What Were the Palestinians Thinking?

(Times of Israel) Haviv Rettig Gur - The October 7 massacre seemed to many Palestinians as a rational step on the road to liberation rather than, as Israelis judge it, yet another in a long string of self-inflicted disasters for the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian strategy of terrorizing Israeli civilians, going back to 1920, follows the basic theory that the Jews are an artificial, rootless polity removable by sustained violence, so sustained violence must be deployed to remove them. This Palestinian vision of Israelis is taught to Palestinian children as the basic truth of the Palestinian struggle. For Israelis, if the response of Palestinians to the Oslo peace process in the 1990s was the mass murder of Israeli civilians beginning in 2000 with a wave of 140 suicide bombings in Israeli cities and towns - killing grandmothers and infants in buses and pizzerias - and the response of Palestinians to the current stagnation of the peace process is the mass murder of Israeli civilians, then Israeli policy isn't the cause of Palestinian mass murder of Israeli civilians. On October 7, for a moment, Israel's guard went down. Hamas was free to live out its intentions. It did so with blazing clarity and purpose. Israelis are now convinced that the massacre, in its enormity and astonishing cruelty, and especially in the joy with which it was carried out, wasn't a Palestinian miscalculation. The goal, as in 2000, was simply the complete removal of the Jews from this land. With clarity comes closure. Israelis are unified as never before. No peace and no withdrawal will satisfy this impulse or grant Israeli Jews safety from this kind of wild, joyful hatred. And that brutality has now made itself too dangerous to be tolerated. In the Israeli mind, any brutality Hamas can commit it will commit. And so it cannot be allowed to ever commit any act ever again.

2023-10-16 00:00:00

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