smugglers, giving them access to weapons, to electronics, to anything that spelt death to the Israelis. The Israelis have been out of Gaza for 20 years, yet they have been attacked from Gaza ever since.

In 2007, Egypt established and has since maintained a blockade of the strip, largely sealing off its border and imposing tight controls over the passage of goods and people through Rafah. Why? Because security sources and analysts say it wants to prevent infiltration by terrorists from Hamas, which shares an ideology with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group outlawed in Egypt. So Israel must “house” these monsters while Egyptians, Arabs to the core, reject them (as do so many other Arab and Muslim countries) and simultaneously condemn Israel for defending herself and her people.

When citizens, who are used as human shields and are ordered, as Hamas is ordering the Palestinians, NOT to leave their homes despite their desperate need for safety and security and warnings from the IDF, where is the world’s revulsion?

When citizens, living their lives quietly and peacefully in their communities, are flagrantly and brutally dragged from their homes, abused, tortured, murdered, and executed at point blank range; when babies and toddlers are taken hostage, grabbed from their mothers’ arms, defenceless and terrified, mocked, scorned, and beheaded, how does one describe the barbarism, the savagery, the inhumanity?

In the 4th to 6th centuries, the Huns, nomadic warriors from the Kazakhstan area, killed men, women, and children alike. They decimated almost everything and everyone in their path. They were barbarians, carrying out acts of abject cruelty, brutality, and sabre-rattling.
They were the true ancestors of the Hamas and Hezbollah “heroic freedom fighters”. The word jihadism (armed struggle) is a “neologism for militant Islamic movements that are perceived as existentially threatening to the West”. Hamas, following the ideological principles of Islamism, promotes Palestinian nationalism in an Islamic context and pursues a policy of jihad, pure jihadism, against Israel.

Sam Harris wrote in The Sin of Moral Equivalence:
“I’ll briefly remind you of what I believe, which is that there is no possibility of living in peace with jihadists. So… we are perpetually at war with them. And we must win a war of ideas with everyone, both within the Muslim world and outside of it, who is confused about that – and there are legions of the confused. And there is no place on Earth where the truth about jihadism is more obvious or excruciating, and moral confusion about it more reprehensible, than Israel today … Israel remains a lonely outpost of civilised ethics in the absolute moral wasteland that is the Middle East.”


(This article was written on Day 12 of the war. Perhaps, in the interim, there have been positive changes; perhaps, in the interim, the hostages have been freed. We can only hope and pray.)

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