Palestinians can stop the war by overthrowing Hamas – opinion

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The Jerusalem Post 15.11.2023


Palestinians can stop the war by overthrowing Hamas – opinion

Dear Palestinians,


In 2021, when the IDF bombed Gaza, responding to yet another of your rocket barrages , my son, who served nearby, reported: “The ground shook. I kept thinking what it must be like for the kids in Gaza….” This sentiment didn’t stop him from defending himself, his family, his country. Similarly, Israeli pilots have aborted numerous justified missions in Gaza to avoid killing civilians. So, let’s be clear. We Israelis don’t enjoy doing what your bloodbath forced us to do. We don’t giddily share videos of dead or dismembered Palestinians. But we’re not apologizing – and we’re not stopping.


If you haven’t noticed, you’re stuck. Gazans have nowhere to run. You see through the Islamic-Arab summit . No one in the Arab world wants you – especially Egypt. Nasrallah missed his chance to swarm Israel with you, so now Hezbollah’s dithering. And we didn’t fall into Hamas’s trap, rushing wildly into war, blinded by your savagery. Our army is proceeding deliberately, carefully dismantling the dense military infrastructure you built since Israel withdrew from every inch of Gaza in 2005.


The army has hit 15,000 targets, seized 6,000 weapons – and there are so many left. Fifteen-thousand targets. Too many Westerners believed your cries that you were still “occupied,” after we disengaged completely, and you were “blockaded” as you amassed materials to build your murder machine. But you overplayed your hand. Israel has zero tolerance for any more Qassams, murderers, rapists, marauders – and any more Gazan workers who raided – crossing our border. We cannot stop until we’ve broken your killing machine – because you taught us on October 7 that we can never again tolerate the intolerable.


Yes, it’s going to be ugly – even postwar. Actions have consequences. If you wanted to build yourselves up rather than destroy us, you could have made Gaza the Mediterranean Riviera. You blew your chance – repeatedly. You will now pay for helping Hamas map out bordering villages, for raiding and rejoicing and spreading those despicable videos. Most Israelis want a 1-kilometer buffer zone protecting every Israeli from any of you – taking land from you, seeding it with land mines, authorizing soldiers to kill anyone who steps on it. It’s warfare 101 – you attack, you lose, you lose territory.


Still, you have a choice. You can keep suffering, burying more relatives. Or you can stop the bombing immediately – altering the narrative. Show that despite collaborating with Hamas for years, eventually you stirred.


In Gaza, walk out of the hospitals , your homes, where Hamas holds you as human shields. Tell Israeli forces where the hostages are, where military installations are, where the cowardly leaders cower. Some of you can seize some hostages – defying Hamas more directly. Initially, they’ll shoot some of you – film them and persist. They’re PR-conscious cowards. The more you rebel, the less they can control you, the fewer they will kill.


Palestinians around the world

Meanwhile, Palestinians worldwide should rise up, too. Expose Hamas cells to the Israeli authorities – throughout the territories, in Israeli-Arab villages. They’ve only harmed your people. And in Qatar, unleash your relatives on some Hamas politicos – these contemptible playboys playing with your lives. Give them the street justice they deserve. Show them you’ve had enough.


Don’t worry, you won’t be betraying Hamas – they first betrayed you. You’re not just their pawns – you’re their cannon fodder. With your acquiescence, they robbed you of any shot of a good life, starving your kids, teaching them to hate, as they ruthlessly tunneled down, and scaled up weapons production. They stole hope from you when they seized power in 2007 and crushed anything positive in Gaza. And they manipulated you and the West. Hamas’s Ali Baraka told Russia Today TV, “We made them think that Hamas was busy with governing Gaza, and that it wanted to focus on the 2.5 million Palestinians” there.


You’re too smart to swallow the nonsense Islamist killers use to con progressive grievance-junkies. True, the longer this siege extends, the more UN resolutions you can add to your album of useless declarations that never helped you. And the protests will intensify. But, unlike those demonstrating dupes, you and we know you’re not innocent. And we both know that the more vile and violent those demonstrations are, the more alarmed Americans and Europeans will become.


Many of their spoiled students may be too dumb to notice, but most Westerners are realizing the threat jihadists in their midst pose. October 7 has given everyone nightmares of being swarmed by your fellow fanatics in Paris, London, even New York. So please, keep it up – keep those masks on, advertising your thuggery, ruin Armistice Day commemorations, disrupt classrooms, replace the American flag with Palestinian flags. The backlash will come.


True, you’re addicted to paralysis and victimhood. You love absolving yourselves of any responsibility, pretending you’re powerless to protect yourselves. Defying Hamas, informing on Hamas, could change history – and improve your lives.


I write this, of course, not as a prediction. It’s an invitation – and a warning: we know you could do more to resist. We hear your ongoing partnership with Hamas as more of your bloodthirsty, Jew-hating, cheers.


On October 7 you left us Israelis – and any Westerner with a spine – no choice. We’re no longer fooled and we’re no longer fooling around. You target civilians – we still target terrorists. You call it disproportionate – we call it self-defense. You’ll earn world sympathy as losers, yet again. But we will win, as usual.


A Distinguished Scholar in North American History at McGill University currently living in Jerusalem, Gil Troy is an award-winning American presidential historian and a leading Zionist activist. He is, most recently, the editor of the new three-volume set, “Theodor Herzl: Zionist Writings,” the inaugural publication of The Library of the Jewish People ( www.theljp.org )  . Two years ago he co-authored with Natan Sharansky Never Alone: Prison, Politics and  My People,  was published by PublicAffairs of Hachette. Recently designated one of Algemeiner’s J-100, one of the top 100 people “positively influencing Jewish life,” Gil Troy is the author of  The Zionist Ideas , an update and expansion of Arthur Hertzberg’s classic anthology The Zionist Idea, published by the Jewish Publication Society and a 2019 National Jewish Book Award Finalist. 




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Prof Gil Troy · 20 Derech Bet Lechem · Apt 2 · Jerusalem 9310925 · Israel