How the Left Helped Hamas Win

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Five years after the attack that captured Gilad Shalit, Hamas, the Islamic terrorist organization responsible, has finally won. The release of over a 1,000 terrorists in exchange for the captured Israeli soldier will turn experienced terrorists loose to participate in the next round of attack and train the next generation of terrorists.

However, the real victory belongs not to Hamas, but to its radical leftist partners. When Israel tried to isolate Hamas with a blockade, it was the international Left that did everything it could to break the blockade while spreading Hamas propaganda about starving children.

When Israel tried to take military action against Hamas, the Left threw together anti-war protests and compared the Jewish state to Nazi Germany. Code Pink met with Hamas leaders, and Viva Palestina brought money directly to Hamas. Left-wing clergy joined in a fast for Gaza and left-wing writers like Alice Walker and Henning Mankell boarded the Gaza flotilla.

While the Left tried to avoid using the word “Hamas” in their Gaza campaigns, just as they had avoided using “Saddam” in their Iraq campaigns, they were still working on behalf of a ruthless terrorist organization. Hamas pretended to be a social services agency and its leftist allies pretended they were concerned with humanitarian aid, but their true common goal was the destruction of Israel.

The Left kept Hamas from being isolated, gave it money and acted as its diplomatic corps, eroding Israel’s leverage and increasing Hamas’ standing. When the Left and its Egyptian mothership organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, joined forces to overthrow Mubarak, with Obama’s backing, that opened the door to Gaza. And it eliminated the remainder of Israel’s leverage.

In his book, “Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists,” Netanyahu wrote, “Among the most important policies which must be adopted in the face of terrorism is the refusal to release convicted terrorists from prisons. This is a mistake that Israel, once the leader in anti-terror techniques, has made over and over again.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu is being rightly criticized for surrendering to Hamas, but he is well aware of the points that his critics are making. He has made them numerous times.

Release of convicted terrorists before they have served their full sentences seems like an easy and tempting way of defusing blackmail situations in which innocent people may lose their lives.  But its utility is momentary at best. Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the kind of terrorist blackmail which they are supposed to diffuse….only the most unrelenting refusal to ever give in to such blackmail can prevent most such situations from arising.

And Hamas has already stated that Gilad Shalit “will not be the last solider kidnapped.”

Why then did Netanyahu make the deal? Because the Left had drastically limited his options. Even while the international Left and portions of the Israeli Left were campaigning against any isolation of Gaza, his domestic left-wing opposition was running an aggressive Free Gilad Shalit campaign that accused Netanyahu, rather than Hamas, of keeping Shalit locked up.

Gilad Shalit became the unwitting symbol of a movement that had demanded a withdrawal from Gaza to save the lives of soldiers, and was now campaigning to release terrorists to save the life of a soldier who was only in captivity because of their withdrawal. After five years another installment of their policies is being paid for in blood.

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  • Alvaro

    I can't believe the Israelis agreed to free that many convicted thugs and terrorists in exchange for one soldier. It will only embolden the terrorists, who see this as Israeli weakness. And they will soon start looking for new Israeli soldiers to abduct.

    Just play tough and don't mind the political left. They will hate you as long as you breathe anyway.

  • montlasky

    "All for one and one for all" is a wonderful sentiment unless you are dealing with the "enemy within" in the form of the left wing anti Israeli lobby made up of largely Jewish enablers of anti Semitism.
    Perhaps the reinstatement of the death penalty in Israel would avoid this swopping blackmail by the enemy and silence the left as well.

  • john in cheshire

    I suggest that one should now evaluate the opportunities that flow from this mass release of prisoners. It will be easier to kill these entities now they are freed, than it was while they are incarcerated in Israeli prisons.

    • montlasky

      …………..also true!

  • http://jewishdefense.org AJ Weberman

    One Jewish life is worth a thousand Muslim lives unless the Jew is named David Horowitz.. There is no shortage of terrorists in Gaza, experienced or not. Thank G-d this man is free.

  • Benjamin

    Why did you let Netanyahu off the hook. Netanyahu has not fought terrorism since he has been in the Prime Ministers office, witness Wye River Accords, his talk about returning the Golan Heights. In fact the Likud of old has for all purposes collapsed.

    Furthermore, you did not take the Israeli public and right wing (if there is such a thing) to task. While the left in Israel is active the purported right wing is apparently supine.

    Unfortunately, Israel has become shetetl nation.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I didn't let Netanyahu off the hook, he made the wrong decision. But I pointed out that the left had limited his options.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    1027 terrorists released for one Israeli soldier,not a major or a general,no
    one jewish life is worth 1027 terrorists with blood on their hands.
    Some may find this exchange to costly but if you count all the still free terrorist
    loose in the world it means peunuts.If Israel has to fight again[soon] for its
    freedom the enemy will count in the millions and not only in the Arab countries
    but all those lefties spread over every continent who hate Jews but love muslim terrorists the more. You know what?? I was a [Jewish] kid,some 10 years old,
    during the war now some 70 years ago but to me it seems like yesterday.
    A pestillence that has spread globaly. What is the reason that I survived I ask myself.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    With Israelis claiming to be martyred all day long, you can see why they don’t need Jesus. Let’s not forget what else Israel got in this transaction: complaining rights.

    • montlasky

      No such thing as an Israeli martyer. We leave that addictive habit to the Koran "purists".

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        You must know an entirely different Jewish people than me, because the one I know has been lamenting/celebrating 3000 years of oppression.

        • stern

          "celebrating"? Flopside, this has to be the sickest remark you have ever made – and that isn't an easy race to win.

          If you believe that we would ever "celebrate" 3,000 years of discrimination, murder, pogroms, genocide and hatred, then you truly are demented.

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            You do celebrate it. At Passover, the religious holiday of biological warfare against the Egyptians.

          • mah29001

            You imbecile….the Palestinian terrorists want to kill Jews….the ancient Egyptian rulers wanted to just butcher the Jews for being Jews….read history dumbass.

        • Vermont Yid

          I'd like to spend 5 minutes alone with you, you anti-Semitic cucksocker!

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            Don’t write a check with your mouth… Etc etc etc

        • BS77

          hey flippant flipside…you are a rancid pile of garbage…think you are clever, eh?

          • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

            Sorry. I don't speak Canadian.

    • mah29001

      Pallywood BS.

  • Ben

    In the democratic Israel the Lefts might is based on big part of the population brain-washed by leftist media.Leftism-the ideology of the weaks is close to these people.For instance the Israelis called Russians are free from leftist views owing to their grave Sovietic experience and A.Liberman party is disliked by the leftists.Israelis` liberation from left power depend on the honest media`s long time information.

  • StephenD

    Again, my simple mind sees a simple solution. From now on do not capture terrorists. Anyone engaged in such activities should be summarily dispatched from this life and introduced to Allah and those 72 virgin camels waiting for them in hell.

    • montlasky

      ………correct!

    • KarshiKhanabad

      You're absolutely right! Every freed terrorist should have a target painted on his ugly face. And the next time an Israeli is kidnapped or killed, the IDF should take no prisoners until the figure of one thousand dead jihadis is reached.

      Three hundred million Arab/Muslim/Jihadis versus seven million Jews! Why can't anyone do the math?

  • http://www.jochnowitz.net George Jochnowitz

    I had never expected to see Hamas act in its own interests. What are 1000 lives to Hamas? They were all trying to be martyrs anyway. Hamas has actually freed a living Jew. When has a jihadist organization ever done such a thing? They actually negotiated with Israel–albeit through third parties. They have given up their faith in Islam and the beauty of death.
    Elsewhere in the world, anti-Israel hatred will zoom up, as always happens when Israel makes a concession.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They are acting in their own interests. They gained a victory and bragging rights.

      They played up the "prisoners" issue and won big. Now Fatah looks even more pathetic.

      They haven't given up their faith in Islam or dead, like the rest of the Brotherhood, they score victories by playing the long game.

  • BS77

    what other nation on earth would trade one private soldier for over a thousand thugs and terrorists. What other nation would be ignored for their class, humanity and willingness to save a life of their own people in such a fashion??? Call it lopsided or unfair…but Israel has made a great impression on many for its refined character.

  • Adam

    I think this is brilliant. Sure, on the surface it seems kind of insane, but if these released murderers go back to their old ways, and if indeed terrorists in Gaza are emboldened, good. Israel will need a harsh up tick in terroism in order to justify ending this Palestinian nonsense once and for all. When the death toll rises, Israel will be able to point to this and show that they made a huge effort to usher in peace, and now more Israeli civilians are dieing in order to justify bombing the strip into oblivion.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      That has been the pattern for almost twenty years. Every time Israel makes this argument, it gets ignored.

      • Adam

        There is always a tipping point. But more importantly Daniel I would refer you to an article by Daniel Gordis who makes a heck of a point that with everything going on in the Middle East over the last year, from the Palestinian's appeal for recognition at the UN to the whole Arab Spring sham, and the Iranian antagonistic actions of late, Israel was in the need of a moral boost. As bad as the deal seems on the surface, it is a reconnection to the core of Israeli ideology of not leaving a soldier behind. This fundamental belief is deeper in Israel than even here in the US as evidenced by Bowe Bergdahl case. Will Israel ever destroy the Palestinians in the traditional sense? Probably not. But their case of being the better people is strengthening, and in away it is now on the Palestinians to call Netanyahu's bluff. Not a perfect move, but would the alternative be? A divided Israel and a family without their son.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          There may be a tipping point but it won't come out of official Israeli government policy.

          As for the morale boost, the weight of the morale boost has gone to Hamas. The Israelis get to feel that a defeat is a victory. The country is still divided, but people can congratulate themselves that freeing a thousand terrorists to kill again makes them superior to the terrorists.

    • stern

      Ah yes, Adam, just like the world "understood" when Israel finally took action to stop thousands of rockets from Gaza. Remember, the left and Ariel Sharon all promised that if the Gazans attacked, Israel would be justified in hitting back? That sure happened, didn't it? Rather than read Daniel Gordis's take on this, I would recommend Barry Rubin's latest "They want it all". You can find it here: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=...

      • Adam

        Thank you for the link. I'm just stunned at how at how many people on the right still give a crap what those irrational nutjobs on the left think. If we have already predetirmined that any act of self defense will be spun by the left, why are we allowing that to dictate our actions? Ultimately at the end of the day doing the right thing is what needs to be done. If that includes turning Gaza into a crater, so be it. If the left wants to then use that as a way to demonize Israel, who cares, they will always find something anyhow. Any logicly thinking person pays no mind to those people anyways. Sure, they possess a large portion of media, so they can be loud, but ultimately 99% haven't a clue what they are talking about, and the 1% that does has more sinister intentions anyway. Bebe will do what needs to be done, if any of the released terroists rare their ugly heads again, it will be for the last time. You might not realize it, but there are more people on the right than there are on the far left that believe this anti Israel nonsense. Stop dwelling on what a bunch of loons think of us.

  • Guest

    Each released terrorist has been micro-chipped. Even now their movements are being tracked, charted, and analyzed.

    That's a rock hard fact, not wistful thinking. Wherever these soul-dead murderers go, Mossad follows.

    I assure you that not only are the released terrorists walking time bombs for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other jihadist hosts, but most of them will die "mysteriously" within a short while. Give it a year and a half. Tops.,

    Yes, the deal is destructive, disturbing, and debilitating for Israeli and Western morale.

    But you'd be a damn fool to underestimate the inner core of the Israeli security/defense establishment.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Would be nice to think so, but the current state of the Israeli security establishment is not good.

      • Guest

        You're not sufficiently informed, Daniel. It's far better than you suppose. What I wrote isn't invented.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Well enough informed. This is the same security establishment that completely dropped the ball on Shalit and whose ex-chiefs are going around lobbying for the left.

          This has happened before. Terrorists have been released. After they attack, some have been recaptured or assassinated. It doesn't require microchips, cell monitoring usually suffices.

  • mrbean

    All jihadists are motivated by the core principles of Islam with the goal of converting, killing, or subjugating all non-Muslims. Unfortunately, too many non-Muslims have reverted to a pre-9/11 mentality and do not see the necessity of an offensive war with the Jihadists, or of a defensive war at home. All of us as non-Muslims are going to have to decide to fight for our cultures, freedoms, and values or we are going to lose them. It is our killer instincts which must be harnessed if we expect to survive in a war with the Jihadists. Our weapons are only tools. It is a hard heart that kills. If our killer instincts are not clean and strong we will hesitate at the moment of truth. We will not kill. We will become dead Americans and Jews. And then we all will be in a world of trouble. Why? Because there are a billion Muslims and on a few million of us who will actually fight! Do you understand?

    • Guest

      You're absolutely correct. This means daily personal training of the sort you describe. It's the responsibility of all strong, patriotic Americans and/or Jews, Hindus, Christians, freethinkers, Buddhists, et cetera. The fighting spirit and killer instinct are essential for survival on every level.

  • maturin20

    Hoody hoo, the Left is kicking ass! Even a powerful state like Israel can't defeat them, despite its wealth and history of military success.

    • Guest

      The Left is kicking it's own ass, Mister Twit. Israel is thriving and has already prevailed over their insanely hostile and degenerate neighbors. It will prevail again in the forthcoming conflict. However, this time it will not be "restrained" by the likes of you and your ilk.

    • Adam

      What exactly are you implying that you are winning? The end of Jews? The coming opportunity to accept Islam as your beliefs? The implementation of Sharia Law which is diametricly opposed to everything the left holds dear? Is killing off every last Jew so important to people like you that you would find yourself with a strange bedfellow like the Islamofascists?

      • StephenD

        As important Adam, how does he conflate the release of Hamas Terrorists with the LEFT "winning?" What are they winning indeed.

        • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

          HA! Thanks for refuting the article, Stephen!

          • maturin20

            It's great when the dialectic does all the work for you.

    • he be hatin'

      Your happiness will turn, you poor young ignorant lefty. Isn't is interesting that Israel is encompassed with enemies, but still standing? I hope the Arab nations do try to attack them; then Israel will show the world what their Nobel Prize winners have prepared for their enemies. One big brilliant light show.

      • maturin20

        It's interesting that a country that has prevailed over its enemies for so long can't relinquish a victim mentality in foreign relations.

  • Vermont Yid

    Brace yourselves, Israelis. You have opened the door for more kidnappings, both soldiers and civilians.

    I'm disgusted with the Israeli government and the left-wing idiots who did all the arm-twisting.

    • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

      Fortunately, it doesn’t affect you in VERMONT.

  • LindaRivera

    In Judea and Samaria, Muslims are chanting: "The people want a new Shalit"

    There is a radical difference between Muslim and non-Muslim culture and beliefs. Non-Muslims believe all murders are evil and when murderers are released, people are angry and disgusted.

    But in the Palestinian Authority, savage murderers of infidel Jews are regarded as huge HEROES by PA Muslims. Sports teams, streets, schools, city squares are dedicated to, and named after barbaric killers of Jewish innocents. Muslims are filled with joy over the release of cruel killers-they are celebrating and setting off fireworks.

    Non-Muslims regard murder as EVIL and the wicked breaking of G-D's Law. It is revolting and inhuman that these Muslims regard murder as EXTREMELY GOOD. The "peace" they are planning is a Second Holocaust of Jews.

  • LindaRivera

    The photo of every single one of the released Barbaric Muslim Terrorists who were released should be shown throughout the world. Their photos should be posted at all airports, railway stations, bus stations, movie theaters, supermarkets, post offices, parks, etc. People have THE RIGHT TO KNOW who these monsters are so that they can be on their guard against these violent, hate-filled terrorist killers.

    INNOCENTS MUST HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Unless they put on a Burqa.

  • myohmy

    PART 2.
    We should target their leaders, their Imans, their enablers like the left and theleftist media and the leftist moneybag billionairs who finance them until nobody wants those jobs anymore. After Czar Nicholas and his entire family was killed nobody wanted to be Czar anymore. After Hitler was killed nobody wanted to be Furher anymore. Stop worrying about collateral damage and start killing all terrorist sponsors, Al Quida leaders,Hamas leaders, Hezbollah leaders, Taliban leaders and all radical Imams until nobody wants those jobs anymore and will get pissed off at anyone who even suggests killing someone for allah.

    • Hoping for nukes

      I think a better target list is

      #1 The Kaaba rock in Mecca.
      #2 Riyahd, Saudi Arabia,
      #3 Tehren,
      #4 Ishfahan,
      #5 Cairo,
      #6 Baghdad
      That could all be done with one Israeli sub and just six Polaris type missles.
      Result: There back to the 6th century where they want to be.

  • LindaRivera

    Britain's Cameron: "I hope this prisoner exchange will bring peace a step closer,"
    UN Secretary General: "Ban Ki-moon sees peace process boost from prisoner swap deal."

    For Cameron and Ban Ki-moon, peace is achieved by increasing violent jihad against Jews in the releasing of over a thousand inhuman Muslim monster killers with blood on their hands.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      One form of terrorist appeasement is as good as another.

  • Steve Chavez

    USTOGAZA.ORG IS THE "AUDACITY OF HOPE" WEBSITE! The Flotilla leader is Leslie Cagan, a high ranking member of the Communist Party USA and co-head of United for Peace and Justice, THE leading HATE AMERICA/ISRAEL group and supporter of EVERY ENEMY of the United States! Code Pink, a close ally of the CPUSA fronts, and its leader, Medea Benjamin, was the on-board leader. Two weeks after the end of the Israeli war on Hezbollah, Judith LeBlanc, CPUSA/UNITED, visited Lebanon and wrote an article for People's Weekly World, the CPUSA newspaper now only online, blaming Israel for its "over-reaction."

    THE CPUSA and Code Pink are also a leading SHADOW/SHEEPHERDERS organizer of the Wall Street mobs! Code Pink advertised it as "Days of Rage" but soon deleted the online poster. They barely even mention it now since THEY BOTH WANT TO STAY IN THE SHADOWS!

    AGAIN, THERE ARE MANY FAKE JEWS who are delegated as spokespersons for all Jews including AIPAC. There are also FAKE JEW SUPPORTERS IN CONGRESS INCLUDING BARACK OBAMA who is the biggest FAKE and FRAUD there is!

  • Brujo Blanco

    What is really tragic is the international community did not take down the Palestinians for holding this soldier hostage. The Palestians have had the international green light to kidnap and murder with impunity for far too long. The international community will allow Jews in general to be punked.

  • scum

    Of course, the real story is that Israel negotiated for the release of their soldier, and they agreed to the 1000-1 deal. End of story.

  • pyeatte

    What this exchange really says is that one Jew is worth more than a thousand Palestinian terrorists.

  • curmudgeon

    it is too bad the israelis didnt have the sense to give the released terrorists a huge dose of radiation as they released them, so they would die the agonizing death of radiation sickness a few days after their release. but that would make sense. theres a lesson here. after you have finished questioning an islamic suspect, either kill him, or release him. never, ever, warehouse islamic terrorists. never.