A few years ago, an awful new neighbor moved in next door. An ex-murderer, unreformed.
Life became a nightmare. He claimed we were on his land. We weren’t. There’d been a dispute before he arrived, but we’d actually conceded.
He vowed alternately to force us out of the neighborhood and to kill us. He told anyone who’d listen that we had no right to be here and that he hated us. Unbelievably, some of the other neighbors supported him.
There were fights at the fence. We were scared to go outside. Life became a nightmare.
He tried to get a gun. He had friends who we knew would give him one. He said that if we didn’t let him get the gun, he’d keep on harassing and attacking us.
So we said okay. We let him get the gun. He killed us.
That ridiculous story is essentially the tale of what’s going on between Hamas and Israel. Except for the last part. That’s not going to happen.
Hamas, a murderous Islamist terror organization, took violent control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, ousting Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup.
Israel had unilaterally withdrawn two years earlier to the ostensibly undisputed pre-1967 lines — removing 7,000-8,000 civilians, pulling out the army.
Ever since, Hamas has made life as hellish for Israel as it possibly can — firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately into Israel, digging attack tunnels under the border, killing and wounding soldiers at the border fence, carrying out suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism, and most recently flying arson devices — kites and balloons — across the border to burn our lands.
All the while, in its guiding charter and in the speeches and propaganda of its leaders, it’s told anybody who’ll listen that it is bent on destroying Israel, that the Jews have no right to be here — or anywhere else for that matter — and that, sooner or later, it will wipe us out.
It’s also been complaining to anyone who’ll listen about the blockade that Israel (and Egypt) impose on the territory it controls. If we don’t lift that blockade, it threatens, it’ll keep on attacking us.
If we do lift that blockade, it is patently obvious, Hamas will immediately bring in more of the weaponry it needs in order to pursue its declared goal of destroying us. Nonetheless, quite astonishingly, various UN bodies, human rights groups, Turkish presidents, Swedish and Irish politicians, British opposition leaders, American presidential candidates, and other experts argue that Israel should indeed ease the restrictions on access it imposes on Gaza — that is, that Israel should indeed cooperate in the intended orchestration of its own destruction.
Of late, this ridiculous saga has been playing out with some mildly fresh but routinely disingenuous twists. For weeks, Hamas has been mobilizing the Gaza masses to hold protests at the border, with numerous attempts to damage and break through the fence, again in the publicly stated cause of “erasing” the border, flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians, and thus destroying the Jewish state. Defending that border, the Israeli army has killed some 140 people — dozens of them Hamas members. Was live fire necessary in each and every such case? It’s hard to tell; abuses of open-fire regulations must be investigated. Nobody would be dead, however, were it not for the Hamas-instigated violence.
And in the past few days, Hamas has introduced a new tactic. It encourages young Gazans to protest at the fence, drawing Israeli army patrols, and then its snipers open fire on the soldiers. That’s how Staff Sgt. Aviv Levi was killed on Friday, Israeli military officials say, and that’s how a second soldier, now recovering in the hospital, was badly injured on Wednesday evening.
Later Wednesday, Israel hit back at Hamas in retaliation for the sniper fire, and killed three of its terrorists. In the absurd Hamas narrative, the Israeli response to its crime is unacceptable. And therefore, Hamas has placed its forces on alert and is, as ever, vowing revenge.
For all its relentless viciousness and cynical abuse of its own people, its misrepresentation of divine will and its sanctification of death, Hamas will never prevail. Utterly, insistently blind to any notion of Jewish sovereign legitimacy, it follows bloody, brutal but ultimately dunderheaded tactics in support of its foul and genocidal strategy.
Obviously, Israel is going to defend its border against terrorist attack. Obviously, Israel is going to retaliate when it comes under assault. And obviously, Israel is not going to lift the security blockade it imposes on Gaza so long as Hamas runs the Strip.
But, Hamas, overflowing with hatred for Israel, will not acknowledge the grimly farcical nature of its demand. Lift the blockade, or we’ll hurt you more, it threatens. Lift the blockade, so that we can import the tools to hurt you more, it vows.
And so the violence goes on, in one or other iteration.
Shame on the fools who buy into the Hamas narrative. And more shame on the Israel-haters who promote the Hamas agenda while understanding exactly what’s going on.
Israel is not going to hand a gun to the murderer next door. What it could use is some help, support and understanding in trying to run the murderer out of town.