web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Hamas’s Victory: How Muslims See It

It hard to imagine that at least some of Israel's leaders do not understand the Muslim mindset.
F121123IR03

Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90

Do Americans understand the Muslim view of war? Throughout the Muslim world, there were celebrations with people singing and dancing and giving each other sweets, celebrating Hamas’s victory over the Israelis. Hamas suffered serious losses. As Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defense Minister, stated at the news conference in which he announced the ceasefire, many Hamas leaders were eliminated and their military capabilities were sharply degraded.

But Hamas was not defeated. It will clearly be able to rain down rockets on the Israeli civilian population again when it chooses.

What we call terror is a legitimate tactic of Muslim warfare — terror is how the Muslim prophet Muhammad subdued his enemies. He struck fear into their hearts, coercing them to surrender. Hamas is doing nothing more than following Muhammad’s guidance.

Ironically, at the same time as Barak was proudly announcing the ceasefire — and his colleagues Prime Minister Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Lieberman were chiming in — Israeli radio could be heard interrupting their speeches with Code Red alerts to the people of the south to run to their shelters: Hamas and its cohorts had continued firing rockets at Israel.

Why did Hamas fire these rockets during the ceasefire announcement? The last day of the Israel-Hamas fight was the most violent: Hamas apparently wanted to prove it had the upper hand going towards a cease fire, and that it could impose a cease fire on Israel on Hamas’s terms. That would erase the perception that Israel was trying to create of a Hamas crawling for dear life to the finish line, saved by the bell. To drive this point home, Hamas therefore fired rockets after the ceasefire to get the last shots, to thereby prove that Israel gave in to Hamas. For Hamas, this was all about managing perceptions as to which side needed the ceasefire more than the other. Moreover, this does not even touch on the additional point that Hamas is making that Israel did not launch a ground offensive because it was too afraid, concerned about the cost of doing so.

* * *

How would ibn Hazm, the great Muslim theorist on war, understand the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas? He probably would have believed — as, most likely, do his modern day co-religionists — that the Israelis were afraid to destroy Hamas’s leadership.

Ibn Hazm wrote: “When at war, show your enemy no mercy, but when you have him at your mercy, you must give him breathing room but you dictate the terms.” The loser has no say in the terms; only the victor has.

The terms of this agreement allow Hamas to live another day, re-arm and fight again. To the Muslims, this is a sign that Israel does not have either the ability or the will to make them surrender. Israel and its allies have thus proven to the Arabs, Turks, Iranians, and other Muslims, that Israel is weak and, for whatever reason, is incapable or unwilling to do what is necessary to subdue its enemies.

The current agreement emboldens Israel’s and America’s enemies. It gives them the emotional fortitude to fight on. Unless Israel destroys Hamas’s leadership once and for all, it can expect many more years of terrorists showering death and destruction on its population. These Islamic terrorists are consequently inspired to think that America and other Western allies are easier targets for more Islamic fundamentalist terror.

Where does America fit into this picture? Muslims have a deep belief that all non-Muslims are united against the Muslims; people are either Muslims or non-Muslims. According to a classic Arabo-Islamic principle: “Unbelief is one nation”. That means that all Muslims belong to one “nation” and all non-Muslims belong to another, united against the Muslims. Many Muslims therefore have difficulty making a distinction between Americans and Israelis, both members of the same non-Muslim people.

Many Muslims also believe that America pressured Israel to accept this ceasefire. In Muslim eyes, this means that non-Muslim America did not stand by its natural non-Muslim ally, Israel. America as an ally is therefore unreliable. If America would not even support its fellow non-Muslim ally, how can Muslims, such as, say, the Sunni Saudis, rely on the US to protect them from their existential enemy, Shi’ite Iran? The Saudis can only conclude that they have no alternative other than to seek different, less feckless, allies such as China or Russia to protect them from the Iranian regime. America, they likely recall, refused to support its ally, the Shah, against Khomeini, and thus America lost Iran as a great ally. It also quickly abandoned its ally Egyptian President Mubarak. Will America lose the Saudis as well?

About the Author: Harold Rhode, Ph.D., served from 1982-2010 as an Adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is now a distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He is fluent in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Hamas’s Victory: How Muslims See It”

  1. Norman Bennett says:

    Mr. Rhode, your article brings up many good points yet it does not go far enough into the possible results based on history. If Israel gives land back to the Palestinians the war won't end, it will just make Israel a smaller target. Look back to Israel and the Sinai peninsula return to Egypt. If the people of Israel abandoned all of the country where will they go. Look back to WW II when no country would accept Jews fleeing from Nazi Germany. The Palestinians would soon find other Muslim countries taking over Israel and abandoning them as they did in the 1940's because now they won't need them as a tool against Israel. Even if all of the Middle east was under Muslim rule war between Shi'ite and Sunni will escalate until one faction rules the other. The World problems are more then Belief vs Belief, Race vs Race, Nation vs Nation or Political idealism vs Political idealism it's with the people and society of the World. Until we see that we are dependent on each other, inter-connected all over the Globe and turn towards Unity and caring for each other only the names of conflict will change. We need to spread Mutual Responsibility, Unity, the common good and Integral Education across the Globe. Only thru Doing good for all and not the few do we have a chance to end all this and create a better World society.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.
Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners
Latest Indepth Stories
The New York Police Department has announced increased coverage of NYC synagogues.

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

He ruthlessly crushed the revolt, and, despite lacking official Roman sanction, ordered the rebel leaders put to death without trial.

Hamas recently stated publicly that a new explosion of violence against Israel is imminent.

We can never allow Israel in the name of democracy to turn herself into an Arab or bi-nationalstate

The Jordanian public is a fertile ground of anger that could be easily exploited by ISIS.

How can “Fame” help bring Moshiach?

Let us become modern day Maccabees and seize the day. Embrace the challenge. Fight for Hashem.

Har HaBayit is still Biyadein; Through our actions, its fate is in our hands

More Articles from Harold Rhode
Bedouin with his camels at Wadi Run Desert.

Middle Eastern culture has never developed ways to leave the past behind.

Dancers celebrating Iran's nuclear holiday in Tehran.

Making Rouhani the president was a brilliant strategic move for Khamene’i.

Hamas has become a tool for both the Sunni and Shi’ite fundamentalists to use in their battle not only against the non-Muslim world, but against each other.

It hard to imagine that at least some of Israel’s leaders do not understand the Muslim mindset.

The Alawites are a small, historically oppressed people, whose political future will determine whether Syria remains united in some form or disintegrates into even smaller ethnic and religious entities. As they will play such an important role, America, Israel, and other forces interested in the future of Syria might do well to get to know them, their concerns, and how others can best come to terms with them.

Over the past year, more and more Iranians have been finding ways to communicate with their friends and relatives abroad in ways which should encourage the world to ratchet up the pressure on the regime.

Many parts of the world, such as Korea, China, and India – basically medieval kingdoms fifty or sixty years ago — are now among the pacesetters of the modern world, both producing, and improving on, existing inventions. The Muslim world, however, often better off than these countries just half a century ago, has remained as it was, or has even, in many instances, deteriorated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/hamass-victory-how-muslims-see-it/2012/11/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: