Daniel Ben Abraham
The opposite of war is nuance

Outsmarting Israel’s Conundrum 3.10.2024

selective focus photography of chess pieces
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

In the global chess game, Israel is in check.

The antisemites of the world are ecstatic, and ready to sacrifice themselves for the cause of destroying Israel. If you’re wondering why the world is so united against Israel, it’s a primal reaction like when a shark smells blood in the water. For all our mistakes have come home.

Since October 7th, the forces of anti-Israel aggression have united with the deeply antisemitic, the mildly antisemitic, the ignorant, and the shared-interested.

Together, they’ve created a new dynamic. The reason Hamas is not returning the hostages is because they feel they’re winning. As long as the Palestinians continue their self-induced suffering, as long as they are stuck in Gaza, as long as Hamas refuses to free the hostages, the world will continue to increase the pressure, restrictions, and demands on Israel, and increasingly limit supplying weapons to Israel. Hamas is ecstatic because it feels this ratchet will continue to tighten the longer this war goes on, until it is strong enough to overrun Israel with Hezbollah, other Arab armies and groups, and Iranian proxies.

If the world were rational, all if would need to do is compare the peaceful, quiet singing and lighting candles of the Jewish gatherings around the world, to the angry screaming and calling for jihad and violence from the Palestinian protests, to know whose side they should be on. But the world is not rational.

The world is ideological. And this is an ideological war.

Israel must learn to address the ideology. We must unlock the key to understanding this, and all wars, now.

Israel is nearly alone against an unholy union of dangerous ideologies. And Netanyahu is fighting Hamas as though killing individual henchmen will win the war, or force them to release the hostages. But it won’t.

Israel is not fighting individual Hamas members. Israel is not fighting a person or a group or a country. Israel is fighting an ideology. Hamas is an idea, and you can’t destroy an idea by killing its adherents when leaders and funders are in Iran and Qatar. This is why Israel has been fighting Hamas for 35 years. If the Palestinians remain in Gaza, they will provide fertile ground for more Hamas to sprout, especially if they win this war.

Israel is fighting a collective hive mind called Hamas, embedded in the broader hive mind called the Palestinian cause, embedded in a broader Arab factional ideology, and a number of other interrelated global ideologies.

Hamas will not release hostages because they don’t act in their own best interest, but in the interest of the ideological entity. With the heads of the ideology safe in Iran and Qatar, the ideology will happily sacrifice 10,000 Hamas fighters for the “cause”, because the ideology is now strengthening with global support from leaders of Iran, Russia, China, most of 57 Muslim states, and increasingly Europe and even the United States.

Israel is in check because Hamas will not release the hostages as long as the ideology is increasing in strength, ideological support, and pressure on Israel, no matter how many Hamas members we kill. Thus, killing Hamas henchman doesn’t give you control over the ideology.

The antisemitism that arose against Jews in nearly every generation and community we have lived in as a minority, is now going global as our globe becomes a “community.” Much of the world will be united against Israel unless we come up with something new, and by the end of this article you’ll understand what it is.

First, a recap of the initial failure.

Many things about Israel’s defense posture on October 7th were unacceptable. Granted, for whatever reason, over 1000 armed Hamas terrorists were able to cross the border and enter Israel. Israeli intelligence failed. Israeli human intelligence failed. Israeli technology failed. And Israeli border security failed.

But that is just the beginning. Israel needs to be more security-wise at all levels, from bottom to top.

  • No more of the liberal mentality that allows hundreds of Israelis to be unarmed and unprotected.
  • Israel must never to be so reliant on the US or anyone that she runs out of ammunition or weaponry for the Iron dome in a matter of weeks without US resupplying.
  • Israel must always know the exact whereabouts of Hamas leaders, and leaders of other terror groups, whether in Gaza, Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, or elsewhere.
  • Israel must never be so focused on one problem as to take her eyes of bigger problems, like Iran’s nuclearization.
  • Israel must be ready, willing, and able to carry out strategic strikes at the heart of threats like Iranian leadership and its nuclear program as immediately as October 8th in response to an event like October 7th. Without that option, we are trapped in an extended distraction, Gaza, while the far bigger threat, a nuclear-armed Iran, fully materializes. Striking Iran would have made Iran look foolish for carrying out October 7th, and made Israel look fearless, stronger, and smarter. it would have prevented the ideological unity we face now, and put pressure on Iran’s allies Russia and China for causing the conflict.
  • Israel must have a strong policy of deportation of anyone who incites terrorism, and relationships with countries to accept them until they can be relocated elsewhere.
  • Israel must have a clear policy that if attacked, she will take land in response. When Israel lays out this policy ahead of time, it creates a consequence for attacking Israel, which weakens the anti-Israel ideologies. Israel let the world convince her that taking land if attacked is wrong, when it is moral and necessary.
  • Israel should have been able to take advantage of Egypt’s economic situation to pressure a Rafah border and Sinai resolution; but instead, the UAE, IMF, and BP rushed to flood Egypt with over $40 billion dollars so Egypt could keep Palestinians suffering in Gaza and the world united against Israel. This despite UAE being part of the Abraham accords, and supposedly an Israeli ally.
  • Perhaps worse, Israel failed to fight the brewing ideological war. It allowed Arab states to refuse refugees and keep Palestinians in Gaza, and allowed antisemitism to spread on college campuses, in Europe, and global media, increasing the anti-Israel ideology globally until it was so strong it attacked.
  • While Israel did not come down against Russia in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it failed to ensure Russia would not support Iran in its instigation of this conflict, and failed to get Russia (and the US) to isolate Iran once it began.

Enough kvetching. Let’s get to the solutions.

Hamas believes it is winning. With the current dynamic, all terrorists need to do is keep the hostages and keep attacking, and they will increase world sympathy and international leverage against Israel.

Let’s look at what Israel is purportedly, according to the world, not allowed to do to defend herself.

  • Immediately after the attack, Biden urged Netanyahu to delay a military response until US warships could reach the area. Biden sent two aircraft carrier strike groups, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Ford Aircraft Carriers into the region in response.
  • Then, apparently as an agreed-to condition for US support, Netanyahu agreed not to expand the war outside of Gaza, as Biden did not want a widening this war (also) as he approaches election in November. This means no striking Hezbollah, no striking Iran, no striking Qatar. Netanyahu had to practically twist Biden’s arm to retaliate against the attacking Houthis in Yemen.
  • On December 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that Biden convinced Netanyahu to halt a preemptive strike against Hezbollah.
  • However, despite the Pentagon stating on December 15, 2023 that the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the USS Ford to remain in the Mediterranean, it was announced on January 1st, just two weeks later, that the Ford was returning to port in the United States. Austin made an unannounced in-person visit on the USS Ford on December 20th. (Not only does the surprise and inexplicable withdrawal send a weak message apparently backing away from Israel, but conflicting messages, which I explain below)
  • Arab countries demanded no displacement of a single Palestinian from Gaza, and after Sec. of State Blinken’s repeated trips, the US was demanding of Israel the same. Egypt sealed its border, reinforced its fencing, and said any displacement of Palestinians would threaten the Camp David peace deal between Israel and Egypt. Firstly, Egypt has a duty under international law to accept Palestinian refugees who demand asylum at the Rafah border per its own treaty obligations, as I explain in my other article. Egypt cannot blame Israel for this. Secondly, the world gleefully accepts refugees from every other conflict zone, but somehow has a policy of not accepting a single refugee from Gaza in order to place the Palestinian (including terrorist) “cause” ahead of Gaza’s who want to leave. Relocating Palestinians during war, even temporarily, should make perfect common sense to the world, who claims they are in an open air prison, that Israel cannot attack Hamas in Rafah with Palestinian civilians around, and that they are starving from lack of aid.
  • Purportedly, as part of the first release of hostages deal, Netanyahu promised that he will not attack Hamas members in Qatar.
  • Now Biden said in an interview, that there is a red line if Israel invades Rafah. And with a red line, comes consequences. It doesn’t matter what Biden meant, but how the world will manipulate Biden politically for saying it.
  • Even without having invaded Rafah, many countries are cutting off military aid to Israel. A Netherlands court blocked F35 fighter jet parts to Israel, Belgium supplying gun powder, a Japanese company ended a partnership with an Israeli weapons manufacturer, and Italy and Spain both have embargoes on all weapons. More than 200 members of parliament have committed to banning arms to Israel, including in the UK, Australia, France, Belgium, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, Turkey, and such efforts can be expected to increase, largely relying on actions in the International Court of Justice.

So, in short, Israel is pretty much not allowed to do anything to defend herself. And as Israel continues to, the world is increasingly united against her.

We must turn this around.

Firstly, Netanyahu needs to understand that it is not just Biden, but likely fiercely anti-Israel Obama who has Biden’s ear and is continuing his old disastrous policies. That’s likely why we see these 180-degree changes in policy, and Biden saying one thing pro-Israel, but other actions cutting off Israel’s options at the same time. Remember that about three quarters of Biden’s top 100 staffers are formerly Obama’s people. As anti-Israel as Obama was as president, without accountability, he is even more dangerous.

Next, Israel needs new ideas. It needs to think “outside the box”, get creatives, autistics, and geniuses who would never get hired into government, and have them all make a list of ideas. Lock them in a room together, then separately. Then take that list and filter and develop it. Israel will need to implement new ideas faster than the world can unite against them.

Now, addressing the ideological conflict. Israel needs to stop being a pawn on the chess board and start being a player, and a grandmaster.

The way to address an ideological conflict is to control the ideological dynamics. Sure, neutralize Hamas individuals and leaders. But more importantly, understanding how to polarize and re-polarize, align and realign, splinter and divide the group ideologies in a conflict is integral to the reducing future warfare and peace building. Ideological momentum shifts for a number of reasons, including the manifesting of a new and more immediate threat, elimination of a key threat, or an opportunity to gain power.

Here’s a start.

  1. This war happened because Iran’s new alliance with Russia and China because of the Ukraine war. Putin gains more from allowing the Middle East conflict to continue because it weakens the US and its support for NATO, so he is siding with Iran. Putin met with Hamas and Palestinian representatives in mid-February 2024, and publicly sides with them. It is not enough to scowl at Russia in response. Israel must be wiser. Flip it. We must change the dynamic so Putin gains more from alliance with Israel than it does from alliance with Iran and Hamas. One way to do that is to try to resolve the Ukraine-NATO conflict. Israel needs to step up and take a lead role in mediating and negotiating resolutions to the Russia-Ukraine war, now. Israel has over a million Russian speakers, as Putin said once, and is culturally close to both nations, yet neutral enough. Putin wants a resolution and will turn to Israel’s favor for it. China doesn’t want the risk from Putin’s war to transfer onto their Taiwan ambitions, and will also turn to Israel’s favor. Place responsibility for this conflict and its resolution on Russia and China, because their alliance with Iran is what emboldened Iran to start this war. Then, isolate Iran. Revive the written deal almost signed in Istanbul, and start asking, “Why?”, “How much?” “How many lives?”, “Why not?”, and the most important, “Who is responsible?” [This disaligns Russia and China from Iran, and realigns them with Israel]
  2. Netanyahu needs to understand that Obama, not Biden, is likely pulling the strings, if you haven’t noticed the continuation of the disastrous, if not intentionally anti-Russia, pro-Shiite US policy. Biden’s weakness is he cares about re-election and defeating Trump most, and Obama cares about being exposed and humiliated the most. Israel needs work with American politics, and involve Trump if Biden does not better support Israel. Tell Trump to demand a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) for all communications and visits Obama has had with Biden and White House staff. Trump must call out Obama’s role in the global chaos. [This realigns Biden with Israel]
  3. Start air-dropping supplies for the Palestinians on the other side of Egypt’s Rafah border. This will force Egypt to open their border, and make them responsible for not getting aid to the Palestinians at the same time. Israel can say it doesn’t want to drop supplies on Palestinians and injure them, and it’s better to let Egypt distribute supplies than Hamas. The world can’t disagree. [This aligns the world with Israel and the Palestinians with an exitable Rafah border](Subscribe to keep reading)
  4. Publicly call out world leaders individually asking if they will or will not temporarily take ie: 5000 Palestinian refugees who need food and or medical attention within ie: 24 or 48 hours. Let other leaders say “no” to helping the suffering Palestinians. Then, tell them to at least pay for Egypt to take them. When one country publicly accepts, demand others do the same. This changes Netanyahu’s narrative to “we must help the Palestinians”, putting pressure wherever he redirects it. [This aligns the world with those who take in Palestinian refugees, letting pressure off the conflict.]
  5. File a case with the International Court of Justice that Egypt is required to accept Palestinian refugees that demand entry through the Rafah border into Egypt, per my article laying out the legal basis. Put the humanitarian pressure back on Egypt instead of Egypt putting all the pressure on Israel by closing its border to further the Palestinian “cause.” [This aligns the Palestinian cause against Egypt (instead of Israel) unless it takes pressure off the conflict.]
  6. Tell Egypt unless it accepts some Palestinian refugees and convinces other Arab states to accept their fair share, Egypt may get them all. Prepare to recognize a Palestinian state in the Sinai if Egypt refuses to cooperate. Suggest that Palestinian state in the Sinai should get the $35 billion in UAE funding going to Egypt’s Mediterranean coast anyway, the $8 billion coming from the IMF to Egypt, and $1.5 Billion coming from BP. The investment could save the Palestinians and earn higher profits. Propose no tariffs anywhere in the world for all goods produced and services provided from a Palestinian state in the Sinai to align economic interests. [This aligns the world against this financial transaction unless it goes to help Palestinians relocate] [Israel telling Hamas to release the hostages or she will recognize a Palestinian state in the Sinai turns Egypt against Hamas.]
  7. Have Islamic scholars who believe the Zionist language in the Quran means what it says bring forth a case before the two highest Islamic authorities. Those Quranic texts including, “Remember when Moses said to his people: ‘My people, remember Allah’s favor upon you when He raised Prophets amongst you and appointed you rulers, and granted to you what He had not granted to anyone else in the world.” (Qur’an 5:20). “My people! Enter the holy land which Allah has ordained for you; and do not turn back for then you will turn about losers.” (Qur’an 5:21) “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land” (Qur’an 17:104). Demand legal opinions from the two highest Islamic authorities on all the reasons why this language supposedly doesn’t mean what it says. Say Israel wants to respect their religion and not force the Palestinians to do something unIslamic. The more scholarly thought and debate provoked, the better. Propose economic developments in Southern Lebanon, Western Jordan, and the Sinai, because such will be consistent with scripture, and thus prosperous. [This supports emergence of a zionist Arab ideology to counter the Arab anti-Israel ideology.]
  8. Israel must align with countries and peoples with similar moral positions in parallel challenges. For example, put out a dossier explaining the similarities between the Kashi Vishwanath Hindu Temple dispute in Varanasi, India, with the Gyanvapi mosque that was build beside it. In that case, there is a parallel moral question of a mosque being built atop another religion’s holy site during an Islamic conquest, (like the Jewish temple), and then the indigenous culture regaining it. It’s in both Israel’s and Hindu India’s interests for the same moral code to apply. Both India and Israel can agree on a global moral rule that an indigenous holy site or territory later conquered by Islam belongs to the indigenous religion who was there first. Israel stands as a bulwark for the same principle as India. If Israel is conquered as Islamic extremists seek, they will demand the same reversion in India, and elsewhere. [This aligns Israel’s moral perspective with PM Modi, a Hindu revival, and conservatives in a nation of 1 billion people. Other nations will join and this moral perspective can spread.] [Similarly, the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, who are being relocated.] [Similarly, conservative political parties in Europe, who seek to limit Islamic migration, political expansion, and increasing cultural dominance.]
  9. Know exactly how to help a democratic revolution in Iran. The Iranian people deserve their freedom, and justice for Iran’s leadership attacking Israel should be Israel helping the “free Iran” movement to turn Iran into an ally. [This disaligns the Iranian leadership further from its people, and aligns the Iranian people with Israel.]
  10. Israel is wrong to rely solely on the West, and should improve alliances amongst like-minded Asian countries, including India, Japan, China, and other Southeast Asian nations. Many of these countries have similar cultural concerns regarding Islamic expansion and have much stronger limitations on this than Europe. Both China and India are removing Mosques, and India is passing a citizenship law that excludes Muslims. After India broke off Pakistan to be a separate Muslim state, it now regardless has 200 million Muslims and growing in India in conflict with its Hindu Revival. Asian countries not based on Abrahamic religions tend to be less antisemitic. [This will align Israel’s global moral perspective with many states and billions of people]

It would be nice to have more friends.


Daniel Ben Abraham

About the Author
Daniel was born in Budapest, Hungary, to the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and grew up in New York City. Daniel obtained his Bachelor's degree from Penn State University, has a Juris Doctorate with a specialization in public international law. He is the author of several books and articles, including The PeaceMatrix™, about a theoretical new system for solving all human conflicts. Daniel's approaches to the challenges of anti-Semitism, terrorism, and Israeli and international peace and security combine understandings of psychology, philosophy, law, Judaism and spirituality, and metaphysics.
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