It is almost a month since Hamas unleashed its barbaric attack on Israeli civilians on October 7. The full, murderous horror of that day continues to emerge, in accounts of genocidal savagery that are almost beyond imagining. Innocent families were subjected to torture, rape and mutilation. Festival-goers were mown down without pity. It is natural to want to turn aside, rather than contemplate such unspeakable acts. Yet facing what happened, in all its monstrosity, is the only way to see Hamas for what it is, and why it must be destroyed.
Some 240 people are still being held captive in Gaza by Hamas’s terrorists. But in truth the entire population of the Strip are prisoners of Hamas. Its leaders could stop further bloodshed at any point by surrendering and releasing their hostages. As the death toll rises in Gaza, it is increasingly clear that Hamas cares as little for the Palestinians under its control as it does for Israeli lives.
Hamas places its genocidal goal to destroy Israel above all else, including the Palestinian people. Its refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist and hence its rejection of any two-state solution has brought nothing but misery and eliminated any hope of peace. In this war, Hamas is more than happy to see Palestinians die so long as their blood feeds its narrative of hate.
Israel’s targeted attacks reveal where Hamas hides its military forces: under population centres and hospitals. It callously transports its thugs in ambulances, against all the rules of war. If the people of Gaza try and flee, Hamas blocks their escape route or kills them. If they stay, it hides behind them, and uses their pain and suffering to serve its own poisonous ideology.
Some argue that Israel’s campaign to remove Hamas from power in Gaza cannot succeed. That it will only make the situation worse by radicalising a new generation. Yet this fails to see how Hamas indoctrination brewed the wild hatred which slaughtered 1,400 people. The leaders of Hamas are proud of their atrocities, and of breaking a ceasefire to commit them. The end of Hamas is the only possible path back to the negotiating table.
An ideology committed to abominable cruelty in the name of territorial conquest and genocide cannot be reasoned with. As with Japan and Nazi Germany in World War II, it simply needs to be defeated.
The task of bringing a population back from such hatred is a daunting one. But both Germany and Japan show that it is possible, in the wake of a decisive defeat. Importantly, Saudi Arabia is still committed to normalising relations with the Jewish state. Even Iran’s proxies, especially Hezbollah, have effectively abandoned Hamas to its fate, apparently fearful of the consequences of launching a multi-front war on Israel. Most governments in the region are ready to see Hamas fall. With Gaza freed of the monsters now in charge of its affairs, it will at last be possible for the real work towards peace and reconciliation to begin.
CREDIT: JUSTIN TALLIS