|Robert Tracinski refers to Hamas tunnel terrorists as "humanoid creatures emerging from underground" and likens Israeli fears to living "in a live-action horror movie..."|
For Israel, the Hamas Bogeyman Is Real - Robert Tracinski
Israelis now have to fear the prospect of humanoid creatures emerging from underground to drag them into the darkness. The Jews live in a live-action horror movie, and the Palestinian bogeyman really is out to get them.
The under-reported news of the Gaza war is the discovery of an extensive network of tunnels built by Hamas going into Israel, so that Hamas terrorists could commit mass killings and kidnappings.
Hamas goons, carrying restraints and tranquilizers, were planning a massive operation for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, sending hundreds of terrorists to overrun Israeli villages.
Any discussion about cease-fires or about the proportionality of the Israeli response should take into account the horror-movie monstrosity of this threat.
Israel Will Destroy Hamas Tunnels "With or Without a Cease-Fire"
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will not accept any truce that won't allow Israel to complete its mission of destroying the sophisticated Hamas tunnel network that has been used to carry out deadly attacks inside Israel.
Arab Leaders Stay Silent - David D. Kirkpatrick
Egypt has led a new coalition of Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan - that has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas. The government in Cairo this time surprised Hamas by publicly proposing a cease-fire agreement that met most of Israel's demands and none by the Palestinian group. Hamas was tarred as intransigent when it immediately rejected it.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt the next day to commend it, Mr. Sisi’s office said, in a statement that cast no blame on Israel but referred only to “the bloodshed of innocent civilians who are paying the price for a military confrontation for which they are not responsible.”
“There is clearly a convergence of interests of these various regimes with Israel,” said Khaled Elgindy, a former adviser to Palestinian negotiators who is now a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In the battle with Hamas, Mr. Elgindy said, the Egyptian fight against the forces of political Islam and the Israeli struggle against Palestinian militants were nearly identical.
"The Arab states' loathing and fear of political Islam is so strong that it outweighs their allergy to Benjamin Netanyahu," said Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington and a former Middle East negotiator.
“I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza and the pummeling of Hamas,” he said. “The silence is deafening.”
[I]nstead of becoming more isolated, Israel’s government has emerged for the moment as an unexpected beneficiary of the ensuing tumult, now tacitly supported by the leaders of the resurgent conservative order as an ally in their common fight against political Islam.
The diatribes against Hamas by at least one popular pro-government talk show host in Egypt were so extreme that the government of Israel broadcast some of them into Gaza. Some pro-government Egyptian talk shows broadcast in Gaza “are saying the Egyptian Army should help the Israeli Army get rid of Hamas,” Maisam Abumorr, a Palestinian student in Gaza City, said in a telephone interview.
Egypt and other Arab states, especially the Persian Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are finding themselves allied with Israel in a common opposition to Iran, a rival regional power that has a history of funding and arming Hamas.
As a result, Secretary of State John Kerry turned to the more Islamist-friendly states of Qatar and Turkey as alternative mediators. But that move has put Mr. Kerry in the incongruous position of appearing less supportive of Israel — than Egypt or its Arab allies.
In Muslim Countries, Little Support for Hamas - Amir Taheri
On Tuesday, leading Arab columnist Shamsan al-Na'ai wrote: "Hamas would have done better to tackle the task of improving the lives of the people. Instead it has spent resources on rockets and missiles that are like children's toys in the face of Israel, which is the region's major military power." He castigates Hamas' leaders for exposing "the ordinary people of Gaza" to the violence of war while they themselves are "hiding in the security in their secret bunkers."
Abdul-Rahman al-Rashed, CEO of the Al-Arabiya satellite TV network, also hits Hamas for "deliberate provocations without regard to the human cost of its policies." He argues that if Palestinians want Israel to get out of their land, they can't, at the same time, dig tunnels to sneak into Israeli itself.
Interestingly, the most violent anti-Israeli demonstrations have taken place in the West. Amazing though it might sound, hatred for Jews, thinly disguised as opposition to Israel, appeared to be more intense in Western capitals than anywhere in the Muslim world.
(New York Post)
Hamas Showing Signs of Weakness - Yaakov Lappin
In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep their own members fed. Moreover, Hamas refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. The IDF has seen Hamas tunnel fighters surrender because they have run out of food.
The dominant view in Israel is that Hamas is managing the war from a position of weakness. Despite their rhetoric, some senior Hamas leaders are privately asking themselves whether the war they began is worth the price.
Outpouring of Support for IDF - Melanie Lidman
Doron Elbaz, who owns a farm near the Gaza border, told his kids: "Let's go buy some lemons and make lemonade for the soldiers driving by." Soon, his lemonade stand became the focal point for donations that began pouring in from across the country - food, clothing, toiletries, shampoo, baked goods.
Joined by a few volunteers, he started making 1,000 meals a day for soldiers, then 2,000 meals, then 5,000 - as donations, and requests from IDF units, poured in. Now 250 volunteers are cooking 30,000 meals per day. A dozen masseurs have set up tables to offer free massages. A barber was offering free haircuts and free shaves. There are a number of similar "rest stops" for soldiers at many intersections along the Gaza border.
(Times of Israel)
The "Something Worse than Hamas" Myth - Amichai Magen
- In seeking to dissuade Israel from putting an end to Hamas' reign of terror in Gaza, the head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn, warned on Saturday that, "If Hamas were destroyed and gone, we would probably end up with something much worse."
- Really? While Salafi jihadists like ISIS and militant offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood like Hamas differ on the speed by which Islamic law should be imposed on Muslims, there is absolutely no daylight between them about the treatment of Jews. In their eyes all are deserving of death and must be annihilated.
- Hamas has proven itself to be as implacable as the most radical Salafist armed groups operating in Syria and Iraq, and far more capable than they are at mobilizing for war.
- Every kindergarten, school, university and summer camp has been turned into a hub of hatred and radicalization of future generations. Every truckload of Israeli-supplied steel and cement has gone to construct missiles, rocket launchers, underground bunkers, and tunnels.
The writer is a senior researcher at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at IDC, Herzliya.