Streetwise Professor

November 19, 2023

A Dozen More Observations on Israel-Hamas

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — cpirrong @ 5:42 pm

About 3 weeks have passed since my previous post making 18 observations on Israel v. Hamas. Events in those 3 weeks prompt some additional observations.

  1. Israel appears to be filtering out the near universal screeching, preaching, and second guessing regarding its methodical campaign in Gaza, where assault by fire has been succeeded by a ground assault. It recognizes that a cease fire or “pause” would rescue Hamas from destruction, and likely in the long run result in more Gazan (and Israeli) deaths than will result from a campaign that extirpates the terrorist organization that rules Gaza. That is, it has determined not to play Sisyphus again.
  2. It is likely that Israel recognizes that the screeching, preaching, and second guessing is almost totally ineffectual posturing by pusillanimous western politicians and Hamas fellow travelers, and that the costs of bending to this criticism far exceed any benefits that would result from doing so. Doing so would spare Israel’s enemies, and not make it any friends. So the dogs are barking loudly, but the Israeli caravan is moving along inexorably.
  3. Indeed, those who could pose the greatest threat to Israel–namely Arab states, especially the Gulf states–are making only perfunctory criticisms at most–when they are not outright criticizing Hamas strongly as the UAE did today. It is telling that Saudi Arabia does not permit pro-Palestinian (i.e., pro-Hamas) protests while the streets of Paris, London, and Washington are awash with them. One can only imagine what the Saudis, etc., are telling Israel in private.
  4. Meaning that the pro-Palestinian ferment is a far bigger threat to western governments than to Israel. Which helps explain the bleating of those like Macron.
  5. The Biden administration is like a deer in the headlights. Its initial unambiguous pro-Israel stance unleashed a firestorm on the Democratic Party’s left that jeopardizes Biden’s already extremely shaky political situation. This firestorm has led to–well,what better way to put it?–insurrectionary actions (at least as those have been defined for the last 35 months). These include a boisterous protest inside the Our Lady of Our Democracy, AKA the Capitol, an attempt to storm the White House, and an attack on a reception at Democratic Party headquarters in DC. This is a no-win situation for Biden and the Democrats. Breaks me all up.
  6. There is opposition to the administration’s largely pro-Israel stance from within the State Department. I’m shocked! Shocked! Well, not really. The State Department has been anti-Israel since 1948. Truman recognized Israel only over the determined resistance of the “striped pants boys” in the State Department. La plus ca change.
  7. Reactions in the West generally, and the U.S. in particular are quite clarifying. In particular, the Left’s embrace of Hamas–largely dishonestly camouflaged as concern for oppressed Palestinians–is quintessential the-enemy-of-my-enemy “logic” that demonstrates the profound anti-western animus of the left. The Palestinian cause has been a major element in the anti-Western alliance since the 1960s. The USSR was a major supporter of Palestinian “resistance,” and now Islamist Iran–a rabid revisionist anti-Western nation–is the major supporter of violent Palestinian forces. Political Islam is also profoundly anti-Western. The Western left is also rabidly anti-West–and terms like “colonialism” are barely concealed anti-western code. A common enemy unites Western leftists and Islamist terrorists, and explains the enthusiasm of the former for the latter. They don’t love the Palestinians. They both hate you.
  8. The most bizarre manifestation of this nutty nexus is “Queers for Palestine” and the like. If the self-described queers actually went to Gaza, the only question among the Palestinians would be whether to hang them from cranes, throw them off rooftops, or crush them under large rocks. But since the self-described queers have no intention of setting a single painted toenail in Gaza, they can embrace Hamas from the safety of leftist enclaves like Cambridge and Amherst as a means of undermining traditional Western societies, ethics, and morality.
  9. The events since 7 October 2023 have demonstrated beyond any doubt the utter depravity of western–especially American–universities. Certainly the humanities and most of the social sciences, and clearly the administrations (administrators being a dominant force in the modern university), but also a non-trivial portion of the STEM faculties. And the more “elite” the university, the more profound the depravity. There really was not much doubt about the state of universities prior to 7 October, but whatever doubt that remained has been pulverized. I know how we got here, but I don’t see any way back. The institutional dominance of anti-western forces in the quintessential product of Western Enlightenment is too entrenched to be overthrown.
  10. These events have also made plain the depravity of public education in the United States. The vacuity of Zoomers, and their embrace of pathological pro-Palestinian propaganda like Osama bin Laden’s post-911 letter, show that the left’s march through the institution of public education has triumphed. And again, I don’t see any way back, especially given the vice grip of the teachers’ unions. Until that is broken, public education will become even more broken.
  11. Hezbollah doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to commit suicide by throwing in with Hamas. Its histrionics and support of groups that pull Uncle Sam’s beard in Syria and Iraq aside, the same is true of Iran. Which makes it all the more inexplicable that the Biden administration continues to shower billions on it. All that will do is convince the mullahs that they can go further without triggering a response that hits them where it hurts.
  12. Insofar as the Israeli campaign itself is considered, it is proceeding relentlessly and methodically. It has surrounded northern Gaza, then proceed to cut that half almost in half (from east to west). The Israeli inkblot will continue to expand until Hamas is eliminated in all of northern Gaza. There are very few reports of pitched battles, suggesting that Hamas realizes it is overmatched and that Israel’s overwhelming force and obviously long-standing operational plan make all but scattered resistance futile. The urban warfare nightmare widely predicted for Israel has not materialized. Casualties have been light, as compared to expectations and previous experiences in urban battle (e.g., Fallujah). Total Israeli casualties so far amount to the toll of a few hours of Russian assaults on Avdiivka, Ukraine. But that is a subject for another day.
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  1. So Europe just HATES Israel and wants it to be destroyed, is that it? Well, that would explain all the sanctions we’ve put on businesses operating inside Israel’s internationally recognised borders… oh, no, wait, THERE AREN’T ANY! In fact, we sell them weapons FFS…

    So Israel is going to defeat Hamas? Unless they plan to kill every fighting-age male in Gaza, and every boy who will reach fighting age in the next 10 years or so (i.e. genocide, which despite the claims of some, there is no evidence of here), that is just a fantasy. The weapons are hidden and the fighters can just blend in. In 2 years we’ll be right back to square one, because Israel’s army isn’t big enough to permanently occupy a city-state of ~2m.

    To quote a UK rapper: “You don’t solve knife crime by taking knives out of hand, you solve it by instilling youth with hope and plans”. Until Israel finds a way to let Gaza have a future (without putting Israeli security at risk), this cycle will repeat indefinitely. Israel needs a better plan.

    Comment by HibernoFrog — November 20, 2023 @ 3:51 am

  2. A couple of extra points

    Three cheers for military dictator Mohammed Sisi. He’s keeping the poor innocent victims of Israel bottled up in Gaza. The last thing we want is their dispersal (as one Israeli minister mischievously suggested). The Islamo fascist rocket scientists would certainly qualify for political asylum in Britain were they allowed to reach here.

    The alliance between Gays4Gaza, university deans and political Islam may seem stable at present but is contradictory so surely doomed in the long term.

    Hibernofrog says Israel needs a better plan. So suggest one, mate. Or maybe Israel doesn’t. People tend to abjure governments that lead them to crushing defeat. (See Germany and Japan.) Islamists claim to want martyrdom, but human nature wants to stay alive.

    Mossad is no doubt planning some wet jobs on the Hamas leadership. Those in Qatar may be safe for the moment, but in Turkey?

    Comment by philip — November 20, 2023 @ 4:44 am

  3. HibernoFrog writes: ‘i.e. genocide, which despite the claims of some, there is no evidence of here)’

    That’s also a question of the definition of the term ‘genocide’ and of the use of the term, e.g. by the public in a broad sense or in a narrower legal sense.
    So, alternatively, it could be ‘just’ war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing.

    The definition of genocide seems to be not that clear, and it seems not so easy to ‘upfront’ categorize actions and developments, e.g. because ‘intent’ is part of the definition.

    Another aspect: the UN writes: ‘Cultural destruction does not suffice…’
    But then, we read:
    ‘When Raphael Lemkin was coming up with this term—he was a Polish Jewish lawyer who came to the United States during the Holocaust—he spoke specifically about a cultural genocide…’

    Omer Bartov is a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Brown University, Nov 10th, 2023:
    ‘As a historian of genocide, I believe that there is no proof that genocide is currently taking place in Gaza, although it is very likely that war crimes, and even crimes against humanity, are happening. That means two important things: First, we need to define what it is that we are seeing, and second, we have the chance to stop the situation before it gets worse. We know from history that it is crucial to warn of the potential for genocide before it occurs, rather than belatedly condemn it after it has taken place. I think we still have that time.’

    Another opinion, Oct. 16th, 2023:
    “A Textbook Case of Genocide”: Israeli Holocaust Scholar Raz Segal Decries Israel’s Assault on Gaza’

    Comment by Mikey — November 20, 2023 @ 5:36 am

  4. Two different tribes of Canaanites are wrestling for exclusive sovereignty over the same patch of earth. One defines it as From the River to the Sea and seeks allies by exploiting pan-Arabism and Islamic Jihad.

    The other defines it as (part of) Eretz Israel and seeks allies by exploiting God’s Covenant and its status as The Only Democracy in the Middle East.

    There will be no Two State Solution; there will be continuing horrors, on and on and bloody on. Long term? My money is on Kipling:

    “Strike hard who cares – shoot straight who can
    The odds are on the cheaper man.”

    I’ve probably said all this here already. That’s because no facts have emerged to change my view. Poor bastards; I am really glad I don’t live there.

    Comment by dearieme — November 20, 2023 @ 6:50 am

  5. Pusillanimous? Pusillanimous !?? I thought pusillanimous required pettifoggery in tow, if for no other reason than the alliteration. 🙂

    Comment by Donald Wolfe — November 20, 2023 @ 8:34 am

  6. @5: indeed, examples of both are plenty in comments to this and previous post on the subject by visitor clowns mikey, lib-te and frog. Professor should start charging for entertainment
    @4: no, no-moral-compass meanieme: Israel doesn’t seek allies. IDF are competent exterminators and will do all the cleanup necessary without approval by the likes of you

    to the post’s pp7-10: there are not just protests and demonstration, however loud. there are now people actually killed by the unhinged Jew-haters.
    look what’s happening in Virginia
    look what’s happening in Brooklyn

    Comment by Tatyana — November 20, 2023 @ 4:28 pm

  7. link that got lost

    Comment by Tatyana — November 20, 2023 @ 4:29 pm

  8. @Tatyana. Entertainment provided at no charge. My modest attempt to spread a little joy in the world!

    Comment by cpirrong — November 20, 2023 @ 6:33 pm

  9. @Tatyana and Prof: well, I’m just a clown amongst other labels Taty gave me – but am I mistaken? According to Taty libte, frog and myself are providing the entertainment, Prof is hosting it and Taty asked for being charged. She could at least donate for a good purpose. Quiz: what did David Price Williams report as ‘Levi-levy’ in his book ‘An Ancient Land – Genesis Of An Archeologist’? (My new whataboutery).

    Comment by Mikey — November 21, 2023 @ 5:14 am

  10. “Israel doesn’t seek allies.” Very droll. So if the US were to cut off all aid to Israel there would be no complaints from Israel? How can you write such bilge?

    Comment by dearieme — November 21, 2023 @ 8:05 am

  11. Thank you, Professor -this is a great place for venting and lib-geese-taunting.
    Meanie-me is probably paralyzed, unable to click on generously-provided links. Sor…who am I kidding: not sorry at all.
    By popular demand, here’s the list of charities to donate (as do I) to Israel, particularly, Fiends of IDF

    Comment by Tatyana — November 22, 2023 @ 12:23 pm

  12. טטיאנה@ – Ah, thought you might donate to קרן היסוד or so.
    Was googling the meaning of ‘Fiend’ as in your ‘Fiends of IDF’, getting the following results:
    ‘Fiend can refer to:
    An evil and cruel person
    Someone who likes something very much or is very interested in something
    Satan; the devil
    Any evil spirit; demon
    A diabolically cruel or wicked person
    A person or thing that causes mischief or annoyance
    A person who is extremely addicted to some pernicious habit’

    Comment by Mikey — November 22, 2023 @ 3:10 pm

  13. Apologies for the typo – Friends, not Fiends, as any normal person would have understood in context – and the links provided.

    Comment by Tatyana — November 23, 2023 @ 10:15 am

  14. @13: I’m not an expert in this field, like you are or Sigmund Freud was. Wiki reads: ‘In psychoanalysis, a Freudian slip, also called parapraxis, is an error in speech, memory, or physical action that occurs due to the interference of an unconscious subdued wish or internal train of thought. Classical examples involve slips of the tongue, but psychoanalytic theory also embraces misreadings, mishearings, mistypings, temporary forgettings, and the mislaying and losing of objects.’

    Comment by Mikey — November 23, 2023 @ 2:02 pm

  15. @14: Whatewah, dude.
    *mikey, as the name suggests, never progressed beyond 5th grade, and a petty bore kind of 5th-grader at that – despite his decrepit old age. Biden Cohort (from now on BC)

    Comment by Tatyana — November 23, 2023 @ 3:10 pm

  16. @15: I love myself, embrace my inner child and my age and can look into the mirror and embrace the truth of who I am. Enough said.

    Comment by Mikey — November 23, 2023 @ 4:46 pm

  17. to Froggie, quoting:

    Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s response to Emily’s return:
    “This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.”

    Eylon Levy, an Israeli government spokesperson, responded: “Emily Hand wasn’t ‘lost.’ She was brutally abducted by the death squads that massacred her neighbors. She wasn’t ‘found.’ Hamas knew where she was all along and cynically held her as a hostage. And Hamas didn’t answer your prayers. It answered Israel’s military pressure.”

    Comment by Tatyana — November 26, 2023 @ 3:21 pm

  18. Tatyana seconding, or did you like to give us some info/news you’d think we did not hear though reported widely?

    Do you have better information on who refused to get the hostages freed/exchanged, where no military pressure was necessary? Because hostages were taken exactly for the reason of exchange and release, that’s also the definition of ‘hostage’. With the little information we’ve got, we’ve heard there were mass protests of Israelis that did see the problem on the side of the gov of Israel…’renewed protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing the premier of mishandling the war and hostage negotiations and calling for his resignation.’

    Another observation: it seems to be a fact now, that Israelis also died in the crossfire and attacks of the Israeli Apache helicopters, following a directive called ‘Hannibal’, ‘which dictates that Israelis taken captive should be killed by the military rather than left in the hands of Palestinian militants.’
    ‘Haaretz confirms Grayzone reporting it dismissed as ‘conspiracy’ showing Israel killed own festivalgoers’:

    Comment by Mikey — November 27, 2023 @ 5:41 am

  19. “So Israel is going to defeat Hamas? Unless they plan to kill every fighting-age male in Gaza, and every boy who will reach fighting age in the next 10 years or so (i.e. genocide, which despite the claims of some, there is no evidence of here), that is just a fantasy. ”

    It will probably be too difficult, which is unfortunate because it may actually be necessary and desirable.

    The current and future fighting age males are indeed the problem. Something like 57% (according to a poll I saw) of Gazans still support Hamas. So Gazans can’t claim to be innocent. They are *still* behind a party that wants to kill every last Jew in the world. *That’s* genocide. Israel killing those who would carry out genocide against Jews is not – any more than defeating the German army in 1945 was genocide. If they could kill every last terrorist they would. I see no evidence they want to round up every last Gazan and kill them – that’s the kind of thing Muslims do.

    Hamas committed a war crime by hiding its weaponry inside schools and hospitals. This made them legitimate and legal targets. In the face of Gazan support for murdering Jews, it’s tough to feel sorry for any Gazan who dies as a human shield. If they’re genuinely unhappy about the Hamas bases inside their hospitals, well, they could have informed on their whereabouts to the IDF. I’m sure the intel would have been valuable.

    I have to laugh at what an utter twat Varadkar continues to prove himself to be. Children “lost” and “found”, indeed. But then Sinn Fein, a party that supports terrorist murder, could easily be in power soon. Terrorism is empirically legitimate in Irish politics, so it’s a bit hard for Varadkar to speak out against only one terrorist body while ignoring all the others, including those in his parliament; so I guess he has to kiss up to all of them like the moral jelly he is.

    Comment by Green As Grass — November 27, 2023 @ 12:00 pm

  20. @GreenAsGrass: Suppose you’re not interested in discussing facts, going by what you present…
    Regarding ‘it’s tough to feel sorry for any Gazan who dies as a human shield.’…
    …the question is whom should you tell, in which context would it make sense?
    You could talk to a psychologist about it, he may work with you on human traits such as empathy.
    In a metaphysical context, if you are Jewish, you could talk to a Rabbi:
    -if he’s more modern it may be like talking to a psychologist (again)
    -if he’s orthodox or ultra-orthodox he may tell you that Zionism is no good and that you’re not even Jewish ’cause you don’t stick to all the rules’…
    Other alternatives?

    Comment by Mikey — November 28, 2023 @ 5:46 am

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