The tragedies and human suffering unfolding in the Middle East are worse than any Halloween nightmare.
There is a lot more going on than meets the eye.
To be fully transparent, my father was an Israeli soldier and police detective. My parents met in Israel and I have deep roots there. My large family living in Israel includes two cousins currently in the Israel Defense Forces, one a medic on the Lebanese border and the other an infantry fighter poised to go into Gaza.
Some may call me a Jew, but I prefer that I be acknowledged as a Judean, where the term Jew came from. Why I prefer “Judean” as it ties me to my ancestral home but doesn’t pigeonhole me into a religious category.
So, while I am not fully neutral to the conflict underway, I might offer unique perspectives regarding the conflict from the inside looking out.
As with most Israelis and Palestinians, outside of politics, these groups coexist well and have a lot in common. Know that the displacement of Palestinians just two generations ago is not a long-term plight from Biblical times but initiated when Israel was established as a country in the late 1940s.
I spent time in Gaza and the West Bank as a teen and recently enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of my Palestinian hosts while with my wife in the West Bank. I consider the Palestinians my brothers and sisters and not as some demonized group.
Most of my family in Israel share my views about our Palestinian cousins: it is Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran that cause terror, instability and unrest.
What we feel is intolerable are the barbaric inhumanity and the malicious attacks orchestrated to target the innocent by Hamas.
The Israeli government wanted to communicate the true horror of Oct. 7 to its people.
My family has reported watching on Israeli television a 45-minute clip of the uncensored brutality of Oct. 7 in the areas at the Gaza border. The broadcast shows what Hamas left behind: innocent teens laying face down, shot in the back still holding hands, the shells of elderly persons whose burned carcasses are still gently poised in their wheelchairs, and several children and teens beheaded.
Along with the estimated 1,300 innocents murdered at the hands of Hamas were the thousands of missiles indiscriminately launched into Israeli neighborhoods and the more than 200 hostages kidnapped and dragged back to Gaza.
To be clear, Hamas has done everything in its power to outrage Israel and solicit revenge.
It is like Hamas has told Israel, look what terrible things we have done, now please invade us.
The plight and suffering of children and the civilians of Gaza, the bombing of hospitals, the cessation of water and power services, and a humanitarian crisis in Gaza is exactly what Hamas wants. It seems like Hamas is begging for an invasion and encouraging the loss of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians.
Indeed, the suffering initiated by Hamas on its own people is staggering. Meanwhile, the general Palestinian population is clueless to why Israel has gone to war.
We know that Iran helped arm, train and fund Hamas. We know that the coordinated terror of Oct. 7 involved thousands of Hamas fighters whose role was to commit atrocities and abduct hundreds of the innocent.
The big question we must all have is, why?
Why does Hamas wish to be invaded and create untold suffering and death of their own people? What benefit is this war to Iran? Why will Egypt not let in fleeing refugees and allow aid to flow into Gaza from the south? Is Russia, who has been rumored to use its Wagner mercenaries to recently train Hamas, part of a scheme to create a new war?
A broader scheme, still unknown to us, is yet unfolding. To be clear, there is more here than meets the eye.
Now is not the time to second guess our obligation and duty to support our greatest Middle Eastern ally and the only Middle Eastern democracy. Now is not the time to issue blame to Israel who rightfully is responding to horrific acts committed by Hamas.
The Biden Administration rightfully is standing with Israel, as should we.
Now is the time to hold Hamas responsible for the deaths of Palestinian civilians they will position in the line of fire hoping to blame Israel.
Now is the time to be united in our resolve to support Israel in its efforts to rid Hamas from Gaza.
Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations agency, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the CFO of an accredited acting conservatory, is a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.