Israel Must Win This War

The answer to Hamas’ barbarous attack would be to press on with efforts to consolidate a “peace axis” in the Middle East, in the spirit of the Abraham Accords.


Anyone who saw what happened on that terrible Shabbat, October 7th, was left in no doubt: Israel is facing pure evil. We saw on our screens a herd of bloodthirsty psychopaths taking pleasure from both the killing of Jews and Israelis and from the torture and abuse of the elderly, women, and children. 


Knowing this shouldn’t prevent us from understanding the context in which the events took place. What drove these messengers of the devil to carry out their scheme now? What was their strategic goal? 


Hamas is a steadfast opponent of peace. Anyone who has read their charter understands this immediately. Hamas is opposed to the two-state solution and any kind of recognition of Israel. Its main goal – based on an ideology that believes the entire area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea should be purely Islamic territory – is to uproot Israel from the entire land. Every Israeli remembers Hamas’s murderous attacks on Israeli cities during the Oslo years, which sought to wreck any agreement that would allow Israel to live in peace alongside the Palestinians. 


Hamas succeeded in killing Oslo. And this is their method regarding any other peace agreement. Now Hamas’s goal is also clear – to wreck the next stage of the peace process of the Abraham Accords, a stage which would open a new era in the Middle East with a trilateral agreement between Israel, the United States, and Saudi Arabia, who would follow in the footsteps of countries like the UAE and Morocco in making peace with Israel. The timing of the attack came a few days after an interview in which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that Saudi Arabia was quickly progressing towards a normalization agreement with Israel by joining the axis of moderate Arab states facing the Iranian extremists. The states of the “axis of opposition,” led by the fundamentalist Iran, understood that they might miss the train, and launched a murderous attack, with the goal of placing the Saudis in an impossible situation.


From the perspective of the Iranian-Qatari-Hamas axis, the plan was horrifyingly simple: Hamas would deliver a severe blow to Israel before immediately fortifying itself beneath the civilian population in Gaza. The Israel response would be quick and would cause harm to Gazan civilians, forced to act as human shields for the Hamas forces. When this happens, the axis’s media arm, Al-Jazeera, would broadcast the horrors faced by Gaza’s civilians to the entire Arab world, and public opinion would shift in support of the Palestinian victims. The Arab states who were considering establishing relations with Israel would be represented as traitors to the pan-Arab agenda of defending the Palestinians in Gaza and would be compelled to heed the call of the public (who would buy the story of there being a religious war against the Zionist occupiers) and withdraw. 


We are only at the beginning of the war, but at this stage one can say that Hamas and Iran are succeeding in their goal. Within a few hours of the start of the war, Saudi Arabia already announced that it was freezing talks with Israel and the United States. In Morocco, the most senior Arab state to normalize relations with Israel, hundreds of thousands went out onto the streets to demonstrate “for Palestine,” while missing the point that they were strengthening their greatest enemy – Iran.


What Hamas perhaps didn’t anticipate is the broad support that the evidence of their horrors created for Israel. We are witnessing unprecedented support for Israel as a defender of the free world. Of course, we mustn’t ignore the Western voices that view Hamas terrorism as the “decolonization” of Palestine. They’re missing the point that Hamas and the Palestinians are only a pawn in the hands of the Iranian-Qatari imperialism, which seeks to control the Middle East with a cruel and oppressive regime towards women, LGBTQ people, non-Muslim minorities who are native to the area, and Muslims who do not align with their radical approach. They also seek to bring Africa and Asia into their orbit, continents where Islamists have already been wreaking havoc. In this regard Israel is a war for anyone who wants a Middle East and a world free from the control of radical Islam. It turns out that these same progressives are standing alongside the darkest forces in the region. 


The support of the Western left for Islamists in the name of anti-imperialism is a complete betrayal of the Global South. The fight against the Iran-Qatari imperialist axis is difficult even for Israel which is wealthy and well-armed. We saw how the Kurds took incredible losses to fight ISIS. Other native peoples in the region like the Yezidis and Assyrians were crushed even more brutally. Those who will try to resist them and their proxies in countries with a weaker state or military will find the task even harder. The Iranians and Qataris are imperialists who impose their ideology and use the resources of other countries for their own benefit.  In contrast, Israel has created partnerships and alliances with countries in the Global South for mutual prosperity. Across the world peoples of many different nationalities, who are often ignored in Western media, see Israel as a success story. A people battered and beaten who, after centuries of imperial domination and exile, regained sovereignty and will not give it up. To sit in Manhattan with a latte and cheer on an Iranian-Qatari-sponsored military group that receives billions from governments that imprison journalists, hang dissidents, and kills workers is not just absurd, it is criminal. 


Israel is in a nearly impossible situation. It faces a tremendous imperial force of states who are waiting for the right moment to wipe it from the map, and at any given moment are directing countless missiles on its territory. Iran installed Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, armed with advanced weaponry and thousands of soldiers. In the West Bank there are many hostile forces. And although most Arab citizens of Israel have until now shown relative restraint, we know that if the crisis is presented to them as a religious war, they may enlist against us. On October 7th we suffered heavy losses from a single front. It’s hard to imagine how a similar attack would look if it had included other fronts. In this context let’s remember that the attack took place 50 years after the Yom Kippur War: This was a reminder by Hamas of its political goals in the region, currently supported by Iran and other states. In the face of all this power, Israel is defending the Western world, which it also remains dependent upon. Given this context, it’s false to view Israel as the stronger side in the conflict. 


In recent decades there have been several attempts, supported by the Israeli public, to create a two-state solution. Israeli prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered plans that would have led to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians refused every compromise, no matter how generous. After the failure of talks, when the head of the left-wing camp in Israel said that there’s “no partner,” Israel chose another approach – the unilateral evacuation of Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip (and the northern West Bank) in 2005. While Israel was uprooting thousands of its citizens from their homes, many Israelis said that this would change Gaza forever, would strengthen the moderates, and would allow Gaza to develop independently for the benefit of its citizens. 


Within a few months the citizens of Gaza put Hamas in power, an organization whose founding charter leaves no room for doubt that its ideology is a mixture of radical Islam and neo-Nazism. As expected, Hamas began to immediately arm itself against Israel and to threaten the Israeli communities close to Gaza in any way it could. It created a system for launching rockets into Israeli population centers and invested many billions in creating an underground city of tunnels for murderous incursions. Israel was forced to respond to this threat, and, as we see whenever Israel takes steps to protect its citizens, it faces protests because of the harm to the civilian population in Gaza. Hamas rule in Gaza has led to tremendous hardships for the people of Gaza, but these frustrations have been redirected by Hamas towards Israel. Hamas’s image is of a group that might not have succeeded in improving the lives of its citizens but has increased its honor by fighting against Israel. This is what has led to the current round of violence. 


As a peace-seeking Israeli who supported moves towards Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab peace, I can’t help but think what would have been the results of the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. What would have prevented Hamas from quickly taking control over the territory, with the claim that even after the establishment of a Palestinian state the Israeli occupation was still ongoing? They still claim that the kibbutzim in the Gaza Envelope, for example Be’eri, are “settlements” in every way. Would we have been able to defend the borders of Israel from a similar attack, when close to a million Israelis living in the center of the country there would have been a hostile regime waiting for a moment of weakness to brutally attack us? Would we have been ready to take the risk, just to stop the accusations of “apartheid” from the West? 


Another claim is that Israel isn’t responding proportionally in Gaza. Have those making this argument suggested an alternative for how to confront an organization that has built a fortified city underneath hospitals and schools in Gaza? What would have been the response, for example, if the Nazi regime had built its military headquarters underneath Berlin or Warsaw? In this situation would anyone have cared about the lives of German children? Where is the proportionality in the fact that the tiny and persecuted Jewish people must sacrifice its children for the sake of a war on behalf of the entire West? 


Iran has started a war against Israel – which it is reasonable to assume will spread from Gaza to other places – with the goal of preventing the advance of the normalization and peace axis, which wanted to include Iran’s enemy Saudi Arabia. Now the goal needs to be clear – the strengthening of peace and the alliance of the moderate states. 


Like the Yom Kippur War, the Simchat Torah War began with a surprise and a severe blow to Israel. But we must also remember how the Yom Kippur War ended – with a great military victory that led four years later to Israel signing a historic peace agreement with Egypt, ending the existential threat it faced from neighboring states. The Simchat Torah War needs to end in the same way, by neutralizing the threat of terror from Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah. This is Israel’s basic obligation towards its citizens. The entire free world would also indirectly benefit from this victory, as in any other scenario it would be the first to suffer from Islamic terror. 


The whole world would benefit from an Israeli victory. The first to benefit would be the citizens of the Middle East and North Africa. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman talked about transforming the Middle East into “New Europe.” Now he has received a wonderful opportunity to achieve this in a coalition with Israel, the United States, and the states of the axis of normalization, who understand what’s at stake. The primary condition for bin Salman’s vision is seizing “Europe” from the Nazis. It may take time, but there can be a new Middle East in the spirit of peace, moderation and partnership forged by the Abraham Accords. Such a Middle East can change from being a global sponsor of terror to a source of global peace and prosperity. This would harken back to ancient times, when the area produced ideas and technologies that transformed the world.

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