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Postwar in Gaza: some educated guesses

The first child hostage, 9-year-old Ohad Mundar, being released by Hamas
The first child hostage, 9-year-old Ohad Mundar,
being released by Hamas. Click for video.

The ongoing pause in fighting in Gaza in order to get some of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas out of the war zone — most especially the children — has resulted in a lot of hand-wringing about whether Israel will allow this pause to short-circuit is effort to destroy Hamas.

It will not, though the post-war situation will remain complex and difficult, as is always the case in the Middle East.

First, we must recognize that Israel is not leaving Gaza at any time in the near or even distant future, no matter what Joe Biden and the United Nations demands. Its army has now captured and controls the northern half of the strip, and it fully intends to take full control of the southern half as well, once this hostage exchange agreement concludes. It made this intention very clear just before the hostage pause was announced, when it dropped leaflets in south Gaza, warning citizens to leave. That southern campaign has not yet happened, but only because of the ongoing hostage release operation.

Nor will it matter if that exchange agreement gets extended for weeks, day by day as Hamas releases ten hostages at a time. At some point Hamas will either run out of hostages, or decide it needs to keep the hostages it has left as later bargaining chips. At that moment Israel will resume its offensive with full force. And it will do so with even more force, as there will no longer be child hostages held in Hamas control.

The political situation in Israel demands this. The Israeli public wants nothing less. Politicians and pundits in the west might whine and demand appeasement from Israel, but Israel is no longer interested in appeasing Hamas. It will no longer tolerate a terrorist base on its southeastern border, and it fully intends to re-occupy all of Gaza and make sure its leadership there is completely cleansed of the Hamas gang.

The eventual result will be a Gaza strip controlled entirely by Israeli security forces. At that point Israel will proceed to treat Gaza like it had prior to 2005, when it controlled the region. Any Hamas sympathizers left within Gaza at that point will find their lives at risk should they take any violent action. Over time an effort will be made to clean up the emotional, educational, and financial mess created by those terrorists since Israel unilaterially left in 2005. The strip will be rebuilt, but the reconstruction will be focused on improving the lives of its Arab citizens, not on teaching them to hate and kill Jews.

Note too that at this point we will likely discover that the high number of civilian deaths that Hamas’s leadership claims Israel has caused in Gaza will turn out to be vastly inflated. Expect the truth to be one tenth those numbers, if that.

Will the situation then be rainbows and unicorns? Hardly. At present Hamas’s leaders live in luxury in Qatar, and it appears at present that Israel plans no military actions against them. Even if Israel retakes and controls all of Gaza, we must recognize the continuing existence of that leadership. If given freedom to act, these terrorist leaders could function much like the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did when in exile prior to 1979. Remotely he laid the foundations for the Iranian revolution that led to the death of the shah and Khomenini’s return, as leader of Iran.

The Hamas leadership in Qatar will not have the ability to return to Gaza in the same manner — Israel will not allow it — but if given the ability to function freely in Qatar they could easily foment unrest and violence within Gaza from a distance. For almost two decades the population there has been taught to hate Jews. It will therefore not initially take kindly to a new Israeli occupation, and will thus be receptive to calls for violence from these Hamas Nazis.

We must therefore ask whether Qatar and the other Arab nations will allow them to function freely. The evolving circumstances suggest it will not. While Qatar has let them live and operate within its country for years, once these thugs no longer control Gaza itself their value decreases significantly. First, any aid flowing into Gaza will no longer go through their hands. They will no longer have the same financial power. Second, continuing to support them will overall be a big negative for Qatar, especially if it results in more unrest in Gaza. It is very clear that, except for Iran and its allies, the Arab Middle East no longer as any taste for the Palestinian cause. During the recent conflict these nations have made it clear they are either neutral, or actually hostile to Hamas and its brutal savagery.

For Qatar to harbor these terrorists and allow them to cause unrest in Gaza will not do Qatar much good. It will therefore not be surprising if it eventually drops all support for them.

This last conclusion of course assumes that Israel firmly continues its offensive in Gaza and will continue to have the support of the U.S. and Europe in that effort. While the former is certain, the latter is not. Under Joe Biden the U.S. diplomatic effort in the Middle East has been nothing short of incompetent, disruptive, foolish, and a disaster. His eager willingness to hand Hamas $100 million in aid no questions asked — immediately after it committed the wholesale rape, torture, and murder of 1,400 Israeli civilians, including many women and children — illustrates best that incompetence. Israel cannot depend on strong American support while Biden is in power.

Hamas vs Israel
Even the Arabs recognize these facts.
Courtesy of Doug Ross.

Nonetheless, all signs point to an Israel unwilling to bow to American pressure. It recognizes the anti-Semitic elements within the Democratic Party, and will not submit to it for this reason alone. Westerners must believe Israel and Jews worldwide when they say “Never again!” They mean it. They know better than anyone what happens to them when you appease evil. They saw it happen again on October 7th. They are implacably determined to not let it happen again.

Moreover, Israel likely believes the control of the White House by Biden and the Democratic Party is short term, and will go away at some point. Its survival therefore cannot hinge on bowing to Democratic Party foolishness or bigotry. It must take a longer view.

Thus, this is the likely future, at least in the short run: Gaza will be controlled and rebuilt by Israel. The citizens on Gaza will slowly be reinstated to their homes, with hope instead of hate. Slowly they will also learn that the Israelis are not the devil. The Hamas leadership will, at least for a while, remain in Qatar attempting to make trouble, though their long term power will steadily diminish.

And the U.S. will continue to stumble along like a fool, led at least until ’24 by a senile man who has trouble finding his way to his own desk.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Col Beausabre

    From the River to the Sea, all Palestine will be Israeli !!

    For the viewpoint of a retired senior sergeant, I encourage you to consider Ryan Mcbeth’s Substack. He is very good at showing what is real and what is propaganda, He even admits mistakes. Imagine THAT on the Internet !

  • Col Beausabre

    Does this sound familiar?

    “To bolster public support for ratification, Wilson barnstormed the Western states, but he returned to the White House in late September due to health problems. On October 2, 1919, Wilson suffered a serious stroke, leaving him paralyzed on his left side, and with only partial vision in the right eye. He was confined to bed for weeks and sequestered from everyone except his wife and his physician, Cary Grayson. Bert E. Park, a neurosurgeon who examined Wilson’s medical records after his death, writes that Wilson’s illness affected his personality in various ways, making him prone to “disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment.” Anxious to help the president recover, Tumulty, Grayson, and the First Lady determined what documents the president read and who was allowed to communicate with him. For her influence in the administration, some have described Edith Wilson as “the first female President of the United States.” Link states that by November 1919, Wilson’s “recovery was only partial at best. His mind remained relatively clear; but he was physically enfeebled, and the disease had wrecked his emotional constitution and aggravated all his more unfortunate personal traits.

    Throughout late 1919, Wilson’s inner circle concealed the severity of his health issues. By February 1920, the president’s true condition was publicly known. Many expressed qualms about Wilson’s fitness for the presidency at a time when the League fight was reaching a climax, and domestic issues such as strikes, unemployment, inflation and the threat of Communism were ablaze. In mid-March 1920, Lodge and his Republicans formed a coalition with the pro-treaty Democrats to pass a treaty with reservations, but Wilson rejected this compromise and enough Democrats followed his lead to defeat ratification. No one close to Wilson was willing to certify, as required by the Constitution, his “inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office.” Though some members of Congress encouraged Vice President Marshall to assert his claim to the presidency, Marshall never attempted to replace Wilson.Wilson’s lengthy period of incapacity while serving as president was nearly unprecedented; of the previous presidents, only James Garfield had been in a similar situation, but Garfield retained greater control of his mental faculties and faced relatively few pressing issues.”

  • Cotour

    The enemy is within:

    I do not understand what Hamas was thinking, what did they think their end game would be after a mass murder of women, children and innocents?

    Israel, no matter what Joe or anyone else has to say about it will kill every and all Hamas members that are remaining in the Gaza strip.

    Hamas is essentially no more as a political organization now, they have ensured their extinction IMO.

    AND, the Israelis will hunt down the Hamas leadership ensconced in other countries like they hunted down and killed the Munich Olympics murderers.

    And that is how it should be.

    Is Hamas counting on the very “Community organized” Leftist protests in America to save them from what is coming for them? Gotta have a stronger end game than that.

    Iran is going to save them?

    They were assignment by Iran to getting America into a second war front to wear it down?

    Does not make sense to me.

  • Jeff Wright

    I hear the top CIA official posted a Palestinian flag image to Facebook.

    Maybe a Northwoods after all..

  • cloudy

    Lets be accurate. Before 1948 there was no separate Palestinian culture, so it is a bit misleading to use the term “Palestinian” without qualification. Before 1948, Jews in Palestine identified with Jews elsewhere in the world, and Arabs in Palestine identified with other Arabs in the Middle East. Before Israel was created, “Palestinian” simply meant “Someone who lives in the British Mandate of Palestine.” There were Jewish “Palestinians” in “Palestine” long before then, and there were Arabs. Neither were self-governing, and hadn’t been for hundreds of of years. An Arab state was created along with a Jewish state in 1948 when the British left Palestine. The Jews accepted this, the Arabs did not. They thought the could get rid of the Jews by force. They failed. The Palestinian Arab State created with Israel perished in this war, its territory seized by Israel & Jordan. Palestinians Arabs that chose in Jewish controlled territory were allowed to stay with full citizenship. The Arab states forced the Palestinian Arabs that fled to their lands into refugee camps. In these camps, they did all they could to foster a broken culture of dependency, hate, and victimhood. When Israel occupied more lands as the result of wars meant to destroy them, they let the inhabitants stay, become citizens Israel with a loyaty oath, or leave. Most chose to stay and keep to the same destructive culture that spread like a virus from the camps. THE PRESENT DAY TERM “PALESTINIAN” REFERS TO THOSE CURSED WITH THAT BROKEN CULTURE. The last thing the Arabs of 1948 wanted was for their brethren to resettle in places like Damascus or (heaven forbid) Dubai. There would be no excuse to push the Jews back into the sea then. This attitude continues to this day.

    Israel also has an issue with an identity rooted in victimhood, sometimes seeing the present conflict as reminiscent of the Holocaust. Israel also remembers each time the Palestinians Arabs broke previous agreement and feels grieved. As justified as these grievances are, they are not a good foundation for a healthy culture, because neither hate nor victimhood ever is. However, Israel does have many positive things to rest its values on, so its victim identity is not as extreme as that of the Palestinians.

    When one’s identity is based on victimhood, hate and blame you never stop fighting. Ever. War is who you are, so peace is unbearable. War continues until your society either self destructs, or is kept on life support by a third party. That is what we see with the Palestinian Arabs, and (to.a far lesser degree) the Israelis as well. The only way I can see for this to end is for the whole world to agree to not give a penny of aid to either side for any reason. Then the victim culture self destructs. That is impracticable, so the fight will go on. Both sides will be funded by willing enablers in the rest of the world.

  • wayne

    Atomic Bomb Vs. Tokyo Fire Bomb Damage
    March 9/10 B-29 area raid on Tokyo

    “It should be remembered that in our selection of any target, the 20th Airforce is operating primarily to laying waste all the main Japanese cities…The 20th Airforce is systematically bombing out the following cities with the prime purpose in mind of not leaving one stone, lying on another.”

  • Ursus Maritimus

    >They were assignment by Iran to getting America into a second war front to wear it down?

    Who got an interest in dividing Americas attention away from The Ukraine? Might that same country have forces in Syria?

    Back in 2010 or so the Israelis talked alot about how their electronic surveilance systems at the Gaza border would make any incursion from Gaza into Israel impossible. I have seen Israelis alluding to that the surveillance hub was very close to the Gaza border and overrun in the first half an hour. I have seen Americans saying that the surveillance was jammed, presumably from Syria, by relative veteran Russian Electronic Warfare crews: veterans because they have fought against western systems in the Ukrain for two years. Which is true? Hopefully the Israelis know.

    My own guess would be they took a leaf from Operation Badr (1973), doing run ups to the border but never breaching it until the Israelis stopped noticing: “Ho hum they are rioting and tossing rocks at the wall again. Lets call high command after we have had breakfast!”, but 20 minutes later Hamasniks are tossing hand grenades into the canteen…

    >I do not understand what Hamas was thinking, what did they think their end game would be after a mass murder of women, children >and innocents?

    Before 2005 or so most of the actual Hamas members in Gaza actually were PLO/FATAH members, and PLO/FATAH were aways from their founding a fully owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union. The normal political education in such movements is about convincing them about the inevitability of their victory over “the capitalist imperialist powers”, so that they’ll march to their deaths obediently at the direction of the Soviet Union. “The History of the 20th Century as written by Yuri Andropov” includes things like “Algeria was a part of France as much as Normandy or Picardie, BUT WE WON, and here is how we did it!” and “South Vietnam was supported by the full fordce of the USA, BUT WE WON, and here is how we did it!”, and “Israel had taken Sinai and were supported by the full force of the USA, BUT WE WON, and here is how we did it!”

    The Algerian war had an episode almost exactly like 7th October: the Phillippeville Massacre/Al-Halia. Still today it is celebrated as a great victory over France, since it (and FNL death-squads) and the French reprisals convinced moderat Algerians and Frenchmen that peaceful coexistence was impossible. Philippeville is renamed Skikda today, and there is a memorial to the planner of the massacre…
    (Note that Wikipedia still perfunctory referes to the French reprisals as “blind” because thats what FNL said. Shades of the “Gaza Health Ministry” today)

    The end game in Algeria was when the French signed an agreement with FNL: Algeria got independence in return for letting the Frenchmen there stay and keep their property and in the future choose their citizenship. The very day of independence FNL and civilian Algerians started killing French civilians (Oran massacre 1962). The remaining French military got orders from Paris not to intervene to avoid jeopardizing the peace treaty. Those French civilians that could, left. FNL claims it was not official policy but independent FNL units, and besides “The French civilians shot first at our soldiers!”

    >Is Hamas counting on the very “Community organized” Leftist protests in America to save them from what is coming for them? Gotta >have a stronger end game than that.

    Neither Ngô Đình Diệm, nor Nguyễn Văn Thiệu could be reached for comment.

    They don’t have to convince a majority of Americans, they only have to convince enought that the media can manufacture an illusion of majority. Then the majority will think “Sad about Sou… sorry, Israel, but I can’t change everyones opinion on my own, and it looks like the majority wants to leave them to their fate.”

    TLDR: Putin asked Iran to help draw US attention away from the Ukraine. Iran asked Hamas to attack because they hoped this would also stop any rapproachment between Israel and Saudi-Arabia. Hamas choose 1 from column A (Operation Badr) to get surprise, in order to perform 1 from column B (Philippeville massacre). They were hoping for the Israelis either being forced to abandon everything east of Be’er Sheeva or south of Ashdod and Israelis emigrating out of fear, or the Israelis doing some kind of massacre that would turn the world (more) against them. If they could use 1 from column C (Fall of South Vietnam) to keep the US from using its Veto in the UNSC to prevent the UN from institute an economic blockade against Israel.

    >AND, the Israelis will hunt down the Hamas leadership ensconced in other countries like they hunted down and killed the Munich >Olympics murderers.

    “Oh no, the evil Jews killed a peaceful father of five living in peace in Belgium! Just because he was a Dissident that wrote for Justice for Palestinians, and because he was a Poor Opppressed Palestinian! You must immediately Boycott Divest and Sanction these Zionist Usurpers!”

    >The enemy is within:

    You do know that Joe Biden/Samantha Powers etc has threatened Israel that if Israel uses US supplies (M16’s, ammunition) to arm civilian Israelis, they will stop deliveries of military supplies to Israel? Do you?

  • Cotour

    Ursus Maritimus (Water bear?)

    Good intelligent comments, things don’t just happen.

    I am not aware of the edict from either Biden or Powers, but it sounds about right. This is all an extension of the Obama apology tour presidency legacy. Treason IMO.

  • Richard

    Were the Poles and Czechs wrong to expel Germans who had lived there for centuries from their territory following WW2? Were the Soviets wrong to deport the Chechens for collaborating with the Nazis? Would the US or EU be wrong if they were to deport the invaders from the South? Should American Indians or Britons have had a more aggressive policy toward European or Anglo-Saxons as the case may be?

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