Tag Archives: Hamas

Schumer out of bounds on Israel’s politics

Charles Schumer should tend to the affairs of New York and the U.S. Senate … and keep his nose out of Israeli politics.

Schumer recently called for the ouster of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The New York Democrat and Senate majority leader also said Israel needs to conduct a special election to find a prime minister who, I will presume, is more to Schumer’s liking.

I am not going to endorse Netanyahu’s stance on the way he and the Israeli Defense Forces are prosecuting the war in Gaza against the terrorist group Hamas. He does need to pull back and stop the insane attacks on civilians in Gaza and must be more proactive in fighting the growing starvation that is killing helpless civilians.

However, for a sitting US senator — this nation’s highest-ranking official who happens to be Jewish — to call for a change of government in America’s strongest ally in the Middle East goes way beyond what is right and proper.

I strongly believe that Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorists. Hamas is a ruthless, brutal organization that started this war with its horrific rocket attack on Oct. 7, 2023. It aimed its ordnance at civilians and is now paying the price.

But, so too, are civilians caught in the carnage. Israel vows to destroy Hamas and I find it impossible to disagree with Bibi Netanyahu’s stated aim in that regard.

As for the chutzpah that Sen. Schumer is exhibiting, he needs to stand down and butt the hell out of Israeli domestic politics.

Talk to us, Mr. POTUS!

President Biden doesn’t need or want unsolicited advice from a North Texas blogger … but he’s going to get it anyway.

Mr. President, you say you don’t follow the polls, that they are meaningless this far out from an election. However, they are not trending in your favor.

Here’s what I believe you ought to do: talk to us, as in stand in front of the nation and tell us — in detail — what in the world you are doing to resolve the myriad problems facing this nation.

Do not rely so heavily on your Cabinet members, or on the vice president, to explain the administration’s policies.

Mr. President, you need first and foremost to call the immigration matter along on our southern border what it is: a crisis! You, sir, need to tell us in no uncertain terms that we are facing a crisis with thousands of undocumented immigrants seeking entry into the United States.

Do not let Secretary or State Antony Blinken spell out your policy; do it yourself. Don’t rely on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speak on the issue, either. He’s damaged goods among many Americans who believe he has turned his back on securing the border.

Same is true for the war in Ukraine, and with Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. Mr. President, your relative silence on these matters is giving grist to the phony narrative that you have slipped a step or two.

Women’s reproductive rights also require the president’s voice. I admire Vice President Harris, but she’s No. 2 in the executive branch of government; we need to hear from No. 1 … that would be you!

Mr. President, I offer this advice as someone who voted for you in 2020 and who wants to see you re-elected next year. I am troubled by the lying that comes from those who suggest you don’t have the snap to talk to us intelligently about these issues. I believe you are fully capable of handling the job to which we elected you.

I just want you to hear more from you and less from those who speak for you.

How about it, Mr. President? Talk to us!

Hamas wants extension … to what end?

Did I hear it correctly, that the terrorist organization Hamas is willing to extend the four-day cease-fire in the war it started with Israel?

Well, before we embrace this as a show of compassion for the hostages Hamas is releasing, I want to caution y’all about why Hamas might be willing to extend the cease-fire.

It well might be only to reorganize its command and control network, which the Israeli Defense Forces have disrupted since mounting its counteroffensive after the Oct. 7 rocket fusillade that Hamas launched into Israeli cities.

You see, Hamas is about as trustworthy as the nastiest murderers who ever have lived.

I get that I and most of the world are way on the outside trying to peer into the inner workings of this shadowy group. I also know that Israeli intelligence officials — among the best in the world — likely know what Hamas is up to as it sues for an extension of the cease-fire.

I am left only to hope that Mossad — the Israeli spy network — knows what gives with Hamas’s efforts to keep the Israelis’ bombardment at bay. If it’s for real, that it only intends to release more hostages during the cease-fire, then I’m all in.

I fear that Hamas very well might have more sinister motives in mind. If the Israelis discover that Hamas merely is buying time to reorganize and re-form its command and control apparatus, then they must resume their offensive with full force.

Hamas must give up its fight

Nearly 15 years ago I was preparing to leave for Israel on a month-long Rotary International journey that would take us through the entire length of the country.

Then came a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel launched by the Hamas terrorists. Israeli Defense Forces launched a counterattack; the entire venture put our trip into jeopardy. RI, though, was in contact with the brand new State Department formed by newly elected Barack Obama and eventually, the IDF was able to put down the Hamas rebellion. We were good to go.

And so we went.

We learned immediately about the fear under which most Israelis live. They fear that their Muslim neighbors will attack them without warning. Yes, they have peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. However, when the shooting starts, would they remain loyal to the treaty they signed with Israel or would they side with their Muslim brethren?

The Israeli fear of attack is real. Which is why I continue to support the Israelis’ effort to eradicate Hamas from Earth’s face. I get that the civilian casualties inflicted on Palestinians are unacceptable, but I also believe the Israelis’ assertion that they are not targeting civilians … not in the way Hamas does by (a) firing rockets into Israeli neighborhoods and (b) hiding among civilians in Gaza.

Hamas started this war with Israel. It now falls on the Israelis to finish it, either by wiping out the terrorists or by asserting enough military pressure on them to force Hamas to seek peace — finally! — with their sworn enemy.

Israel is surrounded by people who want all Jews eradicated. That, by itself, is unacceptable.

They have stopped fighting for a few days to enable an exchange of hostages. I certainly welcome that. What happens next must depend on what the terrorists will do.

Can the fighting now end?

Israel and Hamas have declared a four-day ceasefire while they exchange the release of hostages.

Four days? That’s all the time they are buying. I am now wondering if it is humanly possible that Hamas — the terrorists who started this war — will realize that life is better for them if they can continue to exhibit some level of human decency. Or will they return to their bloodthirsty way once the four days are up and Israel will continue its military campaign to destroy the organization that vows to do the same to Israel?

Firepower galore

Just how much firepower has the U.S. Navy assembled off the coast of Israel to aid that country in its fight against the terrorist cabal called Hamas?

The skipper of a nuclear-powered aircraft once told a visiting party off the California coast — of which I was a member — the amount of juice contained in a single carrier battle group.

Navy Capt. John Payne commanded the USS Carl Vinson in the early 1990s when I and several others joined the late U.S. Rep. Charles Wilson for a factfinding tour of the ship. Wilson, an East Texas Democrat, wanted to tour the Vinson and express his unwavering support for the men and women who defend this country from its enemy.

Payne told us that a single battle group — comprising an aircraft carrier, several cruisers, frigates, destroyers, submarines — contains more “explosive firepower” than all the bombs dropped in all the theaters of operation during World War II, which ran from 1939 until 1945.

The Navy has deployed two such battle groups: the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I cannot fathom either of these groups firing all its ordnance on targets inside Gaza. Still, I trust the terrorists know the dire peril they face if they refuse to cease their hideous acts against civilians.

Israel hits ‘too hard’?

This is a headline I didn’t want to read once war broke out between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas:

“Israeli airstrike kills 500 in hospital.”

The report came from the Gaza Health Ministry. So … it immediately becomes somewhat suspect. However, as we are learning all over again: War is hell.

Indeed, we might learn before this war ends that it is worse than hell. The “war is hell” comment, attributed originally to Union Army Gen. William “Tecumseh” Sherman during the Civil War, almost has become a cliche, a throwaway line.

It isn’t. It is the unvarnished, unadulterated truth about humanity’s ability to inflict misery on itself.

If the report is true that an Israeli airstrike hit a Gaza hospital and inflicted the kind of casualty count that is being reported, then much about this conflict might be changing. Israel said it intends to wipe Hamas “off the face of the Earth.” I, too, want Hamas destroyed. There cannot possibly be room in a civilized world for the scale of brutality that exists in what passes in the hearts of those who inflict it.

Hamas is among the worst of the worse.

However, Israel must be accountable for hitting a hospital in the manner that is being reported.

Israel denies hitting the hospital. “We did not strike that, and that the intelligence that we have suggests that it was a failed rocket launch by the Islamic Jihad, and I want to add, categorically, that we do not intentionally strike any sensitive facilities, any sensitive facilities, and definitely not hospitals,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN.

I am going to presume that Israel knows and understands the rules of modern warfare. One of those rules places hospitals off limits to attack. The penalty would be to charge the attackers as war criminals.

I also am going to insist that we cannot place Israel on the same plane as Hamas. Israel has pledged to avoid killing civilians as it plans a possible frontal ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas, though, targets civilians, as it did when it started this war more than a week ago with that horrific rocket barrage into Israel.

Israel, to my mind, deserves some benefit of the doubt as the probe into this attack proceeds … but, dammit! — this is a headline I clearly did not want to read.


Complicated … but simple

My unabashed support for Israel as it prepares to defend itself Hamas is both complicated and simple.

I will start with the simple part. The Israeli Defense Force is charged with defending the nation against foreign enemies. Hamas presents an existential threat of the first magnitude. It launched its attack on Israel a week ago and the violence has killed many Palestinians and Israelis.

What does Israel do? It must defend itself against a well-armed, massive terrorist organization whose mission is to destroy Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared he intends to make Hamas realize it has made a “terrible mistake.”

The second simple element of my support for Israel is because of my many Israeli friends. I acquired these friendships during the monthlong visit to Israel in May-June 2009. I have stayed in touch with many of them. I worry terribly that they might be victimized by the terrorists. Anyone with friends who live in these danger zones know of what I speak.

The complicated part? It deals with Netanyahu and the hardline policies his Likud party policies. I am not a fan of Netanyahu and his view that the Palestinians share some of the guilt for the crimes delivered by the terrorists. Likud refuses to grant Palestinians all the benefits of citizenship.

Is there any justification for Hamas acting as it did with its massive rocket attack against Israel? No. Then again, the Israelis could have ameliorated the concerns of the Palestinians by backing off on the hardline policies it has enacted against the Palestinians. Israel’s hard line seems to have given Hanas some form of perverted justification for acting as it did.

The Israelis’ response to this attack is likely to be bloody beyond measure. There is no way on God’s good Earth that the counterattack will be free of collateral damage. That’s largely because the cowardly Hamas strategy is to hide among the women and children who live in Gaza.

I must stand with the Israelis.

How can Hamas gain support?

As I watch the images flashed from my TV screen and read accounts of what I am witnessing, I am left to ponder the imponderable.

Which is … how can anyone with half a brain or a smidgen of a heart justify what Hamas has done in the name of “territorial integrity”?

Hamas’s assault on Israel is a week old now. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians are dead. Many of the casualties, I hasten to add, are at the hands of the terrorists who launched the attack on Israeli civilians. And many of them are babies and old people.

Hamas doesn’t like the way Israel has treated Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. Maybe the complaint is legit. However, the terrorists’ action against that policy is beyond anything I can imagine as being reasonable.

Thus, I stand with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration that the military objective now is to destroy Hamas, to “wipe it off the face of the Earth.”

This will be a bloody effort, to be sure. The Israelis, who’ve been threatened since the creation of the nation in 1948, have no choice but to act.

Halt the sideshows!

Sideshows can be found even in the deepest of international crises … such as what we’re witnessing now as Israel goes to war with a dreaded international terrorist organization.

Far from the field of battle, congressional Republicans are looking to blame individuals within the Democratic administration for the intelligence failures that produced the stunning surprise when Hamas opened fire on Israel.  U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., has called for the immediate resignation of national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who she said misled Americans about the threat posed by Hamas.

It’s another political sideshow.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formed a “unity government’ with his political foes with whom he will work to quell this assault on Israeli citizens by Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

It’s going to get even bloodier and more tragic, we all fear, as Israel prepares a massive counterattack to, in Netanyahu’s words, “wipe Hamas off the face of the Earth.”

Let’s put a hold on the sideshow, shall we, while Israel prepares to defend itself against a terrorist organization that says its No. 1 mission is to destroy our nation’s most dependable ally in the Middle East.