The Bible tells us the story of Samson - the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned
in the Book of Judges (chapters 13 to 16) and one of the last leaders who "judged" Israel before the institution of
the monarchy. The biblical account relates that Samson destroyed the temple of Dagon in the Gaza Strip more than 3,000 years
ago, killing all the Philistines who were in the temple. The Bible narrative reads as follows.
“Philistine men captured Samson. They tore out his eyes and took him down to the city of Gaza.
Then they put chains on him to keep him from running away. They put him in prison and made him work grinding grain. But his
hair began to grow again. The Philistine rulers came together to celebrate. They were going to offer a great sacrifice to
their god Dagon. They said, ‘Our god helped us defeat Samson our enemy.’ When the Philistines saw Samson, they praised their
god. They said, ‘This man destroyed our people! He killed many of our people! But our god helped us take our enemy!’ The
people were having a good time at the celebration. So they said, ‘Bring Samson out. We want to make fun of him.’ So they
brought Samson from the prison and made fun of him. They made him stand between the columns in the temple of the god Dagon.
A servant was holding his hand. Samson said to him, ‘Put me where I can feel the columns that hold this temple up. I want to
lean against them.’ The temple was crowded with men and women. All the Philistine rulers were there. There were about 3000
men and women on the roof of the temple. They were laughing and making fun of Samson. Then Samson said a prayer to the LORD,
‘Lord GOD, remember me. God, please give me strength one more time. Let me do this one thing to punish these Philistines for
tearing out both of my eyes!’ Then Samson took hold of the two columns in the center of the temple that supported the whole
temple. He braced himself between the two columns. One column was at his right side and the other at his left side. Samson
said, ‘Let me die with these Philistines!’ Then he pushed as hard as he could, and the temple fell on the rulers and everyone
in it. In this way Samson killed many more Philistines when he died than when he was alive. Samson’s brothers and all the
people in his father’s family went down to get his body. They brought him back and buried him in his father’s tomb, which is
between the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol. Samson was a judge for the Israelites for 20 years.”
Here in 2023 (5784 in the Hebrew calendar), the time has now arrived for the descendants of Samson
to complete the work he began many centuries ago.
On Saturday, 6 October 2023, toward the end of the Jewish festive holiday of Sukkot, Arab terrorists
from the region where Samson performed his final heroic fete, the Gaza Strip, instituted a sneak attack on Israel. It was a
sneak attack, like on Pearl Harbor eight decades previous. It was a major failure of intelligence, like the terrorist
attacks of 9/11. It was a deja vu moment of battle, like the Yom Kippur War 50 years before.
The Hamas offensive began on a Shabbat morning, by ground, sea, and air, through drones, thousands
of rockets, and through multiple breaches of the wall constructed during the Second Intifada (2000-2005).
The dastardly attack shook Israel, psychically, militarily, politically, and culturally.
“We are at war” declared by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. This was stunning, largely because
the words met the moment and then defined it. Netanyahu did not call this a “special military operation,” because it was not!
Simply, this was war! With the death of multitudes came the death of the easy casualness of Israeli life and the death of
the serenity that had accompanied the assumption of security.
The casualties on both sides were stunning. The implications of the combat resulting are massive.
The invasion came as Saudi Arabia – since the 1948 war customarily a supporter of the “Palestinian” cause but more recently
keeping its distance – was contemplating diplomatic relations with Israel.
It was a half-century since the sneak attack on Israel that began the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Israel’s
entire national security and intelligence apparatus had been transformed to avoid the repeat of such a sneak attack – whether
by “Palestinians”, discrete terrorist groups, or a nuclear-equipped Iran. Once burned, twice shy – that could have been a
motto for a country committed to survival. Now that Israel was twice burned, this singe hurt even more, and will last
The toll was great, the reprisals were great, the ramifications inside the region will be great,
the recriminations inside Israel will be great. But – this is one of those truths that is never uttered but never denied,
either – this is the opening for Israel to take the steps it has wanted to take for more than a decade but was
restrained from doing by both external geopolitical and internal political factors. Israel must
take whatever steps are necessary to guarantee that there will no similar terrorist sneak attacks
in the future!
Netanyahu, many Israelis and even some of Netanyahu’s rivals have itched for an unrestrained attack
against Hamas. Now, it has the justification to do so. Israel not only has the justification, but it has an imperative
to once-and-for-all rid the world of the cancer that has been festering in Gaza for so long. The fact that much of the Arab
world would not be distressed to see Hamas punished brutally, even wiped out, takes the opening this has provided to Israel
and widens it. The whisper across the region is: Go for it. Go for broke. Break them!
“The attack was a desperate attempt to show relevance for the Palestinian cause when the rest of
the world — except American and European college students – is moving on,” said David Schanzer, director of the Triangle
Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University. “Yes, Israel’s response is going to activate the Arab street,
and that will cause some short-term problems for the Arab states. But once the reprisal is over, that will calm down and
the forces that are driving the Arabs towards Israel and minimizing the concerns they have toward the Palestinians will go
back to where they are now, or [will probably be] even worse for the Palestinians.”
What is incontrovertible is that there has been a massive intelligence failure in Israel, more
serious still because the Hamas offensive clearly involved elaborate advance planning, possibly with external assistance
from Hezbollah and most certainly, with the connivance of Iran. Israel’s extensive surveillance system in, around, and
over Gaza – involving multiple means and several layers of intelligence gathering – was for naught.
“It is therefore very difficult to conclude that there has not been some kind of failure, and a
large-scale one,” said Thomas Juneau, a Middle East specialist at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and
International Affairs who for nearly a dozen years was a strategic analyst in Canada’s Department of National Defense.
“More broadly, the failure appears not only to have been tactical – failing to foresee this type of operation – but also
strategic: Failing to understand that the long-term occupation of the Gaza Strip, and its transformation into a de facto
open-air prison, could not be managed through technology [including] more layers to the border wall, more surveillance
posts, and more human sources.”
This attack shattered what was heretofore Israel’s greatest tripod of myths: its invulnerability,
its impermeability, its internal safety. The effects will be formidable and long-lasting.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman, told the BBC that “this could be a 9/11 and a Pearl
Harbor wrapped into one.” He called it “by far the worst day in Israeli history. Never before have so many Israelis been
killed by one single thing, let alone enemy activity, on one day.”
Immediately after the massive attack on Israel, almost all the world said it supported Israel’s
right to defend itself against the unprovoked assault, the kidnapping of its citizens and the rape of its women. As always,
that unity soon faded. Anti-Semitism has long tentacles.
It mattered not whether the IDF destroyed two buildings or two hundred in Gaza. Arab propaganda
apparatus generated outraged response and call for “a measured and proportional response” soon came from anti-Semites on
the Left and Right.
It’s hoped that Israel, in this moment of existential peril, will continue to ignore such outcries
and complete the work of Samson that told to us in Judges 16:21-31. If Gazans wake up to piles of smoking rubble,
it will demonstrate to Hamas and the rest of the Arab world the consequences of their unending war against
Israel. Let’s once-and-for-all tear down their temple of hatred, intolerance and terror!
For the past several years, Israel has treated its foes as a weakened and constrained enemy subject
to unwritten but clear boundaries, “mowing the lawn” every so often with limited counterattacks like Operation Breaking
Dawn, Operation Guardian of the Walls, and Operation Protective Edge. That was folly. The IDF mowed
the lawn then. Now it is time to rip up the turf. Israel cannot exist in a world where it is subject to
attack like this. The response should be extraordinary, massive, and final. Hamas must be eradicated, not taught a
lesson. Another weak and partial solution would mean that Israel declines and fades as a nation.
It is a precious thing for a country to have a military whose strength, intelligence, and
reliability discourages war-making against it, and it would be a catastrophe if the perception and reality of Israel’s
military were to be replaced by incompetence, weakness, and lack of vision. On Israel’s 9/11, the Jewish State must marshal
all its forces of innovation and creative energy into a determined path to victory and it must obtain the total
annihilation of its enemies — not just a return to the status quo that existed prior to the unprovoked Hamas sneak
In a nation that has a long history of enduring terrorist attacks at the hands of its enemies,
the Hamas assault on Israel that began on 8 October 2023 morning exceeded others by several orders of magnitude. As Jews
observed the Sabbath, the end of the holiday of Sukkot, the day on the Hebrew calendar marking the receipt of its Torah,
and on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, thousands of rockets bombarded Israel, and Iran-backed Hamas terrorists
bulldozed through the fencing on the border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. Numbers of terrorists flooded into
Israel, where they carried out attacks that could only be described as barbaric: shooting civilians, invading homes, killing
parents in front of their children, raping Israeli women, and taking dozens of hostages, some of whom were U.S. citizens.
Those abducted range from young children to whole families to an 85-year-old woman. When the Hamas terrorists drove back
into Gaza in pickup trucks parading dead bodies, crowds cheered and handed out candy to celebrate the slaughters.
Israel had to conduct a complex, and delicate operation the likes of which had never been seen
before in order to clear out southern towns and hunt down all the Hamas terrorists who haf remained in Israel; identify,
find, and rescue hostages; protect the north from Iran’s other proxy, Hezbollah — and it will have to pulverize
The traditional rhythm of conflict between Israel and its enemies has been that Israel gets
attacked and is given a small window to respond, and then world public opinion gathers against Israel, while Western
leaders urge “calm” and an end to the “cycle of violence.”
From Israel’s perspective, conflicts with Hamas over the past several decades have followed this
pattern. Hamas fires rockets at Israel, Israel responds with air strikes, and after a certain amount of time there is a
While the terrorist organization has been committed to the destruction of Israel since its 1988
founding as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, to this point, Israel has made the strategic - but mistaken - calculation
to tolerate Hamas. The operative theory has been that dealing with a weakened Hamas that can be degraded periodically is
better than pulverizing the terrorist group and depriving Gaza of any governing authority, leaving only chaos.
But after what has just happened, that calculation has changed. Israeli leaders now recognize that Hamas can no
longer be tolerated — it must be destroyed. Let’s hope and pray that Israel’s leaders do not forget this
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared that Hamas “will soon realize it made a grave mistake, and
will pay the price.” He added that “we will change the face of reality in Gaza 50 years ahead.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed, “The Israel Defense Forces will act immediately to destroy
Hamas’s capabilities. We will cripple them mercilessly and avenge this black day they have brought upon Israel and its
hee in the United States, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member on the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, said in a series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, that "Israel has no choice but to seek the complete
eradication of Hamas in Gaza."
"There simply is no diplomatic solution or ‘measured response’ available," Rubio wrote on X.
"This tragically necessary effort will come at a horrifying price. But the price of failing to permanently eliminate this
group of sadistic savages is even more horrifying."
His comments come as GOP lawmakers were intensifying their calls for the Biden administration to
aggressively support Israel in its defense against Hamas terrorist
Unfortunately, the Biden administration had stumbled out of the gate in its response to the
situation along Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs
posted that Israel should “refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks.” It later corrected its blunder and deleted the
post. Biden himself didn’t appear before cameras to make remarks until the late afternoon of the attacks. In those remarks,
Biden more forcefully acknowledged that, “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Full stop.” The weeks ahead
will show if he really meant what he said.
Biden’s record up until this point provides reason to worry. The administration moved to restore
funds to Palestinians and funneled $6 billion to Hamas patron Iran while desperately seeking a nuclear deal. While officials
insist the money was all for humanitarian purposes, this defense neglects the fact that money is fungible and there is a
long history of such monies being diverted to terrorism.
Now, Biden insists, “the United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their
back.” If he truly means it, he must give Israel free rein for as long as it takes to do whatever is necessary to vanquish
its savage foes.
Israel is going to need a very long leash to ensure that nothing like this ever happens
In a country whose chronology is punctuated with wars, terror attacks and military offensives,
Saturday, October 7, 2023 stands out in its horror. Nothing like this ever happened before in Israel, and Israelis are
comparing the day to 9/11. They - and the rest of the world – are rightly asking how Israel’s vaunted military could have
been so unprepared for such a major assault.
Nearly a day after they invaded, the terrorists - sent by Hamas - were mostly, but not
entirely, cleared out of Israeli territory. But the fighting was just beginning. While the day’s grim tally was not then
clear, a huge number of Israelis had been taken hostage into Gaza, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised
an unmitigated war on Gaza, which had seen repeated rounds of conflict with Israel over the previous 15 years.
“Hamas has launched a cruel and evil war,” Netanyahu said in a televised address. “We will win this
war, but it will carry a very heavy price. This is a difficult day for all of us.”
The terror group Hamas had launched attacks on Israeli civilians for decades and had governed the
Gaza Strip for more than 15 years. During that time, it launched barrages of missiles at Israeli cities on the Gaza border
and beyond, sending residents fleeing for shelter. Israel had responded with airstrikes and offensives in the coastal
Israel had launched ground invasions of Gaza in 2008 and 2014. The most recent major round of
conflict between the two sides took place in 2021.
But Hamas never attacked Israel like this. While it had previously built a network of tunnels to
infiltrate Israel, Saturday’s invasion was on a much larger scale. Militants broke through a barrier built by Israel,
attacked by sea and began killing people in 20 different cities and towns. Makeshift bands of Israeli civilians battled
the Hamas operatives while the Israeli military belatedly mobilized.
The militants also took a large number of hostages back to Gaza, in addition to holding hostages
in a kibbutz cafeteria and a private home in Israel. They captured two ambulances and an Israeli tank. They took control of
the police station in the border city of Sderot for some 20 hours. They overran an Israeli military base. A portion of the
violence, and many of the graphic videos circulating on social media, came from an all-night party near the border, where
revelers fled Hamas, but where some were taken captive into Gaza. Along with the ground invasion, Hamas sent volleys of
missiles at targets across the country. By Sunday, the official death toll had passed 700 — including many civilians and
the commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Nahal Brigade, one of the most senior Israeli military officials to be killed
in recent years. Saturday was one of the bloodiest days in the history of Israel.
A day after the attack started, the IDF had regained control over the area. But that was after 24
hours that included news no Israeli expected to hear: that Hamas had taken control of an army base and police station; that
it had captured military and medical vehicles; and that it had taken hostages to Gaza.
50 years after Israel was caught by surprise by the invasions that began the Yom Kippur War, the
country was once again asking how this could have happened.
Two days after the start of the sneak attacks, the following report was made.
“Israel marked a grim milestone Sunday morning, as the death toll from the massive invasion by
Hamas and other Gaza terrorist groups into the country’s south surpassed 700, with fighting continuing in at least six
“The number of wounded now stands at 2,048, with roughly 100 Israeli civilians and soldiers taken
into captivity in Gaza.
“Military experts have assessed that Israel will face an actual ‘existential threat’ if Hezbollah,
based in Lebanon, joins the attack, along with other Iranian militias and Palestinian terrorists from Judea and
“Hamas had claimed that it abducted 163, with Islamic Jihad also claiming to have taken several
Israelis to the Gaza Strip.
“The Israeli embassy in the U.S. said Sunday that there are believed to be 100 Israeli captives in
“Thousands of rockets have been launched towards southern and central Israel since the invasion
began at around 6:40 a.m. Saturday, with Hamas claiming 6,000 projectiles have been fired, while the IDF has confirmed
some 3,500 rockets detected.
“Immediately after the rocket barrages began, terrorists flying make-shift ultra-light aircraft
crossed over into Israeli territory while additional terrorist cells infiltrated through the security fence and by
“In total, roughly 1,000 terrorists invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip, overrunning the Erez
crossing in the northern Gaza Strip and the Re’im army base south of central Gaza.
“The IDF forces stationed along the border and in the Re’im base were killed or captured.
“Once Israeli forces on the border were wiped out, terrorists inside Gaza breached the border fence
using explosives and a bulldozer, allowing additional terrorists to flood into Israel.
“Driving Toyota pickup trucks, terrorists seized control of six Israeli border towns, and took
control over parts of additional communities in the Gaza envelope region. A total of 22 localities were totally or partially
taken over by the terrorist invasion force during the height of the onslaught.
“Terrorists rampaged through homes, took hostages and in some cases massacred residents.
“Footage posted by the terrorists to social media also showed a number of Israeli civilians taken
hostage both from the nature festival which had drawn thousands of Israeli partygoers, and from the overrun towns.
“Calls for help by locals went unanswered, as local police found themselves overwhelmed and the
army slow in responding.
“During the invasion, terrorists seized control of a police department in Sderot, slaughtering at
least twenty police officers.
“The terrorists were killed when the building was demolished by Israeli security forces
“After lengthy gun battles, some 50 hostages were freed in the town of Be’eri, and additional
hostages rescued from a home in Ofakim.
“Rocket fire continued through the day and into the night, pausing only for an hour-and-a-half
before resuming just before dawn Sunday.
“Numerous direct hits were reported from the rocket attacks, which included heavier, more
sophisticated projectiles than the Qassem rockets typically used by Hamas in the past.
“Israel retaliated with airstrikes targeting terrorist positions across the Gaza Strip Saturday
afternoon and during the night, killing some 313 Gazans and injuring 1,990, Hamas claimed.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet overnight to draw up plans for the
‘destruction of the military and governing capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad,’ the Prime Minister’s Office
“The cabinet voted to halt fuel shipments to and the supply of electricity for Gaza.
“We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack,”
said Netanyahu. (Ref. 8)
Ridding the world of an evil such as Hamas is only part of the job that must be done. There still
remain similar evils, such as ISIS, the Taliban, Iran and that other terrorist organization the poses an imminent threat to
Israel – Hezbollah.
Three days following the Attack on Israel from Gaza and amid the war raging with Hamas, former
Israeli Defense Forces official Col. (Ret.) Miri Eisin spoke about the Hezbollah threat from Lebanon. Col. Eisin said that
Hezbollah was ten times stronger than Hamas. But, if the Iran-backed militant group attacked Israel, the losers would end
up being the Lebanese people just as the “Palestinians” in Gaza have been suffering for the atrocities committed by Hamas.
She also says that any attack of this kind takes years of preparation and alleged that Iran was likely involved in the
planning of the Hamas attack.
It’s most unfortunate that it takes a disaster such as this to awaken people to the folly of trying
to appease or accommodate such hate-filled miscreants as Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and the current regime in Iran. As I’ve
written before, it’s It’s time to finally and permamently end “Palestinian”
Any fair-minded person realizes that those who perpetrated the recent outrage against the people of
Israel are in no way legitimate members of a civilized human race and need to be eliminated. This truth is evident to the
editors of the local newspaper in my hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts, which ran the following opinion piece some 5 days
after the Hamas attack.
“The incursion into Israel by terrorists from Gaza this past weekend, resulting in the
indiscriminate and willful slaughter of 900 innocent civilians, including young children, rates as sone of the most
heinous events in world in this century.
“The terrorists’ actions had one and only one objective; To kill as many Israelis as possible and
capture dozens more to serve as hostages.
“The terrorists’ deeds could not have been accomplished without the support of the Iranian
government, whose only objective on the world stage is the destruction of the State of Israel.
“Both the terrorist thugs and Iranian’s leaders know fully well that the repercussions of their
nefarious feeds will fall most heavily on the two million people of Gaza, of whom half are children, who are being used as
pawns by the terrorists and the Iranians and whose land now will become the stage for a full-scale Israeli military assault
that will be necessary to root out the terrorists and their leaders.
“The sheer hatred exhibited by the Iranian-backed terrorists this weekend has shown to all the world
that Iran and its proxies have n desire for peace with Israel. We trust that the perpetrators of this past weekend’s horrors
will be brought to justice - - and we can only hope that Iran’s leaders somehow can be held to account for their role in this
terrible event.” (Ref. 11)
- Judges 16:21-31, www.bible.com, accessed 8 October 2023.
- This is the time: Israel must destroy Hamas, David M. Shribman, Jewish Journal, 8 October 2023.
- Israel declares Gaza siege as Hamas fires rockets and toll mounts, Steve Hendrix, Shira Rubin, Susannah George,
Hazem Balousha, William Booth, The Washington Post, 9 October 2023.
- On Israel’s 9/11, Jewish State must settle for nothing less than total victory,
The Washington Free Beacon,
8 October 2023.
- Israel Needs a Long Leash to Destroy Hamas, National Review, 8 October 2023.
- Rubio says Israel has 'no choice' but to seek 'complete eradication of Hamas', Jamie Joseph,
Fox News, 9 October 2023.
- The Hamas attack, its grim toll and what’s next, explained, Jewish Journal,
8 October 2023.
- Hamas invasion death toll rises to 700 as Israel prepares for far more dangerous threat from north,
David Rosenberg, World Israel News, 8 October 2023.
- ‘If Hezbollah Attacks Israel…’: Ex-IDF Official Issues Big Warning Amid Israel-Hamas War,
10 October 2023.
- Time to Finally End “Palestinian” Terrorism, David Burton, Sonofeliyahu.com; Article 538,
28 July 2022.
- THE TRAGEDY IN ISRAEL, The Winthrop Sun Transcript, 12 October 2023.