Israel’s Self-Defeating Assault on Gaza

Israel is completely out of control — and American taxpayers all have blood on their hands thanks to the Biden Administration’s abject surrender to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s campaign of terror.

Joe Biden is an accomplice to war crimes, and just like Netanyahu and the leaders of Hamas he must one day be held to account at the Hague. Anyone who supports Joe Biden from this point on is condoning the foul murder of Palestinian children, full stop.

The only decent American leaders left are the members of the Squad who have been brave enough to speak out. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ro Khanna, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you are awesome. Thank you. This sorry country doesn’t deserve you.

Most people lack any meaningful education in military affairs, which is a big part of why they don’t realize just how badly they’re being lied to about what is happening in Israel and Palestine. For what little it’s worth, having spent a lifetime studying war and conflict, I’ll offer a basic rundown.

Gaza is a dense city with a couple million people who have more or less been colonized by Hamas. The organization secures its rule by providing basic services like medicine and policing that Palestinians can’t get anywhere else thanks to a US-backed blockade Israel says is necessary because Gaza is ruled by Hamas.

Because people rarely turn against their protectors when under attack by outside forces, the siege Gaza is under is what ultimately sustains Hamas’ rule. But Netanyahu’s government — he still leads Israel despite having failed to win four consecutive elections in under two years — refuses to lift the siege until Hamas is defeated or overthrown.

But Hamas is deeply entrenched — literally. They’ve tunneled under innumerable buildings in Gaza, in large part because there’s no other place for them to go. The Gaza strip is an urban warren — if you want to build anything and keep it secure, you put it underground.

Israel has tried to occupy Gaza to pacify it before, and it always ends poorly. Even though its forces kill Hamas fighters at a rate of 10 or 100 to one, if only 1% of people out of a population of about 2 million is willing to fight an incursion, that’s 20,000 fighters — implying Israel would have to absorb up to 2,000 deaths. It would invariably kill thousands of civilians, and be stuck governing the wreckage after — an occupation that would spawn another resistance, probably of a more virulent form.

Because a basic rule of human beings is that we always reject someone from outside our world coming in to tell us what to do. When is someone is pushed, they tend to push back.

So Israel keeps Gaza at arms length, attacking Hamas whenever it feels threatened. This keeps the organization weakened — but also lets it claim with substantial justification that Hamas is resisting an oppressive power. Outside powers sympathetic to Palestine’s plight or hostile to Israel invest in Hamas, which has allowed it to build up an arsenal of the one variety of weapon capable of evading the Israeli military’s tight siege of the Gaza strip: rockets.

In the past, when fighting in the Gaza strip would intensify, Hamas would launch a few rockets at Israel to show it had power. Gaza is small, but Israel isn’t that big itself, and rockets are a ridiculously simple technology to master if you aren’t too concerned about accuracy. To counter this threat, Israel developed Iron Dome, which is able to shoot down about 90% of incoming attacks… so long as too many Hamas rockets don’t come in at once.

Naturally, Hamas has spent the past decade learning how to launch a whole bunch of rockets at once. Iron Dome batteries (Israel has only 10–12) contain 60–80 anti-rocket rockets ready to fire. Sometimes a system will shoot two interceptors at the same target and it takes time to physically reload the launchers.

By shooting a hundred rockets at once, even if they aren’t aimed at a particular target, Hamas can saturate Iron Dome and ensure that a few get through. Most of their rockets are crude so something like 20% fall short of their targets, but on the flip side they are small enough to be carried by two fighters.

This means that a pair of fighters can emerge from a building or tunnel then set up and fire a rocket towards Israel in mere minutes. With tunnels and caches distributed across Gaza to make it hard for Israel to find and destroy them all, this means that a single barrage event involves several hundred distinct locations being used in the space of about fifteen to thirty minutes.

Hamas has proven able to maintain a high launch rate for over a week despite all the attacks Israel has launched. This, along with ten deaths and life repeatedly brought to a standstill across the entire country marks an embarrassing defeat for Israel. The need to prove its ability to stop the barrage has prompted the IDF’s attacks to intensify, killing more and more civilians caught in the crossfire.

Israel’s destruction of whole tower blocks and annihilation of neighborhoods constitutes war crimes not because they are indiscriminate — Israel does make substantial efforts to scare people away from targets to minimize casualties, but wildly disproportionate and utterly ineffective at reducing the threat of rocket attacks. Something most analysts fail to point out is that Gaza is under constant drone surveillance.

Israel’s military has a real-time view of everything that is happening on the ground thanks to the fact Israel is a leading manufacturer of drones. Hamas has virtually no air defenses, while the Israeli Air Force — one of the best trained in the world — is capable of maintaining a constant presence in the skies over Gaza. The Israeli army also has powerful artillery pieces that can deploy in a ring around Gaza and strike any target it chooses with incredible precision — and drones are often armed too, these days.

Basically, Israel has the capability to not only knock down most of the incoming Hamas rockets, but also to watch the pre-launch setup and quickly attack it with a small missile — the kind it uses to warn residents of a tower block of an impending attack by a bigger bomb. Simply put: Israel doesn’t need to take down towers.

Israel is doing this with Joe Biden’s tacit support because Netanyahu and the IDF have chosen to inflict collective punishment on Gazans designed to make the people of the Gaza Strip pay a price for not rebelling against Hamas. They are deliberately attacking civilian infrastructure to send a message.

Those Joint Direct Attack Munitions Biden is selling to Netanyahu? They will be used to destroy Gaza’s hospitals, roads, and municipal buildings, all because Israel has failed to beat Hamas on the battlefield and instead hopes to terrorize Gazan civilians. Weapons sales to Israel under these conditions constitutes a war crime in and of itself.

Collective punishment is always a violation of the laws of war. Israel’s flimsy claim that it is targeting Hamas tunnels built under civilian structures does not — this I had drilled into me as a soldier many times — excuse it from considering the civilian impacts. Especially not when Israel has the capability of using smaller, less destructive weapons to combat the immediate, provable threat Hamas poses: its rockets.

Israel is trying to cover up for its negligent failure to deploy the right mix of forces required to take advantage of their information supremacy with a campaign of terror no less wicked than Hamas’ own. And when you add that to the likely reality that Netanyahu deliberately escalated the Israel-Palestine to avoid being thrown out of power and promptly put on trial for corruption, Joe Biden’s failure to speak out more strongly sooner places him in the exact same category.

Truth be told, every living American President should be held accountable at the Hague for what this country has done to innocent people during their time in office. And Americans’ collective failure to hold them responsible will be another stain on this doomed experiment’s blood-stained legacy.

I for one will offer no support to Biden or his Administration ever again — even if that means opening the door to Trump returning to power. At some point, I believe you have to draw a moral line and stick to it or you are no different than the fascists you claim to oppose.

The Biden Administration is a disgrace. May fate force him to resign and hand over the power of his office to Kamala Harris sooner rather than later.

And as for Israel, it just as much the United States is slipping across a precipice.

Conditions are ripe for a Third Intifada, an uprising by Palestinians everywhere against the many injustices of Israel’s rule. The Two-State Solution is dead — and with it goes Israel’s hopes of surviving over the long run.

Despite Israel’s right wingers — sadly the majority of Israelis now — insistence that Israel must be a Jewish-majority nation, the country’s economy relies on the 20% of its population that identifies as Arab Israelis — more and more they see themselves as Palestinians. Just like Black Americans in the United States, Israel’s Arabs are subjected to constant discrimination and police surveillance.

This, no doubt, is why communal violence has broken out within Israel — in many ways the Gaza conflict is a distraction from the bigger picture. Abandoned by Arab governments, Palestinians are beginning to unite with one another and other oppressed communities across the globe.

The cry for liberation is growing louder, everywhere. And unjust military actions are now being seen around the world in their full brutality — social media has broken the stranglehold traditional media held over global narratives.

The world is beginning to divide into two camps: those who believe in freedom, justice, and democracy, and those who are happy to stoke the fires of racial nationalism. The center is fading fast, and old hacks like Joe Biden are a relic of a dying age.

Sadly, they are clinging to power just long enough to prevent reform before it is too late to matter. The world faces a dark, brutal decade or more as a result.

But after, the movement towards global justice will, I hope, become impossible to stop. And old fools like Biden and Trump will fade from relevance forever.

Author of Bringing Ragnarok and Bivrost Nine, Rogue Analyst, Cat Devotee. Autistic, True Neutral, Pro-Science, Anti-Authoritarian, Rural Pacific American.