Why was Israel arresting Hamas members... when it should have been arresting Hamas members?
Anti-War/Pro-Hamas activist Sheera Frenkel, who occasionally moonlights at Buzzfeed, a site consisting entirely of listicles and plagiarism, has a major scoop.
It's the same "major scoop" she's been pushing for a month.
After Israel's top leadership exhaustively blamed Hamas for kidnap of 3 teens, they've now admitted killers were acting as "lone cell."
Order of events: 3 teens kidnapped->100s of Palestns in WB arrested->revenge attacks on Palestinians->violence along Gaza/Israel border->war
If you can't read Twitterspeak, that's Sheera Frenkel making the unoriginal suggestion that this whole conflict started because Israel was "wrongly" arresting Hamas members for the kidnapping and murder... which was carried out by Hamas members.
Why was Israel arresting Hamas members... when it should have been arresting Hamas members? Or maybe Buzzfeed members, since Buzzfeed is about the only thing out there worse than Hamas.
Sheera Frenkel's Hamasbara push depends on classifying Hamas terrorists who aren't acting on orders from Hamas leaders as not really being Hamas. This is a dubious claim.
Al Qaeda members don't stop being Al Qaeda just because they aren't getting orders from Bin Laden via Ouija board.
The kidnappings and murders may not have come down from Hamas leaders, who in any case are all over the map, literally. The Hamas leader being held responsible for this policy is in... Turkey.
But the Hamas commander who is seen by Israel as responsible for a wave of kidnapping attempts in the West Bank is actually based in Turkey. Saleh al-Arouri, that senior Hamas operative, makes his home inside the territory of a NATO ally.
“The Israelis say he was one of the key operational leaders who has been calling for and overseeing these various kidnapping plots over the past two years,” said Matthew Levitt, the director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism & Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It’s not that he was necessarily on the phone with these kidnappers, but kidnapping in general has been a key focus for Hamas operatives in the last two years and al-Arouri has been encouraging it.”
But the idea that terrorist groups operate like the Pentagon is also misleading.
Terrorist groups are ideological movements interlinked with large clans. That's as true in Israel as it is in Iraq. There's a layer of ideological leadership, which in Hamas' case means Muslim Brotherhood officials, who are also often at odds with each other. On the ground, you have practical leadership through local commanders. And you also have clan leaders who control local allegiances.
These varying figures have their own agendas and goals and sometimes they contradict each other. That's true of even more 'democratic' states.
In this case, the Qawasmeh clan is Hamas aligned and consists of 10,000 people. That's a small army. The clan tends to be more aggressive than some other parts of Hamas, largely because it has its own internal agenda. That doesn't mean that Hamas as a whole isn't responsible for it.
If we begin breaking down every terrorist group into infinite components, we'll end up with a whole lot of "lone cells" and not a lot else.
And that would suit the anti-war crowd just fine because then there would be no terrorist groups to fight.
Or maybe Israel could start fighting an Arab Muslim clan instead? Somehow I don't think Sheera Frankel, who keeps tweeting hysterical Hamasbara photos of Israeli "atrocities" every 5 minutes or so would be too happy with that outcome.
The bottom line is that Hamas chose to enter into a state of permanent conflict with Israel based on its own charter. This conflict is meant to end in genocide. There doesn't have to be evidence that it approved every single attack by its own people, to treat those attacks as enemy action.
Terrorist groups are more loosely organized than armies. They depend on loyalty and trust, rather than inflexible chains of command. They consist of small subgroups at the bottom that often act on their own initiative.
That doesn't mean that they stop belonging to the terrorist group when they do that. The terrorist group sets the overall policy. What happens at the bottom is the result of that policy.