Might the Past Be Prologue?

S M Chen
3 min readDec 2, 2023

After a relatively short (7 day) and fragile cease-fire, during which time hostages were released on both sides, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and Hamas are at it again.

IDF is determined to eradicate Hamas.

Israel is claiming Hamas violated the terms of the cease-fire.

The truth may never be known.

Pexels. Free use

Hamas, after launching a surprise attack on October 7, which resulted in 1200 deaths and taking of about 240 hostages, must have anticipated this moment.

My understanding of their cause is members are prepared to die for it.

They are that fervent.

The IDF’s attention, this time, is directed toward southern Gaza, where they suspect Hamas leaders are hiding, perhaps among the Palestinians, whom they don’t necessarily speak for.

They may speak for some (perhaps the more militant), but not all.

I find it curious that no Arab nation has welcomed Palestinian refugees with open arms.

They seem to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

In Biblical times, some besieging armies had an interesting solution to this potentially vexing problem.

“Give us the men we seek,” they said to the city fathers of a besieged city, “Or you all face destruction. Your entire city. We will raze it to the ground. Your men will all die.”

Or something akin to that.

The inhabitants of the city contemplated the matter, looked about them and decided discretion was the better part of valor.

No one was coming to save them.

Perhaps the notion of a champion — like Goliath — fighting the best of the Israelites, winner take all, did not occur to them.

They did not seem in a position to suggest that, in any event.

So they killed those sought and threw their bodies over the city walls and lived to tell their story another day, perhaps to their offspring or to the offspring of their offspring.

I don’t know what transpired in the brief moments before those given individuals were killed.