Robert Festenstein

New Year Old Problems

So here we are. After an intense build-up to the Christmas holiday season, and a decent period of relaxation we have arrived in 2024.  As far as the war is concerned, and according to IDF data, the number of rockets launched at Israel fell from an average of 75 per day in the first week of December, (after the weeklong truce with Hamas collapsed) to 14 per day between 22 – 27 December 2023.

Good news certainly for the start of the year, but that still means rockets are being fired at Israel. 14 per day equating to almost 100 per week.  The Western media and particularly some UK outlets would have you believe that there is only one protagonist – Israel, and only one victim, Gaza civilians.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Although some of the 200,000 internally displaced Israelis are due to return to their homes in the coming days, there are still large numbers not so fortunate.  The hostages taken by Hamas in their war-crime on 7 October have not all been released, Hamas fighters are still fighting, the rockets are still coming over into Israel and our enemies still want to kill us.

I was in a food court in Manchester over the holiday break and one of the outlets described itself as supplying Palestinian food. What was of note was not the food, but the map on the menu. It was the whole of what was in 1948, the Palestine Mandate. All of it. Both the Arab parts and the Jewish parts. Everything. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, that group that is responsible for the anti-Israel marches through London (and other cities) on their website have a similar map.  This one is slightly different, because it shows the entirety of the Mandate in 1947 as being Palestine and then this reducing in size upon the creation of Israel.  In other words, return to 1947 and remove Israel from the map.

I have said before and make no apology for saying again.  Neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority have any interest in any other state than Palestine.  Even the Mancunian restauranteur knows this.  It is clear though that many people do not grasp this.  Certainly not the BBC, those on the left who claim to want peace yet demand an unworkable ceasefire, and bizarrely some UK Jewish communal leaders.

The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak before Christmas called for a sustainable ceasefire.  Respectfully I don’t believe he has any idea what that means in practical terms.  Does he mean a return to the pre 7 October position, where Hamas only sent rockets into Israel, instead of terrorists?  Mr Sunak has not been advised well.  He has not been told that Hamas want to kill all the Jews in Israel and will stop at nothing until they achieve that aim.  He has not been told that militarily at least Hamas is doomed, yet continues to fight on, motivated by Jew-hating religious fanaticism.  Or perhaps he has and has been advised not to say anything about it.

Hamas and their supporters are beyond reason, and their understanding of any ceasefire, sustainable or whatever other adjective might be used, is for one purpose and one purpose only: to re-group, re-arm and start killing Jews again.  Hamas have said repeatedly over the years that this is their goal.  Kill Jews and destroy Israel.  For crying out loud, if they are so emphatic about what they want, why on earth why are so many people ignoring them.  Probably because it is too complicated to work out how to defeat them and it is easier to put pressure on Israel.  So, New Year, old problems.  Time to think again about getting the message across.

About the Author
Robert Festenstein is a solicitor based in Manchester with considerable experience in Court actions. He is active in fighting the increase in anti-Semitism in the UK and is President of the Zionist Central Council, an organisation devoted to promoting and defending the democratic State of Israel.