My Turn: War will end with Hamas destroyed

Mitchell R.Grosky

Mitchell R.Grosky CONTRIBUTED


Published: 06-01-2024 11:28 PM


In the wake of so much antisemitism spreading across our country and around the world, I feel an obligation to speak out — to speak the truth about a nation far away that holds such a special place in my heart.

As an American Jew, Israel has always been important to me. But I don’t believe I ever truly loved Israel until my wife and I visited there. The beauty, joy, and spirituality that I found in Israel was a life-altering experience.

I returned home filled with love for my fellow Jews, as well as for those of other faiths. I felt a renewed desire to fulfill my responsibilities as a Jew — what we call “tikun olam” — the concept that the world is broken, and it is the responsibility of each of us to do all we can to repair the world.

So when you read my essays about how Jews have been persecuted and discriminated against over the last 2,000 years, how they were killed and tortured in pogroms and in the Holocaust, you can, perhaps, understand. When you hear how the Jewish people have one homeland where they have lived for over 3,000 years, and which has been attacked repeatedly ever since it was granted statehood, perhaps you can understand.

And finally, when you learn how Israel has been willing to accept a two-state solution on nearly 20 occasions when Palestinians have turned it down, you can perhaps understand.

It has been eight months since Hamas broke the cease-fire with Israel, and attacked with a viciousness and brutality rarely witnessed in modern times. It seems that some have forgotten that it was Hamas that broke the peace and murdered over 1,200 men, women, and children, torturing and raping some, and kidnapping some 252 Israelis and foreign citizens of all ages. These heinous actions by Hamas forced Israel into war not merely to avenge those who were killed — but to eliminate Hamas — this terrorist organization that has always sworn to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.

Both Israel and all of us lament civilian casualties — Israeli and Palestinian lives lost in this war. It is little comfort that military experts remind us that no country in the world has ever done as much as Israel, during wartime, to minimize civilian deaths and injuries, even though it is so difficult because Hamas uses the Palestinians as human shields.

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And tragically, yes, thousands of Palestinians have been killed during this war just as 45 million civilians were killed in World War II, 300,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the Iraq War, and more than 70,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed in the war in Afghanistan. This is the tragedy of war.

And as tragic as these deaths have been, what is even more tragic is that Hamas could stop all of these deaths by unconditionally surrendering and releasing all of the hostages. Instead of working toward a two-state solution, Hamas continues to insist on their own preferred solution — which their charter confirms — to drive Israel into the sea and to kill every last Jew.

Hamas leaders have, in fact, insisted that they will continue to launch massacres like Oct. 7 upon Israel, until Israel and the Jews no longer exist. It is indisputably incumbent upon Israel, for the safety of its people, to continue the war until its goal of destroying Hamas is completed.

Israel will continue to do all it can to minimize civilian injuries and death, but only Hamas, by laying down its arms, releasing its hostages, and moving toward a future of peace with Israel, can ultimately save the Palestinian people.

And so I speak out, so that one day this war will end, and Israel may live in peace. Because that is all Israel has ever asked of the world — to live in peace and to raise its children to love others and to do their part to improve the world. I speak out today and every other day so that one day there will be no more pogroms, no more Holocausts.

So that one day there will be no more surprise attacks or massacres on holy days. So that one day, and we pray that day will soon arrive, so that one day there will be no more antisemitism, no more universities where Jews fear for their safety, no more hatred. Tikun Olam … repair the world.

Mitchell R. Grosky is a retired teacher, principal, and former school committee and select board member from Athol.