Cliff May
Israel — as its friends and enemies never forget — is a “one-bomb country.” One nuclear weapon is all it would take to wipe out a nation whose territory is smaller than Djibouti, with a population not as large as that of Burundi — fewer than 8 million people, 20 percent of them Arabs who are enjoying rights denied to Arabs (not to mention non-Arab minorities) elsewhere in the Middle East.

Israel is surrounded by Muslim-majority states with 60 times its population and 650 times its territory. Most of those states refuse even to recognize Israel. Some go further. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatens genocide: “Israel must be burned to the ground and made to disappear from the face of the Earth.”

Hamas’s Charter is not more moderate: “Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them).” Israel is a vital link in what the Charter calls “the chain of Jihad.” Hamas cleric Yunis Al-Astal elaborated in a 2008 sermon:

Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam — this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.

Both Israel’s friends and its enemies are keenly aware that this is the backdrop against which Hamas launches its missiles. Many others choose to be oblivious. So you constantly hear journalists suggesting that the missiles that Hamas has been raining down on Israel from Gaza are merely a form of “resistance” to Israeli “occupation” — ignoring the fact that Israelis gave up their claims to Gaza seven years ago, removing every farmer, every soldier, and every grave.

Hamas does not seek a two-state solution or any other compromise. No one who embraces the ideology of jihadism can. Again from the Hamas Charter: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question, except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” Hamas can accept the occasional truce; as I’m writing this, a ceasefire appears to be going into effect. During such breaks, Hamas does all it can to prepare for the next battle.

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.