STORE

Pollak: If Israel Wants to ‘Free Palestine’ from Hamas, It’s Now or Never

An Israeli tank rolls along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on May 6, 2016 as Israeli forces search for infiltration tunnels leading into southern Israel. Three days of mortar and tank fire between Israel and Palestinian militants, as well as Israeli air strikes, have raised concerns of …
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty

Terrorist groups in Hamas-controlled Gaza fired 180 rockets into Israel on Wednesday and Thursday, including a long-range rocket that landed near the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.

The Israel Air Force struck back, flattening a Hamas security headquarters.

The international media went into its usual anti-Israel spin mode, describing the violence as “clashes” instead of what it was: an unprovoked attack on civilians by Hamas, which is using the violence to gain diplomatic leverage and convince the world to send money.

Israeli leaders, and the Israeli public, are beyond frustrated — even though the U.S.-funded Iron Dome system has destroyed many of the rockets. Some are calling for Hamas leaders to be targeted. Many want Hamas itself to be crushed once and for all.

If Israel wants to destroy Hamas, and liberate the Gaza Strip from its iron-fisted Islamist rule — now more than a decade old — there will never be a better time. President Donald Trump is the most pro-Israel leader the United States has ever produced, and his team of Middle East negotiators are so frustrated with Palestinian intransigence that they have called for cutting economic aid to Gaza.

If Israel were to undertake a tough ground assault, with Hamas hiding behind civilians in hospitals and in booby-trapped buildings, it would — finally — have a friend in the White House who would withstand international pressure and allow it to fight until victory.

Moreover, Iran, the patron of regional terror, is in the midst of a crippling economic and political crisis. The Iranian regime, tied down in Syria, struggling with a collapsing currency, and facing mass protests in the streets, would hesitate before helping its proxy terror groups in Gaza. It would also be less likely than in the past to open a northern front by using Hezbollah to attack Israel.

The window of opportunity may not last long. Democrats have a good chance of winning back the U.S. House of Representatives in November. If they do, they will bring a new crop of anti-Israel politicians to Washington, along with a new hostility to Israel. Not one Democrat attended the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem earlier this year, and none attended the party at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC, to mark the occasion. The party rank-and-file are increasingly drawn to Israel-hating leaders.

One such is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will likely win New York’s 14th congressional district. She recently complained about the “occupation of Palestine” (despite not being able to explain what it was), and sided with Hamas over Israel in border clashes.

Another is Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who won the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th congressional district on Tuesday. She is close to antisemite Linda Sarsour, and backed Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odea in her bid to avoid deportation.

A House controlled by Nancy Pelosi would make it harder for the Trump administration to support Israel. Republicans could still win, but Israel cannot afford to take that chance. If it wants to “free Palestine” from Hamas, the time may be now — or never.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

.