There is plentiful debate here about what Israel should and should not do, and we are free with frank expressions of our views of the positions of others. I have no problem with that. But even in their worst moments I'm not sure that anyone posting or commentating on this blog indulges in the extent of the wishful thinking displayed by Hamas here or here.
Even assuming it to be true - which I don't - that Hamas have a strategic plan to withhold their best fighters from Israel and that further incursions will drastically increase Israeli casualties, it is still clear that Hamas cannot withstand the Israeli army. Meanwhile, one has to wonder what 'victory' means to them given the casualties Gaza has suffered. This is an organisation which simultaneously:
- Blames Israel for civilian casualties; and then
- Refuses to stop fighting a military campaign which it cannot win; and claims
- To be not really fighting that campaign; whilst
- Subjecting the people it rules to the consequences both of that campaign and its own claimed refusal to fight
By and large I try not to take shots at the Arab side, because I take the view that self-examination is more productive and more important. But occasionally it helps to remind ourselves that the people we are currently fighting are simply evil. There is no prospect (whatever people may think about the wisdom of it) of Israel refusing a ceasfire if Hamas agreed to stop firing rockets and stop smuggling arms. Gaza would then be opened. Hamas are making 1.5m people pay the price for their desire to send 20 rockets a day towards civilians - and to mostly miss. That only makes sense if you are stupid and bad.
In the light of that, all we can do about the civilians in Gaza is be as careful as possible, recognise the consequences of those casualties and feel for them as human beings. As for our boys and girls - may they all come home safe and well.
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