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Cal Thomas: Israel’s war for survival

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WORLD Radio - Cal Thomas: Israel’s war for survival

Hamas openly states the goal is to eliminate Jews and the Jewish state


Israeli soldiers in an armored personnel carrier Amir Levy/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, March 14th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Up next: the Israeli-Hamas war.

Some argue that Israel should pause its offensive during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. WORLD commentator Cal Thomas says that would be a mistake.

CAL THOMAS: A recent headline in the Wall Street Journal expressed Hamas’ last chance in its terrorist war against Israel: It said, “Hamas Pins Survival Hopes on Ramadan.” The sub headline reveals its strategy: “Group’s leader in Gaza counts on holy month to pressure Israel to end the war.”

Last Saturday, Washington Post reporter Jonathan Capehart interviewed President Biden on MSNBC. During the interview, Biden claimed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disregards “innocent lives” in Gaza. He added that should Israel invade Hamas’ last holdout territory in Rafah, it would be a “red line.”

Where have we heard that before? President Obama said if Syria used chemical weapons against its people that would be a “red line.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used them. Obama did nothing.

Biden has acknowledged that Hamas hides out among civilians and uses them as human shields. That familiar strategy is designed to persuade nations and the media to pressure Israel to cease military operations—despite the fact that Israel has no agreement from Hamas that they will cease their attacks or even release the remaining 100-plus hostages.

There is only one reason to fight a war and that is to win. If the goal is anything less than victory, the war is not worth fighting.

This business about “red lines” seems to be limited in its application to Israel. Each time Israel is attacked, the U.S. initially supports the Jewish state. But if the conflict is prolonged, that support weakens as the media and other nations pressure Israel to stop short of victory, thus ensuring the inevitability of more wars. This is not a secret. Hamas and other anti-Israel groups openly state their goal is to eliminate Jews and the Jewish state. Why won’t people believe them?

When a surgeon does not completely remove a cancerous tumor, it almost always returns. It is the same with Hamas. Unless its leadership is eliminated, along with as many of its terrorist fighters as possible, Hamas will live to kill another day.

Why should Israel be pressured into pausing its road to victory against Hamas because of Ramadan? Do Israel’s enemies pause their attacks in recognition of Jewish holidays? Have we forgotten the coalition of Arab nations that attacked Israel during Yom Kippur in 1973?

In an op-ed column for The Wall Street Journal, Letters editor Elliot Kaufman writes: “There is an idea that it is wrong to fight an Islamic country during the holy month of Ramadan. … It’s nonsense: Look at Egypt and Syria’s 1973 Ramadan War against Israel or Iran’s 1982 Operation Ramadan against Iraq.”

The late World War II General Douglas MacArthur said it best: “There is no substitute for victory.” That applied to Germany and Japan 80 years ago. It also applies now in Israel’s war for survival against Hamas and others who wish to destroy the Jewish state.

I’m Cal Thomas.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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