- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2024

JERUSALEM — Since Oct. 7, about 80,000 Israelis have been displaced by Hezbollah from their northern Israel homes, and they’re now watching from the comparative safety of Jerusalem-area hotels and temporary apartments as the terrorists continue to shell their communities — their houses — their familial roots. Soon enough, their homes will be completely ruined and it won’t make sense to return. And then the terrorists will claim a win.

These 80,000 have become refugees in their own country.

What’s more, there are another 120,000 or so from the southern portion of Israel — 200,000 in total of Jewish families who’ve been forced to evacuate their homes and communities because of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror strike. The news, the international community, the antisemites on America’s college campuses, the White House continue to hammer at Israel to stop the fighting, to cease the attacks, to stop and cease all further advancements into Gaza against Hamas because too many Palestinian so-called innocents are dying of starvation. That’s sad; it’s always tragic when innocents needlessly die. But what’s happening to the Palestinian people is a tragedy of their own making. Hamas was a duly elected body; the Palestinians put a terror group at the forefront of politics and head-patted it toward Oct. 7.

The Palestinian people, by and large, have only themselves to blame for any suffering they’re currently experiencing from Israel’s IDF. War is hell, so the saying goes.

The real innocents are the Jewish people who’ve now been completely uprooted from their homes because of Hamas, and now, because of Hezbollah. What of these 200,000 from points north and south in Israel?

What of these 80,000 from the border with Lebanon?

For months, they’ve been crammed into hotels, whole families with children living uncomfortably close in rooms meant for overnight stays, meant for tourists, meant for short-term respites, but definitely not meant for raising young kids with energy to burn and no place to play. Just recently, Israel’s government stepped in and offered to pay for the families to live in an apartment for a time — until they could go home. But ask when that is, and it’s crickets.

“They don’t know,” said one displaced Shlomi resident, during a Purim celebration at a hotel in Jerusalem. 

Shlomi, located in northern Israel just a few minutes drive from the border with Lebanon, used to be home to about 7,400. But the community is deserted. In the days that followed Oct. 7, Hezbollah terrorists began an air assault against the border communities of such intensity that fleeing was the safest course of action.

They’ve been stranded ever since.

For the first time since the evacuation, members of the Shlomi met for Purim, a celebration that’s taken from the Book of Esther in the Bible where the Jews were targeted for eradication but overcame, and then their main antagonist was treated to the same death he had plotted for the Jews. It’s a story of God’s protection of His chosen people. And it’s a celebration that went forth with vigor in Israel these past days, despite the war, despite the hostage situation, despite the pressures of an international community and sadly, an American political force — the Democrats, mostly — that doesn’t think the Jewish nation has the right to defend itself from its enemies in a manner that utterly reduces its enemies to ashes. 

But look what happened in Esther.

It’s despicable for President Joe Biden and his White House team to call for Israel to cancel its attacks on Hamas, and believe the very terrorist group that launched the Oct. 7 assault is now trustworthy and will follow terms of a peace treaty. The only solution for Israel to keep its citizens free is to keep up the attacks on the terrorists until all the terrorists are dead. It’s sad to see Palestinians die, to see Palestinian people flee the war and watch as their homes are trampled or destroyed, and all their possessions lost forever more.

But it’s sadder to see the same happen to innocents.

And in this war of Israel versus the terrorists, it’s Hamas and their Palestinian backers who are guilty.

There shouldn’t be 80,000 Israelis from Northern Israel living as homeless refugees right now. It’s their country. It’s their home. The powers of the world ought to acknowledge that and stop emboldening the terrorists who want to kill the Jews, seize their lands and destroy their nation.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide