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May 28, 2021 11:05 am
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The International Community is Encouraging Hamas to Attack Israel Again — and Again

avatar by Alan Dershowitz

Opinion

Rockets are launched by Palestinian terrorists into Israel, in Gaza May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

This headline says it all: “Iran thinks Hamas ‘victory’ will lead to new attack on Israel.” The Jerusalem Post was citing predictions by the Iranian leadership that based on the world’s reaction to the recent rocket attacks by Iran, they will be incentivized to repeat them, as they have repeatedly done in the past. Because of its source, this may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, since Hamas is Iran’s surrogate.

Despite Hamas being a terrorist organization that fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilian targets from behind its human shields, much of the world has stood behind Hamas or at best declared moral equivalence between a democracy trying to defend its citizens and terrorists committing double war crimes. This has been the consistent reaction when Hamas attacks Israel.

Hamas has developed a brilliant — though illegal and immoral — strategy by which every few years they find an excuse to attack Israel, Israel responds, the cease fire is declared, and the world gives Hamas a victory in the court of public opinion and sometimes in a court of law. Israel responds and destroys Hamas rockets and command centers, killing terrorists and some civilians, who were being used as human shields. Hamas invites the media to film the dead civilians, and the world reacts with outrage. Hamas then demands a cease fire and one is declared. Hamas claims victory in the court of public opinion and seeks vindication from the international court of criminal justice and other international organizations.

As Iran has correctly predicted, this tactic will persist as long as Hamas benefits from attacking Israel. Israel — the nation state of the Jewish people — is the only country in the world that is condemned for defending itself against war crimes targeting its civilians. Ireland, is considering expelling Israel’s ambassador as the result of its actions. France has warned Israel that it is on the verge of becoming an apartheid state. The United nations is poised to condemn it. The international criminal court is investigating it. Some Democrats in the US Congress are calling for a cessation in aid. Demonstrations all over the world and particularly on university campuses, call for the end of Israel. Even some Jews are demanding that Israel no longer be the nation state of the Jewish people and that Jews must become a minority in a state consisting mostly of Palestinians. All this benefits Hamas.

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Only the Biden administration and a majority of Congress along with a few American allies have condemned Hamas and defended Israel’s right to protect its citizens against Hamas’ double war crimes. But that is not enough, especially in light of the increasing opposition to Israel among young leftists.

The role of the international community, and its institutions, is to discourage just the kinds of attacks Hamas routinely engages in. Yet its recent statements and actions clearly incentivize Hamas to repeat its attacks with the assurance that it will win on the court of public opinion even if it loses on the battlefield.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” What the international community is now doing clearly fits that definition. By that definition, if it persists in blaming only Israel or in creating the moral equivalence between morally very different actions, it will become complicit in Hamas’ crimes. It will become responsible for the inevitable civilian deaths that occur when Hamas uses its own human shields to fire rockets at Israeli civilians. The goal of Hamas is to increase civilian casualties. The goal of Israel is to reduce them. Israel makes enormous efforts to warn civilians who are in and around Hamas rockets, but inevitably there will be civilian casualties. The world is outraged when Israel kills Hamas civilians in an effort to protect its civilians. But it said and did little when 4,000 Palestinians — including thousands of children — were killed by Syria during its civil war and when many more thousands were killed by Jordan during Black September. Only when Jews kill Palestinians, even in self-defense, does the international community and media rise up in selective moral indignation. This has to stop.

There are only two ways for Hamas’ repeated strategy to be deterred: either the international community must do the right thing, and condemn Hamas in proportion to its moral responsibility; or Israel must be allowed to continue its self-defense actions until the Hamas military is completely degraded. But the world does neither, it condemns Israel, and it prevents Israel from deterring Hamas’ repetition of its war crimes.

There is no other area in which the international community acts in such a self-defeating, cynical and, I must add, antisemitic manner. Yes, antisemitic. There is no other explanation for why Israel is singled out for this special treatment. There are many, many more unjustified civilian deaths in other parts of the world in which battles are taking place. Yet the world’s obsession is on Israel, precisely because it is the nation state of the Jewish people. In the face of growing antisemitism throughout the world, the time has come for the international community to apply a single standard to Israel and to stop encouraging Iran and its proxy Hamas to persist in its efforts to end the existence of what it calls the “the little Satan.”

Follow Alan Dershowitz on Twitter: @AlanDersh. Follow Alan Dershowtiz on Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz. Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of “Guilt by Accusation” and “The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump.”

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