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Mona Charen
Mona Charen
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Hamas' Triumph


Hamas, with perhaps unwitting help from President Barack Obama, is achieving its war aim: to legitimize Islamic supremacism and Jew-hatred, and take it global. Jews are no longer safe in Europe or even in some places in the U.S.

Who now recalls that when Hamas was elected, the world responded with disgust? Hamas was on everyone's terrorist list. Flailing, the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and United States asked Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce terror and agree to live by previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. Hamas refused. Nevertheless, its image is much improved.

Hamas enjoys killing Israelis and Jews — "By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine," one of its leaders, Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, told Al Jazeera — but thanks to Israel's self-defense, opportunities for that pleasure are limited. Hamas has successfully terrorized southern Israel — and more recently, central Israel — with its deliberate missile attacks on civilians, and they take satisfaction in that. But their chief aim and greatest victory is in forcing Israelis to kill Palestinians. It's almost a matter of indifference to Hamas whether a dead child is an Israeli killed by a Hamas rocket deliberately aimed at a village or a Palestinian child killed because Israel returned fire and the launcher was located in a kindergarten. If it's the latter, the child's image becomes part of the psychological war on Israel.

This script has been followed year after year. Elite world opinion seems incapable of seeing the truth — that every dead Palestinian civilian (and, of course, every Israeli) is a victim of Hamas. Maybe it's just too pleasurable to indulge in guilt-free anti-Semitism. Notice that attacks in Europe have targeted synagogues, not Israeli embassies.

Hamas has been successful at libeling Israel and stirring anti-Semitism globally. Obama ought to speak for our values and forcefully push back against this dark, spreading stain, but he doesn't. He hasn't spoken up for Christians persecuted throughout the world, either.

Rather than denouncing Hamas' depravity, he has issued tepid endorsements of Israel's right to self-defense (undermined by privately delivered warnings). Canada's Stephen Harper, who has lately seemed, by default, the leader of the free world, was stalwart.

"It is evident that Hamas is deliberately using human shields to further terror in the region." In light of that, "Canada calls on its allies and partners to recognize that these terrorist acts are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict."

Obama, by contrast, has slid into the role Hamas practically scripted for him, calling the Israeli prime minister twice in three days to express his "serious concern about the growing number of casualties."

No country on Earth takes more care to minimize civilian casualties than Israel. It sends text messages, phone calls and even "taps on the roof" (small firecrackers) to warn residents. And no government on Earth does more to ensure that civilians will be casualties than Hamas. "They have nowhere to go!" reported a U.N. official from Gaza on PBS television. That's because rather than building bomb shelters, schools or homes with the 800,000 tons of concrete at its disposal, Hamas has built miles of highly sophisticated, reinforced tunnels to infiltrate Israel. The world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, Tablet Magazine notes, used only 110,000 tons of concrete.

Israel has taken precautions about civilians, despite being under ceaseless rocket and terror infiltration attack from Hamas for years.

Obama understands the need to fight terror. He has conducted a drone war against suspected terrorists throughout his term. The Long War Journal estimates that U.S. drones have killed 2,555 leaders and activists in terrorist groups as well as 153 civilians in Pakistan alone. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that drones have killed between 2,528 and 3,648 individuals, including as many as 948 civilians.

The U.S. has not experienced a large-scale terror attack since 2001. Obama has dispatched drones not in retaliation for attacks but on suspicion that the targets were terrorists plotting future attacks. "Turns out I'm really good at killing people," Obama boasted to a journalist. "Didn't know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

In May of 2013, the president defended his actions at the National Defense University: "Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes."

Benjamin Netanyahu might quote those words back to him, when he next phones.

Mona Charen is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



5 Comments | Post Comment
The US says Russia is responsible for Ukraine war because it aids rebels with equipment, well where does Israel get it's bombs and rockets from that it's using to kill innocent civilians and children?
Oh, that's right...the same place Egypt's old President got the gas he used on his population.
Comment: #1
Posted by: steveM
Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:09 PM
The Israelis are so scared of Hamas 'bombs,' they are pulling up lawn chairs and making popcorn to watch the bombing of Gaza, cheering all the while. Look at the death toll Israel v. Palestinians. Israelis are not in danger from Hamas 'bombs.'

If you want to start arguing about how innocent Israel is we'll be here all day long. I am not identifying with Hamas or defending them, but they are a few and the palestinians have a right to be in their homeland, which is far more theirs than the millions of ashkenazis who never set foot in it before recent times. 'Right to return' for the Jews to their homeland please stop. It's nonsense. However unless the leaders start to lead we'll get nowhere. Sympathy for Israel I have none at all, but I do want to see an end to this nonsense in the next few years.
Comment: #2
Posted by: steveM
Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:12 PM
This conflict is around 60 years old, Hamas was elected in 2007, less than 10 years ago. So my question is: Who's fault is the killing of Palestinians before Hamas? Second question: The Egyptian government today (A dictatorship) is one of Hamas biggest enemy, will you sign a peace treaty written by your enemy?
Comment: #3
Posted by: steveM
Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:09 AM
- Benjamin Natenyahu , recently on CNN -
They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can. They use
telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead, the

Joseph Goebbels, November 16, 1941 Das Reich
....always ready to shed sentimental tears for the injustice done to them. One
suddenly has the impression that the Berlin Jewish population consists only of
little babies whose childish helplessness might move us, or else fragile old
ladies. The Jews send out the pitiable. They may confuse some harmless souls
for a while, but not us. We know exactly what the situation is.

Is sad, each of these 'leaders' would deny anything in common with the other, and yet....

Comment: #4
Posted by: steveM
Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:23 AM
"Israel must persuade its Arab neighbors and the world community that Israel has no expansionist designs on their territory... the political independence and territorial integrity of all the states in the area must be assured."

- President Lyndon B. Johnson, September 10, 1968

"My Government regrets and deplores this pattern of activity [Israeli "settlement" expansion], and it has so informed the Government of Israel on numerous occasions since [the "settlements" began in] June 1967."

- President Nixon's UN Envoy Charles Yost, July 1, 1969

"Indeed, the presence of these settlements is seen by my Government as an obstacle to the success of the negotiations for a just and final peace between Israel and its neighbors."

- President Ford's UN Envoy William Scranton, March 23, 1976

"The role of our Government—our position has always been that the settlements in occupied territory are illegal and are an obstacle to peace."

- President Jimmy Carter, October 10, 1978

"The United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements during the transition period. Indeed, the immediate adoption of a settlement freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks. Further settlement activity is in no way necessary for the security of Israel and only diminishes the confidence of the Arabs that a final outcome can be freely and fairly negotiated."

- President Ronald Reagan, September 1, 1982

"It would make a big contribution to peace if these settlements would stop... We don't want it expanding like this. There's nothing new in this. This isn't new. This is the age-old policy... I'm stating the policy of the United States of America... we would like to see those settlements stopped."

- President George H.W. Bush, May 23, 1991

“The Israeli people also must understand that... the settlement enterprise and building bypass roads in the heart of what they already know will one day be part of a Palestinian state is inconsistent with the Oslo commitment that both sides negotiate a compromise."

- President Bill Clinton, January 7, 2001

"Israel should not undertake any activity that contravenes its road map obligations, or prejudices the final status negotiations with regard to Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem. This means that Israel must remove unauthorized posts and stop settlement expansion."

- President George W. Bush, October 20, 2005

"The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."

- President Barack Obama, June 4, 2009

Comment: #5
Posted by: steveM
Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:53 PM
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