Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Columns

Life as Performance Art

     After the Bavarian corporal attacked Poland and then blitzkrieged his way through Europe, there were people in England who still thought their leaders should sit down and make nice with Corporal Adolph  That wasn’t going to happen, any more than the United States was going to have a conversation over tea and crumpets  with the Japanese after they attacked Pearl Harbor. 
     Even in 1943, when the Allies began learning about the German death camps, there will still people who demanded peace conferences and conversations. That year, Noel Coward wrote one of his songs that is rarely played today, “Don’t Lets Be Beastly to the Germans.”  He was mocking those who thought there was any reasoning with Hitler.
    We didn’t sit down to talk things over with the Axis Powers in the 1940s, anymore than we were going to sit down to talk with the murderers of September 11th.
   History did not exactly repeat itself when the Hamas barbarians started butchering innocent civilians,  burning them, beheading babies, and killing the elderly in cold blood.  Some of the terrorists dressed as police officers, pretending to help, and then opened fire.  Others chased down people and killed them before running off in search of another victim.  They broke into homes and beheaded babies. They set homes on fire, waiting to shoot anyone trying to make a run for it. It was yet another sordid story of death and destruction. Almost two weeks later, new stories of their atrocities continue to surface.
      Even after seeing the photographs and videos, and hearing the stories of survival from others, a surprising number of westerners supported the killers or wanted to talk out the differences.  They cheered for the killers; they supporter their agenda of killing as many Jews as possible, including infants.  Seriously?  What were they thinking>
     They acted like feral animals. In fact, there is only one animal that can be compared to the Hamas butchers – the mink.  A mink kills for the pleasure of it, and without pausing to eat part of it, hurriedly moves on to find another victim. It is a warm-blooded, four-legged killing machine.  To my way of thinking, the comparison between a mink and Hamas is spot on.
      There are many important historical lessons to be kept in mind.  First, since the Old Testament era and the Book of Esther in the Bible, there have been those who sought to completely eradicate the Jews. Some scholars say the book is an allegory, but even if it is,  the message about trying to destroy the Jewish people  is very real.
    There is no question that this is exactly what the Russians did during their pogroms against the Jews in the last half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth.  The worst of them, in 1903, led to the discussions that created the modern state of Israel right after World War Two.
     It is also important to remember that there has long been animosity in many western countries against the Jews, including the US.  For years there was a sign outside the entrance to Saugatuck, reminding visitors that it was a “white, Gentile community.”  At many colleges and universities there was a quota for Jews, especially in medical and law schools, as well as segregated fraternities, sororities, and dormitories.  Far more significant have been the attacked-on synagogues and Jewish schools in the United States.  For the past few years acts of anti-Semitic violence has been steadily increasing in our country.
     After 1945, the surviving Jews pledged, “never again.”  They mean it, too.
    From 1948, there has been tension between Israel and much of the Arab world. On occasion it broke out into war, but there was new hope for peace with the Oslo Accord of 1993.  The Palestinians finally said that the state of Israel could exist, and both parties agreed that they would work toward a two-state government.
    That did not happen, in great part, because  just a few years later Hamas  forced out the Palestinian Liberation Organization.  There would be no cooperation with Israel; their goal was to destroy Israel, wipe it off the map, and kill the Jews. They promptly announced that their goal was to destroy Israel.  
     They have made their agenda very clear, and it is not acceptable to the rest of a civilized world.  They want to kill all the Jews everywhere. They want to rid the world of Christians.
    For the past thirteen years, Hamas has been spewing its agenda. A whole generation of young men have grown up hearing the message that the Jews caused all of their problems and must be killed.  We continue to see the hideous results of that sort of indoctrination and hate speech.
     Every few years there has been a skirmish between Hamas and Israel. To date, Israel has been the first to make offers of yet another peace conference.  Sometimes that happens. What always does happen is within three years there is another skirmish.  Last time, one of Hamas’s complaints to justify a wave of violence was that Israel would not provide them with more water pipes.  The reason was simple:  Hamas was digging up the pipes and converting them into rockets and rocket launchers. Suffice it to note that homemade rockets can be deadly, but as we saw when one blew up over a hospital, rarely accurate.
    What I find so appalling is that there are still people who seriously believe that a heart-to-heart conversation with these thugs will turn them into well-behaved humans.  What is worse, and completely unacceptable is that there are so many people in Europe and this country who have come out in support of Hamas, its leaders, and its actions. They support the bloodshed.
    Others have kept quiet.  Silence, in the face of raw, unadulterated evil, is complicity.  How shameful to stay silent at the evil that happened earlier this month. History teaches a stern lesson about that.
      In the 1930s, many governments, especially in Europe, did not want to irritate Hitler, and he got away with, very literally, millions of murders.  When he crossed the borders into France his own generals said that if the French resisted, they would go home. Had that happened there would have been a coup in Germany and Hitler would have been removed or executed.  Tens of millions of people died because there was silence.
    During the first week, at best there were a few carefully nuanced words so that no one should feel offended.  No one offended?  That’s a slap in the face to a mother or father who watched as their child’s throat was slit, or to grieving family members.  Gunning down young people at a party is okey-doke, then?  Raping a young woman on top of the bodies of her butchered friend is acceptable? 
     Some of the national news services, including many of the mainline ones at home and abroad, have instructed their newscasters not to even use the word ‘terrorist’.  Using the term Hamas Gunman was acceptable; but not terrorist, butcher, killer, murderer,  or anything like it.  Perhaps the men and women in the front office are scared that it might be disturbing to, well, the terrorists.  The BBC justified it by saying that viewers could make up their own minds.  You bet we did.
     As long as we are going to take a softly-softly pussy footing approach to Hamas or any other organization or individual who seeks to harm others, we just embolden them.  So, let’s call it for what it is:  It was a terrorist massacre at Kfar Aza Kibbutz and elsewhere.  It was a terrorist massacre on the grounds of the outdoor festival.  It was a terrorist massacre along the highway as people tried to escape.
     Perhaps you remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  In one scene a rabid dog had come into town and terrorized the residents.  The sheriff handed Atticus Finch and told him to take the dog out: “everyone knows you’re the best shot in town.”  Reluctantly, Finch locked and loaded the gun, and shoots the dog.  It was a clean shot. It is always disturbing to see an animal shot. It doesn’t take being a PETA member to feel sickened at it, but it was necessary for the health and welfare of the community.
      Even if others will not say it, I will write it:  Hamas has chosen to make itself a feral beast, a rabid animal.  It has chosen to endanger the world community. It has refused to talk, to negotiate, but only wants to kill. Time to put them down before others are injured or killed, and they try scaring the rest of us.

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