Another Grievous War

This is likely to be a sad war, garnering Israel too little world-wide support due to withering media distortion and imbalance. Here’s a fair summary, I would claim, of  many (not all—other issues certainly could be addressed) of the salient strategy approaches undertaken by Hamas.

The Region: Hamas’s strategy: The rockets or the media

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Talkbacks for this article: 13

Nothing is clearer than Hamas’s strategy. It gives Israel the choice between rockets and media, and Hamas thinks it is a situation of “we win or you lose.”

The cease-fire

Hamas ends a cease-fire giving it the peace and quiet it needs to build up its army and consolidate its rule over the Gaza Strip. Israel would deliver supplies as long as there weren’t attacks. From a Western-style pragmatic standpoint, this is a great situation.

But Hamas isn’t a Western-style pragmatic organization. Peace and quiet is its enemy not only because of its ideology – the deity commands it to destroy Israel – or its self-image as heroic martyrs, but also because battle is needed to recruit the masses for permanent war and unite the population around it.

Hamas has no program of improving the well-being of the people or educating children to be doctors, teachers and engineers. Its platform has but one plank: war, war, endless war, sacrifice, heroism and martyrdom until total victory is achieved.

Thus, it ends the cease-fire.

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The rockets

And so Hamas ends the cease-fire and rains rockets down on Israel, accompanied by mortars and the occasional attempt at a cross-border ground attack. Israel does nothing.

Hamas crows: You are weak, you are confused, you are helpless. Come, people, arise and destroy the paper tiger! And so more people are recruited, West Bank Palestinians look on with admiration at those fighting the enemy, and the Arabic-speaking world is impressed.

Remember 2006, they say. It is just like Hizbullah.

Israel is helpless against the rockets. Why don’t our governments fight Israel? Let’s overthrow them and bring brave, fighting Islamist governments to power.

The media

But then Israel does fight back. Its planes bomb military targets which have been deliberately put amid civilians. If there is a high danger of hitting civilians, Israel doesn’t attack. But there is a line below which risk that will be taken, and rightly so.

The smug smiles are wiped off the faces of Hamas leaders. Yet they have one more weapon, their reserves. They call up the media.

Those arrogant, heroic, macho victors of yesterday – literally yesterday as the process takes only a few hours – are transformed into pitiful victims. Casualty figures are announced by Hamas, and accepted by reporters who are not on the spot. Everyone hit is, of course, a civilian. No soldiers here.

And the casualties are disproportionate: Hamas has arranged it that way. If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.

YET THERE is a problem here. Rockets and mortars may win wars; newspaper articles really don’t. Of course, too, material damage is inflicted that sets back Gaza’s material development.

Hamas doesn’t care about that, but by acting in a way to ensure the destruction of its material base, Hamas does weaken itself. Precisely because Israeli attacks are focussed on military targets, Hamas is weakened.

Conclusion: The problem with no solution.

OF COURSE, Israel does not win a complete victory. Hamas does not fall. The problem is not gone. For Hamas will define survival as victory. Hamas, like the PLO before it, wins one “victory” after another and always ends up worse off.

The conflict will be back, however it ends this round, on whatever day it ends. Quiet will return, the supplies will flow back into Gaza. And so many months in the future the process will be repeated.

There is, however, an important difference. Israel uses its time not only for military preparations but to educate its children, build its infrastructure, raise its living standards. Hamas doesn’t.

“We believe in death,” Hamas says, “You believe in life.” Sometimes you get what you wish for.

The writer is director of Global Research in International Affairs. http://www.gloriacenter.org

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One response to “Another Grievous War

  1. A boat load of lunatics tried to sail a private yacht into Gaza under the pretense of delivering medical supplies. They were turned back by the Israeli Navy. The boats collided during the encounter. However, the damage was light. Unfortunately, head Moonbat, former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, did not fall overboard during the encounter.

    Far-Left Hamas Supporters Coming to Gaza by Sea

    by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

    (IsraelNN.com) Free Gaza, a far-left organization offering support to the jihadist Hamas government in the Palestinian Authority, sent a ship on Monday to defy the Israeli sea blockade on Gaza. Despite the major IDF military operation underway, sixteen Free Gaza activists, including a former member of the US Congress, are on their way to the region.

    The ship, a yacht, left from Cyprus this evening carrying Free Gaza supporters from Britain, Australia, Ireland, Cyprus and Tunisia, as well as former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Free Gaza spokesmen told the press before they set off that their ship is carrying three and a half tons of medical supplies, including antibiotics. The yacht is the sixth of its kind sent to Gaza by the organization in four months.

    A Cypriot doctor on board the ship said that they are sending a message to PA residents that “they are not alone.” McKinney said that she intends to call on American President-elect Barack Obama to condemn Israel’s Operation “Cast Lead” against the jihadist regime in Gaza. Link here. The Intellectual Redneck

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