Israel’s Opportunity to Destroy Hamas

The security establishment has feared engagement in Gaza more than the terror group’s rule. Saturday’s attack may change that.

By Daniel Pipes, WSJ

The surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, the Islamist organization ruling Gaza, is a humanitarian horror. It is also a strategic opportunity for Israel, the U.S. and democracies everywhere.

Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which author Cynthia Farahat describes as “the world’s incubator of modern Islamic terrorism.” From Hamas’s origins in 1987, it has engaged in violence against Israelis, Palestinians and whoever else might cross its path. A sequence of Israeli missteps led in 2007 to its taking power in the Gaza Strip, an area the size of Omaha, Neb., with a population of two million. It imposed a totalitarian rule on Gaza similar to that of the mullahs in Iran, attempting to implement medieval strictures, oppressing its own population, and threatening to destroy Israel.

There are many indications that Gazans hate Hamas. “There is boiling anger in the streets against the Hamas movement,” Tholfekar Swairjo, a Gazan political analyst, told NPR in 2022. “They are blamed for the very low quality of life in Gaza.” A 32-year-old woman said that “most Gazans have stopped believing in Hamas and the others. You know why? Because they don’t feed us, they don’t provide anything. You have to depend on yourself. How can we build a future with these guys?”

Polling finds overwhelming support among Palestinians, especially in Gaza, for the statement that “Palestinians should push harder to replace their own political leaders with more effective and less corrupt ones.” Gazans also reject Hamas by emigrating in droves. An estimated 250,000 to 350,000 young adults have left the strip since Hamas took over in 2007.

In short, most Gazans loathe Hamas, but they dare not rise up against their power-hungry oppressors, who enjoy support from Iran. What about Israel? It has the motive and the means to end Hamas rule, but its security establishment has preferred that Hamas, for all its horrors and threats, stay in power rather than have the Israel Defense Forces move back into Gaza (from which they withdrew in 2005) and run the territory again. For one sign of Israel’s acquiescence to Hamas rule, note that it permits and even encourages the government of Qatar to send Hamas $30 million a month.

As a result, nothing changes. Perhaps the moment has come for American leadership. In 2003, President George W. Bush said that “the free world, those who love freedom and peace, must deal harshly with Hamas” and that “Hamas must be dismantled.” President Barack Obama said in 2014: “I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for ordinary people who are struggling within Gaza.”

Joe Biden should join their ranks. In a statement Saturday, he said he “unequivocally condemns this appalling assault”—a good start. The next step is to urge Israel to remove Hamas. Perhaps this, along with the size and barbarism of the latest assault, will change the Israeli security establishment’s reluctant acceptance of Hamas and persuade it to rid the world of this scourge.

Once Gaza has been secured, Israel would find a great number of its inhabitants ready to start over and build productive lives rather than focus endlessly and hopelessly on the destruction of Israel. Gaza could aspire to become the “Singapore of the Middle East” of which optimists dreamed decades ago. None of this can happen as long as Iran’s medieval-minded agents run the enclave.

The Hamas charter of 1988 calls for Islam to “obliterate” Israel. After Saturday’s vicious assault, the time has come for Israel to obliterate Hamas.

October 8, 2023 | 17 Comments »

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17 Comments / 17 Comments

  1. Daniel Pipes still thinks there are enough people in Gaza who only need to be rescued from Hamas, in order to turn Gaza into Singapore. This is a fantasy on the level of romance novels, and exactly what led to the current disaster. Also, the normal, productive people in Gaza who were allowed to work in Israel are probably the very people who provided the terrorists with detailed local information. In other words, even the best people in that society hate Jews and will never be good neighbors. It’s best to kill the worst ones and deport the rest.

  2. Peloni-

    Thankyou indeed.
    It seems I was wrong, as I understood that the IDF had constant surveillance over the Daza Strip, as well as sophisticated equipment to detect tunnelling at nearly any depth.

    The multi billion shekel wall surrounding the terrorist enclave was a failure in spades> I posted at the time of the news about it beingguilt , that it would fail in it’s purpose. And gazans are constantly dribbling across from their gangster lairs without initial detection.

    Thank you for your prayers .Vitally needed deeply appreciated. although I’ve never found that prayer itself ever worked except by coincidence. It’s as if the Almighty expects us to also commit to doing our best to succeed at what we are praying for.

  3. @Edgar
    Arutz is not down, but JPOST has been on and off for some time now.

    The top story hasn’t changed because it is a live feed where breaking news reports are added throughout the day.

    If you click on the top story of Arutz, it has a live feed of events being reported. The most recent report was listed only about twenty minutes ago. Here is a direct link to their live update page:
    You can refresh this page throughout the day to see the newly added reports.

    They are also updating stories below the top story, with the most recent report being listed only 15 minutes ago.

    Also their News Briefs are also being added throughout the day, again the last one was listed a short time ago. Here is the direct link to the News Briefs page:

    JPOST, was down for a few minutes but is now working again.

    It has been reported that the IDF is making the change from defense to offense currently (can’t locate where I read this).

    The events of the day have been largely concentrating on clearing the terrorists from the towns and villages in a systematic manner. There is a lot of chaos on the ground, but things are apparently being resolved and Gen. Avivi and others report that the expectation is that full control of the border area will be regained within the next 24hrs or less. From here the question remains what is next.

    The air raids on Gaza are continuing, and reserves are being called up but Avivi notes that it will take a few days for the reservists to be reacquainted with their training.

    Here is a report by MK Cohen (Ozmah Yehudit) who was involved in a battle in Ofakim. It is worth noting that the terrorist army appeared to have detailed knowledge of where to hit, with maps describing where to find the synogogues, community centers, etc.

    Children who have been captured are being held in pens like dogs. It is unthinkable what their fate will be. Here is that story:

    Israel’s ambassador has reported that there are dozens of US citizens among the captured. Here is that report:

    The jump in the reported dead was due to the discovery of a mass execution of young adults who had been attending a peace music festival near the Gaza border. There were 260 who were found butchered while they ran across the desert looking for somewhere to hide. Here is that story:

    There are currently 6 skirmishes being reported with the terrorists currently. Here is that story:

    The dead stand around 700, but I have read that this is likely to cross 1,000 but that is idle internet chatter. The wounded stands at around 2,400. The terrorists claim they have over 130 captured Israelis and are planning to place them in their tunnels to deter the IDF from doing what they did in the 2021 war.

    Still no news explaining why, even with the intel failure, Israel was not able to detect and respond to the incursion of a force of about 400 terrorists spewing across her southern border. More than anything else, this must be answered and remedied.

    I will say a prayer for you family who stand in the teeth of this disaster, as I have for all those who have been tragically caught in this indescribable horror.

  4. We must consider that this Gaza eruption, massive though it is , may be only a diversionary attack with the real blow coming from elsewhere.
    As Israel is surrounded by Arabs, it could be any one or combination.

    The slackness of the IDF since Lapid-Bennett is now catching up with us.
    I wonder about those IDF reservists and lefty soldiers, who declared that even if Israel was at war they would refuse to join their regiments.???

    I wonfer VERY MUCH what’s actually happening, since Arutz 7 had not changed its page all day .

    Does anyone know more??if so please post links. I have many relatives there whose children/grandchildren must be in the IDF…

  5. @Michael Oh, screw dat. Death to them all. You’re always quoting the bible, ad nauseum. How about all the great passages calling for exterminating Amalek and all the other nations infesting our land in Deuteronomy, Numbers, and Joshua.
    “An eye for an eye, a life for a life, a nation for a nation” in the words of the great Jewish patriot, Abba Kovner.

    I understand the Neutron bomb gives off very little radiation. The fire-bombing of Dresden is another great model.

    Oh, here’s a fun one:

    Isaiah 14:29 “Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.”

    Israel is threatened with a potential five front war and can’t commit troops to Gaza. So secure the home front with troops and simply burn Gaza, Southern Lebanon, and any where else on the border enemy troops are massing down to the ground from the air. Leave nothing standing. And then annex it.

  6. Hi, Sebastien

    Collateral damage, unfortunately, is a political issue. How much people tolerate depend on things like “How far away is it?”, “Do I know these people?”, “How much does it cost?” and, above all, “What will the neighbors think?” When someone’s child becomes a “colateral”, of course, like several hundred Israeli families, arithmetic doesn’t seem to matter.

    By the grace of God, I have never been an officer, making life-and-death decisions for the men under my command. We leave these decisions to our leaders and our military, just like the German people did under Hitler. We just obey orders.

  7. @Michael I don’t think the IDF should worry about collateral damage, do you? Few if any innocents, here.

  8. @Michael

    It could be, that the wrong questions were asked.

    “A vast majority (71%) expressed support for the formation of armed groups such as the Lions’ Den and the Jenin Battalion. More than 85% of the respondents said the PA does not have the right to arrest members of the armed groups to prevent them from carrying out attacks against Israel.”


  9. Thanks, Sebastien.

    Support for a two-state solution stands at 28%, and opposition to it stands at 70%

    That about says it. The world has been trying to force the Pals to accept a policy they overwhelmingly DON’T want! They seem to want a fight to the death. They should be given this. Maybe the IDF should give them a taste of this in Gaza. Then, if they still want it, this can be extended to the rest of Israel.

    It could be, that the wrong questions were asked.

  10. No talks with a scorpio, you don’t sleep at night with a scorpio under your pillow.
    The army failures are the results of 30 years of stupid appeasement policy by left and right in Israel.
    Israeli naive people swallowed the hook and the line and keep on same stupid posture since 1992.
    The army was compelled to a defensive posture ; today’s failure is the logical result of the defensive policies chosen by Israeli governments Left and Right .Bar-Lev line produced a failure, Ligne Maginot ended in failure, this so clever Gaza fence just crumbled the same .

  11. Israel can defeat Hamas but will not gain any brownie points by doing so. If the local population is so aggressively anti-Hamas, they should be helped in their effort to remove Hamas.
    To even consider Islamic Brotherhood supporter Obama as less than a Hamas sympathiser is ridiculous.

  12. Israel can defeat Hamas but will not gain any brownie points by doing so. If the local population is so aggressively anti-Hamas, they should be helped in their effort to remove Hamas.
    To even consider Islamic Brothrrhood supporter Obama as less than a Hamas sympathiser is ridiculous.

  13. I just noticed that the OP is by Daniel Pipes. — a Maverick of a guy, but a solid Zionist.

    Thanks, Daniel 🙂