The Allies did not stop their Liberation of Europe until the enemy was defeated. They pushed deeper into Nazi ruled Europe house-to-house as casualties mounted both militarily and, tragically, amongst the civilian population. They did so knowing they faced an evil yearning for their racial and political destruction; they knew defeat would bring the annihilation of the free world. Israel, the epitome of the free world in the Middle East, understands this.
The leaders of the Allied nations and forces did not take the decision to launch Operation Overlord into Fortress Europe with ease; nor has Israel in Operation Protective Edge. Yet, in these parallel worlds, the aerial bombardments by the enemy grew too much. In Southern Israel, the central focus of Hamas terrorism, one third of children suffer from trauma related learning conditions and the whaling of sirens, reminiscent of the Blitz, is an unsustainable way of life for families. In 1940, Hitler famously said he would drop 400,000 kg of bombs a night on Britain and raise their cities to the ground; Hamas has come close, dropping a bomb every 4 minutes into the heart of Israel. If it was not for the Iron Dome, Israel would be obsolete.
The escalation in Hamas’ terrorist campaign was the fuel to kick start the engine of war. Israel’s defences were at breaking point and it signalled the correct time to end Hamas forever. Israel will do so if it does not bow to international pressures for a ceasefire. They must continue to squeeze the lemons until the pips squeak, whilst maintaining their humanitarian work in Gaza and doing more for the protection of citizens as they cleanse Gaza of the Hamas disease. As long as it does this, Israel will be successful; this is more assured than the Allies offensive against tyranny was. But in both cases, victory equates to governing a territory populated by those whose minds have been poisoned to oppose you.
Thus, Israel can do worse than draw on the denazification policies of the Allies in occupied Germany. In contrast to explicit, military occupation by Israel, a body similar to the Allied Control Council should be formed. This would govern the territory and contain a number of parties who would issue directives in the chaos of post-Hamas Gaza. Perhaps in the case of Gaza, Egypt, Israel and Fatah could be placed in command on this council together.
In order to sustain control of Gaza this council would have to move with speed; as the Allies did with the Nazis, it would be imperative to arrest key Hamas leaders from the outset and dismantle the organisations’ infrastructure around Gaza. This would kill Hamas at its root. The Council would then need to address what I called the ‘Lost Generation’ in my previous post. The lower ranks of Hamas will be comprised of these children of the second intifada and it will take patience to draw them out of the densely populated territory like drawing poison from a wound.
These are, of course, just ideas as to how a post-Hamas Gaza will need to be governed. It is a simplistic narrative of the beginnings of Allied denazification fraught with difficulties and not finished until fifty years later. The success of Israel’s military campaign, similar to the Allied victory in Germany, can be judged in the short term. Leaders can be executed and terrorists arrested; but the true achievement will be seen over half a century later. Israel will need to be part of concerted efforts to end the militarism in the Gaza strip. The success of Allied denazification can finally be seen today, with Germany a prosperous and peaceful neighbour. Palestine can be too and Israel policy makers need a radical solution to educate and insulate the future generations of Palestinians from anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ideology. They can draw on the denazification policies in Germany to do so.