Israel cannot be erased from the map

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT - Atty. Ruphil Bañoc - The Freeman

Israel is just 75 years old as a state as declared and acknowledged by the United Nations. Our country, the Philippines, is much older than Israel as a state. Our nation was one of the states that voted for the establishment of Israel in 1948.

Does this mean that there was no Israel before 1948? Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims the Jewish people have been there in Israel for more than 3,500 years. They are the indigenous people in the Holy Land.

He explained that there is countless archeological evidence as proof to that effect. Also, the Bible is living proof that Jews have been there for many centuries.

If we try to understand further and relate to our own experiences, it is not hard to know that the Jewish people have existed in the land of Israel.

They have been through a lot of trials in their lives. They were under Egypt, and Babylon captured them under the Roman Empire during the time of Jesus Christ. The Roman soldiers were the ones who executed the order of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to kill Jesus Christ on the cross.

In modern history, they were persecuted and ordered killed by Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust. More than six million Jews were killed. They did not fight, but they were slaughtered like sheep. Hitler obsessively hated the Jews.

That persecution did not stop there. Until now, terrorist organization Hamas wants to kill all the Jews, as stated in their charter. They want to obliterate the State of Israel from the map. They and their sympathizers have not acknowledged the existence of Israel.

They made a surprise attack on October 7 in Israel. They murdered civilians, babies, and Holocaust survivors. They kidnapped civilians and brought them to Gaza. This triggered Israel to declare war against Hamas.

Now that Hamas terrorists are almost cornered by the Israel Defense Force (IDF), they are begging for a ceasefire. This call was echoed by some Hamas sympathizers around the world through rallies conducted.

Israel did not listen to the clamor because a ceasefire could only give Hamas a chance to regroup and attack Israel again. Israel is focused on its objectives: To dismantle Hamas' military capability and to bring back home the hostages.

In the latest development, Hamas offered Israel a deal that they are willing to release at least 50 hostages in exchange for a four-day ceasefire. Israel discussed the agreement, and its Cabinet agreed. Each day extension of the ceasefire will require Hamas to release an additional 10 hostages.

Some read this as a sign that Hamas is already at the losing end of the war. Their sympathizers, the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen, have not effectively rescued them from their difficult situation.

It can be recalled that at the very moment Hamas attacked Israel, many were shocked and even questioned the military intelligence of the country. After all, Israel is known to have the best army in the world. The shock was only short-lived because this battle-tested country has once again shown to the world it cannot be defeated.

With this development, Israel cannot be obliterated from the map.

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