Hamas must go, and Iran, too

Smoke billows during Israeli strikes on Gaza City on Oct. 10, 2023. Israel said it recaptured Gaza border areas from Hamas as the war's death toll passed 3,000 on Oct. 10, the fourth day of grueling fighting since the Islamists launched a surprise attack. (Ibrahim Hams/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

If it wants to survive, Israel surely must annihilate Hamas, this ever more venomous, maniacal Islamic group of terrorists misruling a next-door neighbor, Gaza. But should Hamas’s proud, strong, enabling boss Iran also be a target with the United States participating in its demise as a world hazard on its way to nuclear weaponry? Even with Hamas gone for good, an untethered Iran would still have Hezbollah to boss around and the means of forging new Hamas-style, Palestinian invaders with civilization the final loser.

Yes, it was absolutely horrendous, the Hamas invasion of Israel with thousands of missiles launched as an introduction of massacre intentions. The assault was not for the purpose of combat with largely missing Israeli soldiers as much as for the joyful torture of civilians, including the rape of young women, the killing of children while their parents watched and even cutting off the heads of babies. There was also the taking of hostages Hamas is now threatening to kill If Israel continues to fight back.


These unexpected, cleverly skilled barbarians killed the most Jews assassinated since the Holocaust after inexplicably being able to cross a border supposed to be uncrossable thanks to U.S.-Israeli coordination. Conducted on an Israeli holy day, the invasion was the first inside Israel since the Yom Kippur War a half century ago and was clearly part of the frequently stated antisemitic dream of killing all 9 million Israelis while acquiring their land.

It might seem ironic, but all of this inhumane outburst seems to have happened in part because of an excellent Donald Trump policy, something worthy of a Nobel Prize. He and his coordinators managed to persuade a number of Arab countries in the Middle East to form peace accords — the Abraham Accords — as virtual allies of Israel while also benefitting more from trade. The participants have altered the Middle East balance of power by helping themselves as much as Israel was helped by increased protection and fewer threats. Still, there was the tricky question of what formidable, sizeable, oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a past enemy of Iran, was going to do.

Saudi Arabia worked closely with the United States in oil and military trade under Trump while not caring much for President Joe Biden’s doing endless, billions of dollars-worth of favors for Iran. Lately, however, there were hints that Saudi Arabia might join the Abraham Accords. Iran, which went from limping under Trump to racing fast under Biden, has been more than a little upset. It is the major anti-Israel power in the Middle East, very, very close to obtaining nuclear weaponry and would be set back if Saudi Arabia made that move. where it did not particularly want to go.

The war, in fact, does seem to have caused Saudi Arabia to be less likely to make the pro-Israel move, although recent Israeli internal divisiveness, apparently seen by Iran as another advantage, has quickly disappeared.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had upset large portions of the population in wanting to limit supreme court authority, but national unity and enthusiastic support of Netanyahu became the immediate way of things with the Hamas invasion.

Biden is standing strongly behind Israel but has given no indication of ceasing his appeasing approach to Iran. He should do as much immediately and definitively.