Guardian: ‘The slaughter in Gaza will not defeat Hamas’

The longer this offensive lasts, the more it looks like another disastrous Israeli miscalculation says Azzam Tamimi*

Israeli soldiers on the border with Gaza. “This war will undoubtedly result in many fatalities and massive destruction to people’s lives. The damage on the Israeli side may be more of a psychological, political or economic nature.”

Hamas has always insisted, contrary to claims by Binyamin Netanyahu, that it did not know who kidnapped and killed the three Israeli teenagers whom the Israeli prime minister used as a pretext for his onslaught on the Gaza Strip. That was not the sort of operation Hamas would have carried out given that its goal was to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Many Palestinians believe Netanyahu had been planning an offensive against Hamas for months before that kidnapping. After deadlocked negotiations with Israel prompted the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to seek rapprochement with Hamas, the indirect US and EU positive response to the Palestinian reconciliation enraged the Israelis. The offensive on Gaza was Netanyahu’s last trick, having tried to cripple the new unity government and to block payment of salaries to thousands of Gaza employees.

This may yet prove to be another disastrous miscalculation. As early as last winter Israelis were privately talking about messages from the new military authorities in Egypt to the effect that now was the best time to attack Gaza and unseat Hamas…

*Azzam Tamimi, from Wikipedia:

Tamimi is a strong advocate for the Palestinian people and a supporter of Hamas, advising it on proposed changes to its charter…

In an English-language Palestinian-Israeli debate on Iranian TV, aired on Press TV on 14 January 2008, Tamimi debated Israeli lecturer Yossi Mekelberg. In response to Mekelberg stating that “We need justice for everyone, and I will tell you where…”, Tamimi stated that: “Justice? You go back to Germany. That’s justice. You turn Germany into your state, not Palestine. Why should Palestine be a Jewish state? Why?”

Why? At least one reason: the hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of Arab countries since 1948.