Hamas’s (and Iran’s) Fail-Safe Strategy

PALESTINIAN-ISAREL-CONFLICT-GAZAOriginally published by the Jerusalem Post

What is Hamas doing? Hamas isn’t going to defeat Israel.

It isn’t going to gain any territory. Israel isn’t going to withdraw from Ashkelon or Sderot under a hail of rockets.

So if Hamas can’t win, why is it fighting? Why rain down destruction and misery on millions of Israelis with your Iranian missiles and your Syrian rockets and invite a counter-assault on your headquarters and weapons warehouses, which you have conveniently placed in the middle of the Palestinian people on whose behalf you are allegedly fighting? Hamas is in a precarious position. When the terror group took over Gaza seven years ago, things were different.

It had a relatively friendly regime in Cairo that was willing to turn a blind eye to all the missiles Iran, Syria and Hezbollah were sending over to Gaza through Sinai.

Hamas’s leaders were comfortably ensconced in Damascus and enjoyed warm relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran.

International funds flowed freely into Hamas bank accounts from Fatah’s donor-financed Palestinian Authority budget, through the Arab Bank, headquartered in Jordan, through the UN, and when necessary through suitcases of cash transferred to Gaza by couriers from Egypt.

Hamas used these conditions to build up the arsenal of a terror state, and to keep the trains running on time. Schools were open. Government employees were paid. Israel was bombed. All was good.

Today, Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, faces an Egyptian regime that is locked into a life-and-death struggle with the Brotherhood. To harm Hamas, for the past year the Egyptians have been blocking Hamas’s land-based weapons shipments and destroying its smuggling-dependent economy by sealing off the cross-border tunnels.

Syria and Hamas parted ways at the outset of the Syrian civil war when Hamas, a Sunni jihadist group, was unable to openly support Bashar Assad’s massacre of Sunnis.

Fatah has lately been refusing to transfer payments to Hamas due to congressional pressure to cut off the now-illegal flow of aid to the joint Fatah-Hamas unity government.

As for Hamas’s banker, stung by terror victim lawsuits, the Arab Bank now refuses to transfer monies to Hamas from third parties. The UN is also hard-pressed to finance the terror group’s bureaucracy.

In Gaza itself, al-Qaida affiliates including ISIS (now renamed the Islamic State) have seeded themselves along with the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad. These groups challenge Hamas’s claim to power. Lacking the ability to pay government employee salaries, Hamas is hard-pressed to keep its rivals down.

Given these circumstances, it was just a matter of time before Hamas opened a full-on assault against Israel.

Jew-hatred is endemic in the Muslim world. Going to war against Israel is a tried and true method of garnering sympathy and support from the Muslim world. At a minimum it earns you the forbearance, if not the support of the US and Europe. And you get all of these things whether you win or lose.

When Saddam Hussein shot 39 Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, he didn’t attack because he thought doing so would destroy Israel. He attacked Israel because he was trying to convince the Arab members of the US-led international coalition to abandon the war against him.

Moreover, when Saddam launched the Scuds against Israel, he knew that Israel wouldn’t be able to retaliate. He knew that the US would force Israel to stand down in order to maintain the support of his Jew-hating fellow Arabs in its coalition.

So attacking Israel was a freebie that he only stood to gain from.

Hezbollah’s leaders also never deluded themselves into believing their group can conquer Israel. But by attacking the hated Jews, they were able to present themselves and their Iranian bosses as the guardians of the Muslims worldwide.

Then there was the US’s response.

As it protected Saddam from Israel in 1991, so in 2006, the US gave Hezbollah the upper hand in the war. Then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice forced Israel to accept a cease-fire with Hezbollah that placed the illegal terror group on equal legal and moral footing with Israel.

This US legitimization of Hezbollah enabled the Iranian proxy to intimidate its Sunni and Christian compatriots in Lebanon and coerce them into accepting effective Hezbollah control over the entire state.

As for Hamas, from the outset of Hamas’s previous missile campaigns in 2009 and 2012, the Obama administration made it clear to Israel that it would not tolerate Israeli strikes that were sufficiently comprehensive to wipe out Hamas’s capacity to continue attacking Israel. In other words, President Barack Obama chose to protect Hamas – an illegal terrorist organization, waging a war of indiscriminate, criminal missile strikes against Israeli civilians – from Israel.

Today, Hamas has every reason to take heart from the responses it has received from its current offensive.

In the internal Palestinian arena, Fatah, Hamas’s partner in the Palestinian Authority unity government, is standing shoulder to shoulder with Hamas.

As The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh reported, Fatah militias in Gaza are actively participating in the Hamas-led missile campaign against Israel. Fatah terrorists have boasted shooting dozens of rockets and mortar shells at Ashkelon and Sderot.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah posted a placard proclaiming that the military wings of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are “brothers in arms” united by “one God, one homeland, one enemy and one goal.”

Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas is Hamas’s diplomatic champion. Indeed, his wild accusations against Israel have moved from the realm of exaggeration to rank incitement that raises concern he is planning to open a second front against Israel from Judea and Samaria.

Although Egypt has still not indicated any willingness to support Hamas, the longer Hamas continues attacking Israel, the more difficult it will become for Egypt to seal off the border between Gaza and Sinai. Hamas’s war strengthens the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Then there is the Obama administration.

Obama administration spokesmen have been issuing prepared statements blaming the hostilities on Hamas and mouthing support for Israel while praising its restraint. But at the same time, they have been transmitting messages which indicate that Obama is more intent than ever to give Hamas a victory even as it continues to rain down terror on Israel.

As Tel Aviv, Hadera and Jerusalem absorbed their first missile salvos from Gaza on Tuesday, Obama’s Middle East envoy Philip Gordon spoke at Haaretz’s “peace” conference.

It was a jaw dropping performance.

Gordon blamed Israel for the failure for the administration’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the PLO while effusively praising Fatah leader and Hamas partner Abbas.

And it only went down from there.

After insisting Israel is inadequately committed to peace, Gordon threatened to withdraw US support for Israel at the UN and open the door to the criminalization of Israel by the corrupt international body.

“How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?” he asked rhetorically.

Gordon’s remarks were not disputed by the State Department.

And State Department spokespersons themselves have continued to insist – absurdly – that Hamas is not a member of the Fatah-Hamas unity government.

From Hamas’s perspective, the Obama administration’s response to its aggression is an invitation to keep going. Gordon’s speech allayed any concerns they may have had how the US would respond.

Hamas now knows that the US will coerce Israel into standing down while Hamas is still standing, and so enable the jihadists to claim victory and place Egypt in a bind.

And as with Hamas, so with Hamas’s Iranian sponsors.

On July 20, the US and its partners are supposed to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran.

Many Western experts and even some Israeli ones insist that Iran’s nuclear weapon program is not a serious threat to Israel because Iran’s primary aspirations have little to do with Israel.

Iran, they say, wants nuclear weapons in order to dominate the Persian Gulf, and through it, the Muslim world as a whole. Iran’s targets, it is argued, are Mecca and Medina, not Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

While this is probably true, it is certainly irrelevant for Israel’s strategic assessment.

The same dynamics that inform Hamas’s decision to launch its offensives against Israel inform Iran’s thinking about how it will use a nuclear arsenal. Iran would not attack Israel with nuclear weapons because it wishes to conquer Israel per se. Iran would attack Israel with nuclear weapons because doing so would give it a massive public relations boost in its campaign to dominate the Persian Gulf generally, and Saudi Arabia in particular.

In other words, far from being a hindrance to accomplishing its central goal, Iran views attacking Israel as a means of advancing it.

Unfortunately for Israel, just as the US has made clear that it opposes Israel taking any offensive steps to destroy Hamas’s capacity to rain terror on its citizens, so the Obama administration, through word and deed, has made clear that it will defend Iran and Iran’s nuclear weapons program from Israel.

The talks that are set to conclude next week can only bring about bad or worse results for Israel. In recent days and weeks, Iranian leaders have said that the only deal they will sign is one that will facilitate their nuclear weapons program by giving international license to their massive uranium enrichment activities. So if a deal is concluded, it will give the imprimatur of the US, the UN and the EU to a nuclear-armed Iran.

If no deal is concluded, the Obama administration will undoubtedly continue to protect Iran’s nuclear installations from Israel in the hopes of concluding an agreement with Iran at a later date, perhaps after the congressional elections in November.

In an op-ed in Haaretz published this week, Obama wrote, “While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security.”

Unfortunately, Obama misses the point completely. As the dozen agreements Israel already signed with the Palestinians show, pieces of paper are meaningless if they don’t reflect the underlying sentiments of the populations concerned.

Peace can only come to Israel and its neighbors when the Muslim world liberates itself from its hatred of Jews. Until that happens, everyone from Hamas to Hezbollah to Fatah to al-Qaida to Iran and beyond will continue to view attacking Israel as the best way to make a name for themselves in the world, and the best way to get the attention – and support – of the West.

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  • Hank Rearden

    All this comes from the Oslo Process. Entering it was a catastrophic weakening of Israel’s will and all its enemies saw that. Now, Israel is in negotiation after negotiation, negotiating…what?

    What the world sees is that Israel is not sure of its right to exist and is on its knees hoping that its negotiating counterparts will affirm that.

    Nevah happen.

    Israel has to break off negotiations. Say that it is always open to new propositions. The phone number of the Foreign Ministry is 999-9999. Call anytime.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      A ceremonial burning of the Oslo Accords along with shooting some of the jailed terrorists after getting permission from a the courts would go a long way towards having a productive reset of expectations.

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  • Dessie Deratta

    In 2006 Condi Rice “forced Israel” to stop murdering Lebanese civilians.

    How did she “force” Israel?

    By threatening to stop supplying the bombs and aviation fuel without which the Israeli attack on Lebanon would have ended in disaster for Israel, as it was threatening to do due to the complete failure of the attack on Hizbollah!

    • FactsRule

      She did it by switching from Sec. of Defense to Sec. of State, that dept. being extremely anti-America, anti-West, anti-Israel. If Israel had normal men or women running their country, they’d have annihilated the blood-thirsty baby murdering sub-vermin Hizba Allah. Someday enough Israelis will have had enough of not effectively combating Islamofascist sub-vermin coward civilian murderers.

    • reader

      How many Lebanese civilians have been killed by Hizbollah? Did you bother counting?

  • Seymour Friedel

    Palestinians are brought up to hate Israelis and until that ends there is no possible hope for peace.

    But I think it is a mistake to think there is no military gain for Hamas here. They are practicing and it is only a matter of time before the missiles will be armed with dirty bombs. And when that happens Iron dome will be useless. Intercepting a missile in mid-air will just disperse the radioactivity. And as the Iranians have often said it doesn’t matter if we wipe out a few million Palestinians as long as we take out Israel.

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    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      If Israel were hit, Mecca, Tehran and much more would be eliminated for all time..

      Islam would no longer have a place to hajj to and Infidels would STILL outnumber Muslims and Muslims would have to go back to living in dirt killing fellow Muslims with sticks and stones.

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  • FactsRule

    Great article, but to expand on the conclusion, To expect the overwhelmingly openly proudly genocidal Arab Muslims west of the Jordan River to end their Islamic Prime Directive of annihilating Israel as a step on the ladder of turning the world into one Islamic nation, God forbid, is far more unreasonable than Israel exercising her legal and moral right to do what was and is the ONLY permanently effective AND compassionate thing, to repatriate the overwhelmingly genocidal Arab Muslims. I always take the opportunity to introduce to those as yet unfamiliar with palwatch.org thereligionofpeace.com and memritv.org.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Obama will by the end of his term, invert 60 years of American foreign policy, by officially changing sides to embrace the Arabs and cut all the Jews loose. And the follow on with Hillary will declare open season on all Jews everywhere. We can whine and moan that ‘It can’t happen here’ but it most likely will. Obama is pretty close to breaking all diplomatic, political and economic relations with Israel outright and American liberal Jews are only too happy to cheer along. Just like the left wing Reform movement lead by Elmer Berger in the 1940′s violently opposed all efforts to create and then recognize Israel, American Jewish Obamadroids will ideologically cheer along with Iran and Hamas until a WMD attack on Israel occurs. Then their pundits like Jon Stewart will mug and laugh.

  • Rondo

    Big fan of Caroline Glick. However she really needs to educate herself regarding Islam. One of the best books I have read is by Mark Durie. Please read it Caroline.

    http://www.amazon.ca/The-Third-Choice-Dhimmitude-Freedom/dp/0980722306

  • georgejochnowitz

    Radical evil is always senseless and selfless. Hitler knew he needed Jewish scientists, but he didn’t care. The Palestinians know that they can reach a deal with Israel to create a state of their own by giving up their claims to places like Ma’ale Adumim, but they don’t care. Evil doers are always willing to abandon their own cause for the sake of doing evil.

    http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/The-Boston-Bombers.html

  • annabahpa

    Caroline Glick offers carrot and stick but could unsigned Ishmael ever embrace Isaac?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Ishmael has always been a wild beast.

      Ishmael can’t change. It’s in his DNA.

  • zoomie

    after more than 2 generations of trillions of ” petro dollars ” flowing through the worlds monetary systems, the question must be asked, Who owns who ?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The US should take over the oil fields of the Middle East and lower the price back from $100 to a fair $10 per barrel.

  • mcbee555

    Jewish life or suffering mean nothing to Hamas or the other fanatical Islamists. Nor do the lives and welfare of Arabs, combatant or non-combatant. Propaganda in venues like the UN means more than the loss of some Arabs for these confirmed haters. I believe the Israelis are more concerned about Arab casualties than those Arabs dedicated to death and destruction of Israeli targets. Where has it ever happened that an injured/wounded Jew was ever attended medically by an Arab affiliated with terrorist groups?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The slaughter of 160,000+ Arabs, by Arabs, in Syria, Iraq proves that Israel isn’t the problem.

      Islam is the problem.

  • truebearing

    Being a dedicated transnationalist, Obama would like nothing better than to passively allow the global government(UN) to excommunicate Israel. It would satisfy his vindictive nature and provide an example for other nations who won’t get in line with the Left’s agenda. Of course, it would also give him yet another opportunity to show his loyalty to Islam.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Why rain down destruction and misery on millions of Israelis with your Iranian missiles and your Syrian rockets and invite a counter-assault on your headquarters and weapons warehouses, which you have conveniently placed in the middle of the Palestinian people on whose behalf you are allegedly fighting? Hamas is in a precarious position. When the terror group took over Gaza seven years ago, things were different.

    One of the problems with this analogy is the assumption that the so-called Palestinian people whose behalf Hamas is allegedly fighting is false. Hamas is not fighting on the behalf of the so-called Palestinian people. Instead, they are fighting only in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme as always.

    Furthermore, the so-called Palestinian people aren’t civilians either because they are jihadists in one form or another, either violent or non-violent, as waging jihad, which is a holy war waged by all Muslims against all infidels in the cause of Allah to ultimately make Islam supreme, is a fundamental holy obligation incumbent upon all Muslims according to the dictates of mainstream orthodox Islam. As a matter of fact, the only way for Muslims to reach Allah’s rewards is through waging jihad, and those that won’t are automatically doomed to hellfire.

    Now one of the reasons why so many infidels naively view those so-called Palestinian people as being civilians is because they erroneously view Hamas as being terrorists, i.e., radicals, extremists, and assorted Islamists. However, Hamas jihadists are not terrorists. Instead, they are jihadists, i.e., Mujahideen (holy warriors), waging jihad violently in their case, as all Muslims in the world, in stark contrast to infidel society, are jihadists in one form or another, either violent or non-violent.

    As a matter of fact, because Islam more than it is anything else is an extremely rabid form of totalitarianism that seeks world domination rather than being just a so-called religion, all non-conformers in Islamic totalitarian society are routinely executed for apostasy and blasphemy. Thus, it’s not like Muslims have any choice in the matter. It’s either conform or die. Such is life in a totalitarian society.

    Moreover, when Saddam launched the Scuds against Israel, he knew that Israel wouldn’t be able to retaliate. He knew that the US would force Israel to stand down in order to maintain the support of his Jew-hating fellow Arabs in its coalition.

    So attacking Israel was a freebie that he only stood to gain from.

    Actually, Muslims hate all infidels pretty much equally, perhaps Jews a little more because of Israel. Nonetheless, if the USA and company had not made the mistake of coming to the rescue of the Islamic totalitarian world to its own detriment against Saddam, the Islamic totalitarian world would have probably turned to Israel instead out of desperation for help against Saddam, who, incidentally, also happened to be an infidel at the time. Similar to the way it is happening today, with respect to the Shi’a Iranian infidel’s race to nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, had not the USA and company come to their rescue against Saddam back then, perhaps Saddam would have dealt the Sunni Islamic totalitarian world a fatal blow. Unfortunately, we will never know?

    Nonetheless, her analogy stands up to scrutiny because the above was just my speculation of what might have been had different options been taken back then at the time.

    As it protected Saddam from Israel in 1991, so in 2006, the US gave Hezbollah the upper hand in the war. Then-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice forced Israel to accept a cease-fire with Hezbollah that placed the illegal terror group on equal legal and moral footing with Israel.

    A black mark in American history. Condi “Appeaser” Rice was definitely a weak link in GWB’s administration and an administration that was filled with weak links.

    In other words, President Barack Obama chose to protect Hamas – an illegal terrorist organization, waging a war of indiscriminate, criminal missile strikes against Israeli civilians – from Israel.

    Actually, Hamas is a mainstream orthodox Sunni Islamic group dedicated to waging jihad primarily through violence, as opposed to non-violently, and as such the jihadists that comprise Hamas are no more or no less radical than the entirety of all of so-called Palestinian society.

    As a matter of fact, the jihadists that constitute Hamas are no more or no less radical than the millions of Muslims that have migrated to America for the nefarious purposes of mass Muslim infiltration and eventual demographic conquest.

    Again, all mainstream orthodox Muslims in the world are jihadists in one form or another, either violent or non-violent, since all non-conformers in the Islamic totalitarian world are executed for apostasy and blasphemy, as Islam far more than it is anything else is an extremely rabid form of totalitarianism that seeks world domination as opposed to being just a so-called religion.

    With respect to Obama protecting Hamas, what else can you say other than he is actually incredibly incompetent and, of course, an extremely gullible useful idiot.

    Gordon blamed Israel for the failure for the administration’s efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the PLO while effusively praising Fatah leader and Hamas partner Abbas.

    Pure utter nonsense. Muslims can only make Hudnas with infidels, which is a kind of temporary truce that will inevitably be broken at some point in the future when they deem the time is right. Since the only peace between infidels and Muslims possible is the peace that comes only after the infidels have been subjugated into Islamic totalitarianism, i.e., harsh and degrading dhimmitude, and Islam has been made supreme through the imposition of Sharia (Islamic totalitarian law), any Muslim that makes the mistake of signing a permanent peace agreement with the infidels in Israel, or with any other infidels, for that matter, as Anwar Sadat did, will be targeted and assassinated the same way Anwar Sadat was targeted and assassinated.

    Indeed, the peace process is nothing but non-violent jihad to weaken Israel and to dupe gullible useful idiot infidels into financing their jihad for them. Very apparently, Gordon is one of those very gullible useful idiot infidels.

    On July 20, the US and its partners are supposed to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran.

    Again, Muslims can only make Hudnas with infidels. Thus, negotiating with Iran inevitably will be a fool’s errand. Lord help us all!

    the Obama administration, through word and deed, has made clear that it will defend Iran and Iran’s nuclear weapons program from Israel.

    And totally against the will of the majority of the American people. Yet, he is still the US president.

    “While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security.”

    Yeah right…the only settlement in both cases possible is a Hudna that the Muslims will inevitably break the instant they deem the time is right. What a gullible useful idiot some people in the US elected to be President.

    As the dozen agreements Israel already signed with the Palestinians show, pieces of paper are meaningless if they don’t reflect the underlying sentiments of the populations concerned.

    Uhm…in the case of the so-called Palestinians, their sentiments would be the infidels in Israel subjugated into Islamic totalitarianism, i.e., harsh and degrading dhimmitude, and Islam made supreme via the imposition of Sharia (Islamic totalitarian law).

    Indeed, the only reason there have been a dozen agreements is because again Muslims can only make Hudnas with infidels. You’d think someone would stop making Hudnas with Muslims after the third or fourth time, but apparently not.

    Peace can only come to Israel and its neighbors when the Muslim world liberates itself from its hatred of Jews.

    Not really. Peace can come to Israel only after the entire infidel world unites together to put an end to the global jihad at large that is being waged against all infidels and all infidel states collectively throughout the world to ultimately make Islam supreme. The only other alternative is to get used to living with permanent and perpetual jihad.

  • Lanna

    These Palistinians are not capable of rationality, they have lived in wars for centuries with their own brothers of other tribes…their destiny not a pretty one.

  • guest

    Israel needs to declare independance, make it August, be different.

    Four is my number.

    Israel needs to be able to independently deliver a knockout blow to
    ANY of her enemies. She needs to plan for and execute a short war
    of extreme violence, conventionally.

    This is the only future.

    Israel deserves the future, her enemies do not.

    You have friends, listen. Just listen.

  • whatsso4me

    Washington DC is a freak show. It should be expropriated from the USA and annexed to the UN.