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Image courtesy of Rabbis for Religious Freedom

The sprawling surprise attack and horrific massacre of hundreds of settlers on Israeli border settlement villages near the Gaza Strip in Israel by Hamas terrorists has shocked the world by its viciousness and complete violation of humanity.

Across dozens of villages, and on the site of a music festival filled with thousands of celebrating young adults, the numbers of dead and injured are still being counted.

Already the count is more than 1,800 are dead, including 14 Americans and many, many dual citizens of several countries. This is the worst massacre of Jewish life since the holocaust orchestrated by the Nazis.

A still unknown number, more than 100 have been kidnapped; hostages cross generations of families – grandparents, parents, teens, little children — all kidnapped and taken into the Gaza Strip. Israeli and U.S. government officials are reporting that women have been raped before being murdered and children have been decapitated. Israelis were murdered and their deaths have been live-streamed on social media.

Over the last 48 hours, Israel has been working to secure its territorial boundaries and is sending rockets into the humanity of the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas, where those walled in have nowhere to go.

Comments from officials are coming in:

President Joe Biden — “There are moments in this world when pure, unadulterated evil is released … Hamas is violating every code of human morality.”

He added that “this is ISYS-level terrorism” and reiterated several times during his comments this afternoon that the U.S. support of Israel is “unshakable.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides — “I think it’s been very clear. The President has been abundantly clear that we stand by the state of Israel – that we stand by the state of Israel and we have Israel’s back.”

U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper — “We stand firmly with Israel and support Israelis’ right to defend themselves. Hamas is an Iranian-backed terrorist organization that does not speak for all Palestinians. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is both tragic and complex. We denounce Hamas and its terror tactics, including hostage-taking and the massacre of civilians,” he added. “We must find solutions while always condemning the killing of innocent people.”

“The Senator is not anti-Palestine, he is anti-terrorism,” added his Central Colorado Regional Liaison Janeth Stancle.

Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker – “The U.S. has been trying on this for decades, it seems like every time progress is going to be made, this time the progress between Saudis and Israelis … then something like this derails the Mideast peace process. Israel has a right to exist, Israel has a right to defend itself. A lot of us have friends and relatives who are Islamic people, Palestinians, and Arabs. No false equivalency there — terrorism and the dreadful acts the Hamas militants are committing cannot be condoned.”

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan: “They have no regard for innocent lives,” he said, talking not about the Palestinian people, but about Hamas. “They don’t care who dies and use the Islamic banner when they’re not at all Islamic.”

It goes without saying that terrorism by definition is aimed at civilian populations. Whether it is domestic, regional, or international terrorism, and regardless of the ideological hocus-pocus terrorists espouse, its goal is violence, intimidation, chaos, power, and control.