Supporters of Palestine make a concerted effort to paint Gaza’s Arabs as eternal victims. To hear some, the blockade by Israel (and Egypt) has turned Gaza into “an open-air prison” whose populace is held captive by a dictatorial Hamas.
Outlets such as the New Yorker feature stories headlined “Don’t Blame Gazans for Hamas,” explaining to us the evils of collective blame, followed by the ever-climbing civilian death numbers courtesy of the Hamas health ministry. It says “blame the Arabs” is a “useful catchall for Israel and its staunchest defenders.”
Even Israel says its conflict isn’t with the people of Gaza but rather with Hamas. While that sounds noble and may help with public relations, Hamas is by no means the cause of Gaza’s militancy. The people of Gaza aren’t unwitting victims of a militant regime, but are largely supportive of a military fight against Israel, whatever the cost.
The fact is, Hamas rules Gaza as a popular dictatorship. A prewar poll showed that 57% of Gazans hold a positive opinion of Hamas. And popular alternatives to Hamas aren’t moderate choices, but even more violent groups such as the Islamic Jihad, with 70% support, and Lion’s Den, with 74%.
As a reference, the current RealClearPolitics average approval rating for Joe Biden currently sits at 40.8%.
When asked about ways to build an independent state, 21% of Gazans said they preferred “negotiations,” 22% chose “peaceful popular resistance,” and 52% opted for “armed conflict.” A 58% majority supported a “return to the armed intifada and confrontations.”
Hamas has responded accordingly, for years spending resources on lobbing rockets into Israel and preparing for the massive October 7 attack. The Gazan reaction to that horrific attack was widespread celebration: dancing in the streets, serving candy, and cheering at a public display of the naked, twisted body of a young woman murdered at a dance party.
Does anyone seriously believe that killing every member of Hamas will change hearts and minds?
Gaza’s citizens dig up sewer pipes and convert them to rockets. They call their parents after slaughtering unarmed civilians, proudly saying, “Your son killed Jews! Dad, I’m talking to you from a Jewish woman’s phone. I killed her and I killed her husband.”
Gazans prioritized war over governance and have proven themselves awful at things like education, health care, and infrastructure.
Unfortunately for them, they’ve proven themselves incompetent at warfare as well. That may sound odd on the heels of their terrorists slaughtering some 1,400 Israelis, but committing organized murder against civilians isn’t the same as warfare. Al Qaeda murdered 3,000 Americans using 19 men armed with box cutters yet were never a military force that could win a battle, let alone defeat a country or defend its own population. Neither can Gaza.
The war is coming into their neighborhoods, and while they will undoubtedly kill more Israelis, they will lose to a country that is vastly superior on the battlefield and off.
Gaza’s “strategy” is to continue attacking, hoping Israel’s response will kill enough civilians to unite the Arab world against Israel. If that seems likely to fail, that’s because it is. Their endgame is a long shot, soaked in their own people’s blood.
A society that lusts for war but lacks the ability to win has a bleak future. If Gaza doesn’t reorient its priorities, it’s destined to disappear. Just ask any Spartan or any other culture that no longer exists.
We’re witnessing, in real time, another clash of civilizations that has shaped humanity since before we could speak. It’s Darwinism on the global stage.
Until Gazans choose nation-building over enemy-destroying, they’re steering toward their own demise. Tragically, they seem almost eager to get there.