Wednesday, May 26, 2021


What prompted Hamas, with the help of Iran, to shoot more than 4,360 rockets into civilian Israel? Was it the “occupation?” The anticipated eviction of Arab tenants from Sheikh Jarrah? The defilement of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Jewish settler feet? The mistreatment of poor brown people by white Jews?

The answer: none of the above.

It was only ever about currying favor with the people, about wresting power from the PA and ousting Mahmoud Abbas, to install itself as sole authority of all of the Arab people in the region. And Hamas had only to whisper one word to make it all happen: “Jerusalem.”

Because in our region, it’s not about the reality, so much as the perception. It’s about spinning a yarn, setting little Ahmad on your lap and saying, “Once upon a time, Hamas rained thousands of rockets down on Israel in order to defend Jerusalem.”

 Paternalistic? Yes. But that’s how it is. Hamas needed to be seen as the defender of Jerusalem, and so it spun a yarn, using current events as a pretext for attacking Jews, and telling the people that Hamas defends Jerusalem while Abbas—Abbas!!—remains ineffectual. And certainly, shooting more than 4,360 rockets at Jews in heavily populated urban centers looks impressive. Not to mention the Israeli response!

Yup. A lot of attention for Hamas. Which is great for Hamas and unifying for the people. No more of this Hamas in Gaza, and PA in the “West Bank” stuff. Instead there will be only Hamas, and more Hamas—with the help, of course, of Iran.

But don’t misunderstand. It’s not about unifying a split between those loyal to one faction or the other. It’s bigger than that. It’s always been bigger than that.

Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood aims to create an Islamic Caliphate by ridding the world of Western influences and “colonization.” The part that Hamas plays in this, according to Article 6 of the Hamas charter, is “To raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” 

It’s simple: Hamas has Gaza, now it wants the rest. It wants “every inch of Palestine.” And that would include PA territory. Were Hamas to be successful in this coup, there would be no more peace negotiations between the PA and Israel, because the PA would be no more. There would be only Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department since 1997. And Hamas is definitely gaining favor among the Arab people, on the ground.

During the 11-day conflagration, we all knew it was only a matter of time until the current store of Iranian-funded rockets would run out and ceasefire negotiations begin. Against that backdrop, political analyst Khaled Abu Toameh laid it out for us in plain English in Why does Hamas insist Israel-Gaza ceasefire include Jerusalem?:

Hamas’s insistence on including the issue of Jerusalem in any ceasefire deal with Israel is the main reason why efforts to end the fighting have thus far been unsuccessful.

Hamas started the fighting because of Jerusalem and cannot afford to end it without an agreement that includes the city. . . .

Hamas wants to appear as the “defender” of Jerusalem and its Palestinian residents and holy sites. That’s why Hamas last week initiated the rocket attacks on Jerusalem . . .

Including Jerusalem in any ceasefire deal will also allow Hamas to show that its actions and policies are not restricted to what happens in the Gaza Strip and that it can impact events in Jerusalem. Hamas wants to be a major player not only in the Gaza Strip, but also in Jerusalem, the West Bank and even among Israel’s Arab citizens.

Events that followed suggest that Abu Toameh was correct. The following Friday, Muslim worshipers expelled the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, from the al-Aqsa Mosque, during his sermon. The Mufti is affiliated with the Palestinian Authority:

In an unprecedented move, Muslim worshipers on Friday expelled Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Mohammed Hussein from al-Aqsa Mosque and prevented him from completing his sermon.

The protesters shouted slogans in support of Hamas and denounced Hussein for his affiliation with the Palestinian Authority.

Hussein is considered the most senior representative of the PA at al-Aqsa Mosque compound. A resident of east Jerusalem who holds an Israeli-issued ID card, Hussein often appears next to PA President Mahmoud Abbas at public events.

The protesters accused Hussein of “ignoring” Hamas and the Gaza Strip and forced him to stop his sermon.

“We are the men of Mohammed Deif,” hundreds of angry worshipers shouted as bodyguards whisked the mufti away from the mosque.

Deif is the supreme commander of Hamas’s military wing, Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades.

Other worshipers shouted: “Go away, go away, we don’t want to see the dogs of the Palestinian Authority.”

It is clear that the Hamas gambit was successful. The people are more and more with Hamas. Which is a problem for the United States, if only Biden and his man Blinken, could see it. Here too, Abu Toameh has the story (The Palestinian Voices Blinken Won't Hear):

On the eve of his first official visit to the Middle East, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed support for a two-state solution as the only way to provide hope to Israelis and Palestinians that they can live "with equal measures of security, of peace, and dignity."

During his visit to Israel and the West Bank, Blinken is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been urging the Biden administration to work toward "achieving a just and lasting peace that would ensure the Palestinian people's right to freedom and independence" and the establishment of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The renewed talk about a "two-state solution" comes amid a significant increase in the popularity of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group whose charter openly calls for replacing Israel with an Islamic state. It also comes at a time when Abbas's popularity is at its lowest ebb. . . The expulsion of the mufti is a sign of the declining popularity and influence of Abbas among Palestinians. It is also a sign of the growing popularity of Hamas, which states in its charter that "Allah is its goal, the Prophet (Mohammed) its model, the Quran its Constitution, Jihad (holy war) its path and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief."

From a distance, those of us in Israel watch as Biden enables this jockeying for power in our country by promising renewed and expanded aid to an Abbas the “Palestinian” people would like disappeared. America erupts with the most violent displays of antisemitism that country has ever seen. While these things are happening, we watch American Jews throw Israel under the bus, talking about how they understand the Palestinians, how the Palestinians have the right to their own Jew-free state on Jewish land, at the same time as they tell the world that rockets are a legitimate protest since they rarely hurt anyone anyway.

We watch appalled, as Jewish Americans tell us that Israel’s response is disproportionate, and that there is an “imbalance of power.” This though I am quite sure that when my late father in-law was bombing the crap out of Hamburg, he never gave a second thought to “indiscriminately” targeting German civilians. Nope. Irwin Epstein was not trying to match up death for death like a tennis match. He was trying to win one for the good guys.

American Jews seem not to have not even a basic understanding of the dynamic in play. They don’t seem to know that Israel is a democracy, that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. They have no idea what Hamas represents, and know nothing at all about its intended aims.

Have they even read the Hamas charter? You know, the part that says, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

Have they read Article 11 of the Hamas charter: “The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession] consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.”

How about Article 13 of the Hamas charter? Have they read this: “Palestine is an Islamic land… Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Muslim wherever he may be.”

If these people have read the Hamas charter, how do they excuse 4,360 rockets as an issue of an oppressed mistreated people—the “Palestinians” as David—going up against the Israeli Goliath?

And if they haven’t read the Hamas charter, why haven’t they?

They have no clue what this whole thing is about even as they think they know better than us what this is all about, even as synagogues are defaced and Jews are beaten up in cities all over America. As they issue their smug little platitudes they have no clue that Hamas is shooting rockets at Israel to get rid of Abbas in order to get rid of all the Jews and take their land for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Jews of America still really think this is about evictions, occupation, and Palestinian rights.

And if you tell them otherwise, they look at you as if you’re a simpleton, a fool, and think they are the wise ones.

It’s mindboggling.

How do you get them to listen? How do you get them to read?

They are completely lost.

Meanwhile, it’s only a matter of time until the rockets are restocked and it begins all over again, this internecine rivalry, funded by the US and Iran, as my grandchildren cower in a shelter, crying and trembling, unable to understand why anyone wants to kill them. And why their cousins in America don’t want us to make it stop.










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