Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hamas wins by being defeated

Israel says its military offensive in Gaza has dealt Hamas a heavy blow, but that's not how the leaders of the radical Palestinian group see it. Their view is based more on a kind of jujitsu that uses Israel's military momentum against its own political objectives than on any serious belief in rhetoric about the organization's "steadfast" fighters being able to "crush" the invaders.

Israel had long assumed that Hamas wanted a ground invasion so it could land some blows on the Israeli military in order to claim a propaganda victory once the Israelis inevitably withdrew. Still, by entering Gaza on Saturday, the Israelis calculated that they could draw Hamas into clashes that would substantially weaken the organization, even if Israel suffered some casualties. But despite the ferocity of the fighting that rages in some parts of Gaza, there are indications that Hamas is keeping many of its best fighters out of the direct path of the advancing Israelis. Israeli military officials have noted that resistance has not been as fierce as expected, and that most Israeli soldiers wounded in the operation thus far have been struck by mortar rounds fired from a considerable distance. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel in a symbolic taunt to the Israeli public. (See pictures of Israel's sweep into Gaza.)

So what's Hamas' game?

The militant group is operating on a belief that Israel's assault cannot be sustained in the face of growing international pressure for a cease-fire. In fact, Hamas believes it is winning the political battle, as images of the horrors being suffered by the Palestinian civilian population flash around the world. And it wants to ensure the survival of as much of its military and organizational capabilities as possible so as to best profit from an eventual truce. [...]


  1. Historically, Hamas increases its power proportionate to the suffering of the Palestinian people.

    The same is true of fundamentalist factions throughout the world.

    It is human nature and proven throughout history that famine, economic Depression, war and disease makes people turn to more fundamentalist religious expression.

    For example, statistics have shown Church goers in the Dustbowl during the Great Depression were 21% more committed and generous with their tithes than church goers during the recent economic booms.

    During Hard Times, people cling to G-d and their guns.

    Hamas provides plenty of both.

  2. This pretty much concurs with what I wrote here last week. Whatever Israel does has be massive and completed within a day. Otherwise Israel loses.

  3. Dear daas torah,

    I find that your blog has very interesting posts, speaking about various themes.

    But I had some difficulties in the past to find posts.

    Do you have the possibility of putting labels ont the posts (abuse, EJF, Anussim, Gaza, etc.) This would make it more easy for readers to follow a story, especially if it stretches over a longer period of time.

    If your blog is a google blog, you can easily attach labels by putting a word in the box "label", down, on the right hand side when writing a new post.

    (The reason why I suggest this is that I wanted to tell someone to look up your posts about s. abuse and about the book you plan, but it is difficult to indicate where these posts could be found exactely)

  4. shoshi said...

    Dear daas torah,

    I find that your blog has very interesting posts, speaking about various themes.

    But I had some difficulties in the past to find posts.
    there is a search window at the top of the blog - if you put the words abuse and book - the posts will pop up.

    because I try to use the words like abuse or EJF in the title I don't see a need to write labels also.

    If that isn't sufficient I think about adding labels.

  5. All this makes me so ANGRY when I read about their twisted politics and their twisted beliefs. Don't they get it that they are psychologically SICK IN THE HEAD?!?

  6. Well I don't quite agree with Zoe Strickman since Hamas is perfectly logical within their frame of reference. We, the Jews who are only tolerated if we observe the Dhimmi rules laid down by the Treaty of Omar, have dared to rebel and wrest land away from Moslem control. Due to this crime, it is a mitzvah to declare a Jihad and fight and kill us until every inch of Palestine is redeemed. No international laws or common decency can interfere with this agenda. Every Moslem must be willing to lose his life, his family, his property, to further the cause. Perfectly logical if you believe in this stuff.

  7. Etty,

    There are 1.5 BILLION Muslims in the world. If even .001% of the Muslims in the world wanted to "fight and kill us", it would not be too difficult, C"V.

    Meron Benvenisti was deputy mayor of Jerusalem from 1971 to 1978, and is currently a columnist for Haaretz, Israel's largest newspaper.

    As a young man Benvenisti often accompanied his father, a distinguished geographer, when the elder Benvenisti traveled through the Holy Land charting a Hebrew map that would rename Palestinian sites and villages with names linked to Israel's ancestral homeland. These experiences in Benvenisti's youth are central to his book, "Sacred Landscapes" and the story that he tells helps explain how during this century an Arab landscape, physical and human, was transformed into an Israeli, Jewish state.

    Benvenisti first discusses the process by which new Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, and ruins in Palestine. He then explains how the Arab landscape has been transformed through war, destruction, and expulsion into a flourishing Jewish homeland accommodating millions of immigrants. The resulting encounters between two peoples who claim the same land have raised great moral and political dilemmas, which Benvenisti presents with candor and impartiality.

    How did Umm Jurfinat become Kibbutz Grofit, and Rakhma become Yerukham? And how has the physical and political geography of the Arabs been affected by the development of a state whose mandate is to provide a homeland for Jews?

    Benvenisti wrestles with the questions of how this now-Jewish state can be a true home to both Arabs and Jews, and what it means to understand that his "mortal enemies", the Arabs are also his brothers. Benvenisti realizes that he cannot merely beat his breast and apologize for the wrongs Palestinians have suffered at the hands of Israelis. Benvenisti urges that Israel abolish and eradicate any form of discrimination legal or otherwise against the Palestinians.

    Benvenisti's book is carefully documented via IDF archives.

    Here is one account of the Deir Yassin Massacre, one of the many by which the Zionists took control of Palestine and expelled or murdered its inhabitants:

    Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate. The village lay outside of the area that the United Nations recommended be included in a future Jewish State.

    Deir Yassin had a peaceful reputation and was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and one plan, kept secret until years afterwards, called for it to be destroyed and the residents evacuated to make way for a small airfield that would supply the beleaguered Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

    By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered. Twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. The remaining residents were driven to Arab East Jerusalem.

    A final body count of 254 was reported by The New York Times on April 13, a day after they were finally buried.

    The Haganah leaders admitted that the massacre "disgraced the cause of Jewish fighters and dishonored Jewish arms and the Jewish flag." They played down the fact that their militia had reinforced the terrorists' attack, even though they did not participate in the barbarism and looting during the subsequent "mopping up" operations.

    They also played down the fact that, in Begin's words, "Deir Yassin was captured with the knowledge of the Haganah and with the approval of its commander" as a part of its "plan for establishing an airfield."

    Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But this horrific act served the future State of Israel well.

    According to Begin:

    Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of "Irgun butchery," were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated."

    Of about 144 houses, 10 were dynamited. The cemetery was later bulldozed and, like hundreds of other Palestinian villages to follow, Deir Yassin was wiped off the map. By September, Jewish immigrants from Poland, Rumania, and Slovakia were settled there.

    The center of the village was renamed Givat Shaul Bet. As Jerusalem expanded, the land of Deir Yassin became part of the city and is now known simply as the area between Givat Shaul and the settlement of Har Nof on the western slopes of the mountain.

    The massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin is one of the most significant events in 20th-century Palestinian and Israeli history. This is not because of its size or its brutality, but because it stands as the starkest early warning of a calculated depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and cities and the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian inhabitants to make room for survivors of the Holocaust and other Jews from the rest of the world.

    The massacre is well documented in IDF archives as a photographer accompanied the fighters on this and each of the other massacres.


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