Why Did Cain Kill Abel?

The Bible scholar Ronald Hendel analyzes the tale of the first murder:

In the biblical story, Cain has several motives for murdering his brother Abel. The most obvious motive is jealousy that God accepted Abel’s offering over Cain’s. But this is more than simple envy: as the firstborn son, Cain holds legitimate authority over his younger brother. . . .

Cain . . . is the family’s firstborn son, offering his sacrifice first. And by the normal rule of family authority, his sacrifice should be accepted first. But it isn’t—God defies expectations and accepts only the younger son’s offering. . . . The normal hierarchy of the firstborn and younger child is turned upside down.

Read more at Bible Odyssey

More about: Cain and Abel, Genesis, Hebrew Bible, Religion & Holidays

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict