Articles & Columns
The Times of Israel - Questions that Won’t Go Away

Questions that Won’t Go Away

By ROBERT SARNER, The Times of Israel, November 19, 2023

Amid the somber, new/old reality plaguing Israel and Diaspora Jews following Hamas’s soul-crushing atrocities of Oct. 7, many troubling questions persist. Most pertain to Jews everywhere, several relate specifically to Canada where I live. Some answers are more straightforward than others but collectively, they paint a disturbing picture that we ignore at our peril.

  • How is it that so much of the world gives Hamas a pass on its Nazi-like bloodlust against Jews on Oct. 7, blaming it on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank as if Hamas was striving for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza? Given its unabashed, often expressed goal of annihilating Israel and killing all Jews, no two-state solution will stop Hamas in its genocidal tracks.
  • How is it that so many people fail to see or acknowledge that Hamas, a fascist, theocratic regime that has long oppressed Gazans, represents a greater danger to the future of Palestinians than Israel?
  • How is it that under the jargon of “decolonization” and “resistance,” self-professed human rights defenders and other so-called “progressives” can somehow approve and condone horrific acts of barbarism against innocent Israeli civilians, including the mass murder of children, rape of women, dismemberment of bodies and the violent abduction of hundreds of people of all ages?
  • How is it that Hamas-ruled Gaza, which has received billions of dollars in international humanitarian aid over the years, seems to be running out of everything, except for rockets and other weaponry?
  • How is it that the massacre of Jews by a jihadist death cult has resulted in such an alarming spike in antisemitism that began even before Israel had launched most of its retaliatory actions in Gaza?
  • How is it that more people aren’t demanding that Hamas surrender to avoid more suffering of its own people? If its leaders are really concerned about Palestinian lives, it would stop its daily rocket barrage against Israel, hold up the white flag and release the 240 hostages to end the war they started and are doomed to lose.
  • How is it that many people deny that the Hamas atrocities in Israel took place, despite well-documented, incontrovertible evidence, including multiple videos Hamas filmed and proudly shared online? That’s without mentioning statements in a TV interview by Ghazi Hamad, a senior member of the Palestinian terrorist organization, who not only praised the mass slaughter of civilians but insisted Hamas aims to carry out more such attacks until Israel is eliminated.
  • How is it that those who chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” defend it as simply a call for the creation of a Palestinian state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, although it clearly implies the destruction of the Jewish state? Advocating for Palestinians to have their own state isn’t antisemitic, calling for the end of the Jewish state and denying the Jewish right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland is.
  • How is it that more people don’t grasp what Israeli writer Yossi Klein Halevi has stated so clearly: “For the dead and the wounded among Gaza’s civilians, it obviously makes no difference that Israel didn’t intend to harm them. But intent is the difference between war as tragedy and war as barbarism.”
  • How is it that the media so often misrepresents the reality in its coverage of Israel and Hamas to the detriment of the former? Emblematic of its insidious misuse of language that downplays or neutralizes Palestinian terrorist actions is a report this week by one of Canada’s main television networks. CTV News ran a story with the headline, “Canadian Peace Activist Vivian Silver, Who Went Missing After Hamas Attack, Has Died.” Instead of saying the 74-year-old Kibbutz Be’eri resident and dual citizen was brutally murdered by Hamas, they made it seem as if she had first disappeared and then died of natural causes.
  • How is it that, as New York Times columnist Bret Stephens said in a speech last week, “We are already at the point where the pro-Palestinian movement has become openly pro-Hamas where the reaction to the murder of Jews is euphoria on the streets of New York and other cities, where the more Jews that are killed, the more it is taken as evidence of the perfidy of Jews themselves. This is a road back to Kristallnacht” [the series of Nazi pogroms against Jews in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 widely considered a prelude to the Holocaust].
  • How is it that the animus for the Jewish state among certain gays is so blinding that at anti-Israel rallies they march under the banner, “Queers for Palestine,” seemingly oblivious to the absurdity of their slogan, which has been likened to “Chickens for KFC” and “Blacks for the KKK.” In the Middle East, Israel is a lone haven for gays, in sharp contrast to Palestinian society, which harshly persecutes homosexuals.
  • How is it that universities in Canada and elsewhere, supposedly bastions of enlightenment and sources of moral clarity, have become hotbeds of anti-Jewish hate where students and faculty openly embrace Hamas propaganda and rationalize, even glorify, the mass murder of Israeli civilians and taking of hostages?
  • How is it that a lot of media coverage and statements by public officials refer to Hamas as if it were divorced from other Palestinians? The contention that it doesn’t reflect or represent Palestinians flies in the face of the strong support Hamas has long enjoyed from many Palestinians, both in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • How is it that the benefit of the doubt in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict usually goes against Israel?
  • How is it that in the past month in Canada, which takes pride in its ethnic diversity and tolerance and officially promotes multi-culturalism, police chiefs say hate crimes targeting Jews are surging? The recent litany includes a firebombing of a synagogue and community organization, a bomb threat and shootings at the outside of Jewish schools, boycotts and vandalism of Jewish businesses, anti-Israel demonstrations outside a Jewish daycare and other community buildings, widespread antisemitic graffiti, all of which has necessitated an unprecedented police deployment to ensure the security of the Jewish community, which is increasingly fearful and on edge.
  • How is it that anyone takes seriously the baseless, inflammatory charge that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians? In their linguistic tactics, activists use a catchy, sensationalist slogan against Israel, abusing the word genocide. Not only inaccurate, it demonizes Israel and diminishes recognized acts of genocide, such as the Holocaust and the mass killing of the Tutsi minority in Rwanda in 1994. Accusing Jerusalem of exterminating Palestinians is defamatory, and contradicted by demographic data showing Gaza’s population has nearly doubled over the past 25 years.
  • How is it that many of those accusing Israel of genocide chant genocidal slogans in support of Hamas, which is openly hellbent on the annihilation of Israel and the death of all Jews?
  • How is it that the president of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, representing nearly 300,000 workers, reveled on social media about the Hamas attacks the day after they occurred, and included the words, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Do those chanting it louder than ever during recent protests realize Oct. 7 showed what a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” could mean for millions of Jewish Israelis as a minority within it.
  • How is it that while Israel laments Palestinian civilian casualties, and goes to great lengths to avoid them, its war against a terrorist organization is compared to Hamas’s deliberate murderous assault on Israeli civilians? Only Hamas, which uses civilians as human shields, benefits from Palestinian deaths, exploiting them as part of its propaganda to gain world sympathy and delegitimize Israel.
  • How is it that so many people demonstrating against Israel are nowhere to be found when it comes to protesting other conflicts with a far greater loss of life than in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute?
  • How is it that Israel is the only country that over the past 23 years has been regularly targeted with indiscriminate rocket fire on civilians, with tens of thousands of projectiles fired by Palestinians in Gaza since 2001? During the first few hours of Hamas’s invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7, it fired some 3,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel, ahead of another 6,500 over the first five weeks of the war.
  • How is it that Canada still refuses to list the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity, even though it funds and trains Hamas terrorists for attacks against Israel, while murdering women and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran?
  • How is it that much of the western world is calling for the Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza after the current war despite PA leader Mahmoud Abbas having justified the Oct. 7 butchery against Israel as the Palestinian “right to self-defence”? A day after the Hamas sadistic murderous frenzy, the PA’s official TV celebrated it as “a morning of victory, and morning of joy, a morning of pride.”
  • How is it that after Hamas made an evidence-free claim that Israel had bombed a Gaza City hospital on Oct. 17, killing 500 people, Canada was quick to join in the international pile-on falsely implying Israel was to blame before checking the facts? Even worse, after Israel and other countries provided proof the culprit was a misfired Palestinian rocket and that the hospital itself wasn’t even hit, just its parking lot, it took days before Canada acknowledged the truth, without apologizing to Israel.
  • How is it that so many people forsake any sense of humanity by defacing or tearing down small posters calling for the release of 240 babies, children, teens, women and men (including elderly Holocaust survivors) that Hamas kidnapped at gunpoint in Israel and are holding hostage in Gaza? How is it that these flyers, which are purely humanitarian, devoid of political affiliation or statements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and simply demand the freedom of innocent civilians, can elicit such meanness and callousness toward human life and suffering?
  • How is it that more than 700 Canadian lawyers, law students, law professors and academics signed a petition, which says that the Hamas atrocities against Israel should be put into context?
  • How is it that an elected member of the legislature of Canada’s largest province, Sarah Jama, can openly deny the Oct. 7 abominations? “There is no actual evidence of these rapes and the babies with their heads cut off – all these things are pieces of misinformation,” MPP Sara Jama says in a video posted on X. She accuses what she calls the “Zionist lobby” of “pressuring an entire government operation” to censure her for previous inflammatory statements she made about Israel.
  • How is it that when responding to news of the brutal murdering of Jews, it brings out the worst in some people, as British novelist and broadcaster Howard Jacobson captured so well in a recent column in The Guardian? “What we don’t know about the education of a terrorist, we can guess,” he wrote. “But those in European capitals who celebrated the slaughter of Jews of all ages present a greater challenge to comprehension. How does a feminist put aside all she believes to cheer on a rapist? Is rape in one cause allowably different from rape in another? How many lecturers in human rights partied through the night after being shown the footage of Israelis denied their right to live?”
  • How is it that there are so many more distressing questions similar to the ones above, all of which need to be not only asked but addressed honestly.

You Might Also Like

Discover more from Robert Sarner

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading