Shaun Kenny | The Republican Standard
In the single greatest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust, State Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) blames Israel.
What you see here is reality in the Holy Land, specifically rockets fired by Hamas in Beit Lahia without warning (right) intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome near Ashkelon (left) the last time Hamas attacked Israeli citizens.
When Hamas fires rockets, they target Israeli citizens indiscriminately. When the IDF responds, they warn their targets, clear the buildings of civilians by contacting them via cell and warning others… and then fire their rockets. Over the next few weeks, this will be the very real distinction between the good guys and the bad guys in Gaza — and don’t ever forget it.
Yet there is a wider question at play here. How long would any American tolerate living as Israelis must from day to day? Why should any Israeli be expected to tolerate that? How many Jewish lives is that worth?
Apparently to Democratic State Senator Scott Surovell, about 800.
Scott Surovell: RESIGN.
There is nothing more despicable than arguing that 800 dead Jews deserved what was coming to them.
Yet State Senator Scott Surovell didn’t shy away from precisely that sentiment in the wake of the Hamas attack on civilians yesterday:
I’m sorry — that’s disgusting.
Playing whataboutism isn’t going to get folks any traction after the single greatest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust.
This rationale being used out there the equivalent of “if she didn’t want it she shouldn’t have been wearing that dress” is the same lowlife rationale we heard after 9/11 regarding America. Other calls online repeat the line “this is what decolonization looks like” as if to justify Palestinian Arab violence.
Go tell that to the families.
Yet this sort of anti-Semitism has both roots and consequences. Virginia Democrats routinely walk off the floor of the House of Delegates when Republicans offer resolutions supporting Israel.
If Scott Surovell had a conscience, he would offer his resignation to the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus right now. Yet as we see presently, not a single Virginia Democrat has condemned Surovell’s statement. Not a single Virginia Democratic elected official has condemned his sentiment.
At least now we see why — and I wouldn’t trust that sort of person with elected office.
Gaza Conflict Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better
As of this moment, there are over 800 dead civilians — nine of whom are Americans — and nearly 3,000 wounded after Hamas attacked Israelis settlements along the border of the Gaza Strip.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this attack was directed by the Iranian government, ostensibly in the wake of an impending Israeli-Saudi security agreement.
What we are seeing here is an extension of the Iranian-Saudi proxy war which has embroiled Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and other parts of the world. Iran simply played an ace card. With over 100,000 IDF soldiers massed along the Gaza border, Egypt is warning the Israelis that any incursion will bring Hezbollah into the conflict. Not only does Hezbollah have 150,000 rockets aimed at northern Israel and the capacity to target both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the IDF is rumored to have depleted its 155mm artillery to about 80% of its capacity — all in support of Ukraine and at the expense of its own national security.
The latest facts on the ground from WarMapper show just how deep the incursions have been:
Calls for a cease fire from the US State Department have fallen on deaf ears — tone deaf calls typically do.
Israel ceases; Hamas fires.
Just in case anyone needs to evaluate who the good guys are in this conflict, Hamas will use their own children as they take on and engage the IDF, with fathers using the shoulders of their sons to prop up their firearms knowing the IDF will not shoot back. Now imagine for a moment if the IDF used the shoulders of their sons to prop up their rifles — would Hamas hesitate to kill them both? Yet the Israelis play by different rules.
And that is how you know the bad guys from the good guys.
Biden’s Failures Continue to Impact Virginia’s Elections
So now we have four consecutive foreign policy failures, about to be compounded by a fifth:
The Russian invasion of Ukraine
Chinese posturing near Taiwan
An impending US withdrawal from Kurdistan?
Most aren’t aware of the fifth, but with the Biden administration failing to make necessary upgrades to our installations in northern Iraq, the writing is on the wall — we are about to abandon our allies yet again.
Gasoline is at $3.50/gal in most parts of Virginia. Virginia Republicans are looking at a 22-18 State Senate and a 55 seat majority in the House of Delegates.
That is, as of right now.
With Democrats actually bemoaning the lack of a government shutdown — and who roots against America like that, seriously? — and certain key races being pulled off the DLCC list in Fredericksburg and Hampton Roads, the question at present may come down to whether or not Virginia Democrats are heading for a mere loss in November, or whether or not Virginians en masse publicly express their dissatisfaction at a Biden administration which is openly failing America’s international standing and risking American prestige abroad.
The anger is real among Republicans and independents, and if things get worse over the next few weeks in October — and they undoubtedly will — then the decision to support Israel over Ukraine will become politically charged. Americans still have not forgiven Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan; refusing to back Israel with as much if not more enthusiasm than Ukraine will be viewed as a betrayal of the sole functioning democracy in the Middle East.
Could Democrats Let the Bodies Get Cold First Before Trying to Make Political Hay?
In crisis situations, we work the problem — not the people.
Unfortunately, the Democrats have been trying just about every possible angle to regain the narrative here by attacking Netanyahu, by blaming the Jews for their own predicament (disgusting), or by arguing that you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet — decolonization ain’t pretty.
All of this is readily available on Twitter for anyone to see. Yet there’s a certain curiosity at work here — namely what would have worked for the left just one year ago in controlling the narrative isn’t working today.
The present efforts to “turn” the narrative are just plain opportunistic. Hamas killing Jews has nothing to do with the internal politics of Israel’s judiciary, nor does it have anything to do with the leftist fever dream over January 6th. Nor is does the bad behavior of others justify Hamas’ brutal and violent assault on innocent civilian life — in again, what was the single greatest loss of Jewish lives since the Holocaust.
Democrats need to set down their attempts to deflect and gain position on this. Republicans need to appreciate the gravity of this situation. All sides — as Americans — need to understand that the potential loss of life here could go into the tends if not hundreds of thousands. June 1914 and October 2023 must not go down in the books as repeats of history.
At present, there is only one narrative — and one choice — for the United States.
Will we back Israel as they prevent Hamas from ever doing this again? Civilian casualties are a given. Nine Americans have already been killed. Do we send a message to our enemies that American lives can be destroyed cheaply and without consequence? More bluntly, will we return to a stable world order? Or will we continue to engage in neoconservative crusades for democracy overseas in the hopes of reforging the post-Second World War peace?
During Roman times, the words Civis Romanus Sum were enough to give pause to Rome’s enemies. Rome’s counterinsurgency strategy consisted of what Tacitus wrote about in his Agricola, namely they created a desolation and called it peace. Rome would send entire legions in the face of an affront, once famously annexing Armenia after they made the mistake of killing their Roman ambassadors.
This sentiment carried forward as the Romans became Byzantines, with her citizens as extensions of the Body of Christ — and just as the whole body would react if a finger or a toe were harmed, so too would the state. This Levantine understanding of community and polity hasn’t disappeared. In fact, it is a stark reality in the Middle East and even the Russian Federation where Byzantine statecraft was adopted.
We Invite What We Subsidize
The Israelis will react with the full force of the polity, just as we might if we were stung or dropped a hammer on a finger. I suspect that 20 years ago, the words “I am an American citizen” gave people pause, knowing that if you harmed Americans we would spend trillions of dollars in a War on Terrorism to hunt you down to the ends of the earth.
Our enemies used to know this, but they are testing that resolve by punching through our allies and security agreements: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and coming to a newspaper near you, Kurdistan.
Does this Biden administration have the gravitas to protect and defend American interests abroad? American citizens abroad? Or are they sending a message that American resolve is something they can bargain?
In which case, we invite what we subsidize. For one, I am tired of subsidizing weakness in the face of violence, cowardice in the face of evil, and refusing to do what is right because it is difficult.
Either we back Israel now, or we invite this sort of violence to an America near you. Some of us have forgotten. Others never forgot — and never will.
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.
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