WHATLEY: A time for choosing

NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley

Recently, I had the honor of attending the Republican Jewish Coaltion’s Annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas. At this timely event, we heard of the plight of Jewish Americans whose family members have been murdered, are missing, or are fighting for the very right of Israel, and the Jewish people, to exist at all. They spoke of their sons and daughters, their mothers and fathers, and their brothers and sisters, who have been killed or remain in grave danger. It was an incredibly powerful experience.

The realities on the ground in Israel are not for the faint of heart. Witnesses have described scenes of violence one can only attribute to evil. Throughout the course of human events, there are periods in which the complexity of the civilized world is suddenly reduced to the foundational tenets of humanity and people must decide what they stand for – a time for choosing.

This is one of those times.

It began on October 7, 2023, when armed militants from the terrorist group Hamas launched a multi-pronged surprise terror attack on communities in southern Israel, committing atrocities against innocent Israeli families – the elderly, women, and children – which plumb the depths of human depravity.

While leaders in Israel resolve to protect their people from a war that’s been thrust upon them, they should know that North Carolina, and America, stands with them. Although the weight of this choice is obvious, it is not a difficult one to make.

Israel is one of America’s closest allies. But this special alliance is far more than geopolitical, more than cultural – it’s moral. Israel and the United States of America are built upon a shared foundation of Judeo-Christian values which, in turn, rest upon the very value of human life itself. Humanity’s progress through the ages has been marked by recognition of this eternal truth.

Hamas and those who subscribe to their evil mission reject that truth. They have demonstrated this time and again, culminating in the recent shocking attacks. You don’t have to take my word for it. Hamas makes their genocidal intentions clear in their own charter.

Founding documents are aspirational. While we Americans aspire to the ideal that ‘All Men are Created Equal,’ Hamas’s charter establishes its highest aspiration to be the complete annihilation of Israel, and Jews, “from the river to the sea.” We must acknowledge the reality that the slaughtering of innocent Israeli families the world witnessed on October 7 was the fullest expression of Hamas’ values, not an aberration.

Faced with this binary choice, we must be unequivocal in choosing to stand with those that value life, versus an armed death cult that seeks their destruction.

Although Israelis and Jews should be heartened by the support many Americans have shown for Israel in this dark time, far too many excuses have been made by some regarding the October 7 terror attacks. Too many have had their moral vision obscured by exploitative politics that pit us against each other based on identity. Too many have attempted to rationalize an act which cannot be rationalized.

College students, political activists, even some lawmakers, have made statements and participated in demonstrations that show clearly the choice THEY are making. Sadly, they oppose a democratic society built upon shared Judeo-Christian values, and instead offer credibility and support to movements that worship death and have begun to act upon their aspiration to commit genocide.

The support of Hamas and its evil actions is the antithesis of our American ethos. With antisemitism on the rise worldwide, Israelis and Jews, especially those at home, deserve to know that we stand with them against the enemies of humanity.

Our own history is defined by the fact that Americans do the right thing when it really counts. In this time for choosing, America is called upon once again to be resolute in her defense of the Right Thing. We must reignite the light of our shining city on a hill for all to see, especially as a warning to those depraved souls working to extinguish innocent lives.

May God Bless Israel, the United States of America, and the world.

Michael Whatley is the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and general counsel for the Republican National Committee.