Hamas’s ‘suffering’ excuse

Nov 28, 2023 | Read Now, Voices

In the Holocaust, my parents survived far worse than the Palestinians, yet they never dreamed of harming children, women and the elderly.

Many people support the Palestinians’ right to a state. Many condemn the policies and attitudes of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political allies who deny these rights and mistreat Palestinians. I do too. Many are moved by the suffering of Gazans since Israel began its war against Hamas. I am too.

But too many of these same people support Hamas and praise the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre. They say that this horrendous rampage of crimes against humanity was the justified action of a people who have been oppressed for 75 years.

[The commentary in JNS continues]

Not content with these horrors, the Hamas terrorists sent messages to the families of the victims in order to torture them further. Hamas’s own videos showed them celebrating their evil acts by describing what they did, accompanied by joyful shouts and praises to God.

This is not war. This is murderous hatred. It is cynically bartering human lives, both Palestinian and Israeli, for publicity: The more horrors, the more deaths, the more publicity.

[The commentary in JNS continues]

My parents survived the Holocaust. Their parents were murdered; their brothers and sisters were murdered; they were stripped of all rights; they were tortured; they lost their homes and property; they were stateless and never returned to their home.

I have no idea what my paternal grandparents or murdered uncles looked like. No photos or memorabilia survived. I was awakened many times in my childhood by the sound of my father screaming as he suffered his latest nightmare. He was deaf in one ear from a beating administered via a rifle butt. My mother is missing several teeth from the day she was hit in the mouth with a hammer. There are many more such stories, each more awful than the next.

Many years ago, I went with my parents to visit their old towns. The Jewish cemetery of their ancestors no longer exists. It is a corn field in which one can find bits and pieces of headstones. There is no other proof that my ancestors were ever there. When we visited my father’s former home, two women emerged and sat out front, guarding what was now their home from us. We did not enter.

[The commentary in JNS concludes]

So, again, what prior treatment and/or oppression can justify what Hamas has done and its promises to do it again and again?

The answer is: Nothing.

View in this November 28 commentary by Joel Weinberger, Ph.D, at the Jewish News Syndicate