Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 16, 2023
Hamas’ anti-Western strategy
*Hamas was established in 1988, as a spin-off of the Muslim Brotherhood, as were ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and scores of additional terror entities. The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Sunni terror organization, haunting all pro-US Arab regimes, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Africa, Europe and the USA. Its strategic goal is to topple all national Muslim regimes, bring the Western “infidel” to submission, and establish a universal Muslim society.
*Hamas, just like the Muslim Brotherhood, considers Israel as “an infidel” entity in “the abode of Islam,” a US beachhead in the Middle East and a deterring ally of all pro-US Arab regimes.
*The 1988 Hamas charter highlights the Quran as its constitution, Jihad as its path, and martyrdom as its loftiest tactic. It urges the “believers” to kill Jews, as specified in Article 7 of the charter, quoting one of the Prophet Muhammad’s Hadiths (verbal teachings): “When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….”
*Hamas is assisted, militarily and financially, by Iran’s Ayatollahs (as well as by Qatar and Turkey), who – just like the Muslim Brotherhood – perceive the war against the “illegitimate” Jewish State as a preview of their war on “the apostate” pro-US Arab regimes and “the infidel” West, with a focus on “the Great American Satan.”
*Hamas and other Islamic and Palestinian terrorist organizations have collaborated with enemies and rivals of the US and the West, such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Bloc, Iran’s Ayatollahs, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and terror organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America.
Western attitude toward Hamas
*The more constrained is Israel’s posture of deterrence and war on Hamas, the more emboldened is anti-Western terrorism. On the other hand, the more robust is Israel’s posture of deterrence and its war on Hamas terrorism, the more deterred are Islamic terrorism to assault the West.
*Furthermore, it was Israel’s sturdy posture of deterrence, which induced six Arab countries to conclude peace accords with Jerusalem and enticed Saudi Arabia to substantially expand defense and commercial cooperation with Israel.
*While the rogue, anti-US conduct of Iran’s Ayatollahs has intensified dramatically since their ascension to power in February 1979, and the posture of Muslim Brotherhood-related organizations has been dramatically enhanced in Europe and the USA, government in the West have taken lightly the fanatic vision and the apocalyptic nature of Islamic terrorism, deluding itself that these terrorists are driven by despair, not by deeply-entrenched ideology.
*Notwithstanding the systematically anti-Western rogue track record of Hamas and Iran’s Ayatollahs since 1988 and 1979, the West has gone through suspension of disbelief. The West has assumed that grand financial and diplomatic gestures could induce these rogue entities to abandon their 1,400-year-old violently intolerant Islamic vision and embrace good-faith negotiation and peaceful-coexistence. However, there is ample documentation that terrorist Muslim regimes do not sacrifice their fanatical vision on the altar of their own enrichment and improved standard of living of their population.
*Western policy makers and public opinion molders brush off the well-documented fact that Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Ayatollahs and other Islamic terrorists consider the following precepts of Islam as their own pillar of fire:
<Islam is the only legitimate religion, divinely ordained to rule;
<The abode of the “infidel” must submit itself to the abode of the “believers” unconditionally, peacefully, or militarily;
<Jihad must be conducted on behalf of Allah, guaranteeing each warrior 72 virgins in paradise;
<Terrorism aims to terrify the “infidel,” causing submission to Islam;
<Accords with “infidels” are non-binding and constitute a temporary ceasefire (Hudna), to be abrogated once the “believers” regain sufficient fire power;
<Double-speak and dissimulation (Taqiyyah) are legitimate tactics aimed at misleading and overcoming the “infidel.”
*Anti-US and anti-Israel Islamic terrorism is not driven by US or Israeli policy. In fact, Islamic terrorism has been an intrinsic feature of the Middle East since the 7th century, murdering many more Muslims than non-Muslims. Islamic terrorism has been driven by the existence of the “infidel” US and Israel, irrespective of their policy. For example, anti-US Islamic terrorism afflicted the US during the Administrations of President Obama (e.g., the November 9, 2009 Ft. Hood massacre and the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino massacre) and President Trump (e.g., the October 31, 2017 NYC massacre and the December 6, 2019 Pensacola massacre).
*Western policy makers have been in denial of the fact that terrorists bite the hand that feeds them, interpreting Western gestures as weakness. This was demonstrated by the “9/11” terrorism (irrespective of the US’ assisting the Mujahideen’s war against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan), as well as by the November 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the 50 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days (irrespective of the US’ game-changing tailwind to the Ayatollahs rise to power). It was also evidenced by the 258 US fatalities in the 1983 car-bombing of the US Embassy and Marines Headquarters in Beirut (irrespective of the rough US pressure on Israel during its war on the PLO) and the 1998 car-bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (irrespective of President Clinton’s brutal pressure of Israel and warm embrace of Arafat), etc.
*Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs derive much energy by the fact that some Western policy makers and media outlets have applied the immoral moral equivalence to Hamas terrorists – who systematically and deliberately hit civilians, sometime killing soldiers – and Israeli soldiers, who systematically and deliberately target only Hamas terrorists, sometimes unintentionally killing Gaza civilians, who are held hostage by Hamas terrorists and abused as human shields.
*Constraining Israel’s war on Hamas amounts to ignoring the aforementioned facts. It would amount to repeating, rather than avoiding past costly mistakes, which would add fuel to the Middle East fire at the expense of Israel, pro-US Arab regimes, the US and other Western democracies.