Whenever you hear Gaza described as an “unwinnable conflict” ask yourself: do they mean that victory is similarly prohibited to Hamas? Bill Roggio notes that Iran, Syria and Hamas are aiming for nothing less than a Hamas victory over Fatah, and in the long run, Israel. For these three, war isn’t futile. It’s is working pretty well for them.
“The Iranians and Syrians are using Hamas to undermine the Palestinian Authority and other moderate Arab governments,” the Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post. “Victory for Hamas in this war would mean victory for Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. This is something we need to prevent.”
If that’s correct, then any outcome which ensures the survival of Hamas are deathblows to the peace process, since by definition it means a defeat for anyone willing to negotiate with Israel. Syria and Iran know this and are determined to keep the party of war in the saddle.
Hamas may be under pressure to continue fighting despite a recent statement by Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political leader in the Gaza Strip, that he might be willing to implement a cease-fire. Iran has warned Hamas that its funding would be shut off if it cut a deal with the Israelis, an Egyptian government official told The Jerusalem Post.
“As soon as the Iranians heard about the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, they dispatched the two officials to Damascus on an urgent mission to warn the Palestinians against accepting it,” the Egyptian government official said.
“The Iranians threatened to stop weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed to a cease-fire with Israel,” the official continued. “The Iranians want to fight Israel and the US indirectly. They are doing this through Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
With Hamas taking its orders from Khaled Mashal in Damascus and its weapons and money from Iran, one might be forgiven for thinking that the rocket attacks on Israel are really a thinly disguised act of aggression by Damascus and Teheran. But we are never to think that. What we are meant to believe is that the cause of peace requires that Hamas be allowed to survive and the Iranian weapons shipments to continue.
The conventional wisdom is that Israel “can never win” and must therefore buy its way out from under the rain of rockets. Who do they make the check out to? Hamas, Damascus or Teheran?