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There is No Substitute for an Israeli Victory

From the IDSF website

The Biden administration has not missed an opportunity to remind Israel of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The President has placed this issue at the top of the American agenda. Of course, this crisis must be dealt with, but several facts cannot be ignored. Painful as it may be, one must not overlook the inconvenient fact that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a consequence of an act of Hamas aggression. It is not the result of a natural disaster, such as a tsunami or an earthquake.

We should follow the advice of Yigal Carmon, the founder of MEMRI, who takes the view that one must begin by listening to one’s adversary. So, let us learn from a small sampling. MEMRI television reported that “Mousa Abu Marzouk of the Hamas Political Bureau was asked in a February 22, 2024 interview on Alghad TV [Egypt] if Hamas’s Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades had any expectations regarding the consequences of the October 7 attack. Abu Marzouk said that “nobody in the whole world” could have expected such a “barbaric” response by Israel. He added that no one could have anticipated that the U.S., Britian and other Western countries would unite to wage war against Hamas.” Between the lines, this statement gives away far more information than Abu Marzouk intended. The Jews did not respond according to the Hamas script. Abu Marzouk would have much preferred something like the Hebron massacre of 1929 or the Farhoud in Baghdad of June 1941. In addition, MEMRI has cited “Ghazi Hamad of the Hamas political bureau [who] said in an October 24, 2023 show on LBC TV (Lebanon) that Hamas is prepared to repeat the October 7 ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ Operation time and again until Israel is annihilated…. [The] Palestinians are the victims of the occupation; therefore no one should blame them for the events of October 7 or anything else, adding: “Everything we do is justified.” To understand his state of mind, one need only take a glance at his face. Furthermore, there is a grave moral problem here. If, “Everything we do is justified,” one lives by the principle that the end justifies the means. This is pure Machiavellianism.

There is another problem, which the WSJ reported on February 29, 2024. Yihya Sinwar was reputed to have sent a massage to his followers, “Don’t worry, we have the Israelis right where we want them.” He was betting that “the militant Islamists can achieve a political victory by surviving Israel’s onslaught.” This wisdom comes from the real authority on guerilla warfare, Chairman Mao. Sinwar has defined the meaning of victory for Hamas. Outside observers have remarked that he was out of touch with reality. It is possible that Sinwar has the American policy-wonks right where he wants them, but the Israelis are not as cooperative.

Traditionally, terrorists have been considered to belong to the category of pirates and highwaymen, and dealt with accordingly. However, the international community has shown a willingness to “understand” them. David B. Rivkin and Peter Berkowitz have described “primitive pacifism,” namely, “an increasing willingness of humanitarian organizations to accept morally unacceptable behavior among certain favored groups (WSJ , December 13, 2023), “…. Since World War II humanitarian organizations, led by the International Committee of the Red Cross, have sought to provide special privileges for national liberation movements, an imprecise term that could include Hamas. These organizations have also tried to dilute rules that classify as unlawful enemy combatant fighters who don’t bear arms openly, don’t wear distinctive uniforms, and don’t operate in military organizations that feature well-defined command structure. Those efforts have constrained the military flexibility of law-abiding powers.”

At the same time, there is a secondary but important humanitarian issue, which Hamas intentionally brought upon its own people and for which it must accept responsibility. Recently, more dissenting voices in Gaza have spoken out, and they have defied the threat of death. They understand that Hamas leadership has brought suffering and ruin. Not everyone is glad to serve as a human shield. Many long for food security, decent health care, and the hope of better lives.

If America really wants to bring an end to this human suffering, it should facilitate the surrender of Hamas, rather than making a simple matter complicated. The optics would be much better. Justice must be done and seen to be done. There is a way to move forward. Hamas must first surrender unconditionally and publicly accept defeat. This solution will not please all parties, but it can be defended on moral grounds. The optics would be much better. America again would be viewed as a dependable ally and positive force, not only in Israel but in the entire region.

The article was originally published on Ynetnews

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the movement


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