Here's a dispatch from the front lines of the war between Hamas and Israel by Hollywood screenwriter and IDF spokesperson Dan Gordon.
I have been an Israeli soldier for over 40 years and never in that time have I ever seen a war that Israel wanted less nor did more to avoid
At every stage of the current conflict, the government of Israel has given Hamas a chance to not just exit the conflict, but do so with its dignity, and honor, if a terrorist army can be said to possess such a commodity, intact. And at absolutely every stage Hamas has answered unequivocally, and in a manner that could not possibly be misunderstood, that this war was theirs.
They wanted it.
They created it.
They owned it.
Israel tried to create, at every turn, the beginning of a cycle of peace.
Hamas, at every turn, chose to perpetuate a cycle of death.
Were it not for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, a brilliant civil defense mechanism, a disciplined and courageous home front, and most of all a merciful and loving God, Israel would now have casualties mounting in the thousands, if not tens of thousands.
You cannot fire almost 1,500 missiles at dense civilian centers of population and expect anything less.
Therein lies perhaps Hamas’s and Israel’s dilemma.
Make no mistake. Hamas did not begin this war because of any occupation or to avenge the horrific death of a Palestinian teenager by a group of deranged, murderous Israeli Charley Manson’s.
There is not and has not been any occupation of Gaza in almost 10 years.
Hamas began launching its murderous rocket attacks long before the Palestinian teenager was murdered.
Indeed Hamas instigated the murder of three Israeli teen agers to drag Israel into the present conflict, and still Israel refused to take the bait, refused to attack the source of the problem in Gaza, contenting itself instead with a policing action in the West Bank.
Nor did Hamas begin this war because of their love for their Palestinian brothers and sisters in the Palestine Authority of Mahmoud Abbas. They, after all, deposed Abbas’s forces in a blood thirsty coup by lining them up against walls and machine gunning them to death.
Heaven help you if you have an ally like Hamas.
Hamas began this war for two reasons and two reasons only:
One was to preserve their own political power.
Having overthrown their Palestinian brethren (not the Israelis who had unilaterally withdrawn from Gaza the year before) in a bloody coup, Hamas now faced a perhaps unanticipated challenge. They actually had to govern. And that is something at which they have utterly and completely, through a combination of greed and corruption, failed.
Gaza has 40 percent unemployment.
They pump raw sewage into the Mediterranean.
They cannot afford to pay their own soldiers and civil servants.
Thus they faced a possible overthrow of their government for the commonest of all reasons. Their people were fed up with them.
At the same time they were regarded as not radical enough by a newer breed of terrorist like ISIS, al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad, who also threatened to topple them for not confronting Israel enough.
Thus a limited war against Israel, which they knew they would lose and which would hopefully provide a sufficient number of dead civilians to outrage western sensibilities, fit the bill perfectly.
How can you blame us about the economy? Look how the Israelis bombed us!
How can you say we’re not radical enough? Look how many thousands of rocket attacks we will have launched against the Zionist enemy.
How can you say we’re terrorists? Look how many dead children we have.
The other reason Hamas launched this offensive is because their Iranian masters told them to. That way Iran can tie nuclear concessions to the supposed genocide of the Palestinian Gazan people whose lives they, and Hamas both, have chosen to sacrifice on the altar of their own political gain and greed.
Make no mistake. This is Iran’a and Hamas’s offensive.
When the Egyptians, a Muslim Arab country, offered a ceasefire, endorsed by the Muslim Arab League, The Jewish State of Israel accepted it unconditionally.
Hamas said “no” by launching over a hundred new rocket attacks at Israel during the supposed ceasefire.
Still Israel did not respond.
The next day, the UN and Egypt, with the encouragement of the Arab League and the United States, asked for a five-hour humanitarian pause, a cease fire to allow innocent Palestinian civilians to get to safety and stock up on needed provisions.
The Jewish State of Israel said yes.
Hamas gave its response not just in renewed rocket attacks, but by sending some 13 to 15 commandos through a terrorist, homicide tunnel, dug under Israel’s border, and leading up to an Israeli civilian community. The terrorists were armed with a dozen anti-tank missiles, machine guns, grenades and thousands upon thousands of rounds of ammunition. Heaven forbid that they had made it the few thousand meters into the civilian bedroom community. With that kind of weaponry they could have killed and wounded hundreds and taken scores of innocent civilians as hostages. They would have made the Mumbai massacre look like child’s play by comparison.
Once again however, thanks to the alertness of Israel’s all female observation unit, which spotted the Hamas terrorist team, and thanks to Israel’s ground and air assets, which neutralized them, that attempt at civilian mass murder was foiled.
But even its failure served Hamas’s purposes -- because now Israel had absolutely no choice whatsoever but to launch a limited ground offensive into Gaza to deal with the clear and present danger and imminent threat of dozens of terrorist homicide tunnels whose purpose is not smuggling, but out and out murder of innocent civilians, all in the name of a “ divine victory” that will keep Hamas in power and please its Iranian puppet masters.
Here is the official communique of the government of Israel in the face of this almost unprecedented terrorist aggression.
“The prime minister and minister of defense have directed the Israel Defense Forces to open, tonight, a ground operation in order to strike at the terrorist tunnels that penetrate from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory…The prime minister and minister of defense have directed the IDF to be prepared to widen the ground action (if necessary). The directive was confirmed tonight by the security cabinet after Israel agreed to the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire, which Hama refused, and after which, continued its rocket fire against Israeli cities.
Nor did Hamas honor the humanitarian ceasefire put forward by the United Nations, instead continuing its fire at Israel during the proposed “lull.”
In light of the spreading and unceasing aggression of Hamas and the dangerous penetration of Israeli sovereign territory, Israel is obligated to act to protect its civilian population. Operation Protective Edge will continue until its objectives have been achieved -- to return to the citizens of Israel a prolonged period of tranquility while striking in a significant way at Hamas’s infrastructure and that of the other terrorist organizations in Gaza.”
No civilized country on the face of the earth could do anything less for its civilian population.
There is no doubt that Israel will prevail. The only two questions now are how many of its own hapless civilians will Hamas unflinchingly sacrifice to maintain its political stranglehold on its own people and how many well intentioned Westerners will become their unwitting enablers.
For Israel there is an additional question. What is the price that we too will have to pay to buy our civilians another few years of peace and quiet?
But there is no doubt as to who has forced this horrible dilemma on both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.
Their name is Hamas and their master is in Teheran. And the responsibility for this wholly unnecessary unfolding tragedy is theirs and theirs alone.
Capt. IDF (res.)