To save the Palestinians, Hamas must be eradicated
I have no idea how many Arabs or Israelis will save their lives if Hamas ceases to exist, but I expect that it will be many tens of thousands. On the other hand, without Hamas, it will be a lot easier to create a Palestinian State next to Israel.
2014-07-26 by Carlos Alberto Montaner
The Israeli Army should not leave Gaza without first eliminating Hamas’ leadership and its intermediate cadres to the point that the terrorist organization cannot be revived.
Destroying the missiles and tunnels is a convenient task but a provisional one. In less than a year, the missiles will be replaced by others, more lethal and accurate, new tunnels will be dug and violence will re-emerge, probably more virulent.
The problem is Hamas. It is the problem of the Israelis and the Gazans. Down the years, Hamas’ fanatical suicide bombers have committed 72 attacks and killed 1,410 Jews, 96 children among them. But they’ve also assassinated or executed hundreds of Palestinians linked to Al Fatah, the organization that rules the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Al Fatah also has stained its hands with blood, but it is Hamas that has produced a strange philosophy of death. Article 8 of its founding charter, published on Aug. 18, 1988, says it clearly: “Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model, the Qur’an its Constitution, Jihad its path and death for the cause of Allah its most sublime belief.”
To kill and die are motives for joy in this strange brotherhood of horror. They sent thousands of rockets toward Israel to provoke a reaction from the Jewish State. They wanted the powerful neighboring army to inflict casualties upon them. That is why they used human shields, hid their missiles and weapons in schools and hospitals and threatened the civilians who fled from the combat zone.
Israel does well to defend its people -- including the 18 percent of Israeli Arabs -- but, although that may not be the purpose, the struggle against Hamas will be of greater benefit to the Palestinians, hostages of this delirious band of religious fanatics. Really, what could any sensible Gazan wish for an organization that brings so much pain to his home?
It is not the first time that liquidating an enemy with those characteristics ends up favoring the society from which that enemy comes.
An extraordinary example is Japan. By May 1945, the Germans had surrendered but the Japanese stubbornly remained on war footing. In Washington, where Harry S. Truman was president, Prof. William Shockley was asked for a mathematical estimate of the cost in human lives of a hypothetical invasion of Japan, similar to the one that removed the Nazis from power.
Shockley, who went on to win the 1956 Nobel Prize for inventing the transistor, came back with a gloomy prediction: on the basis of history, the Americans would have to kill 10 million Japanese, while the Americans would suffer 4 million wounded and 800,000 of them soldiers that will die.
Truman took Shockley’s calculations seriously. In July 1945, the United States satisfactorily tested the first atomic bomb. Washington hastened to warn the Japanese that they should surrender or be the victims of a terrible weapon. They ignored the warning.
On Aug. 6, the Americans dropped the first device over Hiroshima. In an instant, some 150,000 people were killed and the city was pulverized. Nagasaki’s turn came on Aug. 9, when some 80,000 Japanese were reduced to cinders. On Aug. 15, Japan surrendered.
It was terrible, but the atomic barbarity, which cost 230,000 lives and justly horrified the world, saved the Japanese 10 million bodies, while the Americans saved 800,000 lives. A few years later, with their social virtues and U.S. aid, the Japanese led the world and the destroyed cities had risen in splendor from the ashes.
I hope that no one will think that I defend the use of atomic bombs to eliminate Hamas. I deplore war and think that nuclear weapons should be banned, but I maintain that it is very important to save Arab and Israeli lives.
I have no idea how many Arabs or Israelis will save their lives if Hamas ceases to exist, but I expect that it will be many tens of thousands. On the other hand, without Hamas, it will be a lot easier to create a Palestinian State next to Israel. It appears that Al Fatah is willing to try it, but Hamas gets in the way.
If they want peace in the Middle East, there is no alternative but to liquidate Hamas. That’s the road to hope. [©FIRMAS PRESS]
*Journalist and writer. His latest book is the novel “A Time for Scoundrels.”