Hamas’ Brutal Attack Could Have Been Avoided
Hamas’s brutal attack occurred under the “watch“ of the most militant government in Israel’s history – and has proven its ineptitude and that ignoring the Palestinian problem will happen at Israel’s peril.
October 12, 2023
The unprecedented and unimaginable attack by Hamas, from the land, air and sea must have taken months to plan, train and prepare for execution.
And yet, Israel’s “most sophisticated“ intelligence agencies did not detect even a hint of such a devastating plan.
The price of utter arrogance
What does that say about the Israeli government, led by an arrogant and self-conceited prime minister, Netanyahu, who brags about Israel’s unmatched military capabilities and preparedness?
With the benefit of hindsight, it is downright breathtaking that Mr. Netanyahu was busy plotting to crush Israel’s democracy through his so-called judicial reforms and presumably reinforcing Israel’s security in the West Bank by sending thousands of troops to protect the settlers who have been rampaging against the Palestinians.
Hamas exploited the Netanyahu government’s endless bluster
Amidst all this pointless, if not ultimately self-destructive bluster by Netanyahu that proved to be a mega distraction from the earnest business of protecting Israel’s national security, Hamas was quietly preparing for this deadly attack.
That attack came on an unprecedented scale, exposing Israel’s vulnerability in the eyes of its strongest enemies, including Hezbollah and Iran.
The pointlessness of brutal force
For decades, the Israeli government has led the public to believe that the Palestinians will not cease their fight for independence unless Israel enacts brutal force against them.
This attack has proven this claim false, and that even under the harshest circumstances the Palestinians will never give up their fight for freedom and independence by answering violence with violence and will never succumb to Israeli forces.
The current Israeli government, whose minister in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank, Bezalel Smotrich, called earlier this year for wiping out the Palestinian village of Huwara and has given free reign to settlers to harass Palestinians at every turn, did nothing but usurp the last vestiges of hope for the Palestinians to be free again.
Occupier or occupied?
To treat the Palestinians as if they are the occupier rather than being occupied, as Minister Smotrich has claimed, is not only outrageous but self-defeating, as has been proven over the last 75 years.
The fact that Saturday’s brutal attack by Hamas occurred under the very “watch“ of the most militant government in Israel’s history has only proven its ineptitude, and that ignoring the Palestinian problem will happen at Israel’s peril.
Hamas knew too well that the people of Gaza would suffer massive losses of life and destruction for attacking Israel on such an unprecedented scale. The extent of the casualties and destruction inflicted by Israel already attests to that.
Hamas has nevertheless taken such a deadly but calculated risk because it is determined to change the dynamic of the conflict with Israel and create a new paradigm and force Israel to re-evaluate its position toward the Palestinians.
I found it interesting that Hamas’ spokesperson did not call for Israel’s destruction but, rather, called for an end to violations against Palestinians. He stated “We want the international community to stop atrocities in Gaza, against Palestinian people and our holy sites like Al-Aqsa. All these things are the reason behind starting this battle.”
The wisdom of “mow the lawn“
This is in response to the provocateur Itamar Ben-Gvir who, since he assumed the position of National Security Minister, has deliberately visited the Temple Mount, which by a 1967 agreement between Jordan and Israel Jews have been barred from visiting.
Whereas Hamas’ militant wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, has never reconciled itself with Israel’s existence and must be destroyed, Israel should send a clear message that it is willing to initiate peace negotiations with moderate Palestinian leaders to create a long-term reconciliation process that will lead to a permanent solution.
It is time for Israel to realize that the policy of going to Gaza to “mow the lawn“ every few years has failed miserably and accomplished nothing but deepen their resistance. The recent horrifying attack attests to this perilously misguided Israeli policy.
Although Israel has every right to defend itself and crush the irredeemable Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, who are backed by Iran and Hezbollah and will not accept Israel’s reality, Israel must also remember that the vast majority of the Palestinian people want to live in peace and accept Israel’s right to exist.
Sadly, though, extremist governments such as the current one led by Netanyahu, portray the Palestinians as if they were all terrorists and can never be trusted. Hence, in this view, they must be handled with an iron fist.
Ordinary people wanting to live a normal life
For how many more decades will Israel hold onto this baseless, perilous and counterproductive notion before it realizes that the Palestinians are vastly ordinary people who want to live a normal life just like any Israeli?
They should remember that hopelessness breeds despair, and despair breeds anger and resentment. This leaves the Palestinian people with the feeling that they have no choice but to resort to violence and risk death rather than live a life of endless despair.
Irrational like U.S. Republicans
This reminds me of the absurd position of those Republicans who oppose gun control in the United States in the aftermath of mass shootings.
After such an occurrence, they settle for sending prayers and condolences to the bereaved families, insisting that “this is not the time“ to talk about significant gun control laws, as if their prayers and condolences would stop the next mass shooting.
But this obviously was never the case, as mass shootings continue, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 Americans each year, and no effective gun control has been enacted.
This is also the case with any new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, or Israel and the Palestinians. No ceasefire or condemnations will stop the conflict between the two sides.
Those who are seeking peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Middle East should remember that if Israeli-Saudi normalization is established and it does not incorporate a clear path for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is nothing but a recipe for increasing regional violence and destabilization far beyond what we have seen thus far.
Biden must finally follow through
It is time for the Biden administration, which has been paying merely lip service to the two-state solution like all of its predecessors, to act on its formal position and insist that it is time for Israel to take this conflict with the Palestinians seriously.
The Biden administration must not assume for a moment that another ceasefire, regardless of its scope, will provide a lasting solution.
Moreover, the Saudis must make it publicly clear that there will be no normalization of relations with Israel unless a clear path is established that would lead to a permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Saying so publicly will allay the Palestinians’ concerns and that they will not be left behind to fend for themselves, while sending a clear message to the Israeli public that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be part and parcel of any agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, consistent with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.
In the final analysis, it is only when the Israeli public demands en masse a new peace initiative will any Israeli government act in earnest toward that end.
Not enough to unite for the Israelis in times of crisis
Indeed, it is not enough for the Israelis in times of crisis to unite. They must now unite to demand a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
They must now pour into the streets by the hundreds of thousands, akin to their protests against Netanyahu’s sinister effort to reform the judiciary, and remain relentless until their government agrees to enter into credible negotiations with the Palestinians.
Failing to do so is to simply be waiting, once again, for the next horrifying conflagration that may even be more severe than this attack, and cause incalculable losses of life that no Israeli could imagine in their wildest nightmare.
Investigate how the Netanyahu government was caught off-guard
Once the horrifying war has come to an end, and some sort of ceasefire takes place, tragically after thousands have been killed on both sides, a commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate how the Netanyahu government was caught off-guard.
There is no doubt that this government has taken the relatively passive resistance of the Palestinians for granted. It never even contemplated that they would ever be in a position to wage such an unprecedented assault. Those who are responsible in the government will have to be held accountable and pay the price.
Furthermore, the opposition leaders Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman and Merav Michaeli should heed Netanyahu’s call for a unity government on the condition that once the war ends he should resign and new elections be held.
Resignation now – or then
Short of that, the Israeli public must demand the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Instead of attending to Israel’s national security needs, he has been busy plotting to severely undermine the judiciary and sacrifice the national interest only to save his own skin.
He has betrayed the oath of his office, and must now vacate it to restore dignity and confidence to the title that he undeservedly carries.
It is time for Israel to realize that going to Gaza to “mow the lawn“ every few years has failed miserably and accomplished nothing but deepen Palestinian resistance.
Although Israel has every right to defend itself and crush Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, it must also remember that the vast majority of Palestinians want to live in peace and accept Israel’s right to exist.
For how many more decades will Israel hold to this baseless, perilous and counterproductive notion before it realizes the Palestinians are ordinary people who want to live a normal life just like any Israeli?
It is only when the Israeli public demands en masse a new peace initiative that any Israeli government will act in earnest toward that end.
If Israeli-Saudi normalization is established and it does not incorporate a clear path for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is nothing but a recipe for increasing regional violence and destabilization.
It is time for the Biden administration to act on its formal position and insist that it is time for Israel to take this conflict with the Palestinians seriously.
Once the horrifying war has come to an end and some sort of ceasefire takes place, a commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate how the Netanyahu government was caught off-guard.
Netanyahu has betrayed the oath of his office, and must now vacate it to restore dignity and confidence to the title that he undeservedly carries.