The Palestinians attacked on 7 October and Israel declared their organisation, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) barbarians. Almost immediately, the appeasement inherent in that designation was exposed. Not only is Hamas barbaric, their religion is barbaric, and any adherent of that religion is locked in a constant tug-of-war with barbarism: now gaining some humanity; now losing it. It was abundantly clear that Israel had to see its place in the Middle East differently, for it is surrounded by barbarism that is sometimes wreaking havoc on the surface, and at other times rumbling beneath it. It is a religion that is not open to reform, no deal can be made with it. You might decide to have nothing to do with it, but it will never leave you alone. It will come after you, quite literally, until the end of time.
Imagine my exasperation when, more than three months after the Simchat Torah massacre, the following headline landed in my inbox: “Samaria Council demands publication of documents refuting 'settler violence' blood libel.”
“No! This is just plain wrong!” I railed, “It is yet more hasbara! What will it take?” A libel is not a reasoned argument. Libels are libels because they are lies and are known to be lies, which is exactly why they are committed and eagerly stoked. The point of a libel is not its specific content, but the harm it does to its target; there is nothing to refute. The only fitting response to the “settler violence” libel is to turn it against the libeller. Make the libel the starting point of an offensive against the libeller.
In this case, the would-be “violent settlers” are all fighting violent Palestinians in Gaza, leaving their women and children vulnerable to very real Palestinian violence in Judea and Samaria! Their men are not there to protect them, let alone do “settler violence” to Palestinians. So arm and train the women of Judea and Samaria to fight. There are plenty of elderly people with military and intelligence experience and a strong determination to contribute. Because of the Hamas attack out of Gaza, the “settler violence” libel becomes the perfect catalyst for a permanent armed citizen force across Judea and Samaria, and that libel now works against the libeller. There is nothing to publish, prove or explain here, especially not evidence of Palestinian violence, for that would be falling right back into hasbara.
But the exasperation was compounded when it turned out that Israel actually acknowledged the standing of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) government in bringing a charge of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, despite not being a party to the conflict. "Genocide" is simply “settler violence” on steroids. This is the same ANC that, in Hamas fashion, tortured and murdered their own members in the notorious Camp Quatro in Angola. What is the Israeli government up to in acquiescing to defending the country in a kangaroo court while at war? Israel famously told the International Criminal Court to go jump, yet bows to the United Nations, that same United Nations that is left cold by the rape and murder of Jews.
If you are a racist, basket-case country, you do not bring charges of genocide against Israel if you are interested in facts. You bring such charges if you are engaged in a stitch-up. I cannot help wondering whether this is still the ANC settling its debt to the Russians from back in the day, or whether it is trying to ingratiate itself with Muslims. If this turns out to be a real trial, then the case has to fall apart and South Africa must lose even the meagre credibility it still retains (you know, black, apartheid, Mandela, and all that). But given what counts for morality in today's world, I also half expect that South Africa will be taken seriously, because who is going to go against a predominantly black country that has suffered apartheid, albeit more than a generation ago. In the kind of world that officially accuses Israel of genocide, South Africa’s racist abuse of white farmers probably adds to their moral stature.
Turning the “settler violence” and the “genocide” blood libels against the libellers also goes for whatever ridiculous demands are made on Israel, whether by the UN, the US or the EU. Israel should turn those demands against the demanders, that is, use those demands to further strengthen Israel’s position on the ground, rather than for the umpteenth useless time explain why those demands are not fair. They want humanitarian aid to go to an enemy that just murdered 1200 Israelis in an unprovoked act of war? Fine. One hostage:one truck. Take it or leave it.
An early Israeli blunder was to not detain all the thousands of Gazans who were trapped in Israel when the war broke out. You declare war, but then release thousands of your enemy’s citizens while they hold hundreds of yours? What kind of war is this? A whole array of anti-Israel forces in the West demand that civilians not be harmed, as if this is not a war, let alone a war forced on Israel by the Palestinians, who specifically set out to harm civilians in the most barbaric ways imaginable. This is not a point to be made in The Hague; it is a point to inform Israeli propaganda action. Quite obviously, as far as the UN is concerned, Jews are legitimate fair game. Israel is on trial in The Hague not for genocide, but for denying the Palestinian’s their right to genocide.
As I see it, the Israeli rush to defeat is on. I draw this conclusion from the repeat, even worsening, of so many past mistakes. Already after the 1956 Suez War, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion observed, “the Gaza Strip would be a source of trouble as long as the [Arab] refugees [from the war] had not been resettled elsewhere.” (My emphasis) That is a sixty-eight-year-old warning, and the Israelis are still goofing around. Their leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu, are famous for ignoring warnings. For a brief day or two last week, the idea of voluntary emigration of Gazans to wherever would have them was floated in the (English language) media, but then quickly sunk beneath the surface. Of course, instead of the Arab refugees being resettled elsewhere, the Jews ended up resettled elsewhere, leaving Gaza to the Arabs. And the rest, as they say, is the current mess.
For those who really do look reality in the eye and are unapologetic about it, the leaders of Otzma Yehudit and of Mafdal–Religious Zionism, that the Gazans be "resettled elsewhere" is not a matter of putting a timid little toe in the water, White House permitting. The Palestinians cannot pull a 7 October “again and again and again,” as they vowed they will, if they are not anywhere near Israel. Resettling them elsewhere is, therefore, a legitimate pre-emptive action since we already know what they will do if they are not resettled elsewhere. The Palestinians have given Israel all the reason she needs to not only immediately see off the Palestinians from all of Gaza and all of Judea and Samaria, but to take both areas under military control and regularise their status as integral, sovereign Israeli territory.
No other country has lost 1200 of their citizens to these monsters. No other country has anything to say about how Israel chooses to make the next 7 October impossible. If the Palestinians “deserve a state,” as the phrase goes, let them get that state from a country whose citizens they have not raped, dismembered, burnt alive and murdered. Permitting Palestinians to permanently leave Gaza en masse will be an act of kindness, given what they have done and intend to repeat “again and again and again.” There are less kind responses.
The leaders of the main religious parties have been saying this loudly, directly and consistently. Not only that, but being unbeholden to Faustian pacts, they can pick up and carry forward the rising wish of many in Israel and in the Diaspora for Jewish close settlement of the land in Gaza, and these are not even fans of Ben Gurion.
Incidentally, I am neither ignoring nor belittling the presence of some pretty unsavoury characters in these two parties (their leaders are not people I would invite to dinner), but their ugly side does not in any way diminish the fact that sometimes, indeed, most of the time, they are right. To ignore their arguments is to cut our noses to spite our faces. It must be clear by now to the voters of Judea and Samaria that they no longer need to be the playthings of Netanyahu, to be picked up and dropped as expediency requires. They are strong enough to finally take control of their country and stop pussy-footing around with a population that is out to kill them all and will never stop trying, while their leaders are again betraying them. Stop them before they completely destroy what is Israel.
It used to be the case that Jews listened to either Ben Gurion, or Ze'ev Jabotinsky. When it comes to Gaza, Israel's leaders have been deaf to both, and not only once. “After the triumph of the Six-Day War, he [Ben Gurion] called for proactive policies to turn the military victory into a political one.” What happened instead, was that military victory was turned into political defeat.
Jabotinsky was very clear about the need for Israel's borders to be at the maximum extent of Eretz Israel, that is, the entirety of Mandatory Palestine, and the need for a formidable Jewish armed force to protect the Jews closely settled in the all of the land. What are we to make, then, of former IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defence at the time of the “Disengagement,” who, by his own admission, is responsible for the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, when he brazenly declares:
I take responsibility for the Disengagement, I am proud of this move. Proud of this move. Only now are the citizens of Israel realising what would have happened to all those 10,000 settlers in 2005 if they had continued to stay in the Gaza Strip near the claws of these predators. There would be an incident involving Hamas every other day.
Dear reader, if you are horrified, then we had the same reaction. In his twisted mind, the Simchat Torah massacre vindicates his government's expulsion of the Jews from Gaza. What the Hell is the IDF for, one might demand. If this is how it is, then why not abandon everything and simply retreat to Masada? Would that be defensible enough for you, Mr Mofaz? When asked about the security that settlement brings, Mofaz retorted:
What security? These settlements, twenty-two settlements, most of which are on the coast in the southern part in general. ...west of the Hamas positions. What protection did this give the State of Israel? What interest did we even have in being there? We only saved lives.
And when did Shaul Mofaz hand down this wisdom? Three weeks after the Simchat Torah massacre! He did not notice, apparently, that not only were the 1200 lives that were not saved east of the Hamas positions, they were not even in Gaza. They were in Israel proper. The then Defence Minister does not ask what interest Hamas had in Israel. Only Israel can do wrong. Why are we despairing of a farce in The Hague, when we cannot even stop one in Jerusalem?
I cannot get my head around what kind of psychopath can boast of "saving lives" when his arrogance and hubris are directly responsible for 1200 deaths. This frightful disconnect from reality might have been excusable had Mofaz been unaware of the massacre. But of course he was all too aware, for if he had his way, he would:
Let them take all 6,000 prisoners - and return all our hostages. ...I would return all of them to the Gaza Strip and first of all release our abductees and captives. It's not one or two. It's 229 as of today. It's an unbelievable number.
And enable again and again and again. Since he has done so much good, why not him do more good? “An unbelievable number” of captives, says the former Chief of Staff and former Minister of Defence, making no link to the failure to defend. Instead, he wants to reward Hamas for an accomplishment he comes close to admiring. This fiasco, it seems, is about to be repeated.
Enter Israel's plan for "the day after."
Ten days ago, on 5 January 2024, Israel revealed her plan for Gaza after the war. My purpose is not to dissect that object lesson in capitulation here, but to highlight Israeli ignorance about Muslims. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant explained:
Gaza residents are Palestinian, therefore Palestinian bodies will be in charge, with the condition that there will be no hostile actions or threats against the State of Israel.
This begs the question of what Israel will do when there are “hostile actions or threats against the State of Israel”? The most obvious possibility is an imam in a mosque reciting the following to his congregation:
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.
Oh, Hamas will be destroyed, he might say, and that awful quote is from the Hamas Charter. So it will be prohibited. All very well, except that almost everything in the Hamas Charter is there because it is in the Islamic holy texts. In the example above, it is the genocide hadith, Sahih Muslim 6985. So far, practically everyone in Israel has been scrupulously avoiding the hand of Allah in the Simchat Torah massacre. Should the Israeli authorities muster what it would take to arrest such an imam, the Muslims will, of course, throw “freedom of religion” in the face of the proud Holy Land, where all three Abrahamic faith may freely be practised, something proudly guaranteed only under Jewish rule.
Protecting Islam makes the Jews better than Muslims, the Jews believe, even if they are protecting a murderous religion that commands its adherents to kill all the Jews. It is a pride so important to protect that they will deny the role of Islam in every iniquity that flows from it, no matter how many Jews are slaughtered, raped, captured, etc., as acts of worship specifically to please Allah. Israel will protect the Muslims right up to the moment they come at Jews with guns, bombs, knives and cars, and every time they will be shocked and surprised all over again. This is the nation of Nobel Prize winners.
If you already have one foot in absurdity, then you might as well jump in properly. And so it is coming to pass. The IDF is launching an investigation into the failings leading up to the Simchat Torah massacre, to be led by none other than Shaul Mofaz. Yes, you read that right. The insensitivity of this move is stunning. Minister of Defence at the time of the “Disengagement,” Mofaz says he is “proud” of the monumental cock-up that set the wheels in motion.
“Are you out of your mind?!” screamed MK Miri Regev, capturing the reaction of many in that farce of a Cabinet meeting. The meeting's benefit is that it shone a light on both the hubris of the military establishment, and the pathetic weakness of the Prime Minister of “the only democracy in the Middle East”. It is worth quoting the Arutz7 report in full:
A meeting of the Political-Security Cabinet ended abruptly on Thursday night, after a confrontation erupted between several ministers and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, against the background of the appointment of a team that will investigate the events of October 7.
Kan 11 News reported that Ministers Miri Regev, Bezalel Smotrich, Itamar Ben Gvir and David Amsalem claimed that the members of the investigating team supported the Disengagement from Gaza. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant tried to silence the ministers who attacked the Chief of Staff and said that he supports Halevi, before senior officials in the defense establishment walked out of the meeting.
According to the report, Minister Regev said to the Chief of Staff: “Tell me what is this? You published a report that you have established an investigation team? You named Mofaz? Are you out of your mind?”
The Chief of Staff replied to Regev: “We have not started any investigations”.
Minister Amsalem said: “IDF personnel should be dealing only with the war right now. Why are you doing this?”
Minister Gallant turned to Regev directly and told her: “Miri, I don’t owe you anything. I give my full support to the Chief of Staff”.
What does Galant owe the Chief of Staff, or to Benny Gantz, for that matter? More on this Prima Donna here.
Minister Smotrich said, “I have a lot to say about the army”, while Minister Ben Gvir said to the Chief of Staff: “Are you appointing Mofaz? The father of the Disengagement?”
Minister Benny Gantz told the ministers: “Stop attacking the Chief of Staff. You’ve gone completely crazy.”
Herzi Halevi was Benny Gatz’s nominee to replace Aviv Kohavi as Chief of Staff in January 2023.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eventually dispersed the discussion and told the Chief of Staff: “Sometimes you have to listen to the ministers. The meeting is over.”
The meeting concluded without any decisions being made on the issue of the day after the war.
The plan on “the day after the war,” mentioned above, was issued on the same day as this meeting that ended “without any decisions.”
Earlier on Thursday, Channel 12 News reported that the IDF has begun its inquiry into the failure that allowed the October 7 massacre to occur.
According to the report, the inquiry commission will consist of former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, former IDF Intelligence Directorate Head Aharon Ze’evi-Farkash, and former Commanding Officer of the IDF Southern Command Sami Turgeman.
The inquiry board will begin its work immediately upon receiving letters of appointment from the General Staff. The letters of appointment are expected to be received in the coming days.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, “The IDF has not yet started the investigation process. The General Staff is formulating the planning of the investigation process, including the selection of the heads of the investigation teams. When things are finalised, they will be announced to the public.”
“Sometimes you have to listen to the Ministers.” The other farce is currently playing out in The Hague.
Screen grab, "SA-Israel ICJ case | World awaits ICJ decision on South Africa's genocide accusation against Israel," SABC News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1byUpEghA8