Which Israel Will Emerge After the Hamas Attack?

On August 12th I published an article in TIME, “The Good Israel Will Prevail.” I wrote: “True, many of the pilots, the hard core of the Israeli Air Force, intelligence analysts, cyber experts, members of Israel Defense Force’s elite units, warn that they would not serve a dictatorial regime of Netanyahu and his extremist coalition partners, and some are acting on their warnings. But if Israel is attacked, they will all rush to their units ready to serve in devotion and excellence.”

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On the morning of October 7, Israel was taken by a surprise attack. What I predicted about the officers who joined and, in some cases, led the pro-democracy protests happened. The most notable examples were that three retired major generals—Yair Golan, Noam Tibon and Israel Ziv, armed and in battle uniform, separately drove on their own to the besieged villages on the Gaza border that morning, bravely fought the Hamas terrorists and rescued captured civilians. All the three are prominent participants of the civil anti-government protest. Thus, as I wrote, the “good Israel will prevail.”

This attack by Hamas on Israel was almost certainly directed by Iran. For years, Iran has been arming, equipping, financing, and supporting Hamas, as well as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Both terror organizations are Iran’s proxies. The Iranian regime has recently grown over self-confidant. Its alliance with Russia, its China-mediated rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, the gradual withdrawal of U.S. from the Middle East, it total misinterpretation of the pro-democracy mass demonstrations in Israel, combined to give the Ayatollahs a feeling of strength. They became more daring, all over the region.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accountable and to be blamed for the unfolding disaster—and not only because the intelligence failure and the swift success of Hamas happened on his shift.

Throughout all his 13 years in power Netanyahu enabled and encouraged the build-up of Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. The idea behind it was to weaken the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah by strengthening its rival the Hamas in Gaza. Qatar was allowed to funnel many millions of dollars to the Hamas government, while more and more financial punitive measures were taken against Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. No serious military measures were taken to destroy Hamas militarily. Since August 2014 not a single Hamas senior commander has been killed by Israel. Since last Saturday we Israelis are paying the price for the policy of the Netanyahu-led governments that have done everything to avoid seeking a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.

So what needs to be done now is the total destruction of Hamas’ military force. As a political movement Hamas can’t be erased. But it must be deprived of any military capacity and any chance of its revival must be totally prevented. This should serve as a lesson to the Iranian regime. It operates Hamas-like proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Tehran should be deterred from using them. The Palestinian people will thereby learn a lesson that the way of Hamas brings misery and destruction, not freedom and redemption. The plan of Hamas to take over the Palestinian society in all territories must be thwarted.

If the Israeli military action is decisive enough, then the road to an economic-political reconstruction plan for Gaza will be open. Cooperation between Egypt, Gulf states, the Palestinian Authority and Israel is essential for the feasibility of such a plan. The 2.2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip deserve lives of peace and dignity. Hamas rule since June 2007 has brought them terrible misery and poverty.

The current government of Israel is not a partner for any constructive plan in the region. It is overwhelmed by ultra-nationalistic and messianic ideas, lack of experience, and inferior intellectual capacity.

As I said previously “the good Israel will prevail” and the Israeli people will have a government they deserve.