Given the emerging speculation about what will follow the massive death and destruction visited upon Israel and Gaza since 10/07/23, there is for me, an important fact to be understood: Hamas is not a country.
Introduction: Hamas is a violent movement that encapsulates all Palestinian-Arab anger and rage that began in 1948. During the 74 intervening years, Israeli actions deepened these emotions and grievances, out of which a terrorist organization evolved. It took control of Gaza and generally over the West Bank. It acquired $billions, the support of Iran and others and invested in developing a trained, disciplined and well-armed military force, equipped with a range of modern weapon systems.
If Hamas were a country, it could be defeated, its government and military dissolved and the winner placed in charge of the loser’s future. But, Hamas is not a country, it resembles a religious crusade driven by a belief in and dedication to, recovering its holy land from the Jews, who with America’s help conquered and enslaved them. Powerful motivation.
If Hamas can no longer operate from Gaza and the West Bank, they’ll relocate and rebuild, with considerable help from Iran and other Middle Eastern and Gulf Arab states. The support may even include Europeans and Americans, who have responded positively to Palestinian suffering in Gaza. In the interim, its leadership will operate from its headquarters in Qatar, where they will continue to plan and implement terrorist assaults.
What about the 4-6 million now homeless, desperate, revenge seeking Palestinian civilians? They will continue to be helped by the UN, Western and Middle Eastern governments and international humanitarian organizations.
Is there another approach? The US organizes an international conference to address an agenda for a later decision-making gathering, aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state.
Tom Timberman is an Army vet, lawyer, former senior Foreign Service officer, adjunct professor at GWU, and economic development team leader or foreign government advisor in war zones. He is the author of four books, lectures locally and at US and European universities. He and his wife are 24 year residents of Kent County.