Some issues are complicated. No matter how hard you study them, the options are confounding. What happened in Israel on October 6, 2023, isn't complicated. The barbarians broke down the gate, ransacked a country, and raped, pillaged, and murdered their way across Gaza. Terrorists bent on blood got their fill, and Israel experienced the worst mass death of Jews since the Holocaust.
Hundreds were murdered, thousands were assaulted, and untold more had their lives changed forever by barbaric monsters intent on inflicting as much pain and misery as possible. We know this because Hamas and its Palestinian terrorists filmed their actions and gleefully filled social media with their debauchery. And that included everything from taking Holocaust survivors hostage to murdering a young woman and strapping her corpse to a vehicle like a trophy animal.
I'm emphasizing the brutality here because it cannot be understated. It is shocking to the soul, and there's a reason Israelis are calling it their 9/11 – it's the right comparison.
Israel is at war. Fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters are getting called up to active service. And before these brave men and women is the same threat each generation of Jews has faced: an enemy that wants them extinct from the earth at all costs. It's the threat of existence.
There are two levels of Israel's response. The first is necessary: utterly destroy Hamas as a functioning entity. John Podhoretz writes in Commentary Magazine, "Hamas must be destroyed. Period. The problem is that destroying Hamas may require the country to do something it does not want to do, which is reoccupy the Gaza Strip."
This is an uncomfortable fact because it upends the status quo of the last twenty years. It's also unavoidable. Israel cannot coexist with a murderous terrorist organization trying to massacre anyone it can get its hands on. Of the levels of Israel's response, however, this is a difficult but doable task. The immediate ground and air campaign will be about making this hard decision a reality.
The next level of Israel's response is arguably unavoidable as well. Behind Hamas and Hezbollah sits one country: Iran. On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal confirmed what everyone (not in the White House) knew: Iran is behind it all.
Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas's Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another Iran-backed militant group. Officers of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land and sea incursions—the most significant breach of Israel's borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War—those people said.
The Biden Administration purposely avoids a conclusion of blame here because they don't like what it means. First, the ambitions of Barack Obama and Joe Biden for a reconstructed Iran to take its place in the Middle East are gone. They were already exposed headed into October over taking Iranian cash to influence US policy towards Iran.
Iran was getting precisely what it wanted from the Obama and Biden administrations: billions of dollars in free cash and access to global markets to export its oil. This combination infused the Iranians with money, which they disbursed to their attack dogs, Hamas and Hezbollah.
We also know, from leaked emails back in August, that the Biden White House was warned and agreed that sending Iranian aid would "boost the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas." The White House knew it was helping terrorist groups aimed at killing Jews - and they enabled Iran anyway.
Second, the White House hates this event because Israel's actions likely involve the United States. After dealing with Hamas, Israel faces a harder choice: what to do about Iran? The Islamist dictatorship of Iran has one overarching goal: eradicate Jews wherever they are on earth. Iran and the Pro-Palestinina protestors in the US and abroad both sing the same song: "From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free." It means eradicating Jews from Israel and anywhere on earth.
Israel has to decide whether or not going to war means Gaza only or taking the fight to the source: Iran. A military action against Gaza would be limited enough to be acceptable to most countries. Going after Iran risks embroiling the entire Middle East in war. Israel's new friends from the Abraham Accords also have an ax to grind with Iran. Russia and China are intimately involved with the Iranians, with all three importing and exporting various resources and goods to one another.
I'm not saying this is a WWIII moment, but it's not hard to see a much broader conflict emanating from Iran's terrorism. Ukraine has been a limited regional war that has involved the US supplying arms to the Ukrainians, who are draining the Russian military. Israel vs. Iran is a much bigger domino that could bring everyone to the table. I'm not cautioning one way or another on this topic because Israel has an absolute right to defend itself and destroy the country trying to eradicate it.
If the United States were in this position, I'd want blood, as would every American. Israel is in that position right now. This is their 9/11. What happened on October 6, 2023, will reshape the Middle East and global politics for the rest of the decade and likely beyond. Realize what I'm saying: Israel's response and America's responsibility for that reaction will define the next seven years and beyond.
This was Israel's 9/11. That one event defined American military policy for nearly 25 years. Israel is at a similar juncture today. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that Israel's leaders be filled with the necessary wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to manage the coming war. And may God be with us all.