Cormac McCarthy, one of America’s greatest novelists, died in 2023. His corpus of twelve novels includes No Country for Old Men (2005), which was adapted to critical acclaim as a film two years later.  Alexander Riley, Senior Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), reread the novel along with his fellow students at Bucknell University as part of one his courses. In the January 11 issue of The Federalist, Dr. Riley observed, that “No Country For Old Men Shows Why There Can Be No Compromise With Evil Like Hamas.”

In the novel, Anton Chigurh, one of the main characters, embodies “unmitigated evil.” To get what he the wants in a drug deal gone awry, he murders the innocent along with the guilty. Llewelyn Moss, another main character, “has the opportunity to dispatch abject evil and does not do so.”  Before murdering Llewelyn’s innocent young wife, Chigurh says unemotionally, “You’re asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do.” For “truth and faith,” he has no use; he “pursues only domination.”

Dr. Riley does not mince words when it comes to Hamas. Like Chigurh, they want domination. Indeed, Hamas wishes to exterminate every Israeli down to the last man, woman, and child. Unlike Western media and political elites who can be expected for nuance and excuses to justify Hamas’s actions, Hamas does not cloak their fighters with moralism. “Because the Palestinian people in Gaza selected as their leaders a terrorist gang that has been explicit about their evil designs for decades, a terrorist gang that a majority of Palestinians still support today. Because Hamas did what evil entities can be counted on to do — that is, it deliberately and enthusiastically committed atrocities. And because it promises more atrocities if it is not stopped.”

Irreconcilables prove timeless. Unmitigated evil like Hamas never can be a negotiable option for Israel’s people.