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Oct. 7 was Hamas’ ‘Grossaktion’


Apr 13, 2024

President Biden’s decision to apply pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu to pull back in Gaza before Israel achieves its goal of eradicating Hamas has gifted the terrorist organization with a Nazi-like claim to Oct. 7 as their proud Grossaktion (Great Action).

On Sunday, Oct. 29, 22 days after Hamas’ murderous Shabbat invasion of Israel, I shared with my congregation King David’s passionate plea, “Do not let the pit close its mouth over me” (Psalm 69:15).

That Sunday marked the 82nd anniversary of a day of terror far worse than Oct. 7. The Nazis called Oct. 29, 1941, their Grossaktion (Great Action). On that day, the “mouth of the pit” closed over 10,000 innocent Jews – men, women and children murdered at Ninth Fort in Kaunas, Lithuania.

At Ninth Fort Museum stands a haunting monument to that day of terror. Standing 105 feet high, its angles are cold and jagged, harsh and unpredictable. Erected in 1984, its architect, Lithuanian sculptor Alfonsas Ambraziunas, wrote that it symbolized “pain, sorrow and torture.”

The museum, established by Lithuanians ashamed of the fanatical anti-Semitism that swept over their parents and grandparents, graphically details the horror of Oct. 29.

One can only hope that, two generations hence, descendants of today’s far-left pro-Palestinian protesters similarly will come to regard their ancestors as misled minions, Hamas’ useful idiots.

Perhaps future generations, descendants of today’s Hamas supporters, will imagine and erect museums detailing the horror of Oct. 7. At present, one can but dream of such a shifting tide.

The museum graphically describes how those 10,000 Jews were marched in groups of 400 nearly 2 miles from the Kaunas Ghetto to Ninth Fort. Many elderly, unable to walk, were simply shot on the spot.

What awaited the terrified Lithuanian Jews was no mystery. Terror was not hidden, but on parade. Visibility is the point of terror.

Had cellphones existed in 1941, I can imagine the Nazis acting as did Hamas, using their victim’s phones to post images of their slaughter, making taunting calls to relatives of victims and self-congratulatory calls to their own relatives.

Nazi soldiers had their own version of such evil, mocking the Jews on the way to the pits, laughing at them to consider their path “Himmelweg” (the Way to Heaven).

As each cluster of 400 were being executed, those nearing the end of their own march, hearing the shots, braced for the inevitable.

Reaching Ninth Fort, they were crammed into 14 deep pits, dug in advance as mass graves. Each new set of 400 were guided to stand atop the dead and dying, knowing that their own bodies, minutes later, would add yet another layer to the pit’s gruesome pile.

If any were reciting Psalm 69, “Do not let the pit close its mouth over me,” the prayer went unanswered, the mouth of the pit closing over 10,000 Jews on Oct. 29, 1941.

The pits were not yet full. In those pits now are the bones of over 45,000 Jews, as the slaughter continued throughout World War II, until total defeat of the Nazis.

After liberation by the Allied forces, some of the Lithuanian defendants’ testimonies (many, but not all, participated in the Nazi atrocities) deeply regretted their actions, describing how they had been consumed with anti-Semitic radicalism.

I am saddened, yet hardly surprised, at the rising tide of anti-Semitism in America and the West, duped pro-Palestinian supporters of Hamas curiously unaware that Hamas would gladly slaughter them for the leftist/progressive causes dear to their hearts.

I told my congregation Oct. 29 that, while heartened by the support of the Biden administration for Israel’s clearly justified declaration of war to eliminate Hamas, it would only be a matter of weeks or months before the administration would embrace the obscene rhetoric of a thoroughly anti-Israel United Nations.

As Joe now bows to Jill’s “Stop it, stop it now, Joe” command, desperately needing and eagerly pursuing the votes of the “Death to America, Death to Israel” crowd in Michigan’s Dearborn, Hamas wins the right to call Oct. 7 its Grossaktion (Great Action).

Israel, whose action against Hamas was an “Ein Breira” (No Choice, No Alternative) war, now will have to change course from its objectives, however much they must pretend not to have abandoned their goals.

Hamas knew it would win, eventually, if they made certain that enough of their own children and innocents were in the line of fire. The more dead, the better for their aspirations of winning the all-important PR war. The more collateral damage, the better, a successful formula capped by the tragic attack on the World Central Kitchen caravan, assuring Hamas the opportunity to reload and attack again, which their leaders have vowed to do without ceasing.

What was true on Day 1 of the conflict remains true, that every civilian death in Gaza should be regarded as a victim not of Israel, but of Hamas. While Israel has sought to minimize civilian casualties, putting their own soldiers at risk to do so, to achieve total success in minimizing civilian casualties was never possible. Hamas made certain of that, fighting from behind its most vulnerable.

From the beginning, the only way to avoid civilian casualties was Hamas’ unconditional surrender and release of all hostages. That was never going to happen.

Unlike World War II, when Germany, then Japan, surrendered to prevent further carnage among its civilians (America then, unlike now, had no qualms about the amount of human carnage necessary to achieve victory), Hamas cares little for preserving innocent life among its own.

Hamas has only one crusade, the elimination of Israel. Compliments of Joe Biden, Hamas can now claim Oct. 7 as its Grossaktion.

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