Hamas atrocities – what went wrong?

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
October 12, 2023,

No common-sense-observer of the volcanic Middle East and Islamic terrorism, in general, and Hamas/Palestinian terrorism, in particular, should be shocked by the October 2023 Hamas’ atrocities, which are not driven by the size of Israel and its policy, but by the aim to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State from the “abode of Islam.”

Ignoring the nature of Hamas

*Significant elements in Israeli, the US and Western policy-making and national security and the intelligence establishment have been in denial of the nature of Palestinian terrorism, as the Western establishment has been in denial of the megalomaniacally rogue nature of Iran’s Ayatollahs regime since its ascension to power in February 1979.

*They have eagerly attempted to pacify Hamas. However, they failed to realize the pivotal role of the 1,400-year-old fanatic, anti-Western ideology of Hamas, which views Israel as the beachhead of the “infidel” Western culture in the Middle East.

*Their eagerness to advance the cause of peace has led them to sacrifice the frustratingly complex Middle East reality on the altar of a convenient, virtual reality, as was the case in the Israeli-initiated (and Western embraced) 1993 Oslo Accord and the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, which catapulted Palestinian terrorism to unprecedented intensity, paving the road to the 2023 atrocities of Hamas.

*They have based their approach to Hamas – as the Western policy has approached Iran’s Ayatollahs – on the assumption that generous financial benefits would induce Hamas to alter its order of priorities, and prefer standard of living considerations over its core, zealot ideology. They believed that dramatic economic gestures could lead Hamas to eventually comply with agreements, accept a reality of a manageable low-intensity conflict, or even peaceful-coexistence with Israel.

The centrality of the Hamas covenant

*The apocalyptic, Iran-supported Hamas terror entity, was established in 1988 by the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terror organization, committed – since 1928 – to the toppling of all national Muslim regimes; and the establishment of a universal Muslim society, while bringing the West – and especially “the great American Satan” to submission.

*Hamas is one of many political, religious, educational and terroristic Muslim Brotherhood spin-offs, such as Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. These were established throughout the Middle East, Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Europe and the USA.

*The 1988 Hamas covenant, which was posted by the Yale University Law School, presents the vision and nature of Hamas, as highlighted by  Hamas’ K-12 education system, Hamas’ Friday sermons and official events and monuments:

“…. The slogan of the Islamic resistance movement: Allah is its target, the Prophet [Muhammad] is its model, the Koran its constitution…. Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes….

“The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization – the largest Islamic movement in modern times….
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it….

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight [kill] the Jews. When the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say: O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him….

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad…. The Jihad for the liberation of Palestine is an individual duty…. the Palestinian problem is a religious problem…. I swear by the holder of Mohammed’s soul that I would like to invade and be killed for the sake of Allah, then invade and be killed, and then invade again and be killed….

“Freemasons, Rotary Clubs and others are nothing more than cells of saboteurs…. The day Islam is in control of guiding the affairs of life, these organizations, hostile to humanity and Islam, will be obliterated…. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam….”

The strategic blunder

*Key elements in Israeli, US and Western policy-making and national security and intelligence establishment have ignored the following decisive feature of the Middle East.  The uprooting of the Jewish State is not a prerequisite for the attainment of the vision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and South Sudan; hence, their peace accords with Israel, and the unprecedented Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation. On the other hand, the uprooting of the Jewish State is a prerequisite for the attainment of the Palestinian vision, as documented by the Palestinian (PA and Hamas) school curriculum – which has become the most effective production line of terrorists – the 1959, 1964 and 1988 covenants of Fatah, the PLO and Hamas, the public idolization of terrorists, monthly allowances to families of terrorists and the 100-year-Palestinian track record of terrorism against Arab countries and Israel.

*These key Israeli and Western personalities approached Hamas as a potential partner to negotiation, rather than a ruthless, fanatic, non-compromising terror entity, and therefore a target for liquidation. They would not accept the fact that gestures toward Hamas were construed – by Hamas – as weakness, hence, intensifying terrorism.

*They underestimated the apocalyptic nature of Hamas (just like Hezbollah and Iran’s Ayatollahs), which has enabled Hamas to absorb severe military blows, and leverages the numerus cease fires, concluded with Israel, in order to upgrade terror capabilities, which are not driven by despair, but by the hope/aspiration to uproot the “infidel” Jewish State.

*They have been influenced by the “Oslo school of thought,” as articulated by Shimon Peres, the chief architect of the 1993 Oslo Accord in his book, The New Middle, which promotes virtual Middle East over Middle East reality.  For example:

“The international political setting is no longer conducive to wars (page 80) ….

“We must focus on this new Middle East reality… and not wander among memories of victories in long-gone wars – wars that will never be fought again (p. 85) …

“All things-considered, any war entered into now will be unnecessary one (p. 52) ….

“We must strive for fewer weapons and more faith.  Soft, open political boundaries will make it easier to reach an agreement and help withstand stormy times (p. 173) ….”

*The “Oslo school of thought” has severely eroded Israel’s posture of deterrence – which has played the key role in forging the six peace accords – while ushering in an unprecedented wave of terrorism, culminating with the current 2023 Hamas atrocities. It has led Israel to prefer defense and reaction to – rather than offense and preemption of – terrorism, and to chasing “mosquitos,” rather than draining the “swamp.”

The bottom line

*The failure to read the crystal-clear writing on the wall led to the 2023 failure to avert the Hamas atrocities.

*Will the Israeli, US and Western policy makers and national security and intelligence establishment conclude the common-sense lesson of the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, and read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state on the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria, which would dominate Jerusalem and the 8-15-mile waistline of Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and 80% of Israel’s population and infrastructure?

*Moreover, will US policy makers and congressional leaders read the 60-font-writing on the wall of the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, which would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the Jordan River, transforming Jordan into another epicenter of anti-US Islamic terrorism, with its domino scenario into all pro-US Arab oil-producing countries, which would yield a strategic bonanza to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China, while dealing a blow to the US’ economy and national and homeland security?

October 12, 2023 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Bockner wrote to Yoram:

    Thank you for your important article. You make very clear the background of this atrocity and the reasons for it. One would have thought that after the unpreparedness of the Yom Kippur War Israeli leaders would have learned something. Complacency as a policy in dealing with Nazi barbarians who want to obliterate you is suicidal. Will we ever learn? Lack of foresight and leadership together with US and EU money, empathy and propaganda for “Palestinians” (an invented people) has proven to be a deadly combination.
    If Israel continues to be beholden to Western governments which plot covertly for its demise more demoralizing, tragic events can be expected. Only a determined, strong, independent Israel will survive and be respected. I would add that it’s time for Jewish communities in the Diaspora to realize this too because if Israel falls we will be the next targets.

  2. EvRe1: You doubt that “members of the intelligence community knew this was coming and purposely did nothing”. So, you think that they did not know about the coming operation? What kind of intelligence is this that “palestinians” could easily break the gate, freely entered Israel and the army did not respond for hours before coming to the rescue just to find hundreds of dead bodies? It is treason in the highest echelon of the army leadership.

  3. There is currently an attempt to imply that it is impossible for the Israeli security and intelligence community to have erred, and that members of the intelligence community knew this was coming and purposely did nothing. A Bret Weinstein video with an Israeli woman named Efrat was surfaced yesterday with suggestions of this. I did not find evidence in what she said that this actually occurred, and furthermore she gave enough details about herself to lead to the possibility that she has been against the Netanyahu government. For instance, she uses the term, “the State of Palestine.” She said her grandparents started kibbutzim in Israel. She focused on the terrible lives of the Palestinians (AT THIS TIME IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY no less) and implied that the government of Israel “used” Hamas and more or less kept it going. To some degree that was covered in the above article: the Israeli government got such international pushback and pressure every time they tried to defeat Hamas, they concluded the best plan was deterrence, and so Hamas was enabled to continue.

    I mention this line of thinking, which attempts to essentially blame Israel for the worst terrorist atrocity in her history so that the readers here will know that there still are people either in Israel and certainly non-Israelis eager to consider the possibility that Israel would bring on this disaster to herself and her own people.

    There have been Russian moles in US intelligence who did great harm to the intelligence community, but never in a position to actually prevent Chiefs of Staff from hearing information that would lead to a devastating attack on the US that then resulted from their treason.

    I think what is going on here is that people in the United States have become so distrustful of our government, and so distrustful of governments everywhere, that they are ready and willing to believe anything is possible.

    The US government HAS given the American people hundreds of reasons to distrust it.

    The government of Bibi Netanyahu has kept Israel largely safe and secure despite repeated attacks from the north and south for decades.

    It is the government of the US that is untrustworthy in this situation. Obama and Biden did everything in their power to bring this attack on.
    Blaming the entire attack on the Israeli security establishment as if they knew and did nothing to prevent it is similar to the Islamist belief that Jews themselves caused the Holocaust.

    One must be able to differentiate between mistakes made vs treason.

  4. The Israeli leaders have up to now been fooling themselves about the nature of the enemy. This article is not a full answer to this issue but at least it begins to raise certain vital issues. I will watch how Israpundit responds. I would expect the main writers to come in.