Nov 18 - 2023

10 Minutes That Matters: Hamas, Biden

The Charles Adler Show

About the Episode

We have a combination of Armchair Generals and Armchair Peacemakers weighing on Israel vs Gaza. 

A Ceasefire is needed now And after a ceasefire. a two state solution. Question: Do people pushing for this know anything? Jonathan Freedland writes columns for the Guardian in Great Britain. In recent days he decided to impart something that so many activists, slacktivists, academics, journalists and even western government officials seem to lack – Knowledge. If knowing things matters to you this is an opportunity to become aware of what is known by a very knowledgeable writer in the UK. Jonathan Freedland is speaking directly to those who argue that Hamas will abide by a ceasefire because Gaza has been so badly damaged by Israel. Multiple thousands of Palestinans are dead and much of Gaza is rubble. So why wouldn’t Hamas change its tune and abide by a ceasefire. Freedland says Such thinking fundamentally misunderstands the nature of that organisation. Because Hamas is a different kind of enemy, one that does not fit the usual theories of war. Put simply, it does not mind if its own people die.

Recall how counter-terrorist strategists had to rethink all that they knew when first confronted with suicide bombers. It’s hard to deter a terrorist who does not fear death. That’s true writ large for an organisation that has explicitly said it is “proud to sacrifice martyrs”

This is why Hamas has spent hundreds of millions of dollars – much of it international aid money – not on basic services for Gazans, but on building and equipping a network of underground tunnels that, again, it has explicitly said are exclusively for its own use. As one Hamas leader put it, ordinary people in Gaza who need protection should look to the UN.

It’s this that explains why, whatever truth eventually emerges about the recent role of the al-Shifa hospital, a former director of a major aid organisation operating in Gaza testified this week that “it was broadly suspected/understood as far back as 2014 that Hamas used the al-Shifa hospital complex as a command centre and base for operations” – just as it has long been understood that Hamas is not afraid to use schools or UN buildings when it comes to raining rockets down on Israel. The calculation for Hamas is that either Israel hits back, killing innocents – thereby losing legitimacy in the eyes of the world – or it does not, thereby allowing Hamas to keep firing. Either way, Hamas wins.

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