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Summer of Hate

As in 1967 war, Israel is good when it acts unpredictably.

The October 7 massacre had nothing to do with so-called Palestinian national struggle or the strive for a Palestinian state. Instead, the pogrom must be seen through the prism of an intrinsically religious holy war in order to establish the will of Allah on earth–meaning his rule based on the Quranic law and the prophetic tradition. It has a parallel in the siege of a Jewish tribe by Muhammed and his followers, the infamous story in the Islamic tradition goes as follows:

“The Banu Qurayza were besieged for 25 days until they surrendered. The men from Banu Aws, who were one of the two Arab tribes in Medina who had become followers of Muhammad and part of the Ansar, requested that Muhammad treat Banu Qurayza leniently, as they were their client tribe. Muhammad then proposed that one man from the Banu Aws pass the judgment, and they agreed. He then appointed Sa’d ibn Muadh, who was gravely wounded by an arrow. So Sa’d stated that his decision would be, “The men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as slaves.” Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it in accordance with God’s decree pronounced above the seventh heaven. After that, nearly all male members of the tribe who had reached puberty were beheaded. The Muslim jurist Tabariquotes 600–900 being killed. The Sunni hadith do not give the number killed, but state that one woman and all pubescent males were killed. According to Ibn Kathir, Quranic verses 33:26-27 and 33:9-10 are about the attack against the Banu Qurayza. Hamas, then, were just emulating their role model, and the story is as known and essential to Muslims as a Shakespearian tragedy to a Victorian audience.

As we speak a certain author who goes by the name Adham Sharkawi–a staunch bloodthirsty supporter of Hamas who have over a million followers on X, where he often describes the sweetness of being blown to pieces for the sake of Allah–got recently a free publicity by Hamas meant to compensate him–for lifting the moral of the group through his remarkable electronic Jihad–by showing one of his book titled: “Letters From the Quran” in one of its propaganda video, which made the book go viral on Arab social media. In an interview with Al Jazeera he expressed his gratitude to Hamas operatives for honoring him and his book. In turn, he was invited last week to the Doha international Book Fair in Qatar, to sign the book republished by a Kuwaiti publishing house. In the book he asserts that “the Jews in all times and places are all but worshippers of money”.

Screenshot from youtube showing the book “messages from the Quran” in a Hamas propaganda video.

Another case in point that links Qatar antisemitic propaganda to the actions of Hamas is the phrase: “What is hidden is even greater” (“ما خفي أعظم”) found written on the walls of one of the tunnels uncovered by the IDF. The phrase is taken from the title of a notorious investigative documentary aired by Al Aljazeera in the months leading to October 7, where it dramatically glorify and legendize Hamas terrorists and the underground city of tunnels they built under Gaza, lauding the group’s upgraded military capabilities made possible by Qatar generosity and essential support.

While the world-emboldened by the fatal decision of the Biden administration to withhold some arms shipments to Israel-is threatening Israel with severing ties and international lawsuits. Israel, however, should not loath to finish the job in Rafah and elsewhere. Nothing kills the propaganda like an outright military defeat.

Killing of Sinwar will certainly deal a great blow to Muslim propaganda that sees in him another Gamal Nasser or Saladin, it will wreak havoc on the psyche of Hamas and its will to fight. But if killing Hamas leadership would be the price for shying away from a grand and decisive operation in Rafah to uproot the last remaining battalions of Hamas that would be a mistake, for Hamas is a Hydra that can easily regenerate heads and rebuild itself to its formal status. And regarding the magnitude of the catastrophe that had been inflicted on Israel, leaving Hamas alive even if weakened, disfigured and diminished means defeat, because its highly cherished power of deterrence and the long-standing image of the IDF as an invincible army that kept its enemies at bay would be questionable, and the legacy of October 7 barbarity in the Arab world would be regarded and hailed as another Banu Qurayza “Ghazwah” (“raid”), or as the Egyptions view their “victory” in 1973 war–glorifying its heroes, their braveness and chivalry. So it’s about writing history too.

Israel as it is encircled by enemies who are determined to exterminate its Jewish citizens cannot afford to be perceived as weak and undecided nation. If the enemies catch the slightest whiff of weakness it will only make them salivate for more Jewish blood.

Hezbollah has plucked up the courage to do things that just a year ago were unthinkable for it to do. The 2006 Lebanon War broke for far less than firing daily barrage of rockets on Israel, killing soldiers and civilians and forcing Israeli citizens out of their homes as if they were refugees. The Houthis got emboldened along with the Syrian and Iraqi militias, even Iran launched an unprecedented attack against Israel, and two Israeli citizens had been assassinated in Egypt, while the ugly genie of antisemitism once restrained and shunned broke free across the world.

All that and Israel’s hands are tied behind its back, scrutinized on every move monitored for every word, while its army is minutes away from the tunnels where its dear hostages are being held. As in 1967 war, Israel is good when it acts unpredictably.

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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