Until Hamas Is Fully Defeated

There has been a constant drone that what Israel is doing in Gaza is “over the top,” and Israel must do something else. But what? No one has an answer. At the New York Times, David Brooks sought to provide one. His column runs through the various alternatives and their efficacy. It’s a more important read than anything I can offer today, so I commend it to you.

One point worthy of further discussion is the role the Biden administration, pro-Palestinian protesters and others in the international community have played.

Hamas’s survival depends on support in the court of international opinion and on making this war as bloody as possible for civilians, until Israel relents.

In a very real sense, international opinion has served to prolong the war and increase the number of civilian casualties. It’s not that Israeli soldiers haven’t engaged in wrongful actions, needless killing civilians at time and being callous to the needs of Gazans. Brooks addresses this, and recognizes that Israelis are not particularly enamored of a people, 80% of whom support Hamas and would be just as happy to kill Israelis if they could. It’s that Hamas has crafted a scenario that relies upon the deaths of Gazans and its consequent public outrage as part of its battle strategy.

At the same time as it’s winning the military battle, it’s losing the political battle.

But on a larger political and strategic level, you’d have to conclude that the Israeli strategy has real problems. Global public opinion is moving decisively against Israel. The key shift is in Washington. Historically pro-Israeli Democrats like Biden and Senator Chuck Schumer are now pounding the current Israeli government with criticism. Biden wants Israel to call off its invasion of the final Hamas strongholds in the south. Israel is now risking a rupture with its closest ally and its only reliable friend on the U.N. Security Council.

It should not be forgotten, incidentally, that Israel is the only reliable friend the United States and NATO allies have in the middle east as well. If you don’t like Israel’s version of democracy, consider what Iran, Syria or Iraq have to offer.

Is there a way to both win the war and win the peace? It does not appear that there are any viable alternatives for Israel to mollify the outraged and defend its people from terrorism. For all the wishful thinking and emotional angst, the reality on the ground is that Gaza, and Gazans, have made this situation unnavigable, and that includes any post-war solution, whether two state or otherwise.

There can be no two-state solution, as President Biden has called for, with Hamas as the government of one of them. And unless Hamas is eradicated, it will be the ruler of Gaza. And if Hamas rules Gaza, it will persist in its mission to destroy Israel, to rape, burn, behead, murder and kidnap Israelis. Can Israel let that happen? Could the United States?

Read what Brooks has to say.

12 thoughts on “Until Hamas Is Fully Defeated

  1. Ray

    As Brooks notes, Hamas is pure evil. Like any deadly virus it has to be eradicated completely or it just comes back. If the IDF has killed 13,000 of 30,000 that leaves 17,000 that must also be eliminated. Perhaps there is an analogy to the current treatment of HIV. You reduce the viral load to very low levels, keeping the patient healthy and within an otherwise normal life span. But daily medication is necessary, and requires constant monitoring. The hope is that improved medications will allow weekly and perhaps monthly injections to make it easier for the patient. The dream is that there will be a knockout drug that eliminates the remaining virus that becomes latent in T cells. There is significant hope. I think the Hamas situation is very similar. Interestingly, the first successful therapies for HIV required a multiple drug therapy. Here you must let the IDF hit Hamas very hard; humanitarian aid for innocent civilians as best you can but without hindering the elimination of Hamas; encourage economic sanctions plus on Iran. Something like that.

    1. PML

      Perhaps its time to start eliminating the leaders that hide out in Qatar living in luxury while the rest of Hamas lives in Gaza. Execute them wherever they hide,.

  2. Miles

    Brooks will no doubt get the crap beaten out of him for this, but there is no nice way to fight a war. What is different this time is how many have unwittingly(?) take Hamas’s side here. Never before have the terrorists and their supporters enjoyed this level of support.

    The saddest part is that Biden knows all this and doesn’t care. He has an election to win and Israel is no longer the popular side. I wonder if he thinks the Saudi’s will be our new best middle east friends?

  3. KeyserSoze

    Fleet Admiral Nimitz’s flag ship displayed a large sign on its side when it was in Pearl Harbor during WWII.
    The sign passed on the following message to the sailors and Marines of the time:

    Kill Japs
    Kill Japs
    Kill more Japs!

    That generation at least understood what they were about and what needed to be done. We seem to have forgotten that lesson.

    I hope that someplace in Israel there is a sign that reads:

    Kill HAMAS
    Kill HAMAS
    Kill all of HAMAS!

    Joe Biden is busily trading Jewish lives for votes.

  4. LY

    The proggressive kids are 100% correct when they accuse Biden of being complicit in genocide. They are just wrong about whom the genocide is being committed against.

    Hopefully sometime in the (near) future society will look back on them and condemn them.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    The only reason this Hamas tactic works is because it’s the Jews. Israel is subjected to unique scrutiny and double standards because it is a socially acceptable form of Judenhass. China can actually genocide Uyghurs, Russia can freely commit war crimes and Africa is full of atrocities but only Israel is criticized. Hamas delenda est.

  6. cthulhu

    If the Palestinians in Gaza wanted peace, they would be casting their lots with the Israelis and helping them defeat the Hamas murderers and rapists and terrorists. I’m with Israel on this – Hamas delenda est.

  7. B. McLeod

    Israel is using aerial power and artillery to minimize its own infantry casualties. This was the allied strategy in WWII, even though it led to incidents like Dresden, where the children burned with everybody else. If it has to, because of western hypocrisy and restrictions on arms sales, Israel can finish this conflict as an infantry action. IDF casualties will be thousands higher, but for Hamas, the end will be the same.

  8. Ahaz01

    What can Israel do to eliminate HAMAS? One way to do it is to indiscriminately bomb GAZA so you can kill more Palestinians civilians than you do HAMAS. The other way you can do it, is to create as many angry fathers as you can that have lost children to bombs or starvation; or any child that has lost their sibling or parents to indiscriminate bombing. You can also have your political leaders actively ask for and promote ethnic cleansing of GAZA. And while we’re at it, throw in the West Bank. Seems to me, that Israel is extremely effective in laying the groundwork for HAMAS 2.0. It’s not Judenhass to be critical of Israel military response. They know HAMAS tactics better than anyone, yet decided to go scorched earth, “There are no innocent Palestinians”, is what Israeli leaders said. Did they really expect to retain the moral high ground they had after the barbarism that occurred on Oct 7th? Israel has all the military power in this conflict….not HAMAS and certainly not the Palestinian civilians that have been living under apartheid conditions for decades. They have killed over 32K Palestinians. Israel has destroyed GAZA. There is no meaningful infrastructure remaining except for what little remains in Rafah, and Israel wants to destroy that as well. There are no homes to return to in Northern GAZA. There are no hospitals….there’s nothing. They control what goes in and out of GAZA. THEY HAVE WON! What is happening now is bloodlust and a large part of the international community recognizes that. As the primary supplier of weapons to Israel, the United States must reel Israel back to her senses. This cannot continue. THEY HAVE WON!

    1. David

      So you’ve got nothing but empty hysteria. Hamas still has the hostages. Hamas still exists. Gazans still support Hamas and Hamas is still bent on destroying Israel and exterminating Jews. And in response, you’ve got nothing but empty, childish screaming. You nailed it.

    2. Tom B

      Hamas wins by surviving.
      Surviving keeps Hamas in control of Gaza and is guaranteed to lead to a repeat of the current horrors as soon as Hamas gets rearmed (by Iran, Qatar, the UN, etc.).
      So while Hamas exists, Israel has not won.
      While Hamas has hostages, Israel has not won.

      The conflict would end the second Hamas surrendered and returned all hostages. Hamas had a ceasefire right up until they chose to end it on 10/07. Similarly, Hamas has the power to end it by surrendering. If Hamas cared about Palestinian civilians, Hamas would not have started the fighting or would now surrender. Hamas doesn’t, so did and won’t.
      And does anyone think international opinion of Israel would improve if Israel stopped now?

      -The IDF left Palestine ~2005 so Gaza has been self governing for close to 20 years.
      -Israel accepts Palestinians into Israeli hospitals, Hamas needs only let them go.
      -Israel allows (or did before those civilians helped with 10/07) Palestinians to work in Israel and the reverse situation is unimaginable.
      Given these 3 facts, the apartheid accusation seems silly and does not warrant any further reply (look to China and the treatment of the Uyghurs for a real example).


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