I didn’t expect to write a post today, since I returned home from a trip two days ago. But I must say something after Hamas’ inhumane attack on Israel last Saturday.

Carolyn’s and my trip began with a two-night stay in Niagara Falls on the Ontario (Canadian) side. Our hotel offered fabulous views of both the American and Canadian falls plus fireworks.

All that water pouring over the falls—3,160 tons per second—provided us with a first-hand look at one of nature’s great wonders. It also offered a powerful metaphor for the hatred that fomented another horrible war that Israel and Jews globally now face.

Note that in 2005, prime minister Ariel Sharon pulled Israel out of the Gaza Strip. It had been captured from Egypt during the 1967 Six-Day War. In June 2007, Hamas violently wrested control of Gaza from Fatah, the party that continues to administer (as it can) the West Bank. Hamas’ hatred of Israel turned an opportunity for Gazans to build a prosperous society into one of endless suffering.

The Niagara Falls–Hamas connection: Water from the Niagara River, the peaceful border between New York State and Ontario, flows ceaselessly through the Niagara Gorge after originating in the Great Lakes. 

Hatred flows endlessly from Hamas based on its 1988 charter, still in effect. Article 7 includes a quote from the Quran (translation:

[Text]: “Moreover, if the links have been distant from each other and if obstacles, placed by those who are the lackeys of Zionism in the way of the fighters obstructed the continuation of the struggle, the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

[Quran]: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say, “O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” 

Let’s be clear: The Hamas charter advocates the destruction of Israel, not a two-state solution. The operative word remains not peace but conquest

In July 2019, senior Hamas official Fathi Hammad urged Palestinians around the world: “You have Jews everywhere and we must attack every Jew on the globe by way of slaughter and killing, if God permits.” ( 

In 2017, Hamza Bin Laden, son of Osama Bin Laden, restated his father’s theme: “We have to look for Jewish infidels everywhere. If you cannot carry out attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories, you must look for the Jews wherever they are, in Europe, the United States, and anywhere else in the world.” (

Police will be present when I go to my synagogue tonight. 

Perhaps Israel will have entered Gaza by the time you read this. Perhaps tomorrow or the day after. I see no glory in the carnage to come. I also accept that hatred will continue to flow and cannot be stopped by bombs and bullets alone. Israel, sadly, is left with no choice. 

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  1. Sandy Lipkowitz on October 13, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    Israel is dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t. This time Israel has to be damed if they do, to save Israeli lives. It’s Hamas’ responsibility to save the lives of the Gaza people. So far, they have only endangered their own people with their hatred. No one wants to see innocent children harmed in Gaza except for Hamas. Their hatred of Israel takes precedence over the lives of their own children. Very sad. No one wins. Everyone loses.

    • David Perlstein on October 13, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      Sandy, the loss of Palestinian life is part of the Hamas plan. It rouses those opposed to Israel’s existence and antisemites (some overlap there) to greater hatred of Israel. And Jews. Hamas’ disregard for Palestinian life represents a heartless approach to the situation, since Gaza could have become a thriving community.

  2. David Newman on October 13, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Sigh. There is an actual reality here. In this little sliver of land that is Israel/Palestine, there are Jews and there are Palestinians. Both have legitimate historic claims to the land, and neither is going away. Anyone who believes that the land can be emptied of either Jews or Arabs is indulging in a fantasy that is either impossible or inhumane or unstable. The only real solution is two states, and the zealots on both sides simply won’t let that happen. It’s the innocent on both sides who will continue to pay the price.

    • David Perlstein on October 13, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      I fear that the price, David, will escalate.

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