Who is Responsible for the Latest Round of Violence in Israel and Gaza?
by Matthew RJ Brodsky
The Heat / CGTN
May 14, 2021
The Israeli military continued its offensive in Gaza in response to thousands of rockets fired into Israel by Hamas terrorists. There were also confrontations between Israeli troops and Palestinians spreading across parts of the West Bank.
Senior Fellow with the Gold Institute for International Strategy Matthew RJ Brodsky debates with the Qatar-funded Palestinian-American executive director of The Arab Center, Washington, DC Khalil Jahshan. Contributing Editor at Congressional Quarterly and SpyTalk Jonathan Broder also joins for the debate on The Heat.
Khalil Jahshan maintains that Qatar-funded Hamas bears no responsibility at all for the current conflict and isn't challenged on that noxious contention. Nor does the anchor, Anand Naidoo, question the fact that Khalil is sporting a "from the river to sea" clock of all of "Palestine" on his wall. Host Anand Naidoo was the only one with a live video feed of all participants.
Brodsky contends that Palestinian internal politics led to this round of violence they are now being used by Iran. In his view, terrorist groups don't get to start wars and then decide when they're over. The whole world denies Palestinians any responsibility or agency unless they call for a ceasefire after starting a war. Then suddenly they have agency. Then we all must listen.
Hamas is treating Palestinian civilians like they're dirt, while their exiled leadership lives comfortably in Qatar and is using Hamas leaders in Gaza. Meanwhile, Iran is using Gaza Palestinians as the lowest form of cannon fodder and gathering intelligence on Israel's Iron Dome performance. Iran and Israel are preparing for an inevitable full-scale war, likely when Israel's hand is forced to prevent Tehran from crossing a certain nuclear threshold. All of this is more likely because of Team Biden's race to revive the structurally flawed JCPOA—a move that defies all logic and endangers Israel and America's regional allies.
The strategic calculation from Israel's perspective now is likely to pound Hamas leaders into dust wherever they are. That will create some level of deterrence, however, Brodsky believes this cannot be another round fought merely to create deterrence for a couple of years. The one year of quiet rumored to be on the table from Hamas is simply laughable. Israel's goal, Brodsky contends, must be to not only deter but significantly degrade Hamas military capabilities.
Hamas started this war. Israel will decide when it is over and that should be when it has downgraded Hamas's capabilities enough that by the time Iran starts a war through Lebanon and Syria, Gaza will be too diminished to create an effective third front. Anything less will not be viewed as a success.