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Hamas and its emotional blackmail tactics

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Hamas and its emotional blackmail tactics

Having committed the most unpardonable crime in human history, Hamas is now very craftily trying to manipulate world public opinion and garner undue sympathy by playing the victim card. By now, you must have read the stories of the sufferings of the old, women and children; how they are forced to drink dirty water; how the hospitals are overflowing; how people are starving; how bombs are falling relentlessly; and must have seen moving photos of injured children and highly lovable dead or injured cats lying next to the kids amidst the rubble of their erstwhile homes.

You Cannot Start a War and Then Complain About the Horrors of War

That would be plainly ridiculous, isn’t it? However, that is exactly what the Hamas and Islamic Jihad are doing with Israel. Most deplorably, the patent absurdity of the situation notwithstanding, bleeding hearts of the world and the Left-Liberal-Muslim Right Wing cabal have started openly supporting the terrorists in contrived and meticulously orchestrated sympathy. I will expose their hypocrisy shortly.

Nobody in the world can ever dispute that this round of “physical violence” was started by the Hamas. They themselves boasted about it all over social media. They fired some 5,000 rockets, physically invaded Israel by breaching their border fence, killed Israelis by the hundreds (actually some 1,400) including old women and children, took hostages, and raped and molested women, all while shouting Islamic religious slogans. And, when Israel retaliated with military force, they complained about their buildings having been destroyed; water, food and medicines shortages in the city, and women and children suffering. They are saying that this is not fair. What is fair then? In their opinion, what should Israel have done in response to such an outrage to their sovereignty?

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It is not just a coincidence that there is a Yiddish/Hebrew word for exactly this sort of shameless gall, ‘chutzpah’. They had defined the word chutzpah by an example; a young man who murders both his parents in cold blood and then pleads before the court that leniency must be shown to him because he is an orphan!

Who Drew First Blood Is All That Matters

I will explain the sheer absurdity of the stand of the Islamic terrorists and their supporters with an example. Suppose you have a property dispute with your neighbour and you have been involved in a civil case in court, dragging on for years. One fine morning, it could so happen that you are in a particularly foul mood over a burnt toast, leaking taps, unwanted guests having barged in unexpectedly, the maid having ‘bunked’, or whatever. You happen to see your neighbour in the meantime and your temperature shoots up. What starts as a verbal spat, soon escalates into fisticuffs. Maybe you happen to receive more punches than you could give. That hurts your manly pride, all the more so in front of your dear wife, and infuriates you further. You go inside, bring out your gun and shoot him down.

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Now, when you are put up on trial for murder, you cannot plead that you had a long-standing property dispute with the neighbour and that’s why you were angry with him when you shot him that day. Irrespective of the history of your dispute with your neighbour, what matters for the criminal offence of murder is what transpired on the day of the murder and who “initiated” the physical violence.

Also Read: Criticism of Israel and support of Hamas due to Muslim vote bank politics

This is exactly the case of Hamas with Israel. Like all property or territorial disputes, this dispute too might never be resolved to everybody’s satisfaction as a thousand arguments can be given from both sides. What matters is what Hamas did on the fateful morning of October 7. Nobody in the world can deny, not even the die-hard supporters of the terrorists amongst the Left-Liberal-Muslim Right Wing cabal, that Hamas had fired the first shot.

As John Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran decorated with as many as 13 medals for valour in combat had famously told his former Green Beret Col. Trautman while narrating the atrocities committed on him by a bully of a police sheriff (First Blood, 1982) in a small hill town, “They drew first blood, not me”; it was Hamas that drew the first blood, not Israel.

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Hamas Cannot Dictate How Israel Must Respond  

For the sake of argument, even if we accept that not every one of the two million residents of Gaza is a sympathizer of the terrorists, tell us; is there any means of identifying the Hamas terrorists? How can Israel or, for that matter, anyone in the world, determine that only such-and-such thousands of Palestinians were responsible for the outrage and Israel must have some such mystical ‘surgical’ technique or weapons that they would kill only those while nobody else would even be scratched?

When I last checked, only Bhagwan Vishnu had the ‘Sudarshan Chakra’ that would kill only the designated offender after seeking him out anywhere in the universe, and nobody else. Israel, unfortunately, does not have the Sudarshan Chakra.  

The Myth of a Bloodless or ‘Surgical’ War

Contrary to what most ignoramuses think, no modern technology or weapon system can lead the world to bloodless or ‘surgical’ wars in which, at worst, only the blood of the combatant soldiers would flow. This betrays a pathetically singular ignorance of the history, causative factors and dynamics of war. There is no running away from collateral damages in a war.

Here you have a situation where heavily armed terrorists are inextricably mixed with the local population, living amidst them in those very buildings or perhaps, in some maze of underground tunnels right under their feet. Please tell us, which tactics of war, and which technology can be employed to fight them in a manner so that those not having rifles in their hands are not touched.

A ground invasion has been delayed essentially because fighting close-quarters battles in those confined spaces and built-up areas would result in heavy casualties. Israel is a small country and they cannot afford heavy casualties. Because of ‘limited mounted manoeuvre space’ in built-up areas, tanks are really not as effective as they are in open spaces. From a military perspective, there is no option other than reducing buildings to rubble first so as to deny the enemy the cover of unarmed citizens, and the problem of fighting in confined spaces. 

Also Read: Can Israel Hamas conflict escalate into World War III?

As you may recall, Israel had given advance notice to residents of the Palestine Tower before blowing it up. They have, in fact, asked the Gaza residents to evacuate the city. The residents are, in any case, neither dissociating themselves from Hamas nor condemning them. Israel is in exactly the same situation in which the USA was after the 9/11 attacks. What options Israel has then?  And please do not forget that for Israel, it is an existential crisis, which it was not for the USA.

I don’t think the bleeding hearts would be so shameless as to advise Israel to nurse its wounds and let bygones be bygones. If not, let them enlighten what Israel must do.

How the Photos of Alan Kurdi and Kim Phuc Had Shaken the West

Most readers might be able to recall the photo of a two-year-old Kurdish boy Alan Kurdi. This 2015 photo showed the dead body of this cute-looking boy washed ashore near Turkey. His parents were Syrian refugees trying to reach Canada’s fabled land. Photos of his dead body taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir quickly went viral on social media.

The photo-generated such a tsunami of compassion for Muslim refugees that it precipitated the European Refugee Crisis. Europe is still suffering the consequences of having been overcome by that media-instigated compassion that overcame their rational faculties. Refugees by the millions have literally invaded most of the European countries barring a few like Poland and now they have a myriad of social, law and order, and security problems from the Islamic radicals, fundamentalists and terrorists amongst them.

Swept by the wave of compassion, nobody had thought that if there were wars or civil wars in Muslim countries, they were their problems and that taking refugees is no solution to that.  

Earlier, there was this famous black-and-white photo of a nine-year-old Vietnamese girl Kim Phuc and several others running naked on a road after being severely burnt on her back by a napalm attack. This photo taken in 1972 by Nick Ut, suddenly made the people in the West recoil in horror from the war (by then already 17 years old), and single-handedly made the USA lose the perception war. The American war machine was squarely accused of unleashing terrible atrocities upon hapless people.

How Hamas Is Winning the Perception War

There are reasons to believe, as the Israelis also maintain, that much of the sob stories coming from Gaza are carefully prepared propaganda in the perception war, designed to project Hamas as the ‘wronged’ side while the accounts of atrocities committed by them are now not even found easily on social media or even on Google.

This is a highly illustrative example of how to manipulate social media and the Internet. If you have been wondering how some of the most worthless people on X (formerly Twitter) have followers running into millions and how some of their most inane, even ridiculous posts garner tens of thousands of ‘likes’, this is a live demonstration. Hamas might be getting pounded militarily; they are clearly winning the perception war!

Hamas has very skilfully exploited a fatal weakness in the character of the people in the West and also in India in no small measure. It is their inherent gullibility and vulnerability to ‘fits of compassion’, triggered by certain visual stimuli.

This vulnerability, in turn, arises from a hidden guilt complex. Most people all over the world are inwardly aware that they are essentially very selfish people who only bother about themselves. When they find any object that seems to demand compassion, they immediately latch on to it. Ironically, their compassion still remains notional only. They are nothing but arm-chair finger-warriors. It costs them nothing to post and repost things on social media and flood it. But, most importantly, it relieves them of the guilt of having been selfish. By writing on social media for a liberal cause, they think they have discharged their moral responsibility of being very humane humans. 

Their Narrative Is More Dangerous Than Their Guns

Critics of Israel are silent over the fact that Muslim countries have not shown any inclination to take their co-religionist refugees from Gaza in the name of Islamic solidarity. Both Egypt and Jordan, which flank Israel on opposite sides and share borders with Gaza and the occupied West Bank respectively, have staunchly refused. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, in fact, said that a mass exodus would risk bringing terrorists into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, from where they might launch attacks on Israel, and thus endanger the two countries’ 46-year-old peace treaty. Egypt is rational; the Left-Liberal-Muslim Right Wing cabal is deceitful.

Hamas is manufacturing and selling a narrative that, if not countered forcefully, would ‘drug’ the world into sympathizing with them. How can the world make itself forget that this is not the first war in history in which there is collateral damage or casualties amongst non-combatants? It has always happened in history and shall continue to happen. Why is this surge of unnatural sympathy for the Islamic terrorists, if not under a hidden agenda to further their cause?

Take it from me, if international pressure is somehow brought to bear upon Israel to declare a unilateral ceasefire, tomorrow the world would again wake up to an even more horrendous episode of slaughter, rape and rapine, worse than that morning of October 7. That day it was Israel; tomorrow it could be us because the dangerous philosophy of Islamic terrorism is the same throughout the world.

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Dr N C Asthana IPS (Retd)
Dr N C Asthana IPS (Retd)
Dr. N. C. Asthana, IPS (Retd) is a former DGP of Kerala and ADG BSF/CRPF. Of the 51 books that he has authored, 20 are on terrorism, counter-terrorism, defense, strategic studies, military science, and internal security, etc. They have been reviewed at very high levels in the world and are regularly cited for authority in the research works at some of the most prestigious professional institutions of the world such as the US Army Command & General Staff College and Frunze Military Academy, Russia. The views expressed are his own.


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