Sun 10 Dec 2023 8:32 am - Jerusalem Time

The Nation: Israel is losing its war against Hamas

The writers Tony Carson and Daniel Levy concluded in their article that Israel is in the process of losing the battle it is leading against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, considering that Hamas, with its limited numbers and equipment, has become a rival to Tel Aviv.

Carson and Levy pointed out in an article published by “The Nation” website that just thinking about this matter seems “a kind of absurdity,” especially since a group of irregular armed men, whose number does not exceed tens of thousands, are besieged and have little ability to... Having access to advanced weapons, they became a counterpart to one of the most powerful armies in the world, supported and armed by the United States of America.

Despite all these qualities of the Israeli army, a growing number of strategic analysts in the military establishment warn that Israel may lose this war against the Palestinians, despite the catastrophic violence it has unleashed since the “Al-Aqsa Flood” attack on October 7th.

Achieving Hamas's goals

The authors' article pointed out that by provoking the Israeli attack, Hamas may be in the process of achieving many of its political goals.

The article stated that both Israel and Hamas seem to be resetting the terms of their political competition not to the status quo that existed before October 7, but to the status quo that existed in 1948. It is not clear what will come next, but There will be a return to the previous situation. According to the article.

The surprise attack neutralized Israeli military installations, broke down the gates of the world's largest open-air prison, and caused a horrific rampage in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed, at least 845 of whom were civilians.

The article published by The Nation added: “The shocking ease with which Hamas penetrated Israeli lines around the Gaza Strip reminded many of the Tet Offensive (in Vietnam) in 1968.”

An analogy to what happened in Vietnam

The article added: “Not literally, as there are vast differences between the American war of intervention in a distant land and the Israeli war to defend its occupation at home, which is waged by an army of citizens driven by a sense of existential danger. Instead, the benefit of this analogy lies in the political logic that constitutes a rebels attack.” 

The article continued: “In 1968, the Vietnamese revolutionaries lost the battle and sacrificed much of the secret political and military infrastructure they had carefully built over years. However, the Tet Offensive was considered a key and defining moment in their defeat of the United States - Even if it comes at a heavy cost in Vietnamese lives."

Hence the lament of the late Henry Kissinger in 1969: “We fought a military war. Our opponents fought a political battle. We sought physical exhaustion. Our opponents aimed to exhaust us psychologically. And in the process we lost sight of one of the basic principles of guerrilla warfare: that guerrilla warfare wins if it does not lose and the traditional army loses if it does not win.”

Israel is at risk of losing

This logic led John Alterman, at the right-wing Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, to believe that “Israel is at great risk of losing to Hamas.”

Alterman wrote that Hamas seeks "to use Israel's much greater power to defeat Israel. Israel's power allows it to kill Palestinian civilians, destroy Palestinian infrastructure, and defy global calls for restraint. All of these advance Hamas' war aims."

According to the article, such warnings were ignored by the Biden administration and Western leaders, whose unconditional embrace of Israel's current war is rooted in the illusion that Israel was just another Western country peacefully going about its business before it came under an unprovoked attack on October 7 - a convenient fantasy. ...for those who prefer to avoid acknowledging the reality they co-created.”

Intelligence failures

The article stressed that the "intelligence failures" represented by Israel's failure to anticipate October 7 are also tantamount to a political failure in understanding the consequences of the "violent repression" method that the leading international and Israeli human rights organizations described as apartheid.

The article said that Hamas, in breaking the status quo that Palestinians found unbearable, had put politics back on the agenda while Israel had great military power but was politically weak.

A large section of the American establishment that supports the Israeli war argues that violence stemming from an oppressed society can be eliminated by the use of overwhelming military force against that society.

Speech of the US Secretary of Defense

But on the other hand, even US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin expressed doubts about this hypothesis, warning that Israeli attacks that kill thousands of civilians risk pushing them "into the arms of the enemy (and replacing) tactical victory with strategic defeat."

The article stressed that Western politicians and media like to imagine that Hamas is a nihilistic ISIS-style framework that holds Palestinian society hostage, while Hamas is, in fact, a multifaceted political movement rooted in the fabric of Palestinian society and its national aspirations.

It (Hamas) embodies a belief confirmed by decades of Palestinian experience that armed resistance constitutes a central element in the Palestinian liberation project due to the failure of the “Oslo process” and the intractable hostility on the part of its opponent.

Its influence and popularity have grown as Israel and its allies continue to thwart the peace process and other nonviolent strategies to achieve Palestinian liberation.


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The Nation: Israel is losing its war against Hamas