History will remember the current Gaza conflict improperly baptized “Edge of Security” as a pendulum shifting between fruitless negotiation and indecisive combat, with Hamas driving the oscillations. The ministerial cabinet of Prime Ministre Nethanyahu and its many advisers somehow fail to understand that they are the dupes of the deceitful game that Hamas plays. Hamas in its Covenant opens by pledging “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Unless the Hamas leadership is stupid, which is hard to believe, it must have realized that its rockets will not obliterate Israel. So why does Hamas recurrently break the ceasefires and resort to its ineffective rockets? It is because this tactic activates the most powerful weapon in its arsenal: bannering the image of a blood dripping baby to ignate reprobation by public opinion, condamnation by democratic governments, boycotts, antisemitism, to which Israel is very sensitive. Hamas knows that launching its rockets from sites amidst densely populated areas will draw Israeli retalation that, despite restraining measures, finally results in high casualties. Article eight of the Hamas Covenant dictates this conduct: “Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” The ordeal of the Gazans is part of the Hamas ideology,
Some may argue this ideology was born in despair. The majority of Gazans are offsprings of refugees that fled in 1948 during Israel’s war of independence and were since maintained in appalling living conditions in UNWRA camps. However, this is not the ground where the Ismalic fundamentalism germinated. In his 2003 book “Who killed Daniel Pearl” French philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy investigates Jihad fundamentalism to discover its most devoted followers among the priveleged Western educated. In “Thieves in the night”, a 1945 novel based on inquiries for The Times, Arthur Koestler, the Hungarian-British journalist, writes that Islamic militancy is the appanage of the well-off Arabs.
As a matter of fact, Hamas sees the eradication of Israel as a step toward a broader objective that has no bearing on the misery of the refugees: the establishment of the Islamic State in all lands ever conquered by the companions of the Prophet. For reference I include excerpts of the Covenant article nine “As for the objectives: They are the fighting against the false, defeating it and vanquishing it so that justice could prevail, homelands be retrieved and from its mosques would the voice of the mu’azen emerge declaring the establishment of the state of Islam, so that people and things would return each to their right places and Allah is our helper.” and article eleven: “the law governing the land of Palestine is the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.” Even the blind can see Hamas draws its doctrine directly from Hitlerism. First exterminate the Jews then conquer the World. Reading the sections of the Covenant quoting “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” renders the parallel with Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” even more striking.
To overcome Hitlerism the Allied had to rout the German military might at the cost of Europe’s devastation and tens of millions of deaths. Is this the path that Israel should follow to end the Hamas threat? It is an option, but I believe less brutal options should be considered. In the first place, despite its fanatism, Hamas does not possess the military capabilities that foddered German expansionism. Secondly, although it can count on sympathy of 300 millions Arabs and over a billion Moslems, Hamas threatens Arabs and Moslems that have opted for a secular way of life. Divided interests of the Arab and Moslem World limit translating sympathy into effective support. De-fusing Hamas requires that bold new ideas emerge from the Israeli leadership that would resolve the territorial discontinuities between Samaria, Judea and the Gaza Strip to create a viable and dignified Palestinian Arab State prospering in peaceful harmony alongside the Jewish State.