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Six months of terror since Oct. 7. It’s time for Israel to finish off Hamas

Six months ago, Israel suffered the largest slaughter of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust, with over 1,100 killed and 134 hostages, Americans among them, still languishing and tortured in the terror tunnels of Gaza.

Just days after the brutal coordinated attacks by Hamas, former president George W. Bush spoke these rather prescient words: ‘It’s not going to take long for people [to say]: ‘It’s gone on too long. Surely, there’s a way to settle this through negotiations. Both sides are guilty.’ My view is: One side is guilty. And it’s not Israel.’ 

Bush was right, it didn’t take long, it took six months, and now the clock is clearly ticking on Israel’s military efforts. The key question is whether the clock is also ticking on Hamas. 

In Jerusalem, member of the War Cabinet Benny Gantz has called for elections in September, in part an effort to quell domestic political strife over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the hostages, but also perhaps a signal that major military operations must wrap up by then. 

Across the ocean in Washington, both President Joe Biden and his rival, former President Donald Trump are urging Israel to act quickly, but in two very different and telling ways. 

A feckless Biden, bowing to the far left of his party, is pressuring Netanyahu to end the conflict, with or without, it seems, the release of all the hostages or the total defeat of Hamas. Thankfully, some Democrats, such as New York Rep. Ritchie Torres and Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, are resisting these cowardly calls. 

Meanwhile, Trump had a different message to Israel, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt this week, ‘They’re losing the PR war. They’re losing it big. But they’ve got to finish what they started, and they’ve got to finish it fast.’ 

In this case, finishing what they started can mean only one thing: finishing Hamas. 

21st Century warfare, from Iraq to Afghanistan, from Ukraine to Gaza, is haunted by one elusive question: what does it mean to win? 

Our wars rarely end in ticker tape parades down canyons of heroes. Instead, they wither into dicey détentes and shaky status quos, just enough security to live with. 

But the attack of October 7 is not something Israel can just live with. The threat of Hamas once again pouring over the border to burn children alive and rape women every now and then is not something they can accept as the price of temporary peace. 

Whether they are members of the war cabinet or taxi drivers, Israelis understand one thing, that however this fighting ends, it must not end with Hamas and its backers in Iran believing they have advanced the cause of destroying Israel. 

Because if that happens, if Hamas is allowed to survive its atrocities and live to fight another day, then they will do it again and again. In fact, after what the world witnessed on October 7, Hamas could be emboldened to do far worse. 

Does anyone doubt they would poison an Israeli water supply or attack a chemical plant to kill tens of thousands next time? Who would stop them? Iran? 

Based on its continued support of Hamas even after its barbarism, there is no reason to believe Iran would do anything but smile at the death of more innocent Jews.  

And what of the horrors and suffering in Gaza, the left demands? The heartbreaking death of aid workers? It is tragic, it is awful, it is also entirely the fault of Hamas and its supporters. 

Israel left Gaza nearly 20 years ago. The Palestinian government there, the people, the backers in the region could have used the almost limitless foreign aid rained upon it to make it a new and gleaming Dubai or United Arab Emirates. 

Instead, they chose to spend that money building endless miles of tunnels, buying rockets and plotting to kill Jews. 

Nobody imposed that choice upon them. 

After October 7, what winning the war against Hamas means became crystal clear. It could only be summed up by two words, emblazoned like a tattoo on the Jewish imagination, ‘Never Again.’ 

Whether they are members of the war cabinet or taxi drivers, Israelis understand one thing, that however this fighting ends, it must not end with Hamas and its backers in Iran believing they have advanced the cause of destroying Israel. 

A crescendo is coming for the terrible conflict in Gaza. The clock is running for Israel to act, which means its actions must be all the more decisive.  

The only way this conflict can truly ever end is by meting out a punishment to terrorists so severe that they dare not unleash the inhumanity of October 7 ever again.

The only way to accomplish this task is to finish Hamas. Six months later, the time has come. 

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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