Hamas Just Suffered a Tactical Defeat. But It Also Has a Failed Strategy

While Hamas managed to surprise Israel with its ability to launch large numbers of rockets in a short span of time, and by its success in mobilizing unrest among Israel’s Arab citizens, the IDF efficiently eliminated many such capabilities in the eleven days of fighting. Haviv Rettig Gur notes some examples:

A crack [Hamas] naval commando force equipped with miniature submarines failed to produce a single significant attack and saw much of its infrastructure and equipment blown up from the air. The fast-moving anti-tank missile crews tasked with photogenically destroying Israeli military vehicles were identified and destroyed so quickly in the early days of the fighting that Hamas ordered them withdrawn from the battlefield. . . . And a sprawling underground tunnel and bunker system dubbed “the Metro” that offered Hamas fighters the ability to maneuver quickly across the urban battlefields of Gaza without exposing themselves to Israeli airstrikes only ended up providing Israel with cleaner military targets.

Nevertheless, Hamas leaders have declared “victory”—and not irrationally, Gur explains. After all, the terrorist group sees the past two weeks as just one battle in a long-running war to break Israeli morale so that, in the end, the Jews will leave. In this regard, Hamas would do well to heed a conversation that took place between two retired Israeli generals and Vo Nguyen Giap, the architect of the Vietnamese Communists’ victories over the Japanese, French, and Americans:

When the Israelis rose to leave, Giap suddenly turned to the Palestinian issue. “Listen,” he said, “the Palestinians are always coming here and saying to me, ‘You expelled the French and the Americans. How do we expel the Jews?’”

The generals were intrigued. “And what do you tell them?”

“I tell them,” Giap replied, “that the French went back to France and the Americans to America. But the Jews have nowhere to go. You will not expel them.”

Gur concludes:

The Palestinians have two basic strategies: relentless anti-colonial-style violence on the one hand and international diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel on the other. It has not yet dawned on Palestinians, nor on the foreign supporters eager to carry their banner, that the two strategies cancel each other out, that Hamas is constantly clarifying to Israelis the dire consequences of their acquiescence to international demands.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Guardian of the Walls, Hamas, Israeli grand strategy, Vietnam

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University