The Philadelphia Inquirer foreign policy writer Trudy Rubin will be presenting her views on the Israel-Hamas conflict at The Fitler Club on December 12, 2023. Let’s consider her latest column on the topic and see what might be revealed about Rubin and the Inquirer.

The below will assume familiarity with her content, but, in brief, she argues that Israel must change its military conduct and, if it does not, the Biden administration should force it to do so.

Rubin begins with an anecdote about a family killed in a bombing in Gaza City in late November. She does not note that Israel advised residents of Gaza City to evacuate in mid-October. She does not note that Hamas insisted that civilians remain in place. She does not attempt to explain what the purpose of the bombing was. Of course, it is tragic that these civilians were killed but had they left or been allowed to leave their home as advised they would not have been in this dangerous area.

Rubin next claims that Israel is “focused on revenge.” 

As virtually the entire nation of Israel now agrees, a policy of ending Hamas’ rule in Gaza is justified after the 10/7 atrocities proved that the prior policy of allowing Hamas to govern was a failure. No country (except the weakest ones) would accept as a neighbor a government that sponsored such an attack within its borders. 

Rubin does have the decency to admit that an equivalent attack on the U.S. would have killed over 40,000 people (using a per capita analysis). The idea that the U.S. would not declare full scale war on a neighbor or near neighbor who killed 40,000 Americans in one day is risible. That is not “revenge,” that is self-defense in accordance with a legitimate national interest.

Rubin then repeats the tired argument that Israel is creating more enemies than it is killing.

Under this argument, Israel should accept that Hamas can kill Israeli civilians and then hide amongst their civilians, effectively achieving immunity. That strategy cannot be permitted to succeed after 10/7. 

The U.S. did not worry about “creating more Nazis” when seeking victory in WWII, and the Israelis cannot allow themselves to be hamstrung by these further immoral acts committed by Hamas in its conduct of the war (using civilians as shields, a documented Hamas tactic from as far back as 2014, is a war crime, she fails to note). 

Rubin’s only suggested alternative to the Israelis is made by an American diplomat whom she quotes as advising that Israel “treat this like post-Munich Olympics” – an oblique reference to Israel’s years-long effort to bring justice to the organizers of the slaughter of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. 

In other words, instead of entering Gaza to aggressively remove Hamas from power, Israel should let Hamas retain power, while Israel tries to eliminate their top leaders one by one over the course of what would be months, if not years. 

Then Rubin implies that after the supposed cease fire that would occur with Hamas still in power and with its top leaders being subjected to Israel attack, Israel would have to work on giving Hamas a hand in a new Palestinian state. She attacks Netanyahu and supposes that her completely unrealistic alternative not coming to fruition, is his fault. 

In fact, Hamas retaining power would be a huge strategic victory to it and would embolden greatly the many well-armed enemies who surround Israel, all of whom are amply supported by the theocratic and fascistic regime in Iran. 

Below is what the supreme leader of Iran tweeted on 10/7, the video he embedded is of concert goers fleeing across the Negev desert as they are being hunted by Hamas terrorists (approximately 364 concert goers were murdered and 40 taken hostage):

Notably, Rubin says not a word about the geopolitical facts of the region, or how these facts must be calibrated by Israel when responding to the atrocities that Iran’s supreme leader celebrated, even as they were ongoing. 

Why can’t people like Rubin believe what they are told by people like Khamenei?

One can only speculate as to the answer to that question. My speculation is set forth below.

Rubin ends her article by exhorting “President Biden to intensify his call for another long humanitarian pause,” — “long humanitarian pause” being the latest euphemism for a ceasefire — advice that President Biden, to his credit, ignored. Indeed, on December 8, the date of publication of Rubin’s article, the Biden administration vetoed a UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

The final irony to this piece is that the online headline written over it references Israel’s “right to destroy Hamas,” but nothing in the text of Rubin’s article says anything about Israel having such a right. To the contrary, the diplomat, whose “Munich Olympics” strategy Rubin endorsed, is quoted as saying that he is “changing my opinion” against a cease fire and leaving Hamas in place, and arguing instead that during a subsequent cease fire Israel should do better at intelligence and surveillance of the Gaza border. Rubin quotes this diplomat saying Israel should “‘fix all their intelligence operations and maintain a watchful eye,’” and that “‘if anyone emerges from a tunnel — you respond.’” In short, this describes exactly the pre-10/7 status quo. 

The headline doesn’t match the story, because Rubin in no way endorses ending Hamas’ rule as the correct objective and a right to be aggressively pursued through military action in Gaza. Although she does not say so explicitly, the unavoidable import of her words and the policy she endorses is that Hamas should continue to have some part in governing Gaza in a to-be-established Palestinian state.

Hamas of course, like Iran’s supreme leader, is explicit in its call for the destruction of Israel. 

Why, I asked above, does Rubin not seem to take these individuals at their word?

One answer is that the purpose of Rubin’s article is not to offer meaningful advice to the Israeli people or the United States government, but to flatter the views of the Inquirer’s far-left readers who are, imprisoned by their theology of victimology, able to understand the conflict only according to a preconceived narrative and hierarchy of oppressor and oppressed. 

It is inconceivable to this theology that the stronger party militarily could also be the just party, and it is for this reason that Rubin says not one word about the immoral acts committed daily by Hamas (using rape as a tactic, killing civilians intentionally, using civilians as shields, fighting without a uniform), not one word about Hamas’ alignment with Iran, and not one word about their mutual calls for Israel’s destruction. 

Informing the public has little to do with Rubin’s commentary. Furthering the narrative that is so dear to the Inquirer’s subscription base is what matters.

Paul Snitzer is a businessman and lawyer residing in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

One thought on “Paul Snitzer: The Inquirer gets it wrong on Gaza”

  1. Inquirer is rife with far left wing propagandists or what I now call shitlibs. They’ve yet to inform their readers, in their print editions, about the Hinter Biden indictments. That is one heck of a news embargo. I can’t believe their so-called foreign policy expert, Trudy Rubin, still draws a paycheck. (I only get the print edition for the crossword and the sports but I can’t help scanning their daily leftist “news” stories. And yes I know it’s dumb of me to give them my money. )

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