Hamas Lost – Its Way Wins

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 12 Feb 2024

Amos Gvirtz – TRANSCEND Media Service

The figures are clear: the dimensions of death, destruction and evacuations show that Hamas failed to protect the population of Gaza and therefore lost the war. The refusal of the Israeli government to turn to the path of peace and its preference to continue the war knowing that in doing so it is abandoning the abductees, shows that the same policy that preferred to strengthen Hamas – the peace refuser – and weaken the Palestinian Authority – which consistently seeks to enter into a peace process – shows that the path of Hamas continues to be a priority for the Israeli government.

It’s not just that Israel preferred Hamas over the Palestinian Authority, it shares the same concept with Hamas – the whole country is ours and we don’t compromise on that.

All those who claim that if we stop the war now, Hamas will be able to declare victory, do not understand the difference between data on the ground that determine who won and who lost, and empty declarations of the loser.

For a moment of pride, which the October 7th attack gave the Palestinian people, they are paying one of the heaviest prices they have ever paid for the war against Israel! Indeed, there is no respect for the way of the Palestinian Authority. Especially when it fails to obtain the desired state (alongside Israel). I assume that when the time of reckoning comes, most Palestinians will prefer the way of the PA to the way of Hamas.

The question is, what will happen to our soul-searching Israelis? Right now, we see that the Israeli leadership is continuing exactly the same policy that brought us October 7th. This is accompanied by a crazed campaign of revenge against the Gazans, which fits into the policy of deterrence, which is necessary for Israel’s power policy. This is a policy that perpetuates the rounds of war. It prefers the continuation of the occupation to peace and bases Israel’s existence only on the advantage its military power has over its enemies. This is a policy based on the alliance with the US, which prevents effective pressure on Israel to stop the policy of occupation, and relies on an almost unlimited supply of weapons from the US, which maintains Israel’s military advantage against its enemies. A policy that creates total dependence on the US.

This time the USA saved us from a multi-arena war against Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Even if Israel had won it, the scale of the killing and destruction in Israel would have been unimaginable!

Let’s assume that all the stated goals against Hamas – the elimination of its military and governmental capacity and the elimination of its leaders – will be achieved, then Israel’s refusal of peace will obligate the Palestinians to return to the path of Hamas, even if under a different name.

The peace with Egypt and Jordan, in addition to the peace initiative of the Arab League, show that we have another option. Instead of Israel being the most dangerous place for Jewish existence, it can be the safest place for our existence. This is what the soul-searching should lead to.

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Amos Gvirtz is founder of Israelis and Palestinians for Nonviolence, was chairperson of the Committee against House Demolitions, and a peace and human rights activist. He is a former Israeli representative to the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) and wrote the book, Don’t Say We Did Not Know. It is live in the Amazon store and is available for readers to purchase here. In Kindle you can read it for free.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 Feb 2024.

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