World View: Hamas Says It Didn't Intend to Start the Gaza War
- Hamas says it didn't intend to start the Gaza War
- Tunisia and Egypt cancel passenger flights to Libya
Hamas says it didn't intend to start the Gaza War
The current Gaza war was triggered by events following the abduction
of three Israeli teenagers on June 10. They were the subject of an
extensive manhunt throughout the West Bank, during which hundreds of
Palestinians, mostly members of Hamas, were arrested.
shocked three weeks later when the teens were found dead in a pit in
the West Bank. Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the three were "kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by
animals" and promised: "Hamas will pay." The abduction of the three
teens started a spiral of violence that led to the current Gaza war,
with no end in sight.
Now a Hamas official, Saleh al-Arouri, is confirming that Hamas was
responsible for the kidnappings, but said that there was no intention
to start a war. Here's Memri's translation of what he said:
In all honesty, we in the Islamic resistance movement
did not intend to start a large-scale war at this time. We know
that the enemy was not ready to start a large-scale war
either. But Allah decided that this large-scale war would rage, in
order to achieve things in accordance with the will of Allah.
We wanted Gaza to serve as a strategic pillar, and to continue to
amass strength in order to support the resistance all over
Palestine. We wanted to activate the resistance throughout the
land of Palestine: in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. ...
Our goal was to ignite an intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem,
as well as within the 1948 borders. The activity of the people has
broadened to include all the occupied land, reaching its peak in
the heroic operation, carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades, in
which three settlers were captured in Hebron.
There has been a lot of confusion regarding this operation. Some
said that this was a conspiracy of the occupation. That's not
true. Your brothers in the Al-Qassam Brigades carried out this
operation to support their imprisoned brothers, who were on a
hunger strike. The occupation wanted us to watch them die and to
do nothing. The mujahideen captured these settlers in order to
have a swap deal.
Then Israel wanted to strike a harsh blow to the resistance in the
West Bank and Gaza, in order to shock the mujahideen and deter
them from engaging in Jihad against the occupation. So it began to
bombard Gaza, and to conduct arrests and wreak devastation in the
But in these bombings, they killed six mujahideen. Thus, the
fighting escalated. The mujahideen retaliated with missile strikes
in the heart of the occupying entity. They were forced to escalate
the fighting, and thus, an all-out war began.
So, according to al-Arouri, Hamas didn't want to start a war. They
want to start an "intifida," like the ones that began in 1987 and
2000. They were characterized by Palestinians rioting, throwing
rocks at Israeli police, and an occasional terrorist act. But there
was no full-fledged war, because there were Israeli and Palestinian
leaders who were committed to avoiding a war.
This situation is exactly what generational theory is all about.
Everybody -- politicians, analysts, journalists, etc. -- remembers the 1990s, and think that the 1990s were "normal," and that anything
we do will work the same way as in the "normal" times. The belief
is completely wrong. During the 1990s, the world was being run
by people who had survived World War II and been traumatized
by the war and vowed never to let anything like that happen again.
Today, those survivors are gone.
Here's what I wrote in May 2003, in "Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?":
We are now in the early stages of replaying the
extremely violent, bloody wars between the Jews and the
Palestinians that took place between them from 1936 to 1949. So
far the war has been little more than a series of skirmishes, as
it was in the late 1930s. The full-fledged violent, bloody war is
awaiting a generational change.
There's an incredible irony going on in the Mideast today, in that
the leaders of two opposing sides are, respectively, Ariel Sharon
and Yassir Arafat.
These two men hate each other, but they're the ones cooperating
with each other (consciously or not) to prevent a major Mideast
conflagration. Both of them remember the wars of the 1940s, and
neither of them wants to see anything like that happen again. And
it won't happen again, as long as both of these men are in charge.
The disappearance of these two men will be part of an overall
generational change in the Mideast that will lead to a major
conflagration within a few years. It's possible that the
disappearance of Arafat alone will trigger a war, just as the
election of Lincoln ignited the American Civil War. (It's
currently American policy to get rid of Arafat. My response is
this: Be careful what you wish for.)
So in the current situation, we have Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri
saying that all they had wanted to do was repeat the "intifidas" of
1987 and 2000. Well, that's not how it works any more, because we're
in a different generational era -- a generational Crisis era, quite
unlike the generational Unraveling era of the 1990s, when the mood was
to avoid conflict if at all possible.
Today, the mood of the Palestinians and the Israelis is completely
different. Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat are gone, and the
leaders on both sides have no fear of violence and no appreciation
of what's coming.
It's worth noting that there's still one leader who is a survivor of
the 1940s war between Jews and Arabs, and that person is Palestinian
Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. It's no coincidence that this
leader has for years tried both to negotiate peace with the Israelis
and to keep Hamas under control. He's failed in both endeavors, because he's dealing with much younger leaders who have no fear of
Most people assume that the 2000s are like the 1990s, the 90s are
like the 80s, the 80s are like the 70s, and so forth. If you
believe that, then you're wrong.
History is not similar from one decade to the next. History
is driven by huge generational tsunamis that last for decades and
even centuries. These tsunamis dictate what events are going
to occur, and the politicians have little control over more
than a few details.
World War II launched a huge tsunami that's been traveling towards us
for decades and is reaching us now. That's why there are trouble
spots in one country after another, in Africa, the Mideast, in Europe, and in Asia. And every day there are fewer and fewer people around
like Mahmoud Abbas who remember what it was like and want to prevent
it from happening again. It's only a matter of time before one of
these trouble spots explodes into full-scale war, and such an
explosion becomes more and more likely every day, as the WWII
survivors disappear. Memri and
Tunisia and Egypt cancel passenger flights to Libya
As we reported yesterday,
warplanes bombed militia bases in Tripoli, the capital city of Libya,
in the early morning hours of Monday. The problem is, it's not known
whose warplanes they were. The laser-guided technology was too
sophisticated for any Libyan warplanes, and France, Italy, Egypt, the
U.S., and NATO have all vehemently denied having anything to do with
it. There are even concerns that the warplanes will be part of an
external invasion of Libya.
Now on Thursday Tunisia and Egypt are halting passenger airline
flights to and from Libya for security reasons. Egypt has canceled
flights between Cairo and Libya, although flights between Alexandria
and Libya would continue. AP and Reuters
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu,
West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas, Saleh al-Arouri, Arial Sharon, Yasser Arafat,
Libya, Tunisia, Egypt
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