Ex-special forces officer: Oct 7 was Israel’s Pearl Harbor
U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Yinon Weiss (ret.) discusses the key role that the United States has in supporting Israel in its war against Hamas.
A retired special forces veteran who worked closely with the Israeli military says the U.S. government needs to be relentless in its support for the Jewish state amid mounting criticism worldwide.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, retired Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Yinon Weiss, who served for 23 years, including exercises with Israeli Special Operations and special forces units in Israel, says it is imperative that Americans recognize the Oct. 7 attacks as a “Pearl Harbor” moment for Israel.
“Israel views this event as a 9/11-type event, as a Pearl Harbor-type event. And actually, per capita, it’s 10 or 20 times worse than either one of those events,” which is in contrast, Weiss says, to what a lot of Americans view as an escalation of a decades-long, terrorist conflict.
“And so, with those two different perspectives, we have very different views on response and the cost of the response,” he said, adding that the chasm in difference of perspectives stems also from the West’s unfamiliarity with actually winning a war – which Weiss points out has not been done since 1945.
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Retired U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Yinon Weiss (Yinon Weiss)
“When Japan attacked the United States [at] Pearl Harbor, there [was] no real consideration for ‘What would Tokyo look like after this war?’ There [was] no asking for permission from the League of Nations. There [was] no going to other countries and asking for considerations for support. The United States made a decision to declare war on Japan and the war would go [on] until Japan was destroyed,” Weiss said.
“When the United States went to war with Germany. Germany, the Nazi Party, would be destroyed. There wasn’t a hesitation of ‘What would Berlin look like after this war is done?’” he said.
“This is a very difficult concept for, I think, a lot of people in the West to consider because the West has not destroyed an enemy since 1945. Every war the West has engaged in since 1945 has been to eliminate objectives. It’s been for a regime change. It’s been to repel an enemy. It’s been to gain an advantage over an enemy. It has not been to destroy an enemy,” he said.
Weiss noted that his military peers have a mindset that wars can’t be definitively won: “It’s unfortunate to see that we do have generations of Americans that have this mindset that you cannot win a war.”
Weiss explained that, in his view, with the total loss in Israel at the hands of Hamas terrorists being the equivalent to a drug cartel killing 200,000 Americans in a single day, the conflict in Israel against Hamas is a “full-on war” and “nothing short of a full-on victory will be acceptable.”
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Retired U.S. Army Special Forces Lt. Col. Yinon Weiss served for 23 years. (Yinon Weiss)
Weiss said “the best thing that the United States can do is give Israel political top cover” but let Israel fight its own war.
“I would rather see Israel stand on its own, which I believe it can, and fight its enemy on its own and not be restrained by U.S. views that’s tied to aid” along with deterrence to escalation, Weiss said.
The special forces veteran also said he is “sympathetic” to the argument that the U.S. should be secure in its own borders before it sends money to foreign wars.
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An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires a shell from southern Israel toward the Gaza Strip on Nov. 6, 2023. (AP Photo / Ohad Zwigenberg)
“I think the most important thing the United States can do is ensure that as Israel goes into Gaza, and as casualties mount, that the United States adamantly defends Israel’s right to self-defense, that it supports Israel’s right to complete the job that [it] needs to do,” especially as other countries and American lawmakers call for a cease-fire, he said.
As a descendant of Holocaust victims, Weiss has historical context to evaluate the rise in antisemitic rhetoric, especially on elite college campuses across the country.
“My father used to always say that the Holocaust can happen anywhere and Jews can never assume that they’re fully safe. I am not overly surprised by what we’re seeing. I am surprised by how little pushback there is from the organizations that are overseeing these institutions that oversee these demonstrations,” he said, calling out institutions like Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania and other schools for allowing demonstrations on campus that involved calls for violence against Jews.
Hamas terrorists are shown during an anti-Israel military march in Gaza City. (Yousef Masoud / Majority World / Universal Images Group via Getty Images / File)
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“This is really Jews saying, ‘Never again is now,’ meaning that they have been saying, ‘Never again,’ since the Holocaust, and now it feels like the time is here,” Weiss said. “Never again is now; Israel must destroy the enemy in order to deter any other groups to ever again think that they can do what they did on Oct. 7 in Israel.”
Brianna Herlihy is a politics writer for Fox News Digital.