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The only strategy strong and decisive enough to respond to Hamas’s violence is to destroy the group utterly.
At the end of this conflict there should be no remnant of Hamas or any other terrorist organization left in Gaza.
There should be a new government willing to recognize and work with Israel. Once that government is established, every effort should focus on making Gaza prosperous.
The people there must learn that peace with their neighbor will lead to a dramatically better life than tolerating a corrupt, ruthless, terror dictatorship that sacrifices everyone’s quality of life and opportunity to prosper.
Phase one must be to control of all of Gaza. This is a big job because there are more than 2 million people currently living there.
Phase two must be methodically rooting out terrorism and its supporters. The United States and its allies initially arrested more than 400,000 Germans, when it occupied the country after World War II, who had ties to the Nazi Party or government. There was a methodical process of keeping former Nazis from participating in government.
In Gaza, this process of erasing Hamas and its influence must include changing the school curricula, ending payments to families of suicide bombers, locking up Hamas activists, and jailing Hamas leaders who plotted to kill Israeli citizens.
Any strategic goal short of destroying Hamas and replacing it with an acceptable government in Gaza simply sets the stage for another war and another series of atrocities.
The West’s eagerness to find some nonviolent solution to hatred, barbarism, and the collapse of civilization must be replaced by a firm belief in the truth about Hamas.
Back in 2003, President George W. Bush said “the free world, those who love freedom and peace, must deal harshly with Hamas” and that “Hamas must be dismantled.” Sadly, his State Department did not get the message and instead facilitated the rise of Hamas.
No negotiation is going to get Hamas to accept Israel. The very existence of Hamas must be eradicated.
Why am I so certain there can be no peace between Israel and Hamas? Read what Hamas’ own leaders have said over the years:
On June 10, 2003, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi told Al-Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post, “By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews.”
At a rally in Gaza on Sept. 16, 2005, Hamas leader Sheik Nizar Rayan said, “We will continue until the very last usurper is driven out of our land.”
On Jan. 17, 2006, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told Newsday, “We do not recognize the Israeli enemy, nor his right to be our neighbor, nor to stay (on the land), nor his ownership of any inch of land.”
This kind of open hatred and promises of annihilation make negotiating an act of self-delusion.
For two decades Israel has tried to appease the West by being “reasonable” as the West and Qatar shoveled money to Hamas. Every act of violence by Hamas was met with a shrug by Western elites.
The only way to defeat a determined enemy is to break its will or its capacity for violence.
President Abraham Lincoln understood this. He, Gen. Ulysses Grant and Gen. William Sherman decided that hard war was the only solution.
As Grant said of breaking Virginia’s capacity to resist by destroying the farms and crops in the Shenandoah Valley, “eat out Virginia clean and clear…so that crows flying over it for the balance of the season will have to carry their own provender with them.”
Sherman’s march through Georgia and the Carolinas was similarly an act of destroying the capacity of the South to resist.
Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman were not naturally ruthless. They came to a ruthless strategy because it was clear the South would secede unless stopped – and that no negotiation could save the union.
Similarly, no negotiation is going to get Hamas to accept Israel. The very existence of Hamas must be eradicated.
The allies faced the same challenge in World War II. There had been a negotiated peace in 1918. As a result, a “stab in the back” theory convinced many Germans that they could have won if their own government had not betrayed them.
Faced with the simultaneous challenge of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, the Allies adopted a goal of unconditional surrender. They were determined to destroy the regimes which they saw as having launched a world war (and in the case of the Nazis engaged in a Holocaust of unimaginable horrors).
Hamas has proven it is a culture of barbarism.
Hamas has proven it will violate the rules of war and inflict violence, torture, and humiliation on women and children.
An organization which takes hostage a woman who survived the Holocaust is despicable and should be treated as the unthinkably evil system it is. Imagine a childhood surviving the Nazis and in your later years being captured by a new evil.
Now is the time to focus the world’s revulsion against Hamas and implement an explicit strategy of defeating it, destroying it, and replacing it.
Anything less will simply lead to future horrors.