Prelude to Slaughter
How Israel & Everyone Else Got Here
If you’re just coming in today, this is Part II of a three part series. You can find Monday’s Part I: Perspective and Baseline at the link. Tomorrow I’ll put up Part III: COA Decision Brief.
Today, we’re going to take some broad observations about how Israel got here with regards to Gaza. The whole topic is too complicated, so I’m going to try to stick to the big pixels - specifically to how the present stew was made. There is a lot of blame to go around, some to well meaning people, some to bad actors, and a lot simply to the fact that there are intractable problems that have no easy solutions, just a variety of unsavory ones.
This is going to bounce around, cross the streams, ignore a few obvious elephants, be self-contradicting in some minds - as much as a mess as the topic is - so try to stick with me and be patient.
The slaughter from Gaza was inevitable as the next eruption of the Yellowstone caldera will be. If not OCT 23 then OCT 24 - but on the 50th Anniversary of the 1973 War, well, like Biden’s desire to leave Afghanistan by the 20th Anniversary of 911, anniversary dates have a poetic note to certain personality types.
Even the hardest fruit will at some point ripen. Harvest day will be upon those who planted, nurtured, or simply allowed the tree to continue to grow. The tree has born fruit before - this harvest will just be larger.
Entire books have been written on how the Gaza Strip came in to being. We’re not going to go back to Biblical times on today’s post, but we will stick to living memory that goes back to 1950 when the Gaza Strip had a population of about 120,000. Today, it has a population of about 2.3 million. The various Arab-Israeli wars ebbed and flowed around Gaza over the decades, but even in peace Egypt never wanted it back. Israel tired of being an occupying force, and under pressure from local and international Smartest People in the Room™, they hoped for the best in 2005 & unilaterally withdrew its settlements and security forces from Gaza. The Gazans then had “elections” and in the end Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and have had it ever since.
Hamas. You know, the terrorist organization. Those guys.
The fact Gaza became a terrorist run safe space didn’t stop the “International Community (IC),” the internationalist left, and useful idiots from turning it in to a global welfare state that never had to earn support through constructive behavior. Humanitarian aid came in from all over the place, and with each passing year it became a stronger and more effective proxy for Iran. There was never a popular uprising against Hamas by the residents of Gaza, just the opposite. They own this. They are “this.”
The attacks from Gaza last weekend did not happen in a vacuum, nor did they happen overnight. As with almost all frozen conflicts, they eventually thaw out under the right conditions.
In the case of the latest - and most deadly events - the latent causes that enabled the Gazans (as I prefer call them if you haven’t noticed) to think now was the time to send the death squads out of their enclave ultimately belong to the Gazans themselves. As I said above, they own this. However, it could not have happened without outside help.
Gaza is one of the planet’s most concentrated areas of misery and poverty. They don’t have the economic surplus to afford any of this on their own. Gaza was intellectually and financially underwritten from the outside through active sustainment, willful neglect, and outright encouragement.
Let’s look at two entities that underwrote the Hamas terrorists and own a minority share of the blame;
The “International Community” (IC) which mostly consists of the rich self-described intelligencia led institutions from the nations that make up the European Union and the United States.
NB: I am intentionally going to ignore the larger Arab world’s role in this. That would be a post on its own and this is going to be long enough as it is. In my draft post I also had Israel, but as I think the nuance argument I’m making will be lost in the moment and it might smack of victim blaming, so I’ll have a stand alone “lessons for Israel” Thursday post instead.
Why was everyone in the IC caught off guard or shocked - SHOCKED - that a terrorist entity left alone might spawn death squads?
From the EU to the USA to your usual IO, NGOs etc in the IC - Hamas hunting women and children didn’t fit their ideology or world view. Some are well meaning in the IC who were caught off guard, but the unsavory parts are celebrating it - or just being silent. Same thing really.
I think the well-meaning but wrong like Tablet’s Armin Rosen are starting to explain where they got things wrong well. Read his thread. People like Armin are not the problem that I outline above and below. Just wanted to make that point.
I reserve the right to be wrong, and do my best to show other people the grace I would like others to give me. Armin and the like deserve that. Others…not so much.
If you want to know why the well-meaning-to-useful-enablers are shocked - SHOCKED - that terrorists will terrorize, well, let’s go to the journal of comfort for the soft-left popular front types, The Atlantic, for reference;
Always remember, especially when it comes to the Middle East, a lot of the Official Experts™ are nothing of the sort. They are, on balance, just leftist ideologues who self-reinforce each other's views independent of harsh realities that, if spoken, would upset their friends, get them passed over for a job, and might have them called a name.
Especially those who are soaked in faculty lounge foreign policy theory, they are very narrowly read, have managed to purge their faculties, think tanks, and bedrooms of anyone who might have a different perspective, and as a result are some chimera of egg shell fragile, conversationally flinty, and intellectually exquisite.
Remember; the Western left supports blood soaked Hamas for their own popular front reasons.
The “Palestinians” have been a darling of the international left for all of my lifetime and remain so for all the reasons you would expect.
There are all sorts of issues and organizations the aggressive left keep in their quiver, and one of them dates back to the 60s generation and is their love affair with the radical Arab Marxists. The radical parts of the Arab world have changed clothes from socialist to religious after the end of the Cold War, but our secular leftists don’t care. They see Hamas and other terrorist organizations as just another tool they can use for their externalized self-loathing they project on their host-culture and nations.
One day, maybe, the liberals will study their own history and know that joining popular fronts with the left just means that when the time is right, the left will put the liberals against the wall first.
Conservatives have never been the enemy - in the true sense of the word - of their sparring partner liberals. Liberals and conservatives do have a mutual enemy of a free and open society based on individual liberty that I believe they both aspire to, and that would be the left … but … that has yet to soak in.
You can add the Gaza example to the growing, blood oozing mound of historical evidence of this simple fact that most liberals seem want to ignore.
That, at the end, is the latent cause coming from the IC and the leftists that hold the direct or indirect levers of power in most of our institutions.
Let’s get a few pull quotes from the Atlantic article for reference;
The Hamas charter of 1988 laid out a brazenly anti-Semitic mission. The charter stated: “The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” As The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, noted in 2014, “This is a frank and open call for genocide, embedded in one of the most thoroughly anti-Semitic documents you’ll read this side of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Hamas issued a new charter in 2017, which retains the group’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist but removes some of the boldest anti-Jewish statements from the 1988 version. However, many Hamas officials have espoused equally strong anti-Semitic statements in the years since this new charter was released.
Key to understanding Hamas is the fact that its goals and those of the Gazan people are not necessarily in alignment. The Gazan people live under an Israeli blockade, backed by Egypt, that severely restricts the movement of goods and people in and out of the region; under Hamas rule, Gazans have reported repression and arbitrary arrests, and Human Rights Watch has chronicled what it calls systemic abuse on the part of Hamas in Gaza. In recent years, Gazan citizens have shown growing discontent with Hamas’s policies. According to The Times of Israel, a 2022 poll found that 53 percent of Gazans agree at least somewhat that Hamas should stop calling for Israel’s destruction; a 2022 Palestinian public-opinion poll found that 71 percent of Palestinians believe there is corruption in Hamas institutions. “We have no idea” how much of the population of Gaza Hamas represents, Thanassis Cambanis, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, told me, because “there have not been elections there in decades. They’re not a unifying national movement.”
Note the inability to accept reality? “Yes, they are full of Jew hatred, but really they’re victims…”
We all know the drill.
Let’s cross the pond to one of the more dangerously spoof-proof IC leftists front groups, the EU.
The EU branch of the IC is best represented by someone I linked to yesterday. He is so perfect, I have to bring him back.
Have you see the video from just under three months ago from German diplomat & EU's Ambassador to the Palestinians, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff? Just give it a quick watch.
Yes, the paragliders that were used to slaughter over 200 music festival attendees. He brought more in just a few months ago.
There is a great inertia in international diplomacy. Again with the experts. Did you hear about the statement from The Quint?
The statement, signed by Emmanuel Macron of France, Olaf Scholz of Germany, Joe Biden of the United States, Giorgia Meloni of Italy and Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom, said “the terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy and must be universally condemned.”
That is the G7 without Japan and … Canada.
I haven’t seen an explanation from Japan yet, but this statement from the leftist and strangely Castro family adjacent looking Trudeau government is, well, perfect;
“All of use recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people,” the statement concluded. “But make no mistake: Hamas does not represent those aspirations, and it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and bloodshed.”
Has there been a popular uprising against Hamas? No. So, whose aspirations do Hamas represent if not the place they live and rule in? What, exactly, is legitimate about the aspirations of Hamas as outlined in the pull quote up-thread?
Was The Quint statement something radical? No.
So, why not sign it Trudeau?
There you go. You can fill in the rest, as if I need to say it.
Then we have the UN and all their fellow rent-seeking travelers. Yes, the UN. They do a lot in Gaza, including education.
What do the UN sponsored schools teach in Gaza to help improve the standing of its residents and prepare them to be constructive members of the 21st Century? It appears hatred of Jews is part of the core curriculum.
See the common thread that allowed Hamas to remain in power, feel justified, and feel empowered?
Easy to blame other people. Best to start closer to home.
Excuse. Coddle. Empower. Encourage. We cannot blame Iran and the more radical parts of the Islamic world for their support for Hamas when the rest of the world seems just OK with operationalized Jew hatred.
What about the USA?
The present Biden Administration picked up where the pro-Iranian Obama Administration left off. Few understood how anyone could defend restarting the nuclear talks, much less ending sanctions and unfreezing funds. It is one thing to just be wrong, but this seemed preternaturally blind to the nature of the ruling Iranian government.
Of course, now we know of the budding spy and influence scandal that may explain a lot. Why did all we do all we could to undermine Saudi Arabia’s fight against the Iranian proxies in Yemen?
It all did what? Enriched and encouraged Iran and her proxies.
I made a few swipes at academia up post, as this is where so much of this garbage exists. All you have to do is look at all the pro-Gazan terrorist demonstrations Matthew Foldi has nicely outlined for us.
This, of course, is not new. Amazingly, some of the people who helped this foul weed grow and prosper are now trying to act shocked - SHOCKED.
No. It should not be that easy.
There is so much to clean up in our backyard … but many of us thought after 911 there would be some steps.
We know how that worked out.
Back to The Atlantic article as we shift to Iran.
Hamas is a member of the Axis of Resistance, Azizi noted. As he explained in The Atlantic yesterday, this unofficial alliance of groups supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran includes Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and several Iraqi and Syrian militias. These groups share key goals, Azizi explained: “the destruction of Israel” and the driving out of all the Jewish people living in the country. Finally, despite the fact that Palestinians “are amongst the most secular societies in the Arab world,” Hamas—a Sunni Islamist party—also wants “an Islamic society.”
In August, there was a clear outline of what Hamas wanted to do.
Regarding an all-out regional confrontation, Al-Arouri affirmed that "the Resistance alliance is prepared and motivated by reason, will, and common interests to partake in a regional war, and the active parties are ready and prepared for it."
"If we reach the point of an all-out confrontation, Israel will face an unprecedented defeat in its history, and we are confident of that."
The battle for liberation in the West Bank is currently on the table, and Palestine has now entered the era of resolving this conflict, as evidenced by the attempts at the Judaization of the West Bank and the deportation of Palestinians, Al-Arouri pointed out. The breakout of an all-out war is inevitable at this point, he continued.
Al-Arouri also reminded of the commitment expressed by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, when he said that any attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Quds would be met with regional war, and also recalled Sayyid Nasrallah's speech on the liberation of Al-Jalil.
"We are preparing for an all-out war, and we are closely discussing the prospects of this war with all relevant parties."
Furthermore, he added, "The all-out war will be a defeat for Israel, and we see that classical wars have changed, and this is evidenced by the conflict in Ukraine."
So far, the West Bank has not exploded writ large and neither has Lebanon.
As this post has already gone rather long - do I really need to outline further Iran’s role in supporting, guiding, and directing their proxy, Hamas?
Is the world once again on edge for such a small bit of land?
What can be done?
That will be tomorrow’s post.