Infinity Journal Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring 2012 - page 23

Volume 2, Issue 2, Spring 2012
Infinity Journal
Page 21
The Amorites Iniquity – A Comparative Analysis of Israeli and Hamas Strategies in Gaza
Gur Laish
so different that there is virtually no point in trying to determine
which is preferable.The fact that there is difficulty in evaluating
strategies with a different basis need not concern us when
we wish to look at the opponent’s strategy, since we do not
have to answer the question of which strategy is preferable.
All we have to understand is the other actor’s strategy and
adjust our own strategy accordingly, not in order to reach
some level of perfection in our strategy but rather so our
strategy will be “good enough”.
Rational and Irrational Strategies
It is customary in the western world to employ rational thinking,
on the basis of which it is possible to explain events logically.
The relationship between cause and effect forms the basis
for the western attempt to describe and understand reality.
Whether the viewpoint is empirical (referring to perceptible
phenomena) or is based on logical inferences, the guiding
principle in rational thinking is the consistent link between
cause and effect. According to the rational approach,
mysticism or belief cannot be relied upon in order to explain
phenomena and events.
modi operandi
should link the desired outcome
with the actions to be taken to achieve it. If there is a logical
connection between the planned actions and the outcome
that they attempt to achieve, the plan can be regarded as
Rational Plans Will Form the Basis for Rational Strategies.
The way to evaluate a rational strategy is not only on the
basis of the prospects for its realization (since uncertainty
exists) but also in comparison with the available alternatives
at the time of its selection.
It may well be that the strategy of the Zionist movement in the
years preceding the establishment of the State of Israel did
not have good prospects for success. Nonetheless, it was far
more successful than could have been expected.
On the other hand, there are plans that are totally irrational.
Such plans may form the cornerstones for irrational strategies.
As stated, irrational strategies are not rational strategies with
poor prospects for success, but rather, are strategies in which
there is no
connection between the planned actions
and the attaining of the final end.
I will subsequently argue that Hamas’ strategy in Gaza is
irrational. However, in order to avoid confining the discussion
of irrational strategies to the Muslim world, we should recall
that the Jewish People have not always adopted rational
strategies. For centuries the strategy of the Jewish People
to return to their homeland was based on the prayer, “Next
year in Jerusalem”. This strategy was so strong (based on
the coming of the Messiah) that even today there are Jews
living in Israel who are opposed to the Zionist strategy (that
established the State of Israel) and claim that the Jews must
continue to wait for “the Messiah, the son of David” who
will redeem the land and bring them to Jerusalem (where
they are already living). Based on this strategy no logical
connection can be discerned between the action and the
desired outcome. Nonetheless, some will argue that this is an
effective strategy, and in proof of this, they will argue that the
author of this essay lives in a Jerusalem that has been rebuilt
after two thousand years of prayer.
Hamas’ Strategy
Hamas has set itself the principal objective of terminating
the existence of the State of Israel as the national home of
the Jewish People. Hamas does not recognize the Jewish
State, and in its place wishes to establish a Palestinian
entity (I use the term “entity” since I do not wish to define
its characteristics) throughout Mandatory Israel. This “end” is
highly ambitious when taking into account the balance of
power between Israel and Hamas (even if the other terrorist
organizations in Gaza are included in its ranks).
The strategy chosen by Hamas in order to attain its pretentious
principal objective is that of “resistance” (“MUKAWAMA”).The
major part of the strategy is the maintenance of activities
(generally with terrorist characteristics) against the State
of Israel. In order to realize this strategy, Hamas is investing
efforts to establish operational capabilities that will allow it to
operate from the Gaza Strip against Israeli assets (of both a
military and a civilian nature).
Without going into depth, we argue that there is a material
difference between the“resistance”of Hamas and the terrorist
strategies of the PLO up to the Oslo Accords.The policy aim or
end state of PLO terrorism was not to subdue Israel by terror.
The PLO’s strategy employed terrorism in order to bring the
Palestinian issue to the world agenda.
This essay suggests that a strategy of resistance is irrational
since it is impossible to demonstrate the mechanism through
which the resistance will lead to the attaining of Hamas’
principal objective. This statement it is not intended to pass
judgment on either the validity of the strategy or the degree
of its suitability for Hamas. Since Hamas (like other Islamic
entities in the region) has adopted this strategy, it should
be assumed that it coincides with its situation and beliefs.
The question that should concern Israeli decision-makers
is not how effective this strategy appears in Israeli eyes but
rather what are the consequences of this strategy and what
strategy should Israel adopt in order to counter it.
There are two irrational elements in the strategy of resistance:
The first assumes that Israel is incapable of countering the
challenges of the resistance over time. This assumption is
derived from the belief that the Zionist entity is weak and
pampered.This belief is based on a virtually racist approach
that regards the Jew as being weak, and the Western World
(to which Israeli society belongs) as lacking ideology and of
irrational strategies are strategies in
which there is no
between the planned actions and
the attaining of the final end
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