Israel Has No Chill in Gaza
Global opinion will not stop them
Remember when the Biden administration was “reportedly concerned that Israel lacks achievable military goals for its operations in Gaza, leading US officials to believe that the IDF is not yet ready for a ground incursion”?
Remember when Robert Kaplan worried that the United States of America must somehow find “the sweet spot” between Israel failing in Gaza and completely destroying it?
Six weeks later, the Israeli Defense Forces have just about finished their methodical occupation of Gaza City and the destruction of HAMAS tunnel infrastructure there has proceeded apace. Forced to make a limited truce, HAMAS released some of their hostages with parting gifts of klonopin, which did not prevent the former captives from revealing that conditions in the tunnels had gone downhill quickly. Since the end of the ceasefire, IDF troops have established two salients into southern Gaza and show no signs of stopping for anything or anyone. Washington has exerted its UN Security Council veto against desperate efforts to save HAMAS from defeat. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is even telegraphing possible further action in southern Lebanon. Israel has no chill in Gaza. This ends when they are done.
So whenever bigwigs of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps yammer about the “absolute defeat” of Israel on 7 October being the “greatest success” of the Islamic world, they merely extoll torture, rape, murder, and kidnapping of civilians as the greatest victory that their religion can ever achieve. In the institutional mind of the IRGC, the slaughter is the point and therefore dead civilians in Gaza are “martyrs,” a bonus. They reckon this is a path to victory, because the world will somehow make Israel stop short of victory, which will make HAMAS and Iran the victors.
Indeed, the harder HAMAS loses, the harder its apologists clamour for the world to make Israel stop fighting, ostensibly in the name of saving civilian lives. Telling HAMAS to maybe stop using the people of Gaza as human shields is inconceiveable to the useful idiots of Tehran in the ivory towers of academia and media and governance. After all, it would mean Israel wins. At this point, staving off defeat is impossible, so the ennobling of inevitable, ongoing defeat has already begun instead.
As soon as the ceasefire ended, IDF strikes and advances into Khan Younis began that were “no less powerful” than the previous phase of operations. Last week in fact saw the heaviest fighting since the war began. Thousands of civilians are certainly dead, roughly two for every HAMAS fighter, and thousands more will surely die. This is stretching the definition of “civilian,” however. HAMAS fighters often wear civilian clothes in order to be counted as civilian deaths when they are killed in the fighting. Furthermore, the IDF is taking casualties by fighting it out on the ground rather than simply bombing everything in sight. If they were interested in actual, real, not-imaginary genocide, the Israelis would not bother with close-up war at all. They would carpet-bomb indiscriminately.
HAMAS faces a new international environment. A special Mossad-Shin Bet unit has been set up to track down and kill every HAMAS commando involved in 7 October. Shin Bet has said the political heads of the organization are no longer safe in foreign capitals. Western powers are starting to flex their financial muscles against the organization. Grim times are ahead for the soon-to-be-former masters of Gaza.
Destroying HAMAS is the easy part, however. Israel would rather not withdraw and leave a new Somalia behind. Under HAMAS, per capita GDP fell by half from 2005 to the present, while it grew 60 percent in the West Bank during the same time. This, too, counts as a “victory” in Tehran: the people and economy of Gaza have been devastated by a half-dozen fitful, stupid wars that somehow failed to destroy Israel as promised.
So now as Israel wins, some Gazans are willing to speak ill of HAMAS.
“All the aid goes underground,” she exclaimed. "A lot of aid comes in, but it doesn't reach the people." The reporter tried to correct her, saying that Hamas reports very little aid has entered the enclave and it was immediately distributed to the residents. In response, the woman waved her hand, signaling "no."
"All the aid goes to them, to their houses, they take it. They can shoot at me, do whatever they want to me,” she claimed.
On Wednesday, Adraee also published a clip from an interview on Palestinian Radio Elam, which broadcasts from the West Bank, with a resident of Gaza. The resident insulted Yahya Sinwar on air, blaming the Hamas military chief for inflicting the war and subsequent disaster on Gaza.
Yesterday, Shin Bet released video from an interview with Yousef Almansi, the former Minister of Communications for the Hamas government in Gaza. Almansi blamed the group’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar for destroying the Gaza Strip to “set it back 200 years.” Tearing up water pipes to make rockets only seems clever until you are out of both rockets and fresh water.
“How do we know when Hamas is destroyed?” Cenk Uygur asked just two weeks ago. “Do they raise their hands and tell us? It’s a standard that’s purposely impossible.” Over the weekend, Israel posted photos of HAMAS fighters surrendering en masse at Khan Younis. Stripped to their underwear for processing — because just one suicide vest can make things far too interesting — the surrendering men in the photo were a striking rebuke to the denialism of defeat.
So: what else were HAMAS apologists to do, but post the photos themselves and lie, claiming with zero evidence the Israelis had mass-murdered their prisoners in the desert? To answer Uygur’s question, we know that HAMAS is being destroyed because the lies about Gaza from HAMAS supporters have become utterly delusional. There is always a measure of delusion to any collective body of cult propaganda, to be sure, but you know things are really bad when the messages become altogether detached from anything happening on the ground. Negating truth in a fact-free tweet does not win actual battles.
According to the open source intelligence I have seen, Israel is moving faster in the south right now than in the north. Clearly, the Israeli General Staff planned for two stages, one in the north and the second in the south, staggered. Each stage required rapid advances to clear centers of resistance above ground, destroying tunnels rather than fighting to clear them, followed by methodical destruction of the enemy in detail. Second verse, same as the first. Why, a conspiratorial thinker might even contend that the whole campaign was designed with a potential middle pause for a ceasefire in mind. HAMAS needed more than a year to plan 7 October. The IDF has planned and executed Operation Iron Swords in a matter of weeks.
Israel is not going to stop. No one is going to make them stop. Lies will not stop Israel from defeating HAMAS. Calling Israel names, even '“genocidal Nazi apartheid white supremacy settler state,” will not stop the defeat of the death cult known as HAMAS. Protests in western capitals will not stop the defeat of HAMAS. No amount of “global public opinion” can prevent the defeat of HAMAS and no one is coming to save the death cult from itself. The only thing that could possibly save HAMAS right now would be an honest military victory — the one thing that will not be forthcoming.
HAMAS has always depended on Gaza itself, meaning the people, for protection. They have relied on their human shields once too often, this time. Gazans are now paying a terrible price for the actions of the terrorist death cult in their midst, but that was not the choice of Israel or the Israelis. HAMAS chose this. Nobody made them do it, not even their friends in Tehran. Their local leadership made a decision, took the risk of incurring their organization’s destruction, and must own the results. There is even a chance that Gazans will hold them accountable in defeat. What a world that would be.
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