Imagine, if you will, that Plaid Cymru decided to adopt an extremist militant policy. Mindful that the whole of the island of Britain had once been their land, they decided to declare war on the United Kingdom. Not having access to any heavy weaponry, they resorted to such small arms, mortars and missiles as they could smuggle in or manufacture, and a campaign of suicide bombing, in an effort to demoralise and terrorise the British into dismantling the United Kingdom and re-instating the rule of the Romano-British Welsh over the whole island.
Now imagine another scenario. After the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the 5th to 7th centuries, a remnant of the Romano-British Welsh are driven to the Welsh and Cornish fastnesses, but the majority spread across the world, particularly to Patagonia and Pennsylvania, where they flourish and make enormous contributions to the nations in which they settle, most of all by bringing the incalculable blessing of Welsh (or ‘Bourbon’) whiskey to the USA. However, in the late 19th century, an international Plaid Cymru movement springs up with the aim of returning the worldwide Welsh to a re-established State of Britannia Superior. Since they have by now become Americans, they have the will-power and the weaponry – and they overthrow the rudderless and divided United Kingdom.
The first paragraph is how Israel sees Hamas. The second is how Arabs see Israel.
Hamas can’t lose, because Hamas can’t win.
Furthermore, Israel can’t win – because Israel can’t lose.
Let me explain.
Hamas’s objective is clearly set out in their Charter, and nothing they’ve said or done contradicts it. Their goal is the overthrow of the State of Israel (or ‘Zionist Entity’, as they call it) and its replacement with a unitary State of Palestine, governed according to Sharia law, in which non-Muslims are dhimmis – second-class citizens, with the same level of rights as non-whites in South Africa or Mississippi in the 1960s.
Obviously Israel will never acquiesce to this, so Hamas will continue its ‘resistance’ in perpetuity. It is this interminable state of conflict which is Hamas’s true and achievable goal. If in this conflict children and other vulnerable Palestinian Arabs are killed, so much the better: each death makes Hamas look like the underdogs and Israel like murderers, thus encouraging the rest of the world to side with Hamas against Israel.
For the same reason, Israel can never give in to any of Hamas’s demands, since they are all about giving Hamas access to better weaponry, sited where it can attack Israel’s heartland with impunity. Israel can only survive by maintaining overwhelming military superiority: with equality of arms, Hamas (and indeed Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Uncle Tom Tanzim and all) would inflict on Israel the same level of massacre that the Little Giraffe is visiting on his own subjects in Syria. But this is a story that the outside world just doesn’t want to hear: for them, Israel is fatally condemned by its willingness and ability to defend its own citizens of all races and creeds.