Screaming to be Seen

Dr. Malcolm Cross

Few stories dominate the news more than reports on the war Israel is waging against Hamas in Gaza.  Most of the war-related stories describe either the suffering of Palestinian civilians or nationwide campus protests against the Israeli military actions blamed for Palestinian suffering.  But a new documentary, Screams Before Silence, available for free on Youtube, reminds its viewers of the atrocities inflicted by Hamas against Israel last October 7, and helps explain why Israel believes it must fight with the ferocity attributed to it.

I first read about Screams Before Silence in an article by Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.  The film, produced by Sheryl Sandberg, former chief operating officer of Facebook, combines interviews of released hostages and other survivors of Hamas’s attack on the Nova Film Festival with cell phone recordings of the attack itself and the multiple kidnappings of festival attendees.  The film’s main purpose is to document Hamas-inflicted violence—including kidnappings, rapes of the living, rapes of the dead, and body mutilations–against Israeli women.  Marcus urges her readers to “watch it and speak out, about how rape and gender violence were deployed as weapons of war.   About breasts cut from bodies.  About nails driven into a woman’s vagina.

“About the piercing screams of women being assaulted—and the appalling silence of prominent individuals and organizations, including women and women’s groups, that would ordinarily rush to condemn such atrocities but whose reaction has for some reason been muted when it comes to gender violence deployed against Israeli women.”

It’s this “appalling silence” coupled with Hamas’s pure evil which can help explain Israel’s aggressiveness in its war against Hamas.  Hamas’s attack on 10/7/23 posed the latest existential threat to Israel in a 2000-year-old line of persecutions, purges, pogroms, and death camps with gas chambers.  And the world-wide condemnations of Israel, made with no hint of the atrocities committed by Hamas which started the war in the first place, show Israel is becoming more and more isolated and alone in its fight for survival.  Even the United Sates, historically Israel’s staunchest ally, by urging Israel to seek cease-fires with Hamas, is, in effect, pushing Israel to adopt a course of action which may ultimately prove self-defeating.  Whatever else a cease-fire will accomplish, it will let Hamas rest, regroup, recover, and launch more attacks against Israel when the cease-fire expires, even as support for Israel continues to diminish. No wonder Israel is fighting so hard!  With Israel’s enemies seeking its destruction, and with its friends, no matter how well meaning, urging Israel to accept cease-fires which will only increase Hamas’s ability to destroy it, how else is Israel to survive.

Those who truly care to end the war-related sufferings of the Palestinian people must first of all understand that Hamas, not Israel, is the most responsible for their plight.  It was Hamas, not Israel, which launched the war.  It is Hamas which has hidden among the civilians, thereby making them the center of the war.  Only when Israel secures the surrender or the destruction of Hamas can the fighting stop and the release of humanitarian funds to rebuild Gaza begin.  Screams Before Silence shows the true, and truly pure, evil of Hamas, why Hamas must be destroyed, and why true peace cannot come until Israel does so.

Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville since 1987 and taught politics and government at Tarleton for 36 years, retiring in 2023. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990-2024).  He was Mayor pro-tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Stephenville
Economic Development Authority since 2018 and as chair of the Erath County Appraisal District’s Appraisal Review Board since 2015.  He is also a member of the Stephenville Rotary Club, the Board of Vestry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and the Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts’ Pecan Valley District.  Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.

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