Saturday, July 19, 2014

Karl du Fresne: 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.

Karl du Fresne blogs at


monty said...
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...Hamas has no moral compass...think about this.... Israel never attacks Gaza without first giving the Palestinians plenty of warning to vacate the target area... Hamas urges their own citizens not to move.... better to show dead bodies on International TV than to save them....then they load up donkeys with explosives and set them loose in Israeli may be unpopular but I am with the Israelis....

OlderKid said...
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The noose around Israel's neck is steadily being tightened by Hamas and supporting Islamic fanatics, using the lives of innocents. Morals don't exist in the pursuit to get rid of Israel, as a step in spreading Islam. The response of the 'west' to this growing threat to is weak and compromising.

Anonymous said...
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Perhaps you should read the brutal history of the establishment of state of Israel after WW2 before you make such broad assumptions about Hamas and the reasons for their actions. The return to "some semblance of normality" as you put it entails acceptance of a small ghetto area, walled off by the Israeli state, where total boarder and travel restrictions are rigorously enforced by the Israelis and where Israel controls all water, power, food, medicine, and trade. In short the Palestinians in Gaza are trapped in a perpetual prison of poverty, misery, and hopelessness from which there is little hope of escape. They are still people with normal hopes and aspirations and it is because of this desperation that Hamas exists.

Dave said...
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Imagine if we in NZ were being attacked by an enemy who is relentless in its stupid ideology of 'kill them all' and will never settle for peace. Then the only options are, put up with the attacks and causalities or fight back. In this case the Israelis are fighting back, if they don't go all the way and once and for all wipe out Hamas and its terrorist leaders then seek a fair and lasting peace then it will happen again and again.
There are only two answers, live in coexistence in peace or fight an endless war of hate and terror until one day someone unleashes WMDs and everyone loses.

Greengrass said...
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Both sides believe that God/Allah is on their side and are convinced they will prevail in the end. Through history, combatants in numerous conflicts have believed that God/Allah is on their side. Will they ever wake up. Politics and religion are a bad combination. Faith is measured by the number of dead.

Wayne Williams said...
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Perhaps I could be better informed but my understanding is in support of Karl's comments. Hamas has the power to stop the continuance of the shelling and killings. It is like a little terrier dog taking on an Alsatian and sooner or later the Alsatian will fight back in order to end the attack. when the media are in Hamas's territory, there is only one view and that is of support for their cause. It is one-sided. How to achieve a cease-fire must therefore be the most important focus and then talks to reach agreement for improved outcomes can occur.

Anonymous said...
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I agree fully with Karl & are with you Wayne. Colleen Grahamr

Peter Pearson said...
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It seems that Karl has forgotten that the zionist 'state' of israel occupies what is in fact Palestine, and rightfully belongs to, and should be occupied, by Palestinians. After 1947 the zionists, with the evil conivance of Britain, France and American flooded into Palestine and ruthlessly slaughtered many thousands of Palestinians and forced many thousands more to vacate their own country. There remains many refugee camps in surrounding countries occupied now by several generations of Palestinian refugees.
Gaza rightfully belongs to Egypt and The West Bank is actually part of Jordan. The zionists, for 77 years, has continuously inflicted its own ruthless holocaust upon Palestinians and other Arab countries which surround Palestine

Anonymous said...
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Historically the Palestinians and Israeli peace talks have ended in a stalemate and loss of more Palestinian properties and rights to the Israelis. Gaza is the world's largest concentration camp in which every aspect of life is controlled by a brutal occupation. This includes supplies of food, water and medical supplies. The Israelis accused Hamas for the deaths of the three Israeli teenagers but do not bother to offer any proof of the accusation but invade Palestinian homes and imprison suspects living on the West Bank. Hamas retaliates by firing rockets into Israel and as usually happens, the innocents suffer. Two wrongs do not make a right but how else can the world's attention be drawn to the plight of the Palestinian people?

Anonymous said...
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Hamas may have a perverse incentive to continue the militarily useless rocket attacks. But what is the other option? Israel as refuses to allow the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
If Hamas' rockets are futile so is Israel's insistence that it can keep embedding itself into the occupied territories in the hope the Palestinians will eventually give up. Even with the lopsided death tolls the demographics are against Israel in the long term.
This conflict, like many others, will only be resolved when both sides are willing to admit they can not win militarily and must give the other side something in order to get real peace. Hamas must admit Israel can exist and Israel must allow the creation of a viable Palestinian state. Until then the lunatics on both sides will continue to run the asylum.

Ken said...
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Israel exists because Jews in Europe and Russia were being purged. 30% of Nobel Prize winners have Jewish origins. Groundbreaking medical advances are coming out of Israel. Israel was largely desert before the Israelis introduced irrigation and systems for producing food in what was unproductive desert.
Refugees? NZ takes 700 refugees a year. How many of the poor folk in Gaza are being invited to live in the surrounding Arab countries? Hamas is just the sharp end of Arab hopes to eliminate Israel. They don't seem to have learnt from previous wars, beginning in 1948 when Israel was first established. Ken

Anonymous said...
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Casualties of War I

It is often said that the truth is one of the first casualties of war. This is certainly the case regarding the late, unlamented Palestinian Authority chairman, Yasser Arafat. Arafat once declared Jerusalem his birthplace: "This is my city. This is where I was born." But he was not born in Jerusalem. Nor, as some of his comrades have claimed, was he born in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza; but in Cairo, Egypt, in 1929.

Arafat presented himself to the world as a victim of Zionism forced to take up arms because he lost his home and worldly goods when the Israeli state was created. While it is true that his parents came from what was then known as “Palestine”, it is important to note that they were not "refugees" or "exiles." They had simply moved to Egypt in the mid-1920s, more than two decades before the state of Israel came into being in 1948.

Arafat then lived in Cairo until age 28 and identified as an Egyptian. He first became involved in radical politics in 1951 while a student at Egypt's Fuad University, working as a student organiser for the Marxist-Leninist Moslem Brotherhood, a front for Soviet Agit-Prop at Arab universities.

One of the goals of the Brotherhood was to infiltrate the Islamic fundamentalist movement in order to feed to Arabs the Soviet propaganda claim that Israel was an outpost of US imperialism. This would destabilise the Middle East, aid anti-American regimes into power, and build up Soviet influence in the region.

In 1956 Arafat, along with fellow Arab Marxist-Leninists Salah Khalef and Khalil al-Wazir, attended the Soviet-run Prague World Festival of Youth where they formed the nucleus of the terrorist Al Fatah. This radical cell would later become the core of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Arafat first came to public prominence in the West after the 1967 Arab-Israel war, with the help of the Soviets and their Western media stooges. He was one of the organisers of a 1972 conference held at the Baddawi refugee camp in Lebanon that established what international terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky refers to in his book Target America as "an alliance of progressive movements and terrorist organizations."

Besides the PLO, this would include terrorist cells from Europe and the Third World. This conference institutionalised international left-wing terrorism directed from the Kremlin, intended to undermine Israel and the West and lead to socialist victory.

The makers of the US documentary "The Russian Connection" interviewed several PLO members and were told that in the 1970s, no terrorist attack on Israel would occur without first being cleared with the Soviets.

The PLO itself boasted of Arafat's regular weekly meetings with Soviet Ambassador Alexander Soldatov. The Soviets, according to the documentary, supported the PLO with arms, training, planning and propaganda.

These planned attacks were not military actions, but the killing of innocent civilians. They continue to this day in the cowardly suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians splashed across newspapers all over the world. The strategy is that Israel can be defeated and destroyed by the terrorist murder of as many Jewish men, women and children as possible.

In his ongoing use of terrorism, Yasser Arafat deployed political methods learned from his Soviet masters, displaying a consummate mastery of the Marxist-Leninist tactic of "dialectical materialism."

Anonymous said...
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Casualties of War II

For Marxist-Leninists, as Mao Tse-Tung puts it, "There is nothing in this world but matter in motion." The material world is made up of a thesis (the status quo) and an antithesis (the change agent, or revolutionary). Out of the clash between these two opposites, a new socialist society will one day be born. In an operational sense, the revolutionary rolls back the status quo wherever possible, while feigning to give ground whenever the status quo holds firm.

Hence, the dialectic is best understood in terms of the analogy of a hammer hammering in a nail. The hammer smashes down onto the nail, driving it further into the wood. At that point the force is expended and no further progress towards the goal is possible. The hammer then draws back and re-gathers its force before smashing down again. Marxist-Leninists thus view any retreat or concession as merely temporary and tactical.

The Palestinian Arab leadership employs the dialectical tactic of "peace" and/or violence, often offering both at the same time, at strategically advantageous points on the road to its ultimate goal of destroying the Israeli state.

Leftists often claim that Israel is provoked by the mere existence of the Palestinian people and wants to wipe them out. This is arrant nonsense. In fact, it is Arab-Islamists who are affronted by the mere existence of Jews and want to exterminate them all from the world.

Muslim anti-Semitism first arose centuries before the establishment of Jewish Israel. According to Islamic scripture (the Koran and associated Hadith narratives of Muhammad’s life and sayings), the Jews of Yathrib (now Medina) repeatedly refused to convert to Islam when asked by Muhammad to do so.

An angry Muhammad then cursed the Jewish people, describing them as “the offspring of apes and pigs,” and damning them in this world and the next. This explains why Muslims today regard Jews as the worst and most inveterate enemies of Islam.

An oft-quoted Hadith saying of Muhammad that has become a part of the charter of the Gaza Strip’s rulers, Hamas, states: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say ‘O Muslim, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’“

Muslim Jew-hatred has undoubtedly increased in the Islamic world during modern times. It was fanned by the Nazis in the 1930s, then still further by Soviet Agit-Prop after World War II, which led to it becoming a core Arab-Islamist weapon in the ideological and political struggle against Israel.

Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, has been translated into Arabic, and is widely read and revered throughout the Middle East for its pronouncements about Jews. Pakistan’s Sheikh Maolana Mawdudi, one of Islam’s eminent 20th century scholars, has written admiringly of the “ingenious and mighty leadership of Hitler and his comrades.”

In much the same vein as Hitler, Hasan Nasrullah, the leader of Hezbollah, has said: "If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew."

Muslims hold that once a place has been ruled by Muslims, it is “Islamic land” forever. What is now Israel was ruled for centuries by Muslim Ottoman Turks after the fall of the Roman Empire. Muslims thus regard it as a holy duty to wipe Israel off the map. Indeed, many Arab maps of the Middle East don’t show Israel at all.

Anonymous said...
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Casualties of War III

Yet in more than 2, 000 years there has never been a state called Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. Those claiming today to be “Palestinians” are in fact Arabs. They could go and live in any Arab country, if other Arab leaders would agree to take them in. “Palestinian” is an entirely political construct.

From the first century when Rome renamed the Jewish state “Palestine” until the mid-20th century, “Palestine” was associated with Jews and the Jewish homeland. Arabs and Jews who lived in the pre-1948 Palestine Mandate all had British-issued Palestine Mandate passports, but Arab residents were generally referred to as Arabs, not Palestinians.

Jews in the area used the name Palestine for their cultural activities, newspapers and business enterprises. There was the Palestine Post (later the Jerusalem Post), the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, the Palestine Electric Company, the Palestine Potash Company and others.

As local Arab leader Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission in 1937: “Palestine is a term the Zionists invented … Our country [sic] for centuries was part of Syria.”

Before and after World War II, anti-Semites in Western countries told Jews to get out and “go back home to Palestine.”

After 1948 when the reborn Jewish State took the name Israel, the term “Palestine” went out of usage to refer to Israel. In 1964, it was revived when Egypt helped organise the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization. By the 1970s, “Palestine” came to be associated with Arabs, not Jews.

Sermonising against Israel on Egypt's Al-Rahma TV on October 31, 2009, Egyptian cleric Hazem Shuman stated that: “It has been proven that the Jews are like a cancer – if they are not removed from the body of the [Islamic] nation, they will kill the entire nation.”

Ahmad Bahr, Deputy Speaker of the Hamas Parliament, stated in an anti-Israeli sermon which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on August 10, 2012 that: “If the enemy sets foot on a single square inch of Islamic land, Jihad becomes an individual duty, incumbent on every Muslim, male or female.” Of course, the Jews are already squatting on “Islamic land.”

Speaking at a public rally held in Gaza on 8 December 2012, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal proclaimed that “jihad,” armed struggle, will continue until Israel is defeated, conquered, and replaced — every square mile — by an Islamist theocracy. “Since Palestine is ours, and it is the land of the Arabs and Islam,” he said, “it is unthinkable that we would recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of it ... Let me emphasise that we adhere to this fundamental principle: We do not recognize Israel … The Palestinian resistance will crush it and sweep it away, be it Allah’s will.” He added: “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”

Palestinian Arab mythology about the Arab-Israel conflict is best summed up by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, who on 29 November 2012 told the United Nations: “[because of Israel] hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displaced within and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful, embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the most dreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modern history.”

The facts of the matter are entirely different.

Anonymous said...
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Casualties of War IV

Within hours of the historic 1948 United Nations decision to partition the former British Mandate of “Palestine” into a Jewish state and state for the Arabs now referred to as “Palestinians,” Israel was attacked without warning by six Arab nations promising to drive the Jews into the sea and complete Hitler's work.

Despite repeated assurances from Jewish leaders that non-combatants would remain unmolested, many Palestinian Arabs then fled to refugee camps in Lebanon and the Gaza strip, at that time part of Egypt.

They expected to return to their homes in a few days once the Arabs armies were victorious. But the unthinkable happened. The Jews won. The Palestinian Arab leaders have kept their people trapped in squalid refugee camps as a political weapon ever since.

This demonstrates the late Yasser Arafat's mastery of a Communist political tactic known as "The National Question." Based on the works of Lenin and Stalin dating back to 1905, Marxist-Leninists have for decades encouraged the independence aspirations of indigenous peoples and minority groups to bring about the overthrow of the existing social order, and eventual socialist control.

Arafat's Soviet instructors soon helped him to see that world opinion could be mobilised behind his cause if the refugees became "Palestinians" rather than Arabs. By becoming "Palestinians," the Arabs succeeded in turning the Arab-Israeli conflict from a war of annihilation against the Jews into a struggle of dispossessed natives against colonialist invaders.

The Arab League and the UN currently count some 4.3 million Palestinian Arabs as "refugees" or the descendants of refugees. This must rule out Arab claims of Israeli "genocide," since the 700,000 Palestinian Arab refugees of 1948-9 have evidently multiplied by some 600% in less than 60 years.

Only a small minority of the refugees (and of the Palestinian Arab population in general) were actually land-owners. Most were tenant farmers or "fellahin." Others were urban tradesmen, many of whom had arrived only recently in the area from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, drawn by the economic opportunities presented by Zionist returnees in the early part of the 20th Century. The idea that descendants of these economic migrants have any legitimate claim to being “Palestinian” is laughable.

Let’s now consider how Israel's occupation of the West Bank came about. In 1967, Israel's Arab neighbors made yet another attempt to exterminate Israel; just as Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and most Palestinians and other Muslims in the Middle East today wish to do. It was because of that war, won by Israel, that Israel came to occupy the West Bank of Jordan.

Palestinian Arabs engage in national honoring of their numerous terrorists. The Arab media is saturated with crude, exterminationist and anti-Semitic propaganda. There is widespread Palestinian support for terrorism (according to the just-released Pew Forum poll of Muslims, 40 percent of Palestinians support suicide terror).

And after the Israelis gave the whole of Gaza to the Palestinians, the Palestinian Arabs converted it into a terror-state that regularly launches rockets into Israel to randomly kill as many Israeli civilians as possible.

The barrier to co-existence between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, most of whom want peace and economic prosperity, is a Palestinian Arab leadership wedded to a crude amalgam of Islam and Marxist-Leninist ideology, and endorsed in its hatred, division and violence by Marxist Western intellectuals who are perennial cheerleaders for the destruction of any free society.

After all, if your goal is a one-world socialist government, you can march a long way beside those whose goal is a one-world theocracy before you have to part company.

Anonymous said...
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I'd like to make a number of points. 1. Historical. Unless the Bible is a propaganda lie, Israel is historically the homeland of the Jews. 2. Israel supports a Palestinian state to live in peace with its neighbours. The intransigence of the Palestinian negotiators over the years is mind-boggling. 3. Hamas has as its ideology the destruction of Israel and its inhabitants. 4. The present war was started by Hamas, and I understand that they have now fired around 10,000 rockets into Israel, and by using their tunnels, they have conducted terrorist activities in Israel, murdering innocent civilians. 5. A cease-fire has been brokered by Egypt, accepted by Israel, denied by Hamas. 6. Hamas have been storing their rockets in UN buildings 7. Foreign journalists in Gaza are not permitted to take photos of Hamas militants or weaponry, but only of civilians, mainly women and children, and it's hard to know how many photos have been staged. 8. And to cap it off, Sean Plunket (spelling?) of Radio Live, says it's not justified for Israel to retaliate against the rocket attacks, as so few Israelis have been killed by them. He's a guy I normally agree with, but I sense that there is a strong in-built racist reason for his comments.

Anonymous said...
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By the number of lengthy one sided Posts, I surmise it has been taken over by the Mossad

Anonymous said...
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The real issue is the blockade. But Israel cannot end the blockade without risking its own survival against a state that refuses to acknowledge the "Zionist enemy's" right to exist.

Anonymous said...
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How about this for a solution; take down the walls, remove the blockade and ask the people of GAZA via a referendum, where they would rather live - in a forward thinking, democratic Israel with all the benefits that that offers or in an area devoted to violence and living in the past. The ones that want to stay would be allowed to stay in Gaza and become part of Isreal, the others would move to Palestine. I think the result would not be as one side as you might think.

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