Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invoked the Old Testament fight his ancestors had with the tribe of Amalek to pledge his nation would stand firm against Hamas terrorists.
“You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. We do remember and we are fighting,” Netanyahu said in an address Saturday.
“Our brave troops and combatants who are now in Gaza or around Gaza and in all other regions in Israel are joining this chain of Jewish heroes, a chain that has started 3,000 years ago from Joshua ben Nun until the heroes of 1948, the Six-Day War, the ’73 October War and all other wars in this country,” he said.
“Our hero troops have one supreme main goal, to completely defeat the murderous enemy and to guarantee our existence in this country. We’ve always said never again. Never again is now,” Netanyahu said.
The first mention of Amalek fighting against the Israelites in the Bible is in Exodus 17:8-16 just after God freed them from Egyptian slavery.
Scholars believe the Exodus from Egypt happened around 1300 B.C.
Israelis came together under the leadership of Joshua, as Moses watched over the battle from the high ground above, and routed the Amalekites at Rephidim on the Sinai Peninsula.
The Amalekites burned the village to the ground and took all the women and children captive, according to 1 Samuel 30.
David’s men wanted to stone him for allowing the catastrophe to happen, but he was able to rally them to pursue and overtake the Amalekites, and they killed most of the invaders.
1 Samuel 30:18-20 records, “David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken. David brought back all.
“David also captured all the flocks and herds, and the people drove the livestock before him, and said, ‘This is David’s spoil.'”
So he recovered all the Amalekites had taken and more. Soon thereafter, David would be chosen king of Israel.
It’s not surprising Netanyahu would draw the parallel between Hamas and the Amalekites, given the tactics the terrorists used to attack the most vulnerable Israelis, killing 1,400 people on Oct. 7 and taking hundreds hostage.
The prime minister is no doubt hoping they will be able to recover all those captives.
Some accused Netanyahu of calling for a genocide of the Palestinians by referencing Amalek, citing God’s instructions to King Saul found in 1 Samuel 15 to wipe them all out, man and woman, boy and girl.
However, Breitbart’s Joel Pollack, who is Jewish, corrected this notion Saturday, saying in a post on X that the prime minister specifically quoted Deuteronomy 25:17: “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt.”
“No particular group today is ‘Amalek’ but it is a familiar Jewish idea to fight those who, like the Nazis and Hamas, attack the most vulnerable,” Pollak said.
This is a misquote of @Netanyahu.
He specifically quoted Deuteronomy 25:17, not Samuel.
Here’s the Biblical quote in full context.
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) October 28, 2023
The proof that Netanyahu was not calling for genocide is that the Israeli Defense Forces have directed all noncombatants to leave northern Gaza where the fighting is taking place and allowed aid trucks into the southern part of Gaza.
On Monday, the prime minister rejected calls for a cease-fire.
“Just as the United States would not agree to a cease-fire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of Oct. 7,” Netanyahu said.
? BREAKING: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: “Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11. Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October… pic.twitter.com/60DGprRdZs
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 30, 2023
“The Bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war,” he said, referencing Ecclesiastes 3. “This is a time for war, a war for our common future. Today, we draw a line between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism.
“It is a time for everyone to decide where they stand. Israel will stand against the forces of barbarism until victory.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.