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Gaza: Razzia as Political Warfare

March 29, 2024

by: Amir Taheri ~ Gatestone Institute

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The IDF continues to carry out operations in Gaza despite unfair international expectations.

Friday, 29 March 2024 | Although the tragic narrative that started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel isn’t yet completed, do-gooders and virtue-signalers are rushing to write their postscripts.

British and European Union leaders say the time has come to formally accept the creation of a Palestinian state.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and EU foreign policy tsar Josep Borrel even suggest that the Security Council pass a resolution to make that mandatory, adding to the 230 resolutions already passed on the issue.

Meanwhile, Major-General Ismail Qaani, chief of the Quds Force of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, promises to “rebuild Gaza stronger than before as an advance post against world Zionism.”

The Biden administration in Washington is making favorable noises about the two-state “solution” while musing about regime change, albeit in Israel.

The so-called “solution” has been there since 1947 and has led nowhere because those directly involved don’t want it.

The Madrid Conference in 1991 petered out as a sorrowful farce. For over a decade, the two-state solution was on the agenda without anyone telling us where those imaginary states would be located.

British and European pundits are also “concerned” about the length of the Gaza war and urge unspecified action to shorten it.

They forget that fighting armed groups that wish to impose their agenda by—to put it in a politically correct manner as the BBC does—”irregular warfare” cannot be conceived in terms of a short theatrical sketch.

It took the British 11 years to extinguish the fire of “irregular fighters” in Malaya. The fight against Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) in Peru took almost 30 years. In Colombia, the M19 took 20 years to die. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia did better by hanging on for almost 40 years. Uruguay managed to kill the Tupamaros in five years. India partly calmed down the “freedom fighters” of Nagaland after a 40-year war, while it continues to face an even more tenacious adversary in Kashmir. Turkey has been fighting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for more than 30 years. In Burma, Karen “freedom fighters” have been at war with the Rangoon junta for almost half a century.

Claiming to be a “freedom fighter” shouldn’t mean a license to kill at will. Even the “oppressed” have certain duties and must observe some rules while, as history has shown, the tyranny of the underdog could be as deadly as that of the oppressor.

The question today is why, when no time limit is imposed on conventional war until a victor emerges, should war against an insurgent group be subjected to calendar-based shenanigans?

The October 7 attack on Israel was a razzia, an Italian word that has entered most European languages. In fact, the origin of razzia is the Arabic word ghazwa, which means a sudden no-holds-barred attack on a single set of targets in the hope of knocking out an adversary.

The sinking of the cruiser Lusitania during the First World War in May 1915 was a razzia, as was the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Those two razzias pushed the United States into two world wars.

The 9/11 attacks of 2001 on the US were four coordinated razzias.

Each of those razzias led to the destruction of perpetrators, sometimes, as in the case of the August 7 attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the carpet-bombing of Dresden, with far greater fury.

Payback after those razzias didn’t produce sympathy for the perpetrators. People in the so-called democracies didn’t march to stop action against those who had sunk the Lusitania, bombed Pearl Harbor and turned part of London into heaps of rubble. Harvard and Princeton luminaries didn’t protest when the US launched its “war on terror” to avenge 9/11.

No one denies that for over seven decades, Palestinians have suffered a great deal. But is the way to end or at least alleviate their suffering to exempt their self-imposed political organizations from observing a minimum of ethical rules, even if their adversary didn’t always reciprocate?

Treating the Palestinian issue as if it were an exception to all rules has done great harm to Palestinians.

They have become the first people in history to have four generations frozen in the status of refugees. World War II produced over 30 million refugees, all of whom acquired new abodes within a decade. The partition of India produced 14 million refugees, again, seeing all of them resettled in less than a decade. Since 1959, more than 10 million Cubans have been driven out of their homeland and settled in a dozen countries, notably the US.

Does it make any sense to have refugee camps even in Gaza, which was free of Israeli occupation for two decades? Or in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], governed by the Palestinian Authority? Is it humane to turn being a refugee into a profession, with UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] as the franchise-holder?

Do those who encourage Hamas by marching in its support know what percentage of Palestinians it represents and, more importantly, whether those who do support it also approve of the 7 October razzia?

The Biden administration is making a big mistake by implicitly upgrading Hamas to a legitimate partner through regional allies, thus creating the illusion that razzias like the October 7 one could still produce at least a lollipop for perpetrators.

Posted on March 29, 2024

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Gatestone Institute on March 24, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/

Photo License: Wikimedia