The Hamas corps is making mistakes in Gaza

In his new book on last May’s chapter of Hamas’ protracted war against Israel, “Gaza Conflict 2021”, Middle East scholar Jonathan Schanzer points out this anomaly: Even when the historical conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors shrinks, with new diplomatic relations expanding every month, Iran’s proxy war against Israel intensifies.

Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, describes the threats that Hamas poses to Israel on its southern border and by Hezbollah on its northern border.

The estimated 4,350 rockets fired at Israeli civilian centers from the Gaza Strip in May were virtually all funded or manufactured by Iran. Hamas may have as many as 30,000 more waiting to be used when they choose it. On the Lebanese border in the north, Hezbollah, a de facto unit of the Tehran government, has stored 150,000 rockets, paid for and supplied by Iran, which, like Hamas and Hezbollah, has been promised the annihilation of Israel.

Another anomaly is that every time Hamas or Hezbollah fires rockets into Israel and Israel tries to defend itself against them, it is Israel that many American progressives condemn. When it comes to the left, the Jewish state finds itself trapped in a vise between gullibility and hatred. The credulity is old. Hate is older. Although Schanzer does not put it that way, there are some on the left who do not know the Gaza Strip from the Isle of Wight, Hamas from Greenpeace. But be aware of this: if Israeli civilians are under siege and their government is trying to protect them, it is in these neighborhoods that Israel will be condemned.

The May conflict began with the first of thousands of rockets fired by Hamas against Israeli civilians, and ended with some on the left lamenting that Israel had defense systems in place to try to intercept them, preventing Israelis from becoming torn. This was not even. Hamas did the same in 2008, 2012 and 2014. “The 2021 conflict was the fourth war,” Schanzer writes. “There’s a fifth coming.”

Of course there will. Every time Hamas tries to shred Israelis, it will be Israel that gets a political hit – in Europe, in academia and now in progressive circles, where the madness when it comes to Israel becomes more eye-rolling with each conflict.

To be sure, the Israel-as-human-rights-violator narrative has hit some speed bumps in the form of observations from experts who never got The Memo. After the 2014 period of the conflict, in which Israel absorbed 5,000 Hamas rockets, General Martin Dempsey, President Obama’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. “I actually think Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit side damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey said. “The Israeli defense forces (are) not interested in creating civilian casualties. They are interested in stopping the firing of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel.”

The Gaza-based leader of the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency got himself in trouble in May when he praised Israel for the “precision” with which it managed to deliberately target Hamas’ military areas embedded in civilian areas, limiting harm to innocent people. This displeased Hamas, and he was forced to pull it out of Gaza for “consultations.”

A small but tenacious group in the Democratic Party insisted that it was Israel’s fault that they were trying to prevent its civilians from being set on fire. “We are opposed to our money going to fund militarized politics, occupation and systems of violent repression and trauma,” proclaimed Missouri Congressman Cori Bush, presumably referring to the Iron Dome interception system, which exists solely to prevent Hamas rockets. in murdering innocent people.

The triumph of political fashion over reason is a story of the time. But Hamas’ indulgence and the progressive demonization of Israel are in its own main category.


Jeff Robbins is a Boston lawyer and former U.S. delegate to the UN Commission on Human Rights

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