Hamas surprise attack on Israel seems to me to be a kind of suicide mission in which the retaliation will be much worse than the damage Hamas can cause.
And that damage is not inconsiderable.
- Yes, the vaunted Israeli intelligence forces seemed to miss this surprise attack entirely.
- Yes, Hamas kidnapped a bunch of kids at a local music festival. Reportedly, over a hundred Israelis have been kidnapped.
- Yes, Hamas shot some people in their cars, and shot civilians indiscriminately.
- Yes, Israel has already begun its retaliation, which everyone knows will continue for a long time.
- Yes, there are an estimated 510 Palestinians who have already been killed and approximately 2,750 more have been wounded.
- Yes, there are an estimated 800 Isrealis who have been killed, with more than 2,200 also wounded.
- These are all useless deaths, over 1300 people who have been killed for no reason. No reason at all.
This is why I call the “holy” land the “unholy” land. More blood has been spilled in this region for a longer period of time than probably anywhere else in the world.
Starting with the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE, and continuing with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, and then the razing of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews into the great diaspora, and more recently the eight recognized wars between the state of Israel and its neighboring Arab states, the two major Palestinian Arab uprisings known as the First Intifada and the Second Intifada, and a broad series of additional armed engagements, this is a region that, since the Israeli war for independence has barely seen any time where they weren’t at war.
Israel, by the way, has drifted further and further rightwards since the assassination of Yitkzhak Rabin in 1995, one of the clearest times where an assassination accomplished exactly what it was intended to accomplish.
Who says assassinations can’t be effective?
Israel is governed, once again, by Benjamin Netanyau, now in his sixth (but not necessarily consecutive) term as Prime Minister, who is essentially a criminal. Charged multiple times with various forms of corruption, Netanyahu is also the prime minister who tried to hijack the judiciary because he didn’t like some of the decisions coming from his own Supreme Court.
If only we could do that in the United States.
The residents of the Gaza Strip surely have many very legitimate grievances. Often described by rights groups as an “open air prison,” the Gaza Strip jams approximately 2,375,250 residents into 140.9 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated land areas on the planet. The Gaza Strip is blockaded not only by Israel, but also by Egypt.
It should be noted that Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula borders Gaza to the south — this is the territory that Israel returned to Egypt through the Camp David peace accords — which area is gigantic and largely unpopulated. The Peninsula consists of about 23,000 square miles — which makes it about 163 times as large as the Gaza Strip, and contains a population of only 600,000 — or about a quarter of the population of the Gaza Strip.
And yet, Hamas has not attacked the Sinai Peninsula, or asked Egypt if they could give them a few hundred more square miles — a drop in a bucket for Egypt — so that the territory could expand and provide more livable conditions for its people.
No they have not.
Hamas is, of course, dedicated to the permanent destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Not going to happen.
So instead we get another war. The people of Israel will rally behind their odious prime minister, hearts will harden, thousands more people will perish, the “two state solution” will become further removed from reality, and no borders will shift whatsoever.