Amidst another tense cease fire in Gaza, the world stops to assess the reality on the ground. Israel estimates it has killed 900 Hamas terrorists – a redundancy – and destroyed 32 tunnels that Hamas previously used to infiltrate Israel and launch terror attacks against Israelis. 64 Israeli soldiers – fighting for their country’s right to exist – and three civilians have died in the fighting.
On the other side, Palestinian authorities, not known for their fact-checking, claim the majority of the approximately 2,000 Palestinians killed were civilians. Israel counters that 900 of those killed were Hamas fighters.
The morally confused, including Hollywood darlings Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, wring their hands in angst at what they perceive to be a lopsided fight. In their view, the mighty IDF indiscriminately attacks innocent Palestinian civilians in schools, hospitals, and churches. Embarrassingly, the United States Secretary of State shares or sympathizes with this view.
As with most conflicts, however, this one did not spring up overnight, and it will not be solved overnight. A cease fire will not end a political quandary that is fifty years in the making; it will not end a religious struggle that is 1,300 years in the making. And it will not end a radical geopolitical strategy that is ingrained in the very fabric of Palestinian identity. This is where the true conflict lies.
To truly understand why Gaza is such a humanitarian, economic, and political disaster, and why the Palestinian Authority will never assert the control Western elites desire it to, the world must unravel a culture of death that has controlled the Palestinian psyche for over forty years.
In 1970, the Black September Organization was organized to launch terrorist attacks against the West and Israel. After awakening a sleeping world to the reality of Islamic terror in the wake of massacres such as the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, in 1974, former Black September member turned Palestinian dictator and eventual Nobel Peace Prize recipient Yasser Arafat reputedly ordered the Palestinian Liberation Organization to refrain from attacks outside of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
Since then, terror has been the chief aim of the ruling political authorities in Palestine and Gaza. Today the Palestinian Authority ostensibly rules, but Hamas – supported by Hezbollah – has the guns and missiles so it controls Gaza. What does Hamas want?