Absolutely Certainly Again

The founding editor of The Times of Israel cries out in shock while his people besiege and bomb a city without air defenses:

More than three weeks after that blackest Shabbat in our Israeli history, we remain, unsurprisingly, a nation deep in shock.

Shocked at the unrestrained murderous savagery that thousands of our neighbors unleashed upon us — the hysterical exultation with which they ripped away 1,400 lives in ways many of us still will not bring ourselves to watch….

But the shock is also expanding, now, to horror, disappointment and fury at the shift outside Israel — from brief, initial empathy for all those whose lives were shot and burned and butchered away, for their bereft and broken families and for the innocent snatched away into Hamas’s underground hellholes, to a rising global effort to deprive us of the right to ensure it will not happen again. A rising global effort propelled by Israel-haters and antisemites, assisted by falsehoods and misrepresentations everywhere from TikTok to supposedly responsible media, and inflated by fools, to try to halt our military response, or limit and undermine it. Basically, to tell us that what happened on October 7, if it happened, was terrible, but we need to get over it. Subverting “Never Again,” and telling us instead, well, yes, Almost Certainly Again.

But David Horovitz shouldn’t be shocked. He shouldn’t even be surprised. His people don’t need to “get over it,” they need to learn that their actions speak much louder in the ears of the world than their endless flow of words.

Let’s get this straight. Jews have been invading the British Mandate of Palestine since the end of the 19th century, just as they’ve been invading various countries for centuries, often illegally. After decades of anti-British terrorism led to the British withdrawal, the Jewish military forces won the wars of 1948 and 1967 fair and square, and they now hold the land currently controlled by the State of Israel and recognized by the international community by the same right of conquest that most modern states hold their land.

They hold no historical claim to the land prior to that 20th century claim, because their initial claim to the land of Canaan is also one of conquest, conquest that was repeatedly superseded by various other conquests by a number of other parties. Remember, the Jews didn’t even found the city of Jerusalem. Furthermore, the greater part of the land of Israel never belonged to either the tribe or the kingdom of Judah, so the Biblical claim to which the Christian Zionists hold so fervently doesn’t even apply to any of the Canaanite lands north of Jericho or east of the Jordan River.

The allotment for the tribe of Judah, according to its clans, extended down to the territory of Edom, to the Desert of Zin in the extreme south. Their southern boundary started from the bay at the southern end of the Dead Sea, crossed south of Scorpion Pass, continued on to Zin and went over to the south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it ran past Hezron up to Addar and curved around to Karka. It then passed along to Azmon and joined the Wadi of Egypt, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. This is their southern boundary.

The eastern boundary is the Dead Sea as far as the mouth of the Jordan.

The northern boundary started from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan, went up to Beth Hoglah and continued north of Beth Arabah to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. The boundary then went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor and turned north to Gilgal, which faces the Pass of Adummim south of the gorge. It continued along to the waters of En Shemesh and came out at En Rogel. Then it ran up the Valley of Ben Hinnom along the southern slope of the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem). From there it climbed to the top of the hill west of the Hinnom Valley at the northern end of the Valley of Rephaim. From the hilltop the boundary headed toward the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, came out at the towns of Mount Ephron and went down toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim). Then it curved westward from Baalah to Mount Seir, ran along the northern slope of Mount Jearim (that is, Kesalon), continued down to Beth Shemesh and crossed to Timnah. It went to the northern slope of Ekron, turned toward Shikkeron, passed along to Mount Baalah and reached Jabneel. The boundary ended at the sea.

The western boundary is the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.

Joshua 15: 1-12

Now, Israel’s right to exist is no more questionable than the USA’s right to exist. No reasonable, historically-literate individual can deny it. Everyone has to live somewhere. Every nation has the right to live somewhere.

And Israel has the right to defend itself. No question. But therein lies the problem. Israel has more than 11 percent of its Jewish population living on what are not recognized as Israel’s lands, and the Jewish nation has more than 50 percent of its people living in a diaspora scattered throughout lands that belong to other nations.

And all of those nations have the right to defend their lands too. Including the Palestinians. So, it’s always important to look very carefully at the question: who is defending what?

Very few outside the Muslim world supported the October 7 attacks by Hamas. Most of the world was rightly horrified by them. But everyone also understands that they didn’t happen in a vacuum or for no reason. Similarly, everyone understands that Israel has the right and the responsibility to respond to those attacks with military action against Hamas, as well as to utilize its military forces to rescue the hostages that are being held by Hamas.

However, that understanding does not go so far as to provide pre-approval for an unlimited military response. If it is true that the IDF has already killed 6,747 Palestinians in Gaza in reprisal, and for which the Gaza Health Ministry has provided evidence to the U.S. President, then it appears Israel is already approaching the limits of what most fair-minded people around the world are going to accept, especially in light of the frothing-mouthed genocidal rhetoric being thrown about by too many loud-mouthed US supporters of Israel. The correct Israeli response to the massive pro-Gaza support being demonstrated around the world should not be shock, rhetoric, and even more doubling down, but rather, sober contemplation of the likely consequences if what appears to be a path toward opening the second front of World War III is continued.

The reason people are telling writers like David Horovitz “Almost Certainly Again” is because for every violent action or forced compulsion, the potential for an opposite reaction that corresponds to, or exceeds, the magnitude of the original action is created. This is not to justify these hypothetical reactions, merely to explain their inevitability. And as long as there are Jews who refuse to stay in their lanes and live in their own lands, there will be reactions to their various provocations, large and small, no matter how eloquently those provocations are justified or rationalized or legalized or defined away.

Those who advocate genocide should not expect much in the way of sympathy from the rest of humanity when they find themselves under attack by anyone, for any reason. Which is why I’ll go Horovitz’s imagined interlocutors one step better and say: Absolutely Certainly Again. Because the only thing that a nation can reliably control over time is its own collective behavior, and the recent rhetoric of the Israeli government as well as that of the global diaspora tends to indicate that neither has learned the vital lesson of the Third Law of Motion as it applies to violence.

We must pray for more reasonable minds to prevail. But we should not expect them to do so.

UPDATE: This sort of rhetoric from the Defense Minister is why people around the world do not trust Israel’s assertions of self-defense and refuse to support its military actions in Gaza. Because this isn’t some hot-headed relative of a Hamas victim, this is one of the government leaders to whom the IDF generals answer.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant underlined his government’s determination to ignore pleas for a ceasefire. He told families of the 239 hostages trapped in Gaza: ‘We are fighting animals, not people.