Tag Archives: Hamas

Israel Vs. Hamas: Analysis

The Skeptic Conservative is having a fun time at college – Classes have started off well, and his new years resolutions include fun things like making this Blog successful, staying in shape – the usual stuff. This will be a busy week for me, but I’m going to hold myself to publishing at least an article a day – we’ll see how long I can keep it up! As always, write – comment – anything! It will make me a happy blogger, and happy bloggers write more.

The war between Israel and Hamas has been going on for over two weeks, with the end drawing near. We’ve seen it dominate the headlines and the debate on the internet, and we have seen a vehement reaction against almost everything Israel has done – which, I suppose, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Briefly, lets take a look at Israel’s actual goals in this conflict:

1) Stop the current rocket barrage

Call them bottle rockets, call them toys, crude instruments being thrown at a massive, technologically superior enemy – the fact remains that these weapons kill, and they disrupt daily life in Israel. It seems many people are fond of romanticizing these rockets, but reality doesn’t quite support them. It has been documented that rather then being simple bottle rockets, these are unguided explosive devices packed with shrapnel. Some are also more sophisticated rockets smuggled in under the Egyptian border, courtesy of Iran. Because of this, whenever they are noticed, all life stops in Israel for a few brief minutes as everyone takes cover and waits for the impact. The damage of this weapon is psychological, and to a lesser extent economical, and anyone who doesn’t realize how someone may be forever changed by a rocket exploding meters behind them and nearly killing them is being blind to the facts. The rockets can’t be allowed to continue, it endangers Israeli civilians too much.

2) Prevent future rocket barrages

This is something I am afraid that Israel may not do good on – but I sincerely hope they are serious this time. The classic problem with Hamas that every time Israel has ceded territory, the rocket barrages have not stopped. There are several ways this can be done – first, Israel could live up to their “Reputation” of being genocidal maniacs and flatten the entire Gazan strip with heavy artillery and carpet bombs. Of course, they aren’t going to do that because they value human life. The other way – and what it seems they’re doing – Is to more painstakingly secure the entire country, obliterate Hamas, and stabilize the country before they leave. That way, quality of life can improve, the Palestinians can realize that Israeli’s really don’t want to kill them all, and they can live without fear of Hamas killing squads executing those seen sympathizing with the Zionists. This cannot last for too long – but it has to happen at some point for the peace process to move forward.

3)Destabilize and De-legitimize Hamas

Sure, Hamas was a popularly elected government – but it is an illegitimate one and the Palestinians made a poor choice in selecting them. Democracy is good – but in this case it failed because an extremist organization was able to seize power in the immediate aftermath of a bloody civil war. The Palestinians were half forced, half incited to vote the way they did, making them the ultimate victims. Hamas has no incentives to make peace in the region since their stated mission is to destroy and conquer Israel, so they simply must be toppled. They do not truly represent the people and their interests, since they do not value their lives.

4) Put a good face on the war

Israel is simply trying to hard here. Before you chew me out, listen – We have already seen that the media is not interested in supporting Israel in the least. Despite showing tremendous restraint in response to Hamas, every case of friendly fire and collateral damage have been blown out of proportion. Israel needs to continue as they have, without fear – if they continue to be righteous, and ESPECIALLY if they help rebuild Gaza, the world will favor them in the long run. For now, no matter what they do, they will be condemned. I’m not saying they should completely shun the press – but they should not let the media and their headlines dictate their policies. It is weakness, and it is exactly what Hamas is seeking.

Hamas’ Goals

Hamas’ simple goals can be summed as follows:

1) Conquer Israel

It should be obvious to people that Hamas has a dedicated vendetta against the existence of Israel the state. It is blatantly, boldly stated in their charter that their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel. They want to violently reclaim Israel’s territory, and most of all they want Jerusalem. They are not interested in coexistence with moderates, much less Jews. It is simply not possible to make peace with such a group unless you can convince them to change their views with diplomatic means, and as necessary, military means.

2) Maximize Civilian Casualties

Hamas does not value human life. They have demonstrated this time and time again in their struggle with Israel – using human shields is now a common tactic with them. Why shouldn’t they? The media loves to ignore, or sidestep, the fact that Hamas goes out of it’s way to put civilians in harm’s way. Rockets are fired from neighborhoods, Hamas operations are conducted in hospitals, all to guarantee that as rocket positions are destroyed, civilians are caught in the cross fire. Hamas also doesn’t hesitate to kill civilians who oppose their agenda. They even broadcast television shows that seek to brainwash children into hating Israel, Jews, and advocating their violent overthrow. To Hamas, the Palestinian people are useful tools to further their agenda, and nothing more. They do not value their lives much beyond that.

3) Wage Propaganda War Against Israel

This is the number one tactic of Hamas in it’s fight against Israel. Almost all of their public actions are carefully planned and carried out in a way to make Israel look bad. They cater to the West’s disgust of war by making sure Israel is forced to attack “civilian” targets, that women and children are killed, and that civilians get caught in the cross fire. To the mainstream, it seems that they can do no wrong – and they are cast as the David in David vs. Goliath. They also use the internet rather effectively – a tactic that saw widespread use with Al Qaeda in Iraq. They hate the West – but they will not hesitate to exploit the West’s weaknesses in order to fight them.

4) Continue the fight at all costs

Hamas has continually violated cease fires, truces, etc. during this prolonged struggle with Israel. Despite numerous concessions made by Israel, Hamas and their allies have continued the fight. In periods of peace, they smuggle in weapons, consolidate their power and then they begin to provoke Israel into striking back, and ‘breaking’ the truce. You would have to be a careful observer of television news to notice that Hamas had been firing rockets all summer long, despite the truce that had been put in place in July. Hamas cannot be assumed to act in good faith because of this.

In Sum:

Above all else, it is highly essential for you, who are mostly people in the western world, to realize that we are looking at a completely different culture then ours. Hamas takes itself very seriously – they know they are combating a technologically superior enemy that could squash them like a bug, but they are not afraid to go to the horrific lengths that we would not consider. I can almost guarantee that if somehow, Hamas had the strength and military might of Israel, they would not hesitate to massacre the entire nation, annihilate all signs of their presence, and build it over with symbols of their own culture. Hamas practices a branch of Islam that preaches violence, and spreading their religion by the sword. This is a fundamental facet of the ideology we find ourselves battling in Iraq and Afghanistan – to them it is a religious, cultural struggle. It is a sad and unfortunate thing that this branch of Islam has not undergone a reformation like Christianity has – but we must continue to oppose and battle this ideology of hate and oppression. But consider what I am saying carefully – I am deliberately singling out Extreme Islam, not moderate Islam. This struggle – this culture war, is sadly becoming one of the most key struggles in our history, and we must stand strong against it.

EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing

Monologue: Israel vs Hamas

First of all, before I dive into the rhetoric, let me begin by saying I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday season and New Years.

As I relaxed during my vacation, things heated up considerably between Israel and Palestine. We saw a week of air strikes followed by a massive ground invasion of the Gaza strip. As ‘official’ casualties stand, 4 Israeli’s are dead and roughly 400 Palestinians are dead, most of them Hamas members. This is obviously a huge story, and represents several things for Israel. The events have been and will be discussed to death – and people continue to endlessly argue about the why, the how, the what of how evil/cruel/ruthless either side is. Truth be told, we will not know the real answers until this is over. But, Israel is entirely justified in their actions, and are going about this as carefully and powerfully as they should be.

It’s important to look upon these events with a sense of perspective – Israel and Hamas greatly mistrust each other. They have been fighting for years, and both sides have dirt on their hands. However, Hamas has proven itself over and over again to be a ruthless regime that cares little for the good of their people. As part of their charter, their stated goal is to annihilate Israel, to keep up the fight until they have taken back all of ‘their’ land. As part of the truce that expired, we saw continuous rocket fire over the entire sumer. Hardly the stance of a country that wants to make peace. Hamas leaders, in the past, and especially when this past ‘truce’ was ratified, have openly, even proudly stated that any peace achieved would be used to gather strength and to prepare for fighting Israel. It is easy for many of us to underestimate such statements, dismiss them out of hand – but they take themselves seriously. They use any and all means to battle, as we see when they masterfully employ propaganda to further their goals. When they were given Gaza, they made sure that infrastructure was destroyed in order to perpetuate Palestinian’s constant state of misery – this misery and poverty makes them very susceptible to being manipulated and used as tools in a far greater agenda.  We also cannot forget the fact that Hamas is openly backed and supported by Iran – an accepted enemy and rival of Israel.

The government of Hamas is not interested in peace. They oppress their countrymen, and have forced Israel to act as harsh as they have the past year. The borders are closed for a reason – Weapon smuggling is rampant, and UN refugee camps have been used as centers for inciting hatred, violence, producing suicide bombers, and building weapons. Israel has every reason to want to control the flow over their borders, because they have been abused in the past. Egypt keeps their border closed as well – they do not want to get involved, and have other motives – which results in no supplies getting through except through smuggling tunnels. Egypt, like much of the arab world, sees the Palestinians as a useful thorn in the side of Israel. There are many reasons for this – there’s plenty of bad blood with Israel over past, lost wars, and with all the attention focused on Israel, they can maintain their oppressive regimes with little scrutiny. They will protest, trumpet loudly about the evils of the zionists – but they will only go so far, and we have seen them waffle and waver this past week.

Hamas must be toppled, and Israel has to step up to the plate and assist the Gazan state in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring normalcy to the area. Israel has already stated that their sole goal is to destroy Hamas, they have no intention of long term occupation. Gaza now belongs to the Palestinians, and it will stay that way. I urge all of you foaming at the mouth to condemn Israel to watch, wait, and observe events closely these next few weeks – roughly a week ago, Israel opened a border crossing, and we have seen them specifically target Hamas military targets. Civilian deaths result, despite the precision weaponry, because Hamas deploys in population centers. But, as Israel fills the region, and kicks Hamas out (Hamas has no chance of winning this fight, something I will discuss soon) we will likely see an outpouring of aid into the area.

I hope that I’m right, and I hope that this conflict is resolved as soon as possible. Not only is it dangerous for Israeli’s and Palestinians, it’s crucial to remember that as long as this conflict goes on, the world’s eyes will be averted from all else. Now is the perfect time for malevolent forces and regimes the world over to make bold moves and further their goals, and they’ve already begun.

A good overview of the overall situation, and yes, I read this AFTER I wrote this post. (Courtesy of a fellow digger)

http://www.honestreporting.com/a/gaza2008primer.html  ((Unfortunately dead link, goes to main page))

EDIT 6/10/13: Removed old announcements, dead link warning