JERUSALEM, Israel — Amit Halevy, a senior member of Israel’s governing Likud Party, told Breitbart News on Saturday night that one of the reasons Israel was unprepared for the Hamas terror attack Oct. 7 was because the conventional wisdom was that Hamas had become a normal governing party.
In reality, he said, the group — whose name is an Arabic acronym for “Islamic Resistance Movement” — had never changed its commitment to Islamic fundamentalism.
“For many years, we didn’t take seriously the religious dimension of our enemy … We hear [about] material considerations, maybe internal considerations of a fight between some groups inside Gaza or inside Lebanon — nonsense.
If you study the Hamas charter, Halevy said, the group’s goals are clear: it wants to eliminate Jews, not just in Israel but worldwide. And it wants Islam to dominate the world.
“They say exactly what they mean, and they mean exactly what they say. So it’s about time that the Western world — because the West is next — that we will take very seriously those intensions.”
Halevy added: “Not only the West is next, but also MBS [Mohamed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince] is next.”
He said that the timing of the attack was motivated by MBS’s interview with Fox News last month, in which he said that peace with Israel was within sight, and hinted that a Palestinian state would not be a necessary condition.
Halevy argued that the distinction between Hamas and Palestinian civilians in Gaza was not always clear. There were, he said, civilians who had participated in the massacres of Israelis, crossing into Israel behind the Hamas terrorists. “In [Kibbutz] Be’eri there were [Palestinian] kids that burned our kids — six-year-old kids.”
He said that Israel should consider bombing the underground facilities that Hamas maintained in Gaza, even though it often placed them under hospitals, schools, and mosques. International law, he said, made “dual use” civilian facilities legitimate targets.
Halevy, who leads the foreign affairs and national security committees in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, acknowledged that there would be major political changes in Israel as a result of the shock from the Oct. 7 attack. But it was too early for politics, he said.
For now, the country was focused on winning the war. The only debate was about how to do it. He praised the ordinary citizens who raced to the scene of the attack and prevented many thousands more people from being killed in the attack.
Tune in to SiriusXM Patriot 125 on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 7-10 p.m. ET, for an interview with Halevy on Breitbart News Sunday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.