Thursday, July 17, 2014

The ruthless logic that drives Hamas

There is a ruthless, cynical logic in what Hamas is doing in the Gaza Strip.
The constant rocket attacks on Israel are largely futile in the sense that they do minimal damage. But Hamas knows that as long as the attacks continue, Israel is bound to retaliate. It can hardly allow its territory and people to remain under constant threat.

Hamas’s trump card here is the Western news media. The terrorists know that the casualties of Israeli retaliation – children especially – attract international media sympathy. They make sure TV crews get footage of the funerals and have access to the hospital wards where maimed children are being treated.
They know that their most potent weapon against Israel is not rockets but international opinion. And they know that as long as the media present the conflict as one that is massively one-sided – one that is reported every day in terms of the gross imbalance in the casualty figures, almost as if it were some grotesque sporting encounter – then international opinion will regard Hamas as the wronged party.

They also know that the moment they stop firing rockets at Israel, the retaliatory attacks will also cease. Children will stop dying and life will return to some semblance of normality (or whatever passes for normality in Gaza). But they choose to continue.
On the face of it, the only conclusion is that they are either stupid or mad – or both – to continue with a policy that causes little damage to the enemy. But that’s where the cynical logic comes in.

Continuing the attacks guarantees that Israel will keep on defending itself, and that the media will keep reporting the terrible harm that results. International opinion will be aroused and that will translate into diplomatic pressure on Israel to moderate its position, to the benefit of Hamas.
A few hundred innocent Palestinians may die in the meantime, but that’s obviously a price the Hamas fanatics are prepared to pay.



Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Karl

For some reason the tens of children killed by Israel's rockets fired in self-defence against a pathological enemy seem to count for more than the thousands of children killed by car bombs in Iraq, Muslim on Muslim, over the last decade.

All of these deaths are a tragedy, but so is the hyprocracy of the Western media's reporting.

An excellent article from Mark Steyn on this today:

JC said...

The Arabs and Muslims in general are on a hiding to nowhere because their birthrates are falling towards the European levels of 2.1 births per woman with some like Iran now down to something like 1.6 er female. The average age of marriage of Arab women is now 30-33 in some nations as education and better female job prospects occurs.

Even Palestinian fertility is falling from 6-8 per female towards 4 kids whilst Israel fertility has risen to 3 and places like Gaza are suffering net emigration of 10-20,000 plus previous estimates of Pally fertility and inwards migration is shown to be smoke and mirrors.

In places like Iran and Palestine theres a desperate race in progress as they try to use old fertility and migration figures to hide reality and a loss of man power and force concessions from Israel and the West before Islamic terrorism loses its teeth and the old outnumber the young.

National senility is a major problem for much of the West but its a disaster of monumental proportions for Iran and some Arab nations which don't have democracy, stable Govt the innovation of the West. Couple that with quite dramatic falls in support throughout the Muslim world for the terrorist organisations of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, suicide bombing etc and you can make a pretty good case that the Islamists have only a narrow window of time to make gains before the whole movement dies out.

Add in the fact that the West has massive potential for unconventional fuels from fracking and the like and the power of the Middle East drops even dramatically.

The Middle East is writing itself out of history and its now just a question of whether it will beat the Europeans to oblivion.


Karl du Fresne said...

When news came through yesterday that four Palestinian boys had been killed in an Israeli rocket attack while reportedly playing football on a beach, I seriously considered deleting the above blog post. Israel sometimes does things which, on the face of it (and we have yet to hear an explanation for the attack), are utterly indefensible. This makes it very hard to write or speak in its defence. But in the end I decided that yesterday's incident, as shocking as it was, doesn't alter the fact that Hamas are the primary aggressors here, and it is in their power to stop the killing whenever they choose to.

Jigsaw said...

I agree. I think that Hamas are using their own people. It's incredible that writers on the left like Chris Trotter can't see that the rockets really pose any problem at all for Israel. The other thing I always notice is that any demonstration in Israel seems to have a normal mix of men and women but on the other side its all male. Noticed that?

Adam said...

"Hamas are the primary aggressors." You jest surely. This is a planned action, not some kneejerk reaction to the botched kidnap of three teenage settlers (ie, illegal occupiers) on the West Bank - not Gaza. This is a war crime by Israel, collective punishmewnt on a civilian population. There is no equivalence.