Only a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column for Broad + Liberty explaining why there can never be peace in the Middle East. How prescient that column turned out to be. 

Israel has had to fight for its existence since it became a state in 1948. The next day, after declaring her independence, five Arab neighbors attacked Israel.

Israel gains more territory as a result of every attack by her neighbors. Most notably, during the 1967 “Six Day War,” Israel gained possession of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and most of the Golan Heights.

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Israel has consistently been willing to trade land for peace. In 1979, the historic Camp David Accord saw Egypt formally recognize Israel, and Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula. In 1994, Jordan recognized Israel, and the border between the two countries was formalized.

The opportunity to create the “two-state solution” came in 2000, as I wrote in my prior column. Yassir Arafat walked away from that opportunity. During my Middle East trip in 2003, I learned the issue that prevents a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel is “the right of return.”

In essence, as long as Jewish people are in the area, there will never be peace. For Arafat then and Hamas (and Hezbollah) now, it is more important to eliminate the state of Israel and all the Jews living there than to have a Palestinian state. On this matter, they will not compromise. Those who don’t see Hamas’ attack as proof of this point are beyond redemption.

The terrorist organization Hamas launched an unprovoked surprise attack on Israel. Simultaneously, 2,500 rockets rained down on southern Israel while hundreds of Palestinian terrorists breached barriers, while others came across via paragliders and motorboats.

The timing of the attack is not a coincidence. Israel and Saudi Arabia had been negotiating and were reportedly close to normalizing relations. Saudi Arabia and Iran have been vying for regional dominance for decades. Iran is primarily Shia Muslim, while Saudi Arabia is mainly Sunni Muslim. Iran has been the primary sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah. While Hamas controls Gaza, Hezbollah controls the West Bank. Iran could not bear to see the Saudis reach a peace agreement with Israel.

During the initial attack, Hamas terrorists brutally slaughtered over 600 Israelis and at least 30 Americans on the streets, in their homes, and 260 young people at the Supernova music festival in the Negev desert. There is no military or strategic reason for killing young people at a concert.

Ultimately, either Hamas or Israel will no longer exist.

The world is witnessing some of the worst atrocities imaginable. Because of cellphone technology and the internet, the world is seeing these actions in more graphic detail than ever before. Images of murdered Israeli babies and beheaded innocents are on the internet. They are sickening to view. However, they must be visible in order for everyone to realize that Hamas’ atrocities are worse than those that ISIS and al-Quedia previously committed.

This is Hamas. NBC News obtained documents showing “that Hamas created detailed plans to target elementary schools and a youth center in the Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Sa’ad to ‘kill as many people as possible,’ seize hostages, and quickly move them into the Gaza Strip.” According to the report, Israeli first responders discovered attack plans labeled “top secret” in Arabic on the bodies of terrorists. They include detailed maps and “show that Hamas intended to kill or take hostage civilians and schoolchildren.”

As Israel begins to mount its responses to Hamas’ atrocities, there have been protests supporting Palestinians and statements criticizing Israel, including by Members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, and “the Squad” as well as by trolls on social media.

On social media, some post that Hamas does not use human shields. Others post that Israel is responsible for Hamas’ attacks or that the reports of the killing of women and children are fake.

These statements make me both sick and angry.

Whenever I hear about Israel occupying Gaza and the West Bank, I wonder if the people making those statements know that Israel only gained control of those areas after defeating Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the Six-Day War. I wonder if they know that in 2000, Yasser Arafat walked away from the opportunity to create a Palestinian homeland that would have included all of the Gaza Strip and 90 percent of the West Bank.

While Israel holds back its offensive to allow Gaza residents to leave, Hamas tells them not to move and reportedly stops them from moving. Other Arab countries are not opening their arms to accept Gaza refugees either.

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Hamas is holding hostages, including American citizens, in populated areas of Gaza. They also store their weapons in mosques, hospitals, and homes. If residents of Gaza tell the IDF where the terrorists are hiding, holding hostages, and keeping weapons, it would reduce civilian deaths.

While I don’t advocate killing citizens, especially women, children, and seniors, Hamas has set the terms of this war.

It’s also worth remembering that in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks, there was dancing in the streets and celebrating throughout the Gaza Strip. While not every resident is complicit, neither are they all innocent.

The Israeli response is coming. The IDF will not bring a knife to a gunfight; bet on it. The indignant responses that have already begun need to hold their hypocritical tongues. Omar, Tlaib, and “the Squad” still haven’t criticized Hamas’ atrocities.

President Biden and I don’t agree on much, but I was pleased to hear him say that Hamas must be eliminated on “60 Minutes.”

Israel is dealing with barbaric terrorists who do not follow the rules of civilized warfare. Israel cannot defeat Hamas by fighting with conventional methods. They must use tactics that Hamas understands, and the price must be so great that the Palestinian people will no longer tolerate Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.

Israel will continue to make it clear that it wants to live in peace, as it has with most of their other Arab neighbors. For years, Israel has accepted a two-state solution. However, the terrorists’ continued commitment to destroying the state of Israel, especially the brutal killing of innocent civilians, will no longer be tolerated.

Israel has no choice. It’s a fight for its existence. Israel must not make the same mistake the U.S. made in its 20-year battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan. After all the blood and treasure the United States sacrificed, the Taliban is back in control, and Afghanistan is in the same position it was pre-9/11. For Israel to survive, it must destroy terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, whose stated goal is to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people living there.

Andy Bloom is President of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT, WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles, and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President of Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc., and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.

11 thoughts on “Andy Bloom: Understanding Hamas and Israel’s response”

  1. “Iran has been the primary sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah.” True.
    “For Israel to survive, it must destroy terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, whose stated goal is to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people living there.” Again, true.
    Israeli Defense Intelligence Chief Amos Yadin in 2007: “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza because IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state” and later downplaying significance of Iran in Gaza “as long as they don’t have a port.”
    What is also true is that laying siege to a civilian population isn’t the same thing as targeting a terrorist organization, and Hamas’s disgusting terroristic barbarism does not justify the collective punishment of Palestinians.
    And after all the propaganda pushed by deceitful tyrants during Covid, let’s cut through the fancy rhetoric on this one. There are too many neo-cons trying to use this scenario as an excuse for the US enter into a war with Iran.

    1. The usage of neocon is dumb. It’s really dumb. Because someone doesn’t fit all of their views into what you and a MINORITY of Republicans would classify as being conservative does not mean they are neocons. Have the debate over issues. It’s a worthwhile debate most of the time and isolationism has a point.

      But stating that someone is not conservative or is a fake conservative, ie neocon, does nothing bit divide the minority within the republican party from the majority.

      The MINORITY group of conservative voters are not holding the moral high ground either.

      Democrats may actually take over the US house because an extremely small minority is angry about so called neocons not compromising their views and constituents wishes enough. Ironically, that same small minority refused to rec9gnize how small a group they are and led McCarthy to fail. A guy who bent over backwards time and time again to listen to them.

      Their opinions are not in the majority. They do not govern. They do not compromise or have a strategy to build consensus and govern, Let alone build more support in the general public by articulating a strategy that persuades future voters.

      1. Do you prefer ‘paleoliberals’? The neoconservative label was self-description of formerly self-identified liberals because they didn’t like the direction of the Democratic Party in the 1970s, because mainly due to the Vietnam War, because most liberals stopped trying to be internationalist and interventionists via war. As a consequence, these warmongers migrated to the Republican Party. They are called Neo-conservatives or Neocons. They are liberal tyrants. They think they know better than others and they lie. A lot.
        Here’s the script Israel has been using, and it is US tax money that supports it: Adults kill indiscriminately, people lie about it on both sides, and then other adults kill indiscriminately, and people lie about it on both sides. US taxes make these warmonger’s friends rich.
        The Balfour Declaration, issued by the British government in 1917, announced Britain’s promise for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, which was then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The promise appeased the Zionist movement, who believe in a Jewish right to the land of Jerusalem — or Zion. The Zionists and the Muslims are not the United States’ problem other than they have captured US politicians who eagerly send US tax money and waste it on evil bloodshed. And these paleoliberal clowns just spent 20+ years killing millions and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan. How much US tax money did that cost? Who received it? Who runs Iraq and Afghanistan now? The leaders are dumb or crazy if they think repeating the same actions will lead to different results. Guess what? They know that, and they like the results because they are getting rich off the US taxpayer.
        If Israel wanted to make peace in Gaza it would look like Manhattan and not an open-air prison.

        1. I don’t care if it was a term someone used 50 years ago that has migrated into new terminology. Today- you use it disparagingly. And, unfortunately, history has shown that stupidity does align itself pretty closely with anyone fervently on the right or left.

          The wars in the middle east are not because of some grand conspiracy to keep the illusive military industrial complex going. It’s because Muslims hate non Muslims. TO act like it isn’t our war is stupid. While I certainly do not think you are stupid, you are absolutely wrong to conflate all these issues of over spending and US overreach in foreign policy with this.

          There is a time for military intervention. I don’t agree, as Viden just did, with OWNING the wars, but to say we have no interest and somehow these are just part of a larger plan to make money is an overreach. This is not good for anyone bit China, Russia, and maybe Iran.

          The US appears to be attempting to deescalate as much as possible at a rapid pace. It should be exactly what we all want to see. Going big and flexing to scare off other potential adversaries from entering the field.

          If Israel falls, and it will without allied support, we lose strategic positioning and intelligence. You can claim its useless, but I’m afraid you don’t see what happens when they are burned to the ground. Those anti Israel enthusiasts have shoved out the west, align further with China and start focusing their military and terroristic resources on the US further.

          Please feel free to tell me how you think it isn’t our problem if the US and Allies let Israel fall.

          1. Since the terrorists’ attack on Israel on Saturday, October 7, the majority of victims are civilians, on both sides of the conflict. In the Gaza Strip, most reports are roughly 3,000 people have already been killed, and more than 12,500 have been injured. In Israel, after the terrorists’ attack, roughly 1,400 people were murdered, and almost 4,000 have been wounded. There are reports of drones being launched at US assets and servicepeople. ALL THIS STUPID BEHAVIOR IS DOING IS MAKING IT EASY FOR SOME PEOPLE TO HATE MORE, AND GALVINIZING MANY IGNORANT MUSLIMS, ZIONISTS, AND EVANGELICALS – WHILE OTHERS COLLECT BILLIONS.
            How is it helping Israel? Because certain Hamas leaders are now dead? How do you know the next Iran proxy leadership replacements won’t be more devious and deadly? Israel was not going to fall because 1,400 people were murdered in this horrible and heinous terrorist attack last week. Just as the United States was not going to fall because a plane hit the Pentagon and 2,603 people were murdered in New York. It is an extremely low probability that Israel would fall if other Muslim countries around the world united in a racist hate and launched a full-scale war. But Israel’s immediate reaction is allowing the world to inch closer to that possibility.
            Yes, I agree that the US and other allies would be required to participate in some fashion to help Israel in a full-scale war scenario. And I agree with you that Biden Administration and the US military appear to be attempting to deescalate as much as possible at a rapid pace. Although I still despise the Biden Crime family, yes, I do agree it should be exactly what we all want to see. Unfortunately, I also think it is simply an appearance of such and not sincere efforts to deescalate.
            There are a lot of US neocons (Nikki Haley, Sen Lindsey Graham, etc.) who will be happy to start another war and topple Iran “so they do not get nukes”; and, not for nothing collect hundreds and hundreds of billions of US dollars. Time will tell. Everything going on in the Middle East with respect to the United States’ interest is about money. It is always about money. Every single issue. Figure out who is getting paid, pour sunshine on the incentives, and then understanding behavior gets pretty obvious. Hamas and Israel – BOTH sides – are behaving in an evil and stupid fashion and they are wrong. Israel could get justice – instead they decided to immediately react, rather than respond. An immediate reaction was not seeking justice just revenge for the murdered babies and adults. So, Israel reacted by murdering babies and adults. Again, if Israel wants to make real peace they would invest more in Gaza, they will allow the Arabs to profit more in those investments, and Gaza would look more like Manhattan and not be easily referenced as an open-air prison. The United States has a long history of getting involved in other countries’ politics and trillions of US tax money has been wasted on evil behavior. The only way forward is to discuss it, try an educate our neighbors, and vote accordingly. Anger and violence only empower these corrupt tyrants.

  2. Well said.

    This is why it’s terrifying that the 2020 Presidential LOSER and current Republican front-runner:

    – Described Hezbollah this week as “very smart” while attacking Israel’s leadership

    – Freely admitted to giving up sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russia

    – Said that Hamas’s sponsor Iran can “do they want” in Syria

    – Constantly buddies up to Iran’s sponsor Russia

  3. I believe that the mess in Syria was due to President Obama’s “red line” position that he later abandoned. Iran’s resurgence can be traced again to President Obama who had no difficulty trying to reach a Rapprochement with Iran by sacrificing Israel. Go figure how someone could think that you can change a murderous, ideologic, power seeking government with a couple of bucks. The biggest miscalculation of the we century is the one that believed: “no, we won’t use your money to continue our nuclear program or support terrorism.” The Iranian government had both fingers crossed and crossed their hearts so you can have confidence in their intentions.

    1. I would add my 2 cents – I think the biggest failure of the past 100 years involving the middle east and foreign policy has been to assume people think the same and have fundamental values in every society and they are reflective of the West. They aren’t. They hate us. They hate Israel. They hate us. This is yet another battle in the war that has been going on for a long time.

      We didnt ask to be involved but we can’t hide our heads and act like we aren’t involved. They involve us by promising to kill us and having done it in the past.

      Israel just happens to be a few miles away from them and are easier targets than us across the Atlantic.

  4. I hope that Jews can see that post-WWII Liberalism hasn’t changed the world’s attitude toward them. Sure, we expect Muslims to dislike them. We expect Muslims to dislike all infidels and murder them so they can hook up with (How many?) eighty plus, blonde virgins who await them with open “arms” in Valhalla or whatever their pagan place is called. But American Blacks? American intellectuals? Privileged White kids? What have the Jews ever done to them?

    Dung Mastriano is right. We make the situation complex because it doesn’t fit our humanist, Romantic narrative that people are innately good and that it is our institutions that make them bad. Rousseau might be the first Woker. We want to believe that if Abdul only had sitcoms, fast-food, and Monday Night Football, he’d be the good neighbor who holds the ladder and ride-shares with us on Monday mornings. Dung says, “I think the biggest failure…has been to assume people think the same and have fundamental values in every society and they are reflective of the West.”

    I think Dung actually gives them more credit than they deserve. Do they really “think” or do they just follow the Koran as if it’s a recipe book? Do they really have anything resembling a value in terms of virtues? Islam left Aristotle behind many, many years ago along with Averroes who the West holds up as the “good” Muslim. He lived 800 years ago. The West has lost its head over Ibn Rushd and so have many Muslims.

    The reason why Hamas is attacking Israel is because it’s next door. Just imagine if they were at Penn. They’d be shooting rockets into the Northeast.

  5. Reply to Myself: On the Nature of Man

    Excerpt: Dung Mastriano is right. We make the situation complex because it doesn’t fit our humanist, Romantic narrative that people are innately good and that it is our institutions that make them bad. Rousseau might be the first Woker. We want to believe that if Abdul only had sitcoms, fast-food, and Monday Night Football, he’d be the good neighbor who holds the ladder and ride-shares with us on Monday mornings.

    From Bari Weiss’ Free Press

    The Day the Delusions Died
    A lot of people woke up on October 7 as progressives and went to bed that night feeling like conservatives. What changed?

    By Konstantin Kisin, October 22, 2023

    A friend of mine joked that she woke up on October 7 as a liberal and went to bed that evening as a 65-year-old conservative. But it wasn’t really a joke and she wasn’t the only one. What changed?

    The best way to answer that question is with the help of Thomas Sowell, one of the most brilliant public intellectuals alive today. In 1987, Sowell published A Conflict of Visions. In this now-classic, he offers a simple and powerful explanation of why people disagree about politics. We disagree about politics, Sowell argues, because we disagree about human nature. We see the world through one of two competing visions, each of which tells a radically different story about human nature.

    Those with “unconstrained vision” think that humans are malleable and can be perfected. They believe that social ills and evils can be overcome through collective action that encourages humans to behave better. To subscribers of this view, poverty, crime, inequality, and war are not inevitable. Rather, they are puzzles that can be solved. We need only to say the right things, enact the right policies, and spend enough money, and we will suffer these social ills no more. This worldview is the foundation of the progressive mindset.

    By contrast, those who see the world through a “constrained vision” lens believe that human nature is a universal constant. No amount of social engineering can change the sober reality of human self-interest, or the fact that human empathy and social resources are necessarily scarce. People who see things this way believe that most political and social problems will never be “solved”; they can only be managed. This approach is the bedrock of the conservative worldview.

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