If you don’t want to be killed, don’t take hostages

By David Harsanyi

The reaction to the rescue of four Israeli hostages from Gaza is a microcosm of the past 70 years of this conflict. Every time Palestinians pay the price for acting out in some horrific, irrational, self-destructive, violent way, their defenders want to rewind history to a more convenient moment – this time to Oct. 6, 2023.

Sorry, that’s not how life works. Hamas, the chosen political entity of Gaza – the overwhelming choice of Palestinian civilians, in fact – launched this round of the conflict by massacring, sexually torturing and kidnapping Israelis whose only sin was attending a music festival. Palestinians took hundreds of these hostages back to the Gaza Strip – a place Arabs have political autonomy over for nearly 20 years – and held them in the middle of densely populated areas hoping to dissuade Israel from liberating them; or, if it did, to create as many martyrs as possible.

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Critics of Israel now ask the usual dishonest question: Are four lives worth the alleged 200-plus Arabs who were lost rescuing them?

Israel is the only nation on earth that is tasked with protecting its own people and its enemies. Every innocent lost life is, of course, a tragedy. But if you don’t want to be placed in harm’s way, don’t hold hostages in your homes and neighborhoods, and don’t cheer and support a government that puts your life in constant danger for a lost cause. This is the reality of the world.

Now, if reports are correct, Hamas – and perhaps “civilians” (it’s difficult to tell because terrorists are often dressed as noncombatants) – opened fire on the rescuers. The Israelis, who do not indiscriminately target civilians, fired back, as they should. Whatever the specifics, every lost life is Hamas’ fault.

But, as always, it also needs to be stressed that the casualty numbers that are endlessly repeated by the establishment media are fiction – as everyone in those newsrooms is surely aware. So, we must assume outlets like The Washington Post and CNN – which also detestably contends that the hostages had been “released” – are fellow travelers. One BBC interviewer even asked an Israel Defense Forces spokesman if Israel had warned Palestinians of their sting operation.

Then again, even if there were over 200 dead, it is also surely the case that many of the dead were members of Hamas or holding hostages of their own volition or helping those holding hostages. Avoid doing so if you value your life.

The “Health Ministry” makes no distinction between terrorists and civilians, and in this case there might be little difference. Among those holding the Israelis hostage in their homes in Nuseirat, for instance, were a “journalist” (who apparently worked for Al Jazeera and the U.S.-based Palestine Chronicle, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) and a “doctor.” The entire neighborhood was ostensibly under U.N. control. We already know that U.N. workers had likely participated in the Oct. 7 kidnappings and UNRWA schools are used by Hamas bases of operation.

Even now, there’s a (terrible) cease-fire deal on the table being pushed by President Joe Biden (still chumming for anti-Semitic votes) that Hamas continues to reject. Would we not expect the United States to act the same way as Israel if some homicidal cult had our people?

In the end, of course, this could all end today if the hostages were returned and Hamas would unconditionally surrender. Israel haters, who fashion themselves peaceniks, will blame everyone – Netanyahu, Biden, colonialism, racism, etc. – except the Islamists who are the cause of this war.

Then again, the entire conflict could end if the Palestinians would stop turning to nihilistic theocrats to lead them, and accept Israel’s existence.

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