The largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust has unfolded. If avoiding the repetition of historical calamities is to mean anything, the latest attack on Israel by the Iran-backed Hamas regime that controls Gaza as a de facto state must be comprehensively challenged. No shortcuts or limited engagement options are advisable. This will require a steadfast resolve by the Israeli government and people to supersede the political heckling and moral chastising (from many immoral entities) they will receive for the warranted response they must give.
The decision to invade Israel was executed, not merely, by a band of rogue Islamic terrorists. Yes, the invaders were agents of terror with adhesion to Islam, but they are also the Palestinian autonomous governing body in Gaza. Questions of the Hamas regime’s legitimacy and whether they have the genuine support of Palestinian Gazans are moot points. The road to potential Palestinian statehood, a tacit objective of the Oslo Accords (1993–1995) in the quest for a two-state solution, was a grand opportunity to demonstrate the ability to practice civil behavior. The Palestinian political leadership was presented with democratic mechanisms for localized self-rule. This was to be an important opportunity to test their ability to live in democracy and peaceful coexistence with neighboring Israel.
In 2007, a five-day civil war called the Battle of Gaza was waged between the two principal Palestinian political forces. On one side was Fatah, a moderate social democratic party (formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, a faction of the PLO), and on the other was Hamas. The Oslo Accords established two Palestinian autonomous zones: Gaza and the West Bank. After the power struggle, Hamas monopolized control in Gaza, and Fatah abandoned the governing coalition in the strip and left for the West Bank, where they would have jurisdiction over cities such as Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jericho (among others). The former does not recognize the state of Israel. The latter does. Additionally, not only does Hamas, and consequently, the Gaza quasi-state, not acknowledge Israeli legitimacy, but they are categorically committed to its destruction. In other words, the Hamas regime has been involved in a war against Israel since 2006.
There is widespread rudimentary and defective analysis within Palestinian apologism. The Left has helped propagate disinformation. This is evident and was part of the postcolonial Marxist strategies that continue to this day, as witnessed in major urban centers, universities, media outlets, and cultural enclaves in the West. The extraordinary barbarism that Hamas inflicted (and is inflicting) mirrors the conduct of their forebearers. This is not a factor of coincidence but of causality and design.
Hamas is following the practical script established by Muhammad. The Battle of Badr (AD 624) set the stage for the systematic practice of terror and severe brutality as a military stratagem. “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Quran 8:12). This historical context of that passage from Islam’s holiest book relates to the cited battle. Another pristine example of this embedded policy of sheer viciousness as a weapon of war and subjugation was the wholesale butchering of 600 to 900 Qurayza Jews, a Jewish tribe that lived in northern Arabia, after the Battle of the Trench (AD 627) on Muhammad’s return to Medina.
Defenders of the “free Palestine” notion frequently refer to history to base their claim. However, their historical search is selective and skewed. Whose land is it? Well, how far back do you want to go? Muhammad’s consolidation of power in the Arabian Peninsula led to one of the biggest land grabs in history by his followers. Christendom was invaded in AD 635 (3 years after Muhammad’s death) by Mohammedans (or Muslims). Within 2 years, modern-day Syria (Damascus), Turkey (Antioch), and Palestine (Jerusalem) were under the invader's control. By the end of the 11th century, two-thirds of the Christian world was under Muslim domination. This was achieved by the sword, not by consent or religious conversion. Romanticized views of “peaceful coexistence” between Christians, Jews, and Muslims under Islam’s domination are artfully constricted. Military occupation, repressive powers, and terror tend to promote and enforce “peaceful” behavior among the subjugated.
Given the undeniable historically imperialistic nature of Muslimism, pro-Palestinian statehood, anti-Israel believers and propagandists tend to prefer to look at more recent history to make their case. This is typically about the time when the discussion of the establishment of a Jewish homeland was first put forth in modernity. That would be around World War I (WWI), when the European powers carved out the map of today’s Middle East. This led the “free Palestine” movement to an intellectual dead end.
The Entente Powers (or Allies), consisting of the United Kingdom, France, Czarist Russia, the United States, Italy, and Japan, faced the Central Powers, which were composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. The Allies felt that to win WWI, especially before the United States entered the conflict, nationalism would be an important tool. The United Kingdom strongly advocated debilitating the Ottoman Empire (also known as the Turkish Empire), which was composed of many Muslim peoples, mainly Arabs.
Growing antisemitism and the pogroms in Europe (particularly Russia) fostered the growth of the Zionist movement headed by Theodor Herzl in the 1880s. Consecrated with the idea of establishing the state of Israel, there was a sentiment among the Allies that the United States would welcome the development of a Jewish state and nurture the proposition. The Balfour Declaration, presented by Great Britain in 1917, proposed the idea of establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine while upholding the civil and religious rights of Palestinian Arabs. The birth of Pan-Arabism was also the product of promoting nationalism to instill rebellion in the Arab lands under Turkish rule.
This historical chapter tends to be a favorite of the anti-Israel lobby. They point to the artificiality of the Jewish state. The Turkish Empire controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. They were the premier Muslim entity for over six centuries. The breakup of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the edification of Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.
The modern Arab map of states was chiseled out of Turkey. Palestine was included in that slicing. It is important to note that Palestine under Turkish rule was not even a distinct administrative entity, but rather it was under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman province of Syria, Beirut, and, at one point, Constantinople directly. The first quasi-political Palestinian nationalist organizations appeared during the last months of WWI, with the “Arab Muslim-Christian Association” forming in November 1918. Palestinian nationalism is a fairly modern phenomenon. Why is no one protesting for the rights of the Turks to recuperate their territories? Why is it fair for eight Arab countries to surge out of the spoils of war, but not Jews? Would Saudi Arabia and the other post-WWI Arab states give back their lands to Turkey if Israel did so?
The rise of Nazism and the intensive campaigns of Jewish nationalist leaders accelerated the promised founding of the Israeli state on May 14, 1948, under UN auspices. From that moment forward and almost immediately, the Arab neighbors made war on Israel. Almost a year earlier, on September 16, 1947, the Arab Liberation Army was formed and consisted of Palestinians and volunteers from the Arab states. The war between the Arabs and the Jews in Palestine broke out in November 1947, even before the Israeli state was established. The day after Israeli independence was declared, Arab states invaded and waged war on the newly formed Jewish homeland for almost 10 months.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and one of its components, Fatah (today's reformed governing body in the West Bank), founded in the 1950s, carried out about 122 guerrilla raids between 1965 and 1967. Most had minor consequences. The two big belligerent strikes carried out inside Israeli territory following the 1948 war were the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. These were both brief but bloody and costly military engagements, where Israel faced her Arab neighbors and, despite the enormous odds against her, surged victorious over the Arab coalition.
Because of the failure of Arab intentions to forcibly dismantle the state of Israel, Palestinian nationalist movements took their war of “liberation” to the global sphere, targeting mainly civilians, Israeli and non-Israeli, and private or non-political structures. The idea was to produce terror, expand its sought-after victimization status, and pressure Western governments. Another important thing also happened. The Palestinian nationalists were the conduit that formally married Islamism with Marxism.
Many Arab nationalists categorized themselves as socialists or, minimally, were open to socialist proposals. However, it was the Palestinians who formalized and deepened the ties between hardcore Marxist-Leninist regimes and movements and radical Islamic groups. The Palestinians became the banner carriers for Postcolonial Critical Theory, a Marxist postulation extended from the Frankfurt School’s toxic Critical Theory series. Thinkers such as Franz Fanon and Edward Said laid the intellectual groundwork on which cultural adaptations of Marxism would employ the Palestinian cause as an example of postcolonial grievances.
The tight relationship between communist Cuba and the PLO, nurtured during the 1960s and 1970s, was strategic. The Castro-Communist regime utilized air traffic and the hijacking of airplanes for political and ideological purposes. Palestinian radicals became masters of the evil practices of aerial kidnappings and sabotage. Between 1968 and 1977, 29 aircraft had either been hijacked or attempted and foiled. Marxist black liberation, liberation theology, and other identity-based revolutionary fronts had forged intricate bonds with the Palestinian movement, long ago wholly dominated by far-left leaders. It should surprise no one that American domestic extremist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa are, literally, mouthpieces for Islamism and particularly, its Palestinian auxiliary.
The attack on Israel that was launched by Hamas on October 7 is not a localized event. Terror was used, but terror is not a person or an army. It is a methodology. The aggressor is Islamism, which enjoys the complicity of the far-left. Hamas was the instrumental agent. However, they embody an integrated network that is drawn from two dreadful sources. Islam is not a religion of peace. If anyone is in doubt, read the Quran. Theologically speaking, it is even questionable if it is genuinely a theocratic-based religion or if it was a concocted doctrine structured to culturally promote hegemony for Arabic conquerors in the 7th century. Judaism and Christianity will always be on Islam’s destruction list until Muslims comprehensively deconstruct the calls for brutal war found in its seminal scriptures. The Marxist adage that Islamism adopted has only made Palestinian praxis more deadly.
Israel was attacked because it is an important part of Western civilization's three-legged stool, which is Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. The end of the West and free societies, with their adherence to Judeo-Christian values, are the absolute objectives of Islamic fundamentalism. Israel must not just defeat Hamas; it must cease granting land to its sworn enemies. Democracy’s enemies within the free world will scream and yell. That is to be expected. The Left has worked to achieve this. These are the moments to remember and apply the spirit and determination of the prophet Elijah.
© The CubanAmerican Voice. All rights reserved.
🖋️Author Julio M. Shiling
🖋️Author Julio M. Shiling
Julio M. Shiling is a political scientist, writer, columnist, lecturer, media commentator, and director of Patria de Martí and The CubanAmerican Voice. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida. He is a member of The American Political Science Association and The PEN Club (Cuban Writers in Exile Chapter).