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Where Did This Latest Version of Hamas Get Its Chutzpah?

Published: (Updated: ) in Jewish News by .

No other nation is so unfailingly scrutinized for how it defends itself in wars not of its own making.

The post Where Did This Latest Version of Hamas Get Its Chutzpah? appeared first on Jewish Journal.

In this latest (still undeclared) war between Israel and Hamas, which began in 2005 when Israel voluntarily withdrew from Gaza in hopes of bringing about a de facto peace, we have reached Round 4. After just a few days, the casualty count is 67 Palestinians (which includes 16 Hamas commanders) and 8 Israelis (2 IDF soldiers) dead. Those numbers, and that ratio, are sure to increase.

Welcome back to the same war, recycled and renewed every few years, where a lone Jewish nation, surrounded by 22 massively large Arab states, is under rocket attack—over 1,500 and counting since Monday—from a genocidal terrorist group armed by Iran. (Yes, Hamas is a proxy of Iran, too, along with the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Shiite terror groups in Syria and Iraq.)

Meanwhile, that embattled Jewish state is already being second-guessed about whether it is fighting fair and showing proper restraint in responding to those rockets. No other nation is so unfailingly scrutinized for how it defends itself in wars not of its own making. There is even the casual suggestion to lay down its weapons until the body count and death toll is equal. Others say that Israel should apologize for its lightning strike capabilities and superior anti-missile system (“Iron Dome”).

Finishing off its enemy is never an option with outside nations shouting “ceasefire”—ironically, the same people who cheered the flattening of Hiroshima and Dresden at the end of World War II.

And when this latest conflict between Israel and Gaza comes to an end, global opinion will presume that Israel sue for peace rather than set the terms for surrender. The International Criminal Court had already opened an investigation into Israel’s wartime actions since 2014.

What’s one more?

We are already seeing this play out in real time. After just two days of escalating clashes, the members of Congress who make-up the Squad have already accused Israel of “terrorism,” “ethnic cleansing” and “apartheid.”

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Such loaded language is propagated without reprieve on the campus green, but we are now hearing it uttered in the public square—by elected officials! Expect more original surprises from the progressive plank of the Democratic Party, with its outsized influence in the Biden administration, as many voters of Biden, this one included, had feared.

This misapplied language is dangerous because these words, in particular, have very specific meaning intended to worsen tensions and even incite violence. And, more importantly, they don’t accurately reflect the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

There can be no ethnic cleansing when the Palestinian population has more than doubled since the “Occupation” began. For genocide to occur, a population must be drastically reduced by mass murder. Adding numbers to the population is not part of the calculus.

Apartheid is inapposite when Arab Israelis participate fully in representative democracy, vote for their own political parties, seat judges on the Israeli Supreme Court and where Jews and Muslims travel together on public transportation and eat in the same restaurants.

Hamas intentionally exposes its own people to Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes, along with recruiting children to serve as human shields. They fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers. Such acts are war crimes—everywhere, seemingly, except in Gaza. Under any rule of engagement, even in asymmetric war zones where Israel is forced to fight, retaliating against Hamas is a national obligation. Calling it “terrorism” is vicious slander from people who know better, except perhaps Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who once trivialized 9/11 by calling it “some people did something.”

While we’re on the subject of misused words intended to stir mischief, an “occupation” is not in progress if no sovereign country called Palestine ever existed. Without a preexisting Palestinian state, this ongoing conflict is a stubborn land dispute with both sides claiming a right to territories on which both peoples always lived. Israel is not a foreign power lawlessly occupying another nation.

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What set off this latest installment? Skirmishes during Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque with rocks thrown at Israeli security forces and rubber bullets, stun grenades and gas bombs returned against worshiper-protestors? The impending eviction of six Palestinian families from their homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood, after years of proceedings in Israeli courts?

The response from Hamas—its coordinated, multi-varied attack, including rockets aimed at Jerusalem, which had never before been targeted, in spite of its large Muslim population and sacred Dome of the Rock—couldn’t have spontaneously arisen from just two days of civil unrest. This campaign had to have been planned.

After nearly seven years of relative calm, what motivated Hamas to unveil its newest Iranian weaponry and stand ready to receive Israel’s counterstrikes?

Perhaps it was a White House that indiscreetly gave them the green light.

The Biden administration has yet to appoint an Ambassador to Israel or a Middle East envoy. They have found time, however, to restore $290 million in funding to the Palestinians, more than half of which earmarked for UNRWA, infamous, among other things, for spreading anti-Semitism among Palestinian school children, and perpetuating the canard that Palestinians are, in fact, refugees from places like Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Donald Trump eliminated all this funding because he assessed the Palestinian leadership honestly and saw corrupt terrorists rather than potential peacemakers and nation builders. Now that it has been reinstated, rest assured that little or any of it will ever be spent on schools or hospitals. Palestinian infrastructure, especially in Gaza, always has a more murderous end.

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Plans are also underway to reopen the PLO Mission in Washington, D.C., which the prior administration had unceremoniously shut down.

The terrorists who command Hamas have notoriously bad judgment, but they do have eyes and ears. Muslim congresswomen with access to the Oval Office are trumpeting Israel as terrorists. Sizable checks are once more being cut for the benefit of Palestinians. Shuttered offices reopening.

The Biden administration seems to be reverting back to the foolish policies of the Obama playbook—ingratiate Iran, be more “even-handed” with Israel and romanticize the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. It doesn’t matter whether Palestinians remain more committed to violence than statehood.

The Biden administration seems to be reverting back to the foolish policies of the Obama playbook—ingratiate Iran, be more “even-handed” with Israel and romanticize the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. It doesn’t matter whether Palestinians remain more committed to violence than statehood.

After four years in which Israel signed historic normalization agreements with several Gulf countries and the Palestinians were given the stark choice—statesmen or terrorists, which do you want to be?—the United States is resuming bad habits and sending the altogether wrong message.

What’s more, they may have set Hamas’ renewed gumption in motion.


Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro College, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. His most recent book is titled “Saving Free Speech … From Itself.”

The post Where Did This Latest Version of Hamas Get Its Chutzpah? appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/336553/where-did-this-latest-version-of-hamas-get-its-chutzpah/

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