Yasha Harari
Artistic Internet visionary, marketing pioneer, crypto editorial cartoonist

On The Simchat Torah War of October 7, 2023

What Hamas hates about Israel
What Hamas hates about Israel

The Claim is that Israel’s Intelligence Failed

The claim is wrong. The failure to defend Israel on October 7, 2023, was not that of Israeli intelligence. 

Israeli intelligence knew this was likely to happen. The Prime Minister knew. The army knew. Everybody in a position to know, knew. At least that’s what reports indicate. 

When I saw Netanyahu announce the war on TV on October 7th, 2023, and he said this was a surprise attack, it was immediately clear in my opinion that he was definitely lying. Or at least, there was an extremely high probability that he was lying. When I first said that to friends and people with whom I communicate immediately after seeing that, they were shocked. And yet, the evidence so far is supportive of my initial analysis.

What this attack by Hamas against Israel was, allegedly, was a political decision by Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. Bibi’s political decision was to allow an attack such that the attack would be the distraction that would shift the focus from the protests against his political reforms and his other problems. There were huge protests due to happen on the evening of October 7, picking up where they left off before the high holidays and resuming immediately after. And he wanted to avoid that at allegedly any and all costs. And boy, did he manage to get that distraction. At least for now.

National security would trump all other issues, as always. War would get him the support of even his opposition in parliament. And now that the jig is up and it has been revealed (or at least reported as claimed by Egypt) that even Egypt informed him of an impending attack, Netanyahu intends to use the war and keep it going as long as possible, to justify staying in power as long as he can. 

Who is to blame and what should be done?

Of course, a majority of Israelis hold him responsible for this failure. A whopping 8 out of 10 Israelis found Netanyahu to be at fault. That’s what polls in the immediate aftermath of the attack showed. And why not? It’s only logical that Israelis would hold him responsible, since security is the ultimate responsibility of the Prime Minister. And he’s the “security” guy who always promised that above all else, he would keep Israelis safe. Well, he failed miserably at keeping Israelis safe on October 7th, 2023. We’ll see what Israelis have to say about whether he gets the boot at the next elections, if not sooner. 

Some say he should have retired a while ago and had his legacy end on a perceived good note. Others say he should resign now. Still others say he should lead the war until it’s over. And yet some others say he should pay a heavier price, including possible prison time, for what some say is a crime against the country, of gambling with the lives of citizens to further his own political aims. Of course, a past President of Israel was imprisoned for his crimes. As was a former Prime Minister for his crimes. So it’s not entirely impossible that if found guilty of such an alleged crime, he could face similar consequences. Still, whether or not this Prime Minister is guilty of any such crime, is a long way from being determined, and any such punishment, if he were to be found guilty, is likely even further away. 

So was it the case that Netanyahu did such a thing? Or is that all just rumors and misinformation to besmirch the PM during a time of crisis?  Of course, that’s all speculation and questions for now. However, expect that investigations will reveal at least some of the truth, in time. For now, though, Israel is at war with Hamas, because the government says that it must eradicate Hamas once and for all. 

What should happen and what will probably happen

Lots of people, especially those in the government and in military leadership positions are saying “Now we fight. We’ll ask questions later.” To that I say bullocks. A nation is able to do this AND that. We are not limited in our ability to question the political leadership and hold them accountable even in hard times. Indeed, even in war time. In fact, that’s exactly when we should be doing it the most.

Personally, I don’t think the Israeli armed forces will achieve the goal of wiping out the Hamas once and for all in this war. And I don’t believe Netanyahu believes that will be achieved, because that’s not how it would ever be done. He knows that as well as I know that. Hamas will probably exist as long as the Palestinians and their supporters believe that Hamas is necessary. They will exist as long as they get money from places like Qatar and from direct and indirect funding from people and governments around the world who support “the Palestinian cause”. Even if most current Hamas terrorists in Gaza are killed or escape through Egypt somehow, they will likely continue to exist, even in exile. After all, their leaders are in exile, and have been for a long time. Still, it is likely that Israel will impose a heavy price on Hamas for their attack on Israel on Oct. 7th. But will it actually lead to a cessation of violence in the coming weeks or months? Or are we just at the start of another protracted multi year period of violence between Israel and the Palestinians? Only time will tell. 

Clearly, the time it takes to end this war is something Netanyahu wants to extend as long as possible, especially as his popularity nosedived immediately after the outbreak of the war. That is, among other reasons, why Israel did not simply launch a devastating attack on Gaza in the immediate aftermath, and rather implemented a siege warfare strategy. After all, Israel took out the armies and air forces of multiple enemy states in a matter of just six days in the so-called Six Day War of 1967. So it’s not as if Israel does not have the capability to win this war. It’s a matter of political will, including the end goals of those whose political will is currently determining that strategy and the tactics being used to achieve those goals.

And of course, there is the reality that the military industrial complex loves a long war. For them, it’s job security. And the same goes for the concrete industry and the construction industry. And guess who owns a piece of those industries? Political leaders on both sides of the current war. That’s right. The top political brass in Israel including elected politicians and retired generals who somehow make their way into appointed political offices, hold shares of defense companies who see their profits soar when sparks fly. And similarly, the top Palestinian leaders of both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority own concrete companies and hold the contracts for building things like walls, houses and buildings. In short, when sparks fly, they also make quite a lot of money from the destruction those sparks yield. It’s a sickening corrupt revolving door and it should be stopped. Of course if you want to get people in such positions of power and wealth to give up or even cut back on such power and wealth, you need to do a lot more than just peacefully protest online and in the streets.

Obviously, Israel can’t expect to see an end to fighting Hamas until Hamas surrenders or at least chooses to end hostilities. And that’s not likely as long as Hamas continues to nurture its death cult that inculcates hate, violence and takes its cues from its extremist religious leaders.

Supporting the people and defense, not the government

People who tend to support the government no matter what may say it’s not patriotic to criticize the government at this time. I say it’s a responsibility of patriots to criticize failed political leaders and hold them accountable, especially when they are in charge during wartime. And the reason I say that, is because their very presence in office could be and probably is endangering all of the population even more with every passing moment.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at the facts. Bibi is in office. The war is not ending. The war has only just begun, according to Bibi.

Ask yourself why that is. Why should a nation that was capable of destroying the invading armies of hundreds of thousands of soldiers with ground forces and air forces of multiple nations in just six days in 1967, be unable to quash a non-state armed terrorist group consisting of maybe tens of thousands of armed men with far less sophisticated technology and battle equipment and zero air force (sorry but a few ultra lights with parachutes doesn’t count), and zero naval power (sorry but a few small boats that get shot before they are able to get anywhere doesn’t count)?

The only possible reason, is that Israel’s top brass, starting with Bibi, do not want this war to end. They see it as an opportunity. I know it’s not popular to say it. I really don’t care. It is what I believe and as I live in a society with free speech, I believe it is right to speak up and speak truth to power, even if that power is purportedly protecting the nation’s citizens. Political leaders can be replaced, even in a time of war. This happens a lot more than people think. If Israel were to choose better leadership to replace Bibi, it could prove to be a very wise course of actions. And the sooner that happens in Israel, the better.

That’s why I see the whole “National Unity Government Cabinet” as just more political theatre by those who have a vested interest in seeing the conflict go on with no end in sight. I do not support said national unity government because it is just a fig leaf to protect the political and financial interests of those already in charge. I support the people of Israel. I support the people who are putting themselves on the front lines and elsewhere in the fight to defend Israel from the terrorists that attacked Israel. I support the effort to defeat the Hamas terrorists. I support the efforts to rescue the hostages. And I support the efforts to bring down this sham government and replace it with something better, even if that last part seems to many or most people to be the most pie in the sky desire I could possibly have at this time.

Hope Never Dies

I for one, hope that the bloodshed will end as soon as possible and that a real peace and better days will be realized for all people in the region, whatever their nationality, religion, creed or other identity. We are all one human race. It would sure be nice if we could stop fighting and stop being violent against each other and all respect each other’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One love.

About the Author
Yasha Harari is an editorial cartoonist and entrepreneur with decades of experience spanning a broad variety of business expertise, including political lobbying, startups, internet technologies, publishing, marketing and the arts. Yasha made aliyah from the U.S. in 1998. His comics and caricatures have been featured in books, websites, accessories, and worn by runway models in fashion shows from Milan to St. Petersburg.
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