Israel is stunned. The nation hurts. Yet another great act of barbarism was perpetrated on the Jewish people. Those who love humanity, whoever and wherever they are, must feel this, too. One day after Hamas launched a major incursion into Israel on 7 October 2023, fifty years after the Egyptians launched Operation Badr that opened the Yom Kippur War, we read Brigadier General Daniel Hagari’s words, “There are hostages and prisoners of war that Hamas took.” It was all over the media. Before the day was through, the obfuscation of this barbaric organisation and its monstrous intentions was already coming thick and fast.
Asking about the distinction between hostages and prisoners of war, Jonathan Hessen of TV7 Israel News observed:
Maybe it’s the legal distinction, but I don’t think that Hamas makes distinction in this current reality… between prisoners of war, which are the IDF troops that were captured, and the civilian Israelis. We saw families being taken into the Hamas-controlled territory.
Reichman University cross-cultural expert, Colonel (Res.) Reuven Ben-Shalom, responded:
When terrorists attack an army base, that is not terrorism. That could be the other terms, guerrilla warfare, counterinsurgency or whatever or insurgency, yet when they attack civilians, as they do with thousands of rockets, or any village they went into today, that is classic, classic terrorism. So certainly, there is a definition that we have to think about. But bottom line, strategically, when we have soldiers and civilians in Gaza right now, that is a strategic situation for the government, and there is no distinction. The problem is there. And remember, this is not something that’s going to end tomorrow in a negotiation, as I said before, Hamas plays the long game, long. Look at Gilad Shalit. It could be five years.
Yet, the Israelis that are alive in Gaza are alive, hopefully will come back to us. Hamas is a wise player and, usually in a situation like this, and hopefully even though there are terrorist organisation and [despite] the atrocities that they did, they will care for them. They are bargaining chip. They dream of doing a deal with us and swapping prisoners with us. So hundreds and hundreds of Israelis died today, at least we have some Israelis that, hopefully, will come back to us.
I am not a Jew, at least not yet, but to hear a Jew speaking like this makes my blood boil. In two short paragraphs, the word “hopefully” appears three times! "They dream of doing a deal with us." Really? Hamas? The organisation that breaks every single deal within the hour? Just read this one sentence again and let it sink in: “So hundreds and hundreds of Israelis died today, at least we have some Israelis that, hopefully, will come back to us.” On people with such sentiments Israel depends for her survival. This IDF Colonel obviously has no intention of wiping out Hamas, the "wise player," even after its killing “hundreds and hundreds,” because, at least, we hope, some Jews will survive. In that case, forgive me for asking, but what then, was the problem with the Holocaust?
Vacuous speculation, wishful thinking and resolutely ignoring the nature and purpose of an enemy in the process of initiating another Shoah, is all that the cross-cultural colonel is able to offer his beleaguered nation. He makes them believe that the Islamic Resistance Movement is a “wise player.” The clue is in the name: “Islamic”. There is, indeed, a legal distinction, and this is how Islamic law makes that distinction, as laid out on pages 161-2 of The Book of Jihad:
Rulings Regarding The Enemy POWs:
• The stronger opinion is that the Imam should do what is most beneficial for the Muslims: To execute them, to free them without anything in return, to free them in return of freeing Muslim POWs, to charge for their freedom, or to enslave them.
• The ruling on women and children POWs is that they become slaves by default.
• If a Muslim kills a POW, the Amir has the right to punish him by Ta’zeer (a punishment less than the least punishment of a major sin. Usually it is less than 10 lashes)
• If a man is taken as a POW along with his wife, some scholars say that the marriage contract becomes null while others say it remains. The same is said when the husband alone falls into captivity. But if a woman is taken as a POW, then if she is married, her marriage contract is nullified.
• When children fall into captivity with their parents are they considered Muslim or non-Muslim? The opinion of al Shafi’i, Ahmad, Malik, and Abu Haneefah is that they follow the religion of their parents and are considered non-Muslim. If captured with the father, then Ahmad considers them to be Muslim, while the other three Imams state that they are not. If the children are captured with their mother, then according to Ahmad, they are Muslim. Al Shafi’i and Abu Haneefah say they are not. If the children are captured alone, then according to all the Imams except al Shafi’i, they are Muslim. According to the majority opinion the captured families should not be separated.
In short, there is no distinction between “prisoners of war, which are the IDF troops that were captured, and the civilian Israelis.” If these captives are lucky, and it is a very big if, their children will not be turned into zombified suicide bombers to let loose upon the Jews. It is a long-standing Islamic tradition, from the Balkans then to Nigeria today. If this does not make the necessity of immediately extirpating Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Lion’s Den and all associated with them crystal-clear, then reading it as follows might:
Read, “women and children POWs… become slaves by default,” together with Qur’an 4:24, “And all married women are forbidden unto you, save those captives whom your right hand possess [slaves],” and “If a woman is taken as a POW [i.e., becomes a slave], then if she is married, her marriage contract is nullified,” i.e., she is no longer “forbidden unto you.”
What would a civilised person imagine a jihad manual means when it says “women”? Allow me to disabuse you of whatever you're thinking, dear reader. According to the Sharia manual, Reliance of the Traveller, Book n11.2:
A husband who accuses his wife of adultery is disciplined by the magistrate and not allowed to imprecate against her when her adultery is already legally established… or when the person accused [of adultery] is a mere infant.
I am deeply sorry to say, but somebody needs to say it: the “wise player,” will not “care for them,” especially if they are female, of whatever age. And I am still more sorry to say that Israel has been warned about Islam and jihad over and over and over again, for decades.
In the midst of this horrific outrage, the first people we think of, and rightly so, are those taken captive and their loved ones now fearing for them, and of those who survive the murdered.
When you find a moment, dear reader, perhaps in a few weeks or months, when things are a little more secure, spare a thought for those Cassandras who risked their relationships, reputations and livelihoods for decades, warning that this would happen if Israelis insist on clinging to their illusions of coexistence, on begging for peace with Palestinians, on bearing every outrage to prove what nice, moral people Jews are. Those voices long in the wilderness are hurting too, perhaps more than you would care to grant. Finally, I turn to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a man whose clarity Israel sorely needs at this perilous time:
Jewish politicians and writers, (even Jewish nationalists) considered it their duty to support the autonomist efforts of their enemy, on the ground that autonomy is a sacred cause. …This sort of thing is not morality, it is twaddle.