Israel vs. Hamas Is a War Between Good and Evil

For Israel, a ceasefire now will only guarantee another war in a year or two or three; the only effective strategy is the complete demilitarization of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has hijacked a country.

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he Israeli community of Netiv Haasara is seen in front of flares fired by the Israeli army in Gaza July 23, 2014.
he Israeli community of Netiv Haasara is seen in front of flares fired by the Israeli army in Gaza July 23, 2014. Credit: Reuters
S. Daniel Abraham
S. Daniel Abraham

The most important thing for a country to know before it gets into a war is what its objective is. If Israel's objective is to destroy many of Hamas’ rocket launching sites and demolish many of the tunnels Hamas has built to infiltrate terrorists into Israel then it has already succeeded. And if Israel wants to underscore that it is militarily far stronger than Hamas, then it has succeeded in that goal as well. Israel knows this, Hamas knows this, and the whole world knows this.

Unfortunately, though, the achievement of all these goals is not enough. For Israel to accept or declare a ceasefire at this time will achieve nothing for Israel other than a guarantee of another war with Hamas in a year or two or three. And that is because nothing about Hamas will have changed. Before this war it was committed to the destruction of Israel and to murdering as many Israeli Jews as it could and this commitment remains paramount to Hamas. The only thing that will stop it is the total disarming of Hamas, a terrorist organization that has hijacked a country.

The United States learned this lesson seventy years ago when it confronted equally implacable enemies toward whom only one strategy could be effective: complete demilitarisation. In the case of Hamas that means, as it meant in the case of the Germans and the Japanese, complete demilitarization.

A Hamas that is permitted to maintain access to any missiles, any long-range weaponry, or any machine guns for that matter remains a life-threatening threat to the citizens of Israel. Although everyone knows that Israel has nuclear weapons, no one fears for a moment that it will introduce these weapons in its war against Hamas. Does anybody, including the Israel-haters and assorted anti-Semites who recently demonstrated in Paris, doubt that if Hamas had nuclear weapons it would try and drop them on Israel?

Israel's goal, therefore, is simple to state, but difficult to achieve. It must wipe out or take possession of all the missiles Hamas has, and it must destroy all the tunnels that Hamas uses to try and infiltrate Israel, and achieve a complete demilitarization of Gaza.

The Allies understood in 1945 that anything less than total surrender by the Nazis and the Japanese would guarantee their continued attempts to kill Americans and the other Allied forces. In those days, the Allies were far more indiscriminate in their bombing than Israel is today. Even prior to the use of the atom bomb, the Allied bombings killed some 25,000 civilians in Dresden, 42,000 in Hamburg and 125,000 in Tokyo.

Israel is doing everything in its power not to kill civilians, and it would succeed in that goal if not for Hamas' demonic placement of its missile sites in the midst of Gazan residential neighborhood and population centers. When Israel is threatened by Hamas missiles, it sends its citizens into bomb shelters. Gaza doesn't build bomb shelters (for one thing it doesn't want to divert concrete from building its terrorist tunnels), because the Hamas leaders want civilians, children in particular, killed, thereby hoping to turn world opinion against Israel.

One day, the Gazan people will realize what the Italian people realized too late about Mussolini, that he was never their friend and he didn't care if they died; that's why it was Italians who killed him. And one day the Gazan people will realize what the German people realized too late, that the man who caused them more misery than anyone else in the entire history of Germany was Adolf Hitler. And one day the Gazans will realize that voting into power a government that places missiles mixed in among its citizens' homes, thereby inviting attacks, is a government that despises them and despises their children.

Unfortunately, this realization does not seem to have come yet to Gazans. And that leaves Israel the responsibility of taking care of its own citizens. A world that is largely indifferent to the fate of Jewish lives can protest against Israel all it wants. But no country would allow another country - one which repeatedly announces its desire to destroy her and even puts that malevolent wish into its national covenant - to go on shooting missiles at her, and infiltrating terrorists past her borders.

In the meantime, Israel must continue to pursue peace with those Palestinians who, unlike Hamas, want to live in peace with Israel. Israel must offer a balanced peace proposal based on the 1967 lines with equal swaps, a demilitarized Palestinian state and Jerusalem divided by population, as an open multi-religious city of peace.

What Israel is doing now is an act of self-defense, and if innocent Gazans die it is by accident on Israel's part and by intention on Hamas' part. How dare anyone, any country, condemn Israel for trying to protect its citizen's lives? Israel sends its endangered citizens to shelters. Hamas makes no effort to build shelters for them. And that is all that one needs to know about the nature of the two sides in this conflict.

There is often ambiguity in wars. Rarely is it a question of a war between good and evil. This one is.

S. Daniel Abraham is an American entrepreneur and founder of the Center for Middle East Peace in Washington. Follow the center on Twitter: @AbrahamCenter

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