(July 19, 2018 / JNS) Over the years, all of Hamas’s efforts to undermine Israel’s security have failed. Palestinian terrorism took on many forms—suicide bombers, shooting, ramming and abduction attacks, cross-border terror tunnels, rocket fire and attempts to rush the Israel-Gaza border—and we have defeated them all.
Diplomatic gestures and financial incentives were never able to curtail Palestinian terrorism. Only the traumatic military blows Israel has dealt them has been able to generate deterrence and thwart Palestinian malevolence.
Still, even forceful Israeli responses have never been able to so much as dent the Palestinians’ motivation to destroy us, which has only swelled over time.
Those of us who lack patience must remember that there is no one-time solution to this situation. Yes, the intensity of the blows Israel has dealt Hamas has been the only factor to ever temporarily suppress the Palestinians’ thirst for destruction, but what has always failed us is the dissonance between the Palestinian desire to annihilate Israel and our lack of desire to eliminate them, which remains steadfast despite Israel’s clear military superiority.
Given the chance, the Palestinians would butcher us and take our women and children as spoils of war, as dictated by Islam. The fact that Israel desires peace has made the Palestinians believe we are wary of confrontation and casualties, which only fuels their audacity.
Hamas is part of the global Islamic terrorist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, which includes Qatar, Turkey and Iran, and in turn feeds terrorist groups such as Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis and more.
Hamas is akin to Amalek, the ancient biblical nation, in its desire to destroy the State of Israel, to harass it, and exhaust it physically and morally as part of its religious creed. This is not an idea that can be rooted out but its proponents and the mob following them can be brutally pounded. They must be repeatedly and aggressively struck down, just like you would when treating a chronic disease.
When it comes to Hamas, Israel must change its modus operandi and go from being reactive to being proactive. There is no need to wait for enemy provocation to act; we must relentlessly strike it regardless. Terms like “cease-fire” and “equation” should be removed from our vocabulary and the only reality on the ground should be one in which we, for our own reasons, choose whether or not to open fire.
Israelis, living in a constant state of criminal extortion, have become accustomed to paying ”protection fees” for some peace and quiet. It is time to set aside steps promoting appeasement in favor of action spelling the military and economic defeat of Hamas, its leaders and its supporters. We must be ready for a prolonged war if we are to shorten the duration of the overall conflict.
Dr. Reuven Berko was the adviser on Arab affairs to the Jerusalem district police and a writer for Israel Hayom.