In the Aftermath of the Hamas Massacre

Essays - October 15, 2023

I will begin this article by stating that I don’t believe that anyone who is at least slightly familiar with Israeli history and the way of dealing with attacks on their own people can have even the smallest doubt that what is to come in the following days and months will fall short of total war that will most likely end with the extinction of Hamas and perhaps other terrorist organisations careless enough to interfere with the Israeli security. In support of this argument, I bring the events of the Munich Olympics massacre, also known as the “Munich Massacre,” a tragic event that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany.

On September 5, 1972, a Palestinian terrorist group called Black September, associated with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), took 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage in the Olympic Village. The terrorists demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and threatened to kill the hostages if their demands were not met. Over the course of the following 20 hours, the world watched in horror as a botched rescue attempt by German authorities resulted in the deaths of all 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. The tragedy sent shockwaves throughout the Olympic community and the world, marking a grim turning point in the history of international sports, where the sanctity of the Olympic Games was brutally violated by political violence.

In the wake of the Munich Massacre, Israel was left deeply traumatized and enraged. The Israeli government, led by then-Prime Minister Golda Meir, was determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. In response to the attack, Israel launched a covert operation called “Operation Wrath of God.” The mission aimed to track down and eliminate those responsible for the Munich Massacre, targeting key figures from the Black September organization. The campaign extended beyond just the immediate perpetrators, as Israel sought to send a clear message that acts of terrorism against its citizens would not go unpunished. The Israeli response, while controversial and sparking debate about the ethics of targeted assassinations, demonstrated the lengths to which a nation was willing to go to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

A little over 50 years ago the whole world saw how far the reaction of the Israeli authorities can go after almost a dozen of their own were killed in a foreign country. Now let us pause for a moment and imagine how far the reaction of Israel will go after 1300 of their own people including the elderly, women, and children were slain on domestic soil, in their homes, on the streets, on the Holiest of Jewish days, The Sabbath.

As of Friday, 13th October, the Israeli Defense Force already sent out an order of evacuation from the North of the Gaza strip to over 1 million Palestinians. This is most likely a precursor of what is to become Israel’s invasion of the contested piece of territory, an invasion that will have as its sole purpose the elimination of even the slightest trace of Hamas activity and the assurance that such a horrible event as that of Saturday past will never happen again.

The tragedy that is unfolding will most likely cause immense suffering for the more than 2 million Palestinians living in the overcrowded stretch of land, who have nowhere to run or hide and are being squeezed inch by inch between Hamas’ fanaticism and Israeli response. As with all wars, the innocent will suffer the most. As with all wars, violence will seed more violence to come. As we have seen in the years past the benefits of technological advancements, the illumination of the human mind with almost limitless access to knowledge has not yet taught us that killing will only result in more killing to come.

The brutal Israeli reaction that is sure to follow, justified as it may be, will not bring solace to a single soul.