The following piece was graciously submitted by SOFREP reader, proud New Yorker, and IDF Special Forces soldier Corey Feldman.

On the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, as the eve of Simchat Torah dawned—a time when Jews embrace the joy of receiving the Torah—Israel was jolted awake by a nightmare.

Hamas terrorists, armed and merciless, breached Israel’s borders. The toll was devastating: hundreds of innocent civilians were murdered, thousands more injured, and numerous taken hostage, including women, children, the elderly, and even infants. The streets of Gaza echoed with harrowing scenes: jubilant celebrations of these heinous acts and heart-wrenching videos of beaten and bloodied kidnapped Israeli teenagers being led around the streets by their hair. Aside from soldiers and police, among the dead are civilians, young rave-goers mowed down as they fled through fields of yellowing grass, residents of kibbutzim, and towns overrun by Hamas terrorists. Among them were my friends. The world should no longer have any doubt about the intentions of our enemies and their lack of humanity.

David Brooks, in “The Road to Character,” highlights the dangers of glossing over the concept of “evil” in modern discourse:

“It doesn’t make life any less moral; it just means we have obscured the inescapable moral core of life with shallow language. It just means we think and talk about these choices less clearly and thus become increasingly blind to the moral stakes of everyday life.”

Make no mistake about it: Hamas is an evil organization on par with ISIS in its cruelty and lack of regard for human life. There is no moral equivalence between a military that does everything possible to avoid civilian casualties and a group that intentionally targets them. Hamas is a cancer, not only to Israel but to the people of Gaza, who have and will suffer as a result of this unprecedented massacre of civilians.

While we have been deeply wounded by our losses, Israel has known war before. In the words of Israeli poet Natan Alterman, “The state will not be given to the Jewish people on a silver platter.”  Throughout our history, we have had to fight for the right to live freely within our historic homeland, and that fight continues today. Israel is united behind the IDF, and we will extract a price for this that will send a message to our enemies that Jewish blood is not cheap.
In the timeless words of FDR:

“We will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces with the unbounding determination of our people we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.”

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