Dan Ehrlich

Hamas War: No One’s Hands Are Clean

No one’s hands are clean in the Hamas war and the Gaza Disaster. Egypt, Israel, the PA, Hamas and the Gaza residents all played parts that lead directly to October 7.

The 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt did not demand the return of the occupied Gaza Strip to Egypt. Remember, Gaza was part of the British Mandate, an area Egypt captured in the 1948 Israel War of Independence.

But Egypt lost the area to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. Yet, for some puzzling logic, the UN considered considered this once open Mandate land then to be under Israeli occupation, a situation that remained until the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.

Was it a shrewd well thought out move by Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat to give this land parcel to Israel, getting rid of a growing Palestinian population? As we have seen it was a poisoned apple for all concerned. Israel got Gaza and Sadat was assassinated.

Initially Israel thought the strip could be an economic plus for the country. Yet, eventually it was deemed both a demographic and security risk and turned it over to the new Fatah based Palestinian Authority.

And that’s where it all fell apart. Israel left a 25 mile-long piece of land to another Arab entity, a former terrorist group, an entity whose former leader Yasser Arafat reneged on two past peace deals.

After Israel pulled out of the strip in 2005, Hamas attacked and quickly defeated the PA. It solidified its hold on the strip winning a 2006 election on a manifesto to defeat the Zionists, something that has enjoyed wide popular support to this day.

Does it say something about Israeli right-wing party competence and diligence that two of the most disastrous events in modern Israel’s brief history happened on their watch? Was it the height of naivety for then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to think that jihadists and their supporters could create a functioning civilized and egalitarian society in Gaza, existing in peace with Israel?

And why didn’t PM Bibi Netanyahu’s government see the various warning signs that were out in the open for the October massacre? Why was the response on the ground so slow that 250 Hamas captives could be marched back into Gaza unchallenged by the IDF?

Was it because the schlemiels in Bibi’s government had such a low opinion of Arabs, they couldn’t conceive of them executing such a daring and barbaric operation?

Then came Netanyahu’s response. As a way to divert attention from his screw-up, he embarked on a massive air bombardment of Gaza City, something guaranteed to turn world opinion against Israel, while keeping him power.

Yet underpinning all this are the people of Gaza, whose loyalty to primitive tribalism knows no bounds. Unwanted by any Arab state and used as shields and cannon fodder by Hamas, they still remain loyal to the terrorists group and its goal to destroy Israel. On the other hand they depend on Israel for all its public utilities. Insane, but true.

Now to make Gaza’s future and its relationship to Israel even more vague is Netanyahu’s stating Israel has no plans to occupy the enclave. After the shooting stops, someone has to maintain order there and keeping it terrorist free. If Israel pulls out again, history may repeat itself.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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