Saturday, October 18

Hamas and IS - Two Sides of the Same Coin

A cease-fire between Israel and the terrorist group, Hamas is tenuous. The chance that it will be a long-term cease-fire depends entirely on Hamas. While Hamas will not agree to disarmament, they will re-arm and continue their home industry of lethal weapon manufacture. They will continue to get financial support from their allies, Turkey, Qatar and Iran. Gaza cannot be blockaded hermetically from Hamas allies. There are ways of smuggling goods and weaponry into Gaza. Hamas has received a large setback because of Operation Protective Edge but they have not been brought to their knees. If we listen to the hateful rhetoric coming from their leaders, who wasted no time in coming out of their bunkers after the cease-fire was declared, making "victory” speeches as if they are on the verge of annihilating Israel.

In my last article, the Cairo Conference on Reconstruction of Gaza of 12th October 2014 was discussed. Pledges of aid for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza were made. Mechanisms of preventing the money landing in Hamas hands was not discussed at the conference nor was disarming Hamas. If these two essential conditions are not met, there will be a repeat of hostilities and war against Israel and no reconstruction of Gaza will occur. 

While Israel's Defense Minister has made statements that Hamas will not break the cease-fire soon, many Israelis, especially those living bear the border of Gaza, remain unconvinced.

The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict remains in negotiations, which also requires both sides of the conflict to recognize each others right to exist and security. While Hamas remains adamant in not recognizing Israel "the Zionist Entity" and is unwilling to lay down its arms, we have a serious problem and it will not take long before hostilities will begin in the not so distant future. This time, the players will become more complicated. There will be unimaginable alliances between Shiite and Sunni Islamist extremists uniting in order to commit terrorist acts against Israel. It will be a matter of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

We are seeing a sporadic flare up of hostilities in Israel's northern borders with Syria and Lebanon, where Hezbollah - an extremist Shiite terrorist organization, cooperates with the Sunni Hamas organization to commit terrorist acts against Israel. There are also Al Qaeda branches of Wahabi extremists, Jabhat al Nusra, including the Islamic State (IS) branch. The Middle East is as volatile as it is unpredictable. New alliances of former enemies occur in order to achieve a common goal which is the destruction of Israel. So it is not beyond one's imagination that IS, Hamas and even Hezbollah will form some form of alliance to achieve this.

Hamas and IS have similar ideologies. Both are ruthless, Sunni Islamist terrorist organizations. They will not tolerate any opposition in their ranks and are quick to mete out kangaroo court justice to those that
Huffington Post (Aug 20) by Arsen Ostrovsky, an international human rights lawyer — Hamas and ISIS are two sides of the same Islamic terror coin, 
oppose them. Hamas shoots those, who they consider as traitors, in the public square in front of children.Both terrorist groups are barbarians with similar agendas. One has to listen to their religious leaders' sermons from their pulpits of mosques in their Diaspora as well as in the Middle East. If one has doubts as to their motives, those sermons are proof of their violent hatred of Jews. Europe must be held responsible for importing this Islamist garbage into their countries, where their Imams are given free reign to make racist and hateful sermons in the mosques they establish. They also brainwash non-Muslim youths to join the ranks of Jihadis in IS against their own countries.
 They mask their victims as well as their gunmen shooting them in the head then dancing in their blood in the street screaming "Allah Akbar!" IS beheads their victims after forcing them to declare statements against their countries of origin before their beheadings.

Hamas wishes to replace Israel by establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in its place. IS plans to establish a caliphate based on Sharia in the countries it conquers. Israel is able to contain Hamas today but IS is an unknown entity in Israel. There are cells of IS that are operating clandestinely in Israel. If these cells become stronger, it is possible that they will cooperate with Hamas because of their common goal of forced conversions under threats of terror.

The two-state solution to the conflict is becoming unattainable because of Israel's settlement policies. There are various think tanks comprised of academics, searching for other options as a solution such as a federal or confederal solution. The Palestinian Authority cannot be viewed as a negotiating partner for a settlement with Israel as they lack Palestinian support according to the latest Palestinian polls. Hamas with all its fantasies of victory against Israel has the majority of Palestinian support.

As much as we all seek peace and a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, both sides do not have the leadership qualities to make the essential bold decisions necessary to negotiate peace and an end to the occupation.

Even if Israel withdraws from the occupied West Bank, a vacuum will be created that Hamas will fill. As I mentioned earlier, according to polls, the majority of Palestinians support Hamas. Can Israel afford to have a Gaza-like situation on its doorstep? These questions must be addressed. Hamas and IS have very similar goals. Hamas wishes to destroy Israel and establish a Caliphate in its place. It is not Israeli propaganda against Hamas but this is Hamas's own admission.

In my previous article, Hamas tycoons were discussed as well as their motivation in destroying Israel. While Israel is not directly affected by IS at this stage, the situation can change.

This weekend John Kerry had quoted what he heard from various Arab leadersWe need “to find a way to create two states that can live together side by side, two peoples, with both of their aspirations being respected,” Kerry added.
“I still believe that’s possible, and I still believe we need to work towards it.”
He said the unresolved Israel-Palestinian conflict was fueling recruitment for the Islamic State jihadist group.
“There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation,” Kerry said.
“People need to understand the connection of that. And it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity,” he added.
Kerry was the architect of the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process between July 2013 and April. THIS WAS NOT HIS PERSONAL OPINION as Naftali Bennett claimed. Bennett is a right wing rabble-rouser and a thorn in the flesh of those striving for peace. His ideas on Jewish claims are based on Biblical history with no relevance to the realities of today. He is deeply conservative with a high tech, start up facade of "modernity". Every time he makes statements justifying the occupation and encouraging illegal settlement building in disputed lands based on Biblical claims is exacerbating a highly tense situation between Israel and the EU as well as Israel's best friend, the US leadership.
 If there will be a mutually agreed security mechanism in place that prevents Hamas from taking over the occupied West Bank when a stage is reached on agreed Israeli withdrawal then there is grounds for the establishment of a Palestinian State. Naturally this would involve disarmament of Hamas as an essential requirement if a Palestinian state is established and suitable arrangements made for the settlers who have been living there since the June 1967 War. Pragmatism is essential in finding a solution. Declaring areas "Judenrein" as part of a solution is unacceptable no less than declaring areas "Arabrein".

The world response to IS is weak and is really an impotent token response not that different from its response to Hamas with its tycoon states supporting it.

IS and Hamas alliances cannot be ruled out in the future while lip-service with impotent sporadic airstrikes by the so-called anti-IS coalition are carried out. Time is on the side of Hamas and IS. At this time and place, there is no connection between the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and IS. In the unlikely event of the conflict being solved, IS will not disappear. It would view the Palestinian Authority as traitors and their resolve to spread Jihadi terror and bloodshed would increase and include Israel and Palestine. So all this nonsense about suffering of Arab Muslims creating fertile ground for IS is a load of hogwash.

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