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Israel defeated Hamas in a war of self-defense

Israel defeated Hamas in a war of self-defense

Hard Gaza truth versus anti-Israel activist and media spin.

The lead article in the October issue of Commentary by Omri Ceren is Yes, Israel Won in Gaza.

Ceren’s central premise is that Hamas built a huge terror infrastructure including tunnels, an enhanced rocket arsenal and specialized training for its terrorists, but “[a]ll of it was gone by mid-August.” Hamas’ plans for a spectacular terror attack against Israel and a coup against Fatah in the West Bank similarly were stymied.

But what really grabbed me about the article was his description of the escalation:

In Gaza, Hamas radically escalated what had been, since the beginning of the year, a steadily increasing stream of rocket fire. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had declared in January that Jerusalem would “not tolerate rocket fire” and that the “IDF and other security forces will continue to chase after those who shoot at Israel.” February saw more rockets and a large bomb planted on the border. In March, Hamas fired its heaviest rocket barrage since the conclusion of Israel’s 2012 incursion into Gaza—but then the fire steadily decreased throughout April and May.

It spiked again on the first day of June, when a rocket slammed into Israel’s Eshkol region. On June 11, another rocket was launched, this time barely missing one of Israel’s main transportation routes. That night the Israeli Air Force, aided by the country’s security agency, the Shin Bet, targeted a former Hamas police officer responsible for rocket attacks. By the end of the month, at least 65 rockets and mortars would be fired at Israel.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, amid the escalation that had already begun along Israel’s southern border, Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers: Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Citing intelligence that had been convincing enough to generate immediate and definitive condemnations from Washington and Ramallah—information that later turned out to involve details of the coup plot aimed at PA President Mahmoud Abbas—the Israelis quickly blamed Hamas. They would later identify Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Isa as suspects.

To be sure it’s important to know what Israel accomplished, but it’s also an important reminder as to why Israel was fighting, a point too often ignored.

Compare it with this recent synopsis of the fighting from The New York Times:

The abduction of the Israeli teenagers and the crackdown that followed fueled tensions and intensifying violence that culminated in a seven-week battle between Israeli forces and Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip. The three teenagers — Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19 — were hitchhiking home from the yeshivas they attended in the occupied West Bank when they were kidnapped on June 12.

After their bodies were found 18 days later under a pile of rocks in an open field not far from Hebron, three Jewish extremists abducted a Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, in his East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, beat him and burned him alive as an act of retaliation.

Within days of the West Bank kidnapping, Israel blamed Hamas, whose leaders at first denied knowing anything about it. In recent weeks, though, and again on Tuesday, several Hamas officials embraced the suspected kidnappers as members of their armed wing and praised their actions, though no evidence has yet been made public showing that the men acted on Hamas’s direction.

In The New York Times’ telling the problems are “tensions and intensifying violence,” muddling what really happened. But Ceren makes it clear that the war was a consequence of Hamas’ escalation. (The IDF counted that Hamas had fired 450 rockets into Israel prior to Operation Protective Shield, while it had only fired 41 into Israel in all of 2013.)

Yes Israel won the war (despite the claims of Hamas and analysts who claim that Israel failed to achieve certain objectives), but what’s especially clarifying about this article is that it explains that Israel’s conflict with Hamas isn’t a dispute, rather it is a matter of defending a country from an enemy dedicated to its destruction.

[Photo: Latest World News / YouTube ]


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I’ve said it before, but save only for Iron Dome, we’d be seeing incredible praise for Hamas’ power in bringing the hated Jewish state to heel in the Arab world based on large casualties caused by its impressive number, variety and resilience of its rocket arsenal.

Only because of the historical accident of Iron Dome is anyone talking about a wildly disproportionate set of casualties and how this just shows how mean and evil… Israelis are. Not that they are, that’s just the stupid impression being bounced around because too many escaped with their lives, spoiling years of Hamas planning, digging and rocket making.

I keep this in mind whenever I hear Abbas whine. I make my criticisms of Netanyahu too, but the latter is on a side worth defending and the former is an apologist for a side worth skepticism.

    bonsai77 in reply to JBourque. | October 4, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Utter nonsense. Only 3 Israeli civilians were killed in Operation Cast Lead in 09′ when thousands of rockets were fired into Israel before Iron Dome even operated. To anyone who has followed this conflict it’s fairly obvious Hamas rockets are nothing more than flying pipes. They have to take the warhead off to lessen the weight to fly far enough to even reach Israel. Israel’s response was absolute insanity.

I wonder if Obama appreciates the show being on the other foot? Maybe Netanyahu can just tell him, “We won.”

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to MattMusson. | October 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Fighting Hamas is like playing chess with a pigeon. It ignores the rules as it knocks over the pieces, then sh!ts on the board. Afterward it struts around like it accomplished something. Goes double for Lefties.

the IDF needs to start at one end of Gaza and w*rk their way through at bayonet point, to the other, killing *anyone* who offers armed resistance.

destroy all military related facilities, weapons, etc, and tell the survivors that, if there’s another attack, you’ll be back.

“an important reminder as to why Israel was fighting, a point too often ignored.”

Ignored? More like actively obfuscated and carefully downplayed by the Western press. The media was completely onboard the Palestinian propaganda machine, a comment I do not make lightly.

As far as American media goes, better to sell-out Israel than to accurately portray Obama’s bumbling, anti-Israel peace process.

“Israel’s conflict with Hamas isn’t a dispute, rather it is a matter of defending a country from an enemy dedicated to its destruction.”

Absolutely. Yet, we get so few voices in the media about this. It is discouraging to say the least.

    bonsai77 in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | October 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    When you blockade a population by land sea and air you are already committing an act of war against this population. This is what Israel is doing. The Palestinians in Gaza have every right to resist by force these oppressive measures. Israel is preventing Gaza from obtaining any level of sovereignty or a functioning economy in their territory.

      Ragspierre in reply to bonsai77. | October 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Those are lies, and you’re an idiot.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to bonsai77. | October 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Uh huh.

      And Israel’s blockade is put up only to make life really miserable for the Palestinians because Israelis are really, really mean or something. It’s not because Iran and others are providing weapons to fighters in Gaza, not because Gaza has repeatedly launched rocket attacks against Israel with said weapons.


      Oh, and the Palestinians’ “resisting with force” just happens to include the kidnap and murder of Israeli teenagers, past suicide attacks on buses, schools, restaurants, and other civilian targets, tunneling toward elementary schools to either blow up or kidnap the students, again firing rockets at civilian targets, etc. All just legitimate strategies against the illegitimate democracy of Israel, right?

      The real problem’s the blockade though. Yeah… I buy that. Go lie and run your spin at uninformed people. You’ll have better luck.