Hamas' Strategy & France's Betrayal
The City teeming with people
Became like a widow; . . . .
She weeps and wails at night
With a tear on her cheek.
She has no comforter
Out of all her lovers.
All her friends betrayed her,
They became her enemies
Book of Lamentations, chap 1
ספר איכה א
Prime Minister Netanyahu thought that French president Hollande was his friend and Israel's friend. Compared to some earlier presidents of France like De Gaulle, Chirac and Giscard d'Estaing, that may be true. But Muslims, most of them considering themselves Arabs, make up around 20 % of France's population. In the years since the Oslo War (also called the Second Intifada) was instigated by Arafat, French Arabs and other French Muslims, have performed several murders of Jews in supposed retaliation for the hoax "killing" of young Muhammad al-Durah by Israeli forces at Netzarim Junction in Gaza on 30 September 2000. This hoax was produced by French and Palestinian Arab journalists working for France2, the French state TV network. The al-Durah hoax has never been officially repudiated or apologized for by France. President Hollande is not responsible for that hoax but he has not acted to alleviate its effect on public opinion, which has been mainly to agitate the French Muslims into more hatred of Jews than they had before. And it incited them to act out their hatreds by burning synagogues, attacking and murdering Jewish individuals, etc.
How does this connect with Hamas and its strategy?
Hamas has felt emboldened since the US Government accepted and approved the Hamas-PLO-PA-Fatah unity government for the Palestinian Authority several months ago. It intensified its agitation for Arabs in Judea-Samaria and elsewhere to attack Jews and kidnap Jews. It also intensified the shooting of rockets and mortars at Israel. The first five months of 2014 saw more rockets and mortars shot at Israel than all of 2013. In March, when talk began of a unity government for the Palestinian Authority between the PLO/Fatah and Hamas, the numbers went up to 64 rockets and one mortar, close to the number of 78 for all 2013. The numbers went down in April and May, perhaps not to disrupt American approval of the unity govt, but shot up again in June, the month when Hamas members from the Hebron area kidnapped and murdered three Jewish teenagers, an act approved by Hamas although it disclaimed responsibility for it. The agitation by Hamas leaders and Muslim clerics associated with Hamas for such kidnappings is not cited often enough. In June the number of rockets shot up again to 62 and the mortars numbered 3. [numbers are from Maqor Rishon, 18 July 2014]
Hamas wanted to provoke Israel into a war. Hamas wanted to make it impossible for Israel to avoid a war. That is part of the strategy. In the war, Hamas' leaders would be safe in their underground tunnels and bunkers, while their rank and file subjects would be subject to legitimate Israeli military action to stop the firing of rockets aimed at Israel's civilian population. Hamas built a vast network of tunnels and bunkers crisscrossing throughout the Gaza Strip and going under the frontier under Israeli communities, under their fields, courtyards, schools and homes. Hamas used the tunnels and bunkers to store its vast arsenal of rockets and for attack purposes (intending to send terrorists to pop up out of the ground and kill and kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers which has several times occurred) and as shelters for its leadership.
Ordinary Gaza Arabs could not use the tunnels as bomb shelters. They did not have bomb shelters. Hamas did not build bomb shelters for civilians. So in the kind of war that Hamas provoked Israel into, many of their own Gaza civilians would die. Which Hamas surely knew in advance. But that was a strategy. The deaths of civilians would be filmed and photographed and shown around the world. And Israel would have a terrible image from all that. Indeed Hamas would see to it that foreign news photographers, reporters and film cameramen would not film rocket launchers set up in civilian locations, such as next to hospitals and schools, including UNRWA schools, and in homes and apartments, nor the storage of rockets in UNRWA schools, in mosques and other civilian locations.
The cameramen and photographers were intimidated by Hamas into not filming or photographing these violations of the laws of war. Some who violated Hamas' rules for news coverage have been forced to leave Gaza. Oddly, although forbidding filming of rocket launchers in civilian locations, Hamas also shot rockets from near journalists during live broadcasts, leading to the reporter fleeing in fear. Such events have been seen several times on TV, although the rocket launchers themselves did not appear on screen. For instance, Hamas shot rockets from near France24 reporter Gallagher Fenwick during a live broadcast, which I and other TV viewers saw. Fenwick fled in fear and then told what had happened. But the rockets and the launcher were not seen. Other examples have been broadcast too, one involving a woman reporter for an Arab network. These shootings invited Israeli retaliation, thus they endangered the journalists. But in general journalists toe the Hamas line and present scene after scene of civilian suffering in Gaza. The numbers of civilian deaths are supplied by Hamas government agencies, such as the Gaza Health Ministry, as well as by international bodies known to be hostile to Israel, such as UNRWA and the Red Cross [international committee of the Red Cross, a Swiss govt agency] which in any event get their numbers from Hamas.
This picture of the war deliberately produced by Hamas and its media collaborators and psywar advisors has been shown worldwide leading to numerous demonstrations and riots, as in Paris and other places in France. In France, Islamist fanatics have been joined by so-called anti-capitalists, self-styled true blue Marxists. The Bolsheviks showed their fondness for aggressive Muslims as far back as 1917. France has seen several cases where supposed protest demonstrations against the Gaza War have turned into anti-Jewish riots, attacking synagogues in Paris, Sarcelles and elsewhere, or have turned into plain riots, and where Islamist demonstrators have attacked and tried to disrupt pro-Israel demonstrations.
These riots could not have failed to make an impact on French policy. Curiously, in cases where demonstrations had been banned by the legal and police authorities, the organizers who called for going ahead with the demonstrations despite the ban have not been arrested. And the so-called New Anti-Capitalist Party was guilty of calling for violation of the law in that way, which is also called sedition. But the party leaders were not arrested as far as I know. Since Hollande's govt has failed to solve France's economic problems, which are probably not solvable without drastic reforms in the labor laws, among other reforms, which would be opposed by the trade unions, part of his political base and constituency, he does not want to lose any more popular or institutional support, and certainly not from the "Left." Therefore he does not enforce the law against the "New Anti-Capitalist Party."
Now the Hamas strategy was to have large numbers of its own people killed in legitimate Israeli acts of self-defense. And the scenes of death and destruction would be seen worldwide and produce anger against Israel and pressure for foreign intervention of various sorts, especially intervention by great powers, the UN, etc. Meanwhile, Hamas was committing the double war crime of attacking Israeli civilians while using its own civilians as human shields.
Hamas' strategy has succeeded. Today, August 4, France capitulated to the Islamist-cum-"marxist" mobs and pro-Hamas agitprop. Hollande himself called Israel's actions in Gaza a "massacre", comparing Israel's war of self-defense to massacres in Iraq and Syria. And his foreign minister, Fabius, advocated imposing a settlement on Israel and the Arabs, despite what either side may want. Actually, several state members of the EU and EU functionaries have been speaking of an imposed settlement for a long time. They really mean a settlement or "peace" imposed on Israel because many of the Euro politicians and foreign ministries and the EU's own foreign affairs commission in Brussels hate Israel which represents their own bad conscience over the Holocaust, and would like to turn the moral tables on the Jews by showing that the Jews/Zionists are really Nazis. And then their own consciences would be clean and they would have validated the Nazi genocide of the Jews ex post facto. This is important not only to Germany but to many EU states, almost all of which took part in the Holocaust directly or indirectly.
Hamas itself has a Nazi-like ideology aimed at mass murder of the Jews. But somehow the oh so clever Europeans, and some Americans too, can't read the Hamas charter, several times translated into English and other languages. Or they have read it and they like what it has to say.
UPDATINGS 5 August 2014
Interesting article on Hamas strategy by Prof Gregory Rose [here]
Film by Indian NDTV news crew shows rocket being assembled and fired near residential buildings and hotels in Gaza [here].
I hope that the fellows who made the film stay safe and are not harassed for having told the truth which sometimes seems so elusive for the Western press.
I just found out that the Indian news team left Gaza. Here is a report from them after leaving.
8 August 2014
Statement by Colonel Richard Kemp on Hamas tactics of sacrificing its own civilians and on the IDF's efforts to spare civilian life [here ]. Statement delivered at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
11 August 2014
Hamas training manual explains the importance of using human shields [here]&[here]&[here]