Those who know me, have known me as a man of peace. For years I have participated in interfaith projects and groups, including with Palestinian clergy.
I believe in the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to live free and I hope it happens one day, even if I do not know how it could.
Hamas was always in my eyes a terrorist group, who committed violence against civilians and oppressed their own people. Nevertheless, in my eyes there was terror and terror, and as I saw ISIS or Al-Qaeda as absolute evil, I saw Hamas as terrible enemies with a speciﬁc purpose. All that changed on the Shabbat of Shemini Atzeret/Simִhat Torah here in Israel.
Hamas committed acts of cruelty, evil, devoid of any human decency against Israeli civilians that the Nazi monsters of our past would have applauded. They made no distinction between men, women, children, babies, the elderly, civilians or soldiers. They reveled in their own murderous violence and, if not opposed, they would continue doing so to the the last drop of Jewish blood.
For me this is a game changer. Everyone in the West agrees that during World War II the Allies had to do everything in their power to defeat the Nazis, because they embodied pure irredeemable evil, I believe we are in the same situation today. As innocent German civilians suffered during that war, innocent Palestinian civilians will suffer during this war, but as the Nazis had to be erased from the face of the planet, so does Hamas. We cannot doubt, we cannot take half measures, we need to go all the way to the end.
I only hope, that as Germany rose from the ashes and good decent Germans rebuilt their country and have become an important member of the family of nations, so will the Palestinians and Gaza after they have ﬁnally been freed from the evil of Hamas. They will be helped, as Germany was, if they prove themselves willing.
We need the world’s help for this effort, this is not a ﬁght between Israel and Palestine, it is a struggle between a democratic country and an evil
murderous organization who does nothing to help their own people. In a ﬁght like this, there is no second place.
The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel is the organization of Masorti (Conservative) Rabbis in Israel.