Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin
Psychoanalyst & Counter Terrorist Expert

Hamas’s Tunnel Vision

Screenshot from an article on Hezbollah’s tunnels that I published at The Islamic Theology of Counterterrorism where I am a senior research analyst with permission and thanks to the Dir. Noor Dahri

Why Hamas Will Lose

War Blog #13 (revised 08.11.23

A terrorist organization that depends on using tunnels will never win and here is why. The tunnel speaks to their perverse relationship with their mother’s body. They are blinded by this rage yielding tunnel vision. This perversion relates to beheadings, rampage raping and murders, necrophilia, and the mutilation of the mother’s body. Think: “Khashoggi” cf.

They have an underdeveloped mind whose mother board has a permanent coding error of major proportions. For these facts alone, they can never succeed.

The hoards who follow them also have a herd mentality of a fused group where no one thinks critically and independently. I have dubbed them the Islamic “Masse und Macht”* of Jew hatred. Muslim countries have never been able to create a fully functioning citizenry who can embrace democracy. They just don’t have it mentally because of the horrendous treatment of the little female who ultimately makes the mother board of her baby‘s brain. Hence the defective mother boards of millions contain this severe coding error that has a need to hate and a need to have an enemy by age 1 or the very latest by age three. In these cultures, the “game of the slap” cf. Edward Tronick’s work – the American developmental psychologist is one of the methods initially used to shame children.

The Green Prince son of Hamas said that the greatest enemy is shame. The tunnels symbolize shame as it is an expression of anality, shit and a Hamas penchant for anal rape.

He [the Green Prince] understood Arab Muslim culture. He had also been raped by one of his own family members. He said he could not even tell his mother because it would bring shame on the family. Cf.

Hamas’s City of Tunnel Terror – “The Metro”
I refer you to the IDF’s recent briefing on the elaborate tunnel system as well as Roskin’s excellent findings and why it is so difficult to destroy it. However, in both there is no depth psychological understanding offered. This oversight signals the depth of denial. Cf.

Our Inoculation Against Hamas Lies in Depth Psychology and Understand Unconscious Behavior
While shunning ground operations, Israel has also been extremely reluctant to engage in underground tunnel ops. By understanding Hamas’s attempt to offload their anal fixation on to us, we must first turn to a brief history of the use of tunnel warfare and then the definition of tunnel warfare in relation to the mother’s body. Hamas’s concrete deployment of tunnels reveals their psychotic anality; by holding on to this deep insight, it will help Israeli soldiers turn down the volume on the psychological warfare and citizens to remain calm in the face of the Hamas psychosis. Such knowledge functions as an inoculation fending off Hamas’s maternal terrors and thereby not hooking into our own maternal terrors of abandonment, helplessness and neediness.

A Mini History of Tunnel Warfare
In 2018 I wrote on Hezbollah’s tunnel warfare at the Islamic theology of Counter Terrorism Center (UK) director Noor Daher. The jihadis’ penchant for creating and hiding down under harkens back to the deep sense of shame they have in not being able to show face, all tied into anality and the human body, specifically that of the mother. A kind of confusion about orifices, tubes, canals and tunnels of the human body.

The history of tunnel warfare runs deep going back to ancient times and continuing up to the present from the Greeks, Romans, medieval Europe, Asia to the Middle East. There was the elaborate Cu Chi tunnel system built by the Viet Cong for the launching of the Tet Offensive in 1968. Bin Laden, the terrorist engineering expert, built elaborate tunnels in Afghanistan with the U.S. responding by using bunker buster bombs. There is much cross over between terrorist proxy organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. They show copy-cat behavior. As proxies for Iran they also received North Korean aid in construction. A lawsuit filed for victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks in 2006 demonstrated that, when the judge cited the deep assistance of North Korea to Hezbollah right down to having copied Korean tunnels in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

In 2014 Hamas tunnel warfare during Protective Edge led to Israel developing innovative technology to destroy them. The exchange between Hamas and Hezbollah with the assistance of Iran and North Korea have been on going. Once again, the northern border of Israel is of major concern.

This deep psychology involves understanding the symbolic level of the communication as it provides a deep psychological edge. Sun Tzu the brilliant war strategist in The Art of War makes clear the need to know the mind of the enemy. Sun Tzu came from a shame honor culture just as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Iranians and North Koreans and thus he understood such impoverished infantile behavior. Shame honor dynamics can be easily missed by the Western mind. Just as the buzz word nowadays is AI’s “deep learning” for counter terrorism, it should be “deep thinking, feeling and listening with one’s third ear, i.e. the gut response of the body.

Continuously building and honing this special psychological deep intuitive edge to enhance protection and security purposes affords an inoculation against their projected terrors. Thus, it is not enough just enough to follow the terrorist diggers, one has to dig deep mentally. What does a tunnel represent and symbolize in the collective fantasy mind of a terrorist organization like Hamas? It is more than just a tactical tool in their terrorist toolbox. It shows how they only know how to make a violent connection vis a vis a tunnel. How does it intersect and display itself with regard to cruelty, brutality and mass murder? The ideologies of Islamist annihilation arise out of shared unconscious fantasies that provide the incentive to make “concrete” the cruel sadistic brutal violence through literally building concrete tunnels with the aim of kidnapping and murdering Israeli citizens. The fantasies arising from an emotionally impoverished shame honor childhood is the driver. It is so impoverished mentally that often it easily escapes counter terrorism’s perceptions like a terrorist hiding in plain sight. These are the tunnels of death – not tunnels used for example in transportation during peace time.

Tunnel as a Perversion
The entry is condensed from The Jihadi Dictionary I give a four prong definition 1. General definition such as from Webster’s Dictionary 2. Etymological definition i.e. root meaning where does this word come from. I could not include all the different languages and their words about tunnels. In Arabic to tunnel is حَفَرَ نَفَقاً. It means to dig and burrow too. Yet the symbolic is the same a tie to the mother’s body.

A hollow conduit or tube; a horizontal covered passageway through or under an obstruction; a subterranean gallery (e.g., mine).

√ early 15c., funnel-shaped net for catching birds; from Middle French tonnelle: net, or tonel: cask. Sense of tube, pipe 1540s, developed in English and led to meaning of underground passage in 1660s. The earlier native word for this was mine. Meaning burrow of an animal from 1873. Tunnel vision 1912. The figurative light at the end of the tunnel from1882

Ψ “Freud’s work on dreams is often translated in a way that gives the impression of a fixed system of symbols (e.g., tunnels mean vaginas and towers mean penises).” Thus, the tunnel is identified with the female body, the body of the mother. In Kleinian thought, tunnels could be associated with orifices of the mother’s body. Tunneling into the mother’s body could represent a way of returning to the mother pre-birth, a time and an environment fantasized as blissful and having all needs met.

The digestive system is one big tunnel system associated with defecating. Tunnels are anal.

Children who have a secure attachment to their mothers develop a sense of trust. During WWII when he served as a consulting psychiatrist in Britain to groups of evacuees, Bion (he was also a distinguished tank commander) developed the concept of basic trust, noting that if this basic trust was not present the child would lack the ability to establish healthy relationships with others and remain suspicious. On the other hand, children who have too tight a maternal bond feel smothered and frightened by their lack of freedom. They do not feel that the world is predictable and safe. Instead, they become preoccupied with violence, aggression, and rage. Intimacy is an outgrowth of trust rather than power, control, and submission.

X (crossed swords of jihad) The tunnel is anal. The terrorists act out a concrete somatic fantasy about their bodies and introject themselves into us. Osama bin Laden was a contractor and builder of caves and tunnels. While there is no doubt that tunnels such as the ones that Hamas builds to infiltrate the “body” of their enemy Israel, actually the “body of their mother, have a strategic military aspect, it is not mutually exclusive to the psychological meaning of the jihadis’ somatic existence and their physical bodies. The tunnel forms a unique yet destructive attachment to the mother, as if they wish to burrow back into her body and return to a maternal symbiosis of prenatal bliss.

Free Palestine from their Mothers!
The real meaning of “Free Palestine” as a campus rallying cry heard all the time during Hamas’s Days of Rage is not just the cheap thrill of Jew hatred as David Mamet has put it but also an unconscious cry to be freed from their mothers! Yes you read that right. The Islamic Masse Und Macht demonstrates the huge deprivation of these students and why they identify and turn to violence. Aggression breeds aggression. The Free Palestine movement reveals too their anality. They too are blinded by their early childhood experience. This is their tunnel vision which dove tails neatly with Hamas. One wonders if many were in fact anally raped. If I had a child in play therapy who was obsessed with making tunnels and then destroying them, I would wonder about what he was trying to tell me concerning his bodily experience — his utter lack of safety, trust and unbearable rage? Rape rage? [a rage that exceeds murder itself] Cf.

To conclude
While the Hamas-Israel war was not sparked by the use of the tunnel to infiltrate as they came by land, sea and air, the tunnel remains the next critical step to be dealt with for Hamas’s demise. While the tunnel city of terror is a tactical tool in their terrorist tool box, it packs a powerful nonverbal unconscious punch which has not been understood by the media in general nor the lay population in particular. It is an object which links back to childhood deprivation for which we pay the price. Hamas does not understand what the tunnel reveals psychological about themselves. They are dense and concrete in their behavior and infantile in their thinking. This is their tunnel vision. Firing rockets is a pissing match linked to urine, using tunnels is anal to make us feel how they submitted to their mothers. Like vaccine against new variants, this deep psychological knowledge serves as an inoculation against Hamas’s psychological warfare. Hamas’s lack of insight and empathy causes them to continue to shoot themselves in the foot. They will never succeed.

*Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power


About the Author
Dr. Kobrin made aliyah in 2010 and is an internationally renowned counterterrorism expert and psychoanalyst holding a PhD in Islamic literature, aljamía 16th c. Author of five books. She has conducted prison interviews, a former military contractor with an academic appointment as external expert at La Universidad de Granada. She is a senior research analyst for The Islamic Theology of Counter Terrorism Center. She also works in citizen diplomacy. In August 2020 she was the first Israeli to be live-streamed from Islamabad.