Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia
Bernie Sanders

It’s painfully shocking that Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote on ADL’s website: “it is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border.” (“ADL Statement on Violence at Israel-Gaza Border,” May 15, 2018.)  This broad statement was not limited to the tiny minority who were not members of a terrorist group.  (And even that small minority joined the violent riots whose goal was to breach Israel’s border fence to descend upon nearby Jewish communities, schools, and day care centers – and all of Israel – to murder innocent Jews.)  Thus, we must ask, how is the death of mostly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists a “horrific tragedy?”  In fact, the deaths of these terrorists prevented a real “horrific tragedy” – the murder of thousands of innocent Jews who would have been slain if Hamas’ violent rioters had succeeded.

Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil and PIJ have admitted that 85% of the recent Gaza fatalities (50 Hamas plus 3 PIJ, out of 62 total) were their own terrorist operatives. (See Salah al-Bardawil interview video.)   These terrorists were hurling pipe bombs, boulders, grenades and Molotov cocktails; carrying machetes; shooting at Israelis; rushing with wire cutters and planting bombs at the border fence; and destroying Israeli farms with arson-terror kites emblazoned with swastikas.  Swastika flags and banners were everywhere.  These were Islamic terrorists committed to brutally murdering every Jew, and even tearing out and eating Jews’ hearts and livers.  Hamas leader Yehia al-Sinwar “rallied” the Gazan rioters/troops by proclaiming:  “We will tear down the border [with Israel] and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies,” and “we will eat the livers of the Israelis.” (See Yehia al-Sinwar video; and “The World Goes for Israel’s Throat,” by Giulio Meotti, Israel Nat’l News, Apr. 3, 2018.)  The Nazi-like Hamas Charter calls for the murder of every Jew and the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.  Hamas named its  violent actions on the Gaza border “The March of Return”- openly stating the goal was to “return” millions of descendants of Arabs to Israel to end the existence of the Jewish State.


Hamas and PIJ also harm their own people:  Hamas-organized Gazan rioters vandalized and set fire to the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing, and destroyed gas pipelines from Israel that bring humanitarian aid to Gaza’s residents.  (“Hamas Riots in Gaza Deliberately Sabotage Humanitarian Aid from Israel,” by Avi Abelow, May 12, 2018.)

Even Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahhar admitted that calling the Gaza violent onslaught “peaceful” is a deception.  Al-Zahhar told Al Jazeera: “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.”  (“Senior Hamas Official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar on Gaza Protests: This Is Not Peaceful Resistance, It Is Supported by Our Weapons,” MEMRI Clip No. 6573, May 13, 2018.)

Thousands of innocent Israelis who live near the Gaza border – as well as those living further away – are in danger of being slaughtered if Hamas succeeds.

After Israel did everything humanly possible to avoid fatalities (including using tear gas, leaflets and text messages to warn rioters to stay away from the fence), the deaths of these Hamas and PIJ terrorists means that there is less danger and less evil in the world.  The Hamas and PIJ fatalities prevented Hamas and PIJ from slaughtering thousands of innocent Jews.

Thus, it is deeply disturbing that ADL and some Jews and others have been mourning these terrorists’ fatalities.

Such sympathetic proclamations only encourage more Hamas terror against Jews.  Such proclamations also encourage the media to distort the truth of the Hamas war against the Jewish State.

US Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) like ADL’s Greenblatt, also mourned the “tragedy” of persons in Gaza (who were mostly in fact Hamas terrorists) being killed.  Sanders proclaimed: “The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israel forces in Gaza is tragic.”  (See Sanders’ statement on anti-Israel CodePink website.)   Does Sanders really not understand that these were not peaceful demonstrators?  Does he really not understand that it was Hamas terrorists who were killed while trying to invade Israel and murder Jews?

And then there’s the elite Beacon school in New York City, which insisted that its students hold a “moment of silence” tribute to the “victims of violence in Gaza” – a/k/a Hamas and PIJ terrorists.  Jewish students and their parents were rightly outraged:   Parents noted that they did not send their children to school to pray for Hamas murderers.   (See Parents Outraged at School’s Silent Tribute for Gaza Victims,” by Melissa Klein, New York Post, May 19, 2018; “NYC Public High School Offers ‘Moment of Silence’ for Dead Terrorists in Gaza,” by Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press, May 20, 2018.)

And incredibly, a group of about two dozen misguided leftwing Jewish young people gathered near the British Parliament and said the mourners’ Kaddish for the dead Hamas and PIJ operatives – and bullied a woman who told them “Shame on You.”  (If you can stomach it, you can watch the video at“Saying Kaddish for Hamas,”  filmed by the Israel Advocacy Movement, May 16, 2018.)

No one should ever mourn the deaths of evil Nazis, al Qaeda terrorists, ISIS terrorists, or Nazi-like Hamas and PIJ terrorists who were killed while trying to murder Jews and others. If terrorists were attempting to breach America’s Canadian or Mexican border to kill Americans, would we not use force to stop them?  Would we ever mourn the deaths of such terrorists?

It is a disgrace to call Hamas terrorists’ deaths a “horrific tragedy.”   It is a disgrace to hold moments of silence, say the mourners’ Kaddish for, or mourn the deaths of Hamas terrorists who were killed while trying to invade and destroy Israel and murder her people.

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Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Follow him on Twitter @mortonaklein7.