Except for the children, there is no hierarchy in mourning.
Grief, sorrow and heartache accompany all death of all innocents from all places, irrespective of loyalties and causes. The current exchange of fire between Hamas and Israel is no different.
But there was indeed something especially despicable when Hamas aimed its rockets last weekend at Jerusalem. And it did not go unnoticed by even veteran Mideast oberservers.
David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel, poignantly captured the sentiments when he wrote: “In firing missiles toward Jerusalem – firing indiscriminately – they [Hamas leaders] showed utter indifference to the lives of their own brothers, sisters, parents. Those rockets could have gone anywhere. They could have killed anyone. They were aimed at areas filled with Israelis and Palestinians, with Jews, Christians and Muslims. Those rockets could have slammed into places holy to Jews, to Christians, and to Muslims. Their own people. Their own most venerated places. For Hamas, all targets are fair game. For in their malevolence, they have persuaded themselves that they are fighting a holy war in whose cause the most reprehensible actions are rendered laudable.”
Hamas is a particularly vile enemy.
Its chief motive, its obsessive purpose, its highest enterprise is the annihilation of the Jewish state and the Jewish people who comprise it. For Hamas leaders, the “usual” endeavours of nation building – establishing hospitals, schools, roads – are lower on the list of national priorities.
What other explanation could there have been to the launching by Hamas at the start of last week, alone, some 120 rockets and mortars into Israel?
That they did not foresee the fiery extent of Israel’s response was simply the latest betrayal of their own people. Why would they not expect that their fierce and focused desire to harm the Jewish state would not be met by an equally fierce and focused desire by the Jewish state to resist, defend against and prevent such harm?
In striking last Wednesday at Ahmed Jabari, the military commander of Hamas, the Sunday Times of London wrote that “the Israeli government had killed the instigator of virtually every attack from Gaza in recent years.” Jabari was the exemplar of Hamas leaders. He rallied his people around a flag of destruction. Where are the Hamas builders?
Those who condemn Israel for fighting back against the Hamas destroyers mock truth and undermine the future of their own societies.
“Who are these people?” Horovitz rhetorically asked of the Hamas leaders.
“They are people who glory in death. Since we delight in life, we had better prevail,” he answered himself. Indeed, Israel must prevail for its own sake, and also for the sake of the civilized world.