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The Insane Hamas War

Even parts of the Arab world are saying: enough already.

by
P. David Hornik

Bio

July 16, 2014 - 10:21 am
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Oh for a thousand. That’s Hamas’s batting average on the eighth day of what Israel calls Operation Protective Edge and what could be called the Insane Hamas War. Hamas has now fired over a thousand rockets at Israel, each time with the hope of inflicting multiple Israeli fatalities, but it still—thanks mainly, of course, to Israel’s remarkable Iron Dome missile-defense system—hasn’t inflicted a single one.

Hamas has also tried to kill Israelis with a maritime infiltration, a tunnel infiltration, and a drone launch—all foiled.

Meanwhile, as the Israeli Foreign Ministry reported, Israel

has targeted over 1,576 terror targets, from the air and the sea. Among the sites targeted by the IDF are: long-range rocket launchers, Hamas leadership facilities, terror and smuggling tunnels, fuel-smuggling tunnels, compounds and training sites, communications facilities, air defense elements, concealed launchers, and additional sites used for terror activities targeting Israel, including command and control centers.

These are almost all, needless to say, accurate hits, inflicting great damage on Hamas. Israel has also reportedly inflicted about 200 fatalities—some of them, of course, very famously, unintentionally killed civilians—and a much higher number of wounded.

Hamas was offered a way out of this seemingly losing situation on Tuesday morning when the Israeli cabinet voted 6-2 to accept an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would stop all hostilities if Hamas did, and then work for a diplomatically achieved disarmament of Hamas. Hamas’s military wing—which now appears to be running things in Gaza—responded by turning the offer down flat and firing dozens more rockets. Even then, it took Israel a few hours to start pummeling Hamas again.

What does Hamas want? Apart from the obvious, “glorious” one of murdering men, women, and children, various analysts mention these possible motives: inspiring a new intifada on the West Bank; getting Egypt to reopen the border crossings it has closed; getting Fatah to pay the salaries of 40,000 Hamas civil servants in Gaza; and shoring up its political status vis-à-vis Fatah among the Palestinians. Except—possibly—the last of those, Hamas has achieved none of those goals in these eight days.

Top Rated Comments   
How long can the Israelis tolerate the constant threat of attack?

So far, it's been 66 years....
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
David: "Others say it would cost too many lives and, with Hamas now in a weak position, wedged between Israel on one side and the fiercely anti-Muslim Brotherhood, anti-Hamas regime of Egypt’s Sisi on the other, Israel can eventually prevail without boots on the ground."

Well then these others must believe Hamas must be giving up. It is hopelessly surrounded. It is squeezed between Israel and Egypt. But I read "eventually."
But eventually won't the Israel version of our libruls prevail in letting Hamas off the hook with the result of Israel being right back where it started...again?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Growing up in the Bronx of the '50s and '60s, in addition to my Irish, American, and Catholic heritages, I was blessed with a mother who always had at her fingertips an extensive interpersonal relations playbook. Some of her most gone-to plays were "Let's nip this in the bud." and "Don't make me come back in here again." But, my personal favorite was the "So, you got more than you thought you had bargained for."

My military daze was thankfully short and mired at the very tactical end of the business, so I have no pretense of being a capital "S" strategist. But, there are a couple of things that occur to me as hinted in my opening paragraph. Obviously, my mother's first two approaches have pretty much gone by the boards at this point in the Israeli-Hamas interpersonal relationship, so lets focus a bit on the last.

My memory now being what it is, I remember the last as being used at times when I had managed, in spite of all my enumerated heritages, to annoy my Big Sister to the point of physical retaliation immediately after which I would look to plead my victimization to my eternally vigilant maternal parent. Wound-repair was forthcoming on an occasion or two but emotional sympathy or parental intervention seemed to be more theory than fact.

Since all those days, I have read a couple of books that I would recommend for their applicability to the Israeli-Hamas situation. They both deal with the Indian Wars in the American West. The first would be T.R. Fehrenbach's "Comanches: The History of a People" and the other would be C.M. Robinson's "Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie. If one looks at those wars as "insurgencies" or, the even more modern "asymmetrical conflicts", one can see that continuing pressure on an opponent can result in some serious success on the field of battle.

Thus, I offer this. If one views Hamas as a kind of cancer that is trying very hard to metastasize, appropriate medicine should be made available and delivered on an ongoing schedule. Israel has been too patient for too long. My beloved mother's playbook has been gone through and the problem still remains and seems to have grown. Israel needs to steel itself to the fact that these Hamas folks are pretty much nuts and that ceasing fire and trying to make nice are not the ways out of this briar patch. Constant pressure is what comes to my mind and by that I mean that any time Israel can identify a Hamas target the IDF should go after it, starting, if not today, then tomorrow and continuing day in and day out until Hamas is out of the "resistance" business for all times.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (25)
All Comments   (25)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Sorry, HAMAS.... Israel gave you guys Gaza....

.....and you screwed up (no surprise)....

NOW GET OUT.

Mr. Netanyahu, your reputation can't be damaged anymore than it is already..... blast those God forsaken goat fornicators to Hell & gone!!!!
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Palestine is not a country. Palestinians are not a people. Palestinianism is a criminal enterprise. It allows a few tyrants at the top of the pyramid to become fabulously wealthy. Abbas is a billionaire. The three fiends that lead Hamas are collectively worth almost $300 million dollars. They keep their personal families safe while they send their co-religionists to die as cannon fodder..
As long as the fallacy of Palestine is tolerated by the world community there will be despots willing to exploit the masses of muslims who are for the most part illiterate and live in the dark ages.
Do not think for a moment that anywhere in the world is safe from this cancer. It must be ruthlessly uprooted.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are absolutely correct. An "invented" people with an "invented" history who are run by psychopaths.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
ISRAEL IS DAMNED IF IT WIPES OUT HAMAS AND DAMNED IF IT DOESN'T.
This is a war of perception, public relations and politics. The perception is this: Hamas is the underdog. Hamas is no match for the Israelis. Israel's air campaign is unfair. Anyone with that much air power can win. The more Hamas proves that it's the gang that can't shoot straight, the more people worldwide are rooting for it. The public relations is this: Boots on the ground will cause tremendous loss of lives on both sides. So even if Israel wins on the ground, it loses. Loss of life gives Hamas world sympathy and more aid. The politics is such that every action an Israeli soldier takes will be second-guessed. When a soldier is too careful it can be deadly -- for him. When you add this to the lawfare, phony death videos and the news agencies throughout the world just waiting to pounce on any simple Israeli mistake, Israel can't win for winning.

6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
We will win with our tanks, planes and guns.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Criminal cartels are often their own explanation - they get something for nothing. There is power, money, women. Who would the leaders of Hamas be if they were in civilian life: taxi drivers, sellers of bread in the market?

Probably the only chance for Gaza to ever truly be disarmed is for an multi-national Arab force with no Westerners present to go in and remove Hamas by force. Civilians would at least have some level of trust in such a thing and might cooperate if the Hamas leadership were plucked out and treated in the same way the West treats criminals in The Hague. But where is a "Hague" in the middle east?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems like Hamas is now clearly cast as the "weak horse" and the IDF is clearly the "strong horse". Hamas would be more than happy to suffer all the losses that the IDF is inflicting if they were also killing loads of Israelis ... but they've got zilch. The real damage here is that Hamas hasn't hurt a flea in Israel ... they appear positively feckless at this point .. that could be the fatal blow for Hamas.

Israel is perhaps, via Iron Dome, turning upside down the old adage that "the best defense is a strong offense"

The winners here, besides Israel, are Fatah and Egypt ... the losers include not only Hamas, but their patron the Iranian mullahs.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe it's just me. But does anybody smell a "good cop, bad cop" scenario
somewhere in the Arab world? Not one that necessarily involves Egypt.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, do not believe that all Israeli attacks hit their targets, nobody is that good. Second, do no believe that the Iron Dome is as good as advertised, there is a guy publishing that it is not even close and that the lack of Israeli casualities is due much more to taking shelter from mostly inaccurate rockets. The point being this is MUCH harder on Israel than they are letting on. It is after all a war.

Of course it is insane, but so far it is working for Hamas, Israel is NOT attacking anything at an effective rate. And the Israeli attacks are extremely costly in dollars, even when they do work. This cannot continue. Israel CANNOT destroy Hamas without doing FAR more collateral damage in Gaza, so encouragement from Egypt is empty. Now, if EGYPT would like to send in 50,000 of their troops to root out and kill Hamas, THAT would be helpful. If the US wants to fund something useful, that would be it!
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
You must be Baghdad Bob's little infant brother. You are the only person in the world who believes that "so far it is working for Hamas."

The bottom line is, after all, the bottom line. Zero Israeli killed by the rockets, zero damage to any significant Israeli facility, including their nuclear reactors that were most especially targeted by Hamas. The majority of Hamas rockets aren't being shot down by Iron Dome, but that is primarly because most of their rockets are poorly targeted and land in open areas away from any important targets, and Iron Dome distinguishes between rockets that are threats and those that are not.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nope, One Israeli man killed and the ratio is too low at that rate. 100K to 1 is better but not optimum.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Me, and the guys continuing to launch rockets, and the guys writing the ongoing Hamas press releases. And everyone tut-tutting Israel. They don't play by our rules. Yes it's hard to wrap your head around, but there is often a logic to insanity, just not a logic you really want to use for yourself. Still it helps to understand.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
There were probably at least a couple of hard-cores who believed Baghdad Bob, besides you. Didn't make him any less ridiculous.

In a war fought for PR purposes - which is what all of these Palestinian attacks ever and always are - Hamas has already lost, fully, completely, incontrovertibly. The usual suspects say otherwise, but even they are extremely quiet on this go-round. Nobody buys their BS.

In the old days, they could blow up some cafes or buses or elementary schools and declare victory ... they can't even pull that off anymore.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
David: "Others say it would cost too many lives and, with Hamas now in a weak position, wedged between Israel on one side and the fiercely anti-Muslim Brotherhood, anti-Hamas regime of Egypt’s Sisi on the other, Israel can eventually prevail without boots on the ground."

Well then these others must believe Hamas must be giving up. It is hopelessly surrounded. It is squeezed between Israel and Egypt. But I read "eventually."
But eventually won't the Israel version of our libruls prevail in letting Hamas off the hook with the result of Israel being right back where it started...again?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

Growing up in the Bronx of the '50s and '60s, in addition to my Irish, American, and Catholic heritages, I was blessed with a mother who always had at her fingertips an extensive interpersonal relations playbook. Some of her most gone-to plays were "Let's nip this in the bud." and "Don't make me come back in here again." But, my personal favorite was the "So, you got more than you thought you had bargained for."

My military daze was thankfully short and mired at the very tactical end of the business, so I have no pretense of being a capital "S" strategist. But, there are a couple of things that occur to me as hinted in my opening paragraph. Obviously, my mother's first two approaches have pretty much gone by the boards at this point in the Israeli-Hamas interpersonal relationship, so lets focus a bit on the last.

My memory now being what it is, I remember the last as being used at times when I had managed, in spite of all my enumerated heritages, to annoy my Big Sister to the point of physical retaliation immediately after which I would look to plead my victimization to my eternally vigilant maternal parent. Wound-repair was forthcoming on an occasion or two but emotional sympathy or parental intervention seemed to be more theory than fact.

Since all those days, I have read a couple of books that I would recommend for their applicability to the Israeli-Hamas situation. They both deal with the Indian Wars in the American West. The first would be T.R. Fehrenbach's "Comanches: The History of a People" and the other would be C.M. Robinson's "Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie. If one looks at those wars as "insurgencies" or, the even more modern "asymmetrical conflicts", one can see that continuing pressure on an opponent can result in some serious success on the field of battle.

Thus, I offer this. If one views Hamas as a kind of cancer that is trying very hard to metastasize, appropriate medicine should be made available and delivered on an ongoing schedule. Israel has been too patient for too long. My beloved mother's playbook has been gone through and the problem still remains and seems to have grown. Israel needs to steel itself to the fact that these Hamas folks are pretty much nuts and that ceasing fire and trying to make nice are not the ways out of this briar patch. Constant pressure is what comes to my mind and by that I mean that any time Israel can identify a Hamas target the IDF should go after it, starting, if not today, then tomorrow and continuing day in and day out until Hamas is out of the "resistance" business for all times.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
"One is Israel’s very salutary display of awesome offensive and defensive prowess to the Middle East at large."

Just in case the Arabs might have forgotten, that they have no military chance against Israel.

It has been a truly impressive display. They are demonstrating how far ahead of their enemies they are. This is what a first-world nation looks like, when it is goaded into doing some buttwhuppin'.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment

But I wonder if the Palestinians don't have a better shot at their goals in the long run that they appear to now. The constant threat of attacks in Israel has to take a psychological toll. The goal of terrorism is to achieve political ends by imposing psychological pressure in the form or terror. How long can the Israelis tolerate the constant threat of attack?
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
As long as it takes.
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
How long can the Israelis tolerate the constant threat of attack?

So far, it's been 66 years....
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
6 weeks ago
6 weeks ago Link To Comment
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