EDITORIAL: Hamas vs. humanity

Oct. 7 sparked an outpouring of love for our land, and we should respond by upholding our highest values of love for all.
Oct. 7 sparked an outpouring of love for our land, and we should respond by upholding our highest values of love for all.
Eliana Wainberg

October 7th was a day that changed our lives — and the world— forever. 

Our homeland was invaded, our brothers and sisters were tortured, murdered and burned, families were forever destroyed and our hopes for the continuation and prosperity of our beautiful land and culture were completely and utterly shattered. 

And although there is no moral equivalence between deliberate murders and unintended civilian casualties, civilians in Gaza have also suffered insurmountable tragedies and losses, and will suffer countless more under the rule of their heinous government.

Hamas is not a liberating force or an organization of freedom fighters. It is an oppressive terrorist organization that rises to the top by standing on piles of its own citizens’ dead bodies. 

So it may be natural to simplify this war into an Israel – Palestine conflict, but that is not what it is. 

The October 7th war is — and should be seen as — a Hamas vs. humanity war.

Israeli civilians and Palestinian civilians alike are human beings. Both groups have suffered far too many brutal and completely unnecessary deaths.

And although many Palestinian citizens do support Hamas and pray for our demise, we cannot make this claim for every single Palestinian and therefore celebrate the death of Palestinian civilians and the destruction of their homes. 

Doing this would make us no different from our enemies, who justify the torture, rape and murder of any Jewish person on the sole basis of their national identity. 

The only way we can win this brutal physical war, and the war of words that has as a result erupted in cities all over the world and on news outlets and social media platforms, is by rising above.

As opposed to Hamas and dozens of other terrorist groups who have no rhyme or reason for their killings, the Israeli Defense Force is intentional about military attacks, only aiming to eradicate specific dangers and threats.

If the IDF can make an earnest attempt to distinguish between Hamas terrorists and Palestinian civilians – even when their enemy hides missiles under the beds of innocent children – we, as Jews representing our homeland across the world, have a responsibility to do the same. 

It’s also not only our homeland we represent. It’s our Jewish values and the Torah that should guide our lives and our actions. 

Therefore, we task every single person in our school community, no matter what your feelings or temptations are or have been, to view Palestinian lives and the Palestinian experience through the lens of our Jewish values, which tell us that every single person in the world is created b’tzekem elokim, in God’s image. 

Jews, innocent Palestinian civilians, and the entire world alike have the same enemy in this war: Hamas.  It’s only when we can unite around the value of human life and the value of each other’s experiences that we will have the power to defeat that force once and for all.

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