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What the West Must Learn from Hamas’s Attack

Posted on Thursday, October 12, 2023
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by Ben Solis
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33 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Hamas flag and Israel flag separated by tear down the middle

In the wake of Hamas’s brutal assault on Israel, I spoke with two prominent Israeli leaders about the consequences of this latest conflict and what Western observers should know about the hostilities.

The first was Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli Ambassador to the United States under the conservative governments of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and later Benjamin Netanyahu. Shoval has long been a force in Israeli politics, first entering public life under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who helped found the Likud Party.

The second was Dr. Ephraim Sneh, the son of one of Israel’s founding fathers and a retired brigadier general who led a medical unit during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Dr. Sneh also played a crucial role in shaping modern Israel as the right-hand man of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin during the signing of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s. Dr. Sneh has dealt with Palestinian leadership throughout his career and at one time served as Israel’s deputy defense minister.

Both men expressed to me their deep shock and anger at Hamas’s brutal assault on innocent Israeli civilians. The Israeli death toll has now surpassed 1,000, including at least 260 young people who were slaughtered at a music festival in the opening hours of the conflict.

The Israeli health ministry has said thousands more have been injured and many people remain unaccounted for. The death toll in Hamas-controlled territory is also tragically beginning to rise, with the terrorists continuing their despicable tactic of surrounding themselves with civilians to try to turn public opinion against Israel.

Exchanges of fire are continuing inside Israel, with Amos Gilad, the former head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, telling local Israeli news stations that terrorists may be infiltrating the country through “a still-to-be-identified terror tunnel or tunnels from the Gaza Strip.”

As has already become abundantly clear, Hamas’s latest attack is about sending a message to the West as much as it is inflicting pain and suffering on Israel. Both Ambassador Shoval and Dr. Sneh told me that Hamas’s goal was to test the West’s resolve and fracture support for Israel.

As for Israel’s response, Shoval said that Netanyahu’s government has to decide “sooner rather than later” whether it wants to completely destroy Hamas once and for all. “This would cost many lives and require the West’s solidarity,” he explains.

Rather than Israel’s usual precision strikes on Hamas targets, Shoval said, the complete elimination of Hamas as a threat would require a longer and likely more costly campaign that includes the international isolation of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is betting that the West doesn’t have the stomach to support such an effort.

But Dr. Sneh believes that such a campaign is the best chance for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “Hamas is a well-equipped criminal organization which needs to be completely destroyed because they subscribe to the ideology that Israel should not exist,” he told me. “There is no other way.”

Confirming both men’s assertions, hours after the attack, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared that “all of Israel” belongs to Hamas. “Get out of our Jerusalem and our Al-Aqsa Mosque. We do not want to see you on this land. This land is ours, Jerusalem is ours, everything is ours,” he said.

Dr. Sneh also emphasized that Hamas is a proxy of Iran and would never carry out such an attack without the approval of the Iranian regime. To stop Hamas, “We must fight Iran wherever it is possible,” with political and economic sanctions, Dr. Sneh said.

Ambassador Shoval added that the West has in the past often failed to do enough to thwart Iran’s terrorism network that exists throughout the Middle East, in particular during the Obama-Biden administration.

“Obama erroneously believed that a balance of power in the Middle East could be created by appointing Iran as a leader of one part of the Muslim world and Saudi Arabia of the other part,” Shoval said. “It was unrealistic because Iran’s ambitions go beyond being the heart of such an arrangement.”

Now, as the Biden administration works to revive the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, Shoval warns that “the future is uncertain because if the U.S. concludes another nuclear agreement with Iran, it will have more financial capabilities to continue its effort to develop a nuclear bomb and threaten not only Israel but also our neighbors in the Middle East.”

Dr. Sneh agrees and says that instead of talking to Iran, the West should fight it wherever possible. “In the end, I am afraid this war was unavoidable,” he says, explaining that most hopes for a transformation in the Palestinian-Israeli relationship have failed, in significant part because of Iran’s meddling. The invasion was one more piece of evidence that Tehran is actively working to undermine the West’s security and prosperity and threaten its fundamental freedoms.

Both Shoval and Sneh also emphasized that it is not true that the lack of a “two-state solution” or other forms of a negotiated peace agreement contributed to this latest escalation of hostilities. “Hamas abhors Palestinians reaching out to Israel,” Dr. Sneh said, explaining that Hamas and their Iranian backers have a vested ideological interest in stoking tensions rather than working toward lasting peace.

The threat now is that the failure of the West, and particularly of the United States, to deter Iran and its terrorist proxies will encourage more moderate Islamic states to cast their lot with Tehran. Dr. Sneh also expressed his fears that Iran could be seeking closer ties with Russia.

“This battle with the enemy of freedom that was limited to the region has now expanded,” he says. The West may have little time to act before it is too late.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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Rik
Rik
6 months ago

If I was Israel, I would look to EXTERMINATE THE THREAT COMPLETELY!

In fact, I’m STILL WAITING for our “Worthless” Presidential Imposter to see what HE does about the 20 dead American Citizens and who knows how many captive Americans are hostages! After all, this Bozo traded 5 Iranian hostages PLUS $5 Billion dollars for “only” 5 American hostages so I guess they must think how much more they can get?

Hey, Bumbling Bozo, aren’t you going to “AVENGE” Lost American Citizens Lives?
WE’RE WAITING BOZO! T

J. FARLEY
J. FARLEY
6 months ago

What we must learn here in America, is we must close our Borders, we must become energy efficient once again, we must stop giving aid and comfort to people who don’t like us, like money and buying or selling thing to or from them, we must stop getting involved in wars we have no intention of winning, stop this containment crap and if we must, intend to win in a short period of time, with as few ground troops as necessary, and we must make people who run our Government follow the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
God Bless America – Long Live Freedom!

Kim
Kim
6 months ago

“Washington, we have a problem.”
First, let me state that our thoughts and prayers go out to Israelis, the country of Israel itself, and the families of American hostages and those of other counties subjected to this barbarism.
I heard that Egypt had warned of an impending attack. Where did that information go? Did no one take it seriously? What has happened to our own intelligence departments when they were unable to detect that this event was about to unfold?
This morning, I heard on the radio that tomorrow, Hamas is going to unleash its full fury. They have declared global jihad, if you will, so all of us should be very wary and report signs of any suspicious activity. Biden’s open border has let in perhaps 8 million “refugees”, many of whom came from the Middle East, China, and other nations…but we simply don’t know. The federal government doesn’t even know who most of the invaders are, where they’re going, why they’ve come here, and what nefarious deeds they might be up to. That’s the price we will pay for opening the border and for Biden’s refusal to fulfil the government’s role to keep us and the country safe from foreign invaders. Total failure at his job.
I also heard that Iran funded this attack. Although Biden and his departments won’t acknowledge the link to Iran, that country recently gave $100,000,000 to Hamas and another $700,000,000 to Hezbollah. So, it seems that the tragedy we have witnessed up to this point is only the beginning.
Write to your senators and representatives. We have another year and 3 months of this democrat nonsense, and I just hope we have a country when this chapter is done.

Robert
Robert
6 months ago

As Haley said, Hamas is a threat to the United States. Everyone who saw images of this horrific attack on Saturday should not have any illusions that they lack determination. Fortunately, Israel is more determined, and now, with our support, they will be able to eradicate it. Iran is the next issue to deal with. Our side of Congress should influence the White House not to sign any agreements with Ajatollahs.

anna hubert
anna hubert
6 months ago

As long as the poisonous ideology is allowed to thrive and spread there never will be peace under the olive trees Talks ,negotiations or arbitrations are waste of time Diplomacy is not in the vocabulary The cancer is growing and metastasizing Only drastic treatment could stop it I don’t think there is a will to do so but the cataclysm will come This is not only the Israeli problem There is no way to fix it unless the world sees it for what it is

Melinda
Melinda
6 months ago

As many unidentified people have come into this country there very well could be a plan right now to attack us from within. Half of all Americans are armed. I hope they are all prepared to defend themselves and others.

Ralph
Ralph
6 months ago

I have little doubt that we are being set up for the same thing. 9 million illegal crossers. A lot on the terrorist list, many young military age males by themselves. China has its own police force and lot and lots of land that people can train on and good ole uncle joe is paying them and helping with healthcare and food. Giving all our fire power away and no oil. what will we do, let china loan us the money to fight with all sorts using our own weapon and tech against anyone else??

Myrna
Myrna
6 months ago

At least there are some strong people who will take a stand in this country.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
6 months ago

HAMAS succeed thus far via
Inplace population
Messengers
Couriers
F2F meetings
for strikes
Planned day 1
TOTB: Think Outside the Box
Adapt, adopt, Follow
Or Rerun ahead

Eve
Eve
6 months ago

The reaction to that horrendous Hamas attack on Israel shows the decrease in American morale. Who could imagine that our leading candidate, as it was already mentioned here, would hit Israel’s government? I also saw it as a major negative. It is visible that Trump is under stress due to the investigations and trials. But someone around should stop him. But more tragic is the Republican base, which does not show interest in anything other than themselves. In the past, we perceived it as un-American. Egocentricity was rejected. Today, not anymore.
But I also unequivocally support Israel.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

With our open border policy, I’m surprised there isn’t a cell here in the US who attacked in coordination with Hamas. Or is there still? Our only hope is they are posing as parents at school board meetings or wear MAGA ballcaps so we know the FBI has them under surveillance!

Sharon
Sharon
6 months ago

I can see that many still see it as a distant danger. Even what happens there will impact us here without being attacked in the same way as Israel. Hamas hates Jews as much as they hate Christians. They chant ‘Death to America’ for the same kind of reason.
Unfortunately, Trump’s rhetoric dangerously directs many Americans to think not further than the end of their nose. Those who say it is the time for the young generation are correct. However, I wonder where we can find it. I am very disappointed by Trump criticizing Israel in the middle of their war. It was not only unpresidential but simply inappropriate and indelicate. I wish he would apologize for that. He lost in my eyes.
I support Israel, it has been our great ally.
It is incumbent on us in the U.S. to recognize the severity of the moment for Israelis. It is conflict driven by the desire to eradicate the state of Israel. But most importantly it is an attack on our humanity, and on our Bible.

Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
6 months ago

All I need to learn from Hamas attack is that we need to keep the 2nd amendment (and all of the Bill of Rights) intact here.

Voter Ann
Voter Ann
6 months ago

How many peace accords has Hamas rejected to date? Every two-state proposal has been put forward and discussed, but the Palestinians/HAMAS have refused to approve ANY of them. I used to believe that the reason for this was the war-monger in leadership who use hate to achieve power and control. But it’s more than that: they have focused their own hatred into indoctrination of (primarily) young men – those who will enthusiastically carry out the most extreme and vicious, murderous attacks on whole families at their “leaders’” behest.
The world is out of all control.
How much longer will it be until Christ returns for His people, and the Tribulation begins?

David Millikan
David Millikan
6 months ago

I suggest everyone watch 1984’s ‘RED DAWN’ since we are being INVADED by Dictator Beijing biden’s ILLEGAL ALIEN TERRORIST INVASION (Mostly Military Age Males and Only 9% Are Female That Have Crossed Illegally Since 1-20-21). We are being INVADED the same way it happened in the movie but today it’s NOT a Hollywood movie but REAL LIFE and Dictator Beijing biden’s TERRORIST are waiting for their signal to ATTACK the UNITED STATES.
AND ALL OF YOU ARE SLEEPING.
WAKE UP AMERICA. WWIII IS KNOCKING AT THE DOOR CAUSE Dictator Beijing biden KEEPS LETTING THEM IN AT YOUR EXPENSE AND YOUR LIFE.

Donna
Donna
6 months ago

We learned that the Israeli citizens had no guns to protect themselves from the slaughter. We should have learned that we need to secure our borders or is it already too late? We sadly heard of the beheading of babies- something that takes place a thousand or more times daily in our own country and is supported financially worldwide by our own elected leaders and by many running for President in 2024. Sadly many civilians in Gaza will be killed who may not be part of Hamas- but they voted for the Hamas leadership. Sadly, many of America,s children will have there bodies ripped and chopped apart also ( and it has been proven that they feel pain as evidenced on ultrasounds ) and yet the citizens of our nation also voted for the leadership. I hate to see violence and suffering. God promises to “ heal our land” or that of any nation if His people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from evil.

Tim Aaron
Tim Aaron
6 months ago

‘The West’? I feel no threat in Canada. I have no fear of Hamas, Iran or any other movement ‘over there’. The more wemake ‘your’ problem ‘our’ problem, the more self fulfilling it becomes. I like to go for hikes, play hockey, etc. not get involved in unresolved century old morasses..

Hgk
Hgk
6 months ago

Every US citizen should be given an AK47 and boxes of ammo. Maybe a few grenades too.

Hgk
Hgk
6 months ago

I suggest a street fight.

Dennis Math
Dennis Math
6 months ago

I sure am tired of constantly being provided never ending amounts of Jewish whine.
If the parties in the middle east seem intent on continuing their centuries old conflicts then can they please inform the American taxpayer that they DONT NEED OUR MONEY
I am sick and tired of funding this never ending conflict between two societies I could give a rats ass about

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