Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Understanding the Full Dimensions of Hamas' October 7, 2023 Mass Casualty Attack in Israel

During Hamas' October 7, 2023 mass casualty attack in Israel, Hamas not only committed rape and torture while killing over 1200 people and taking more than 200 hostages, but in the aftermath of the attack--and attacks launched by Hezbollah against northern Israeli communities--hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been displaced and dozens of children have become orphans. The tragic impact of Hamas' terrorism will be felt for generations. When you see pictures or descriptions of whatever is happening in Gaza, remember why it is happening: Israel is making sure that Hamas will never again have the capability of inflicting such suffering--and another reason that Israel is operating in Gaza is to find and hopefully rescue the 100 or so hostages still being held by Hamas.

A less publicized aspect of Hamas' attack, as Rebecca Sugar pointed out recently, is that Hamas also committed agricultural terrorism:

The human tragedy of Oct. 7 still grips the country and is compounded by another kind of devastation Hamas inflicted on Israel. Danielle Abraham, executive director of Volcani International Partnerships, a nongovernmental organization that addresses global hunger using Israeli technological innovation, calls it "agricultural terrorism."

Terrorists targeted farmland, livestock, plants and infrastructure as they made their way across the western Negev, which produces roughly 70% of the country's vegetables, 20% of its fruit and 6% of its milk. "The attack was designed to intentionally destroy agricultural production, but more than that, it was meant to destroy the identity of the region, to break the community," Ms. Abraham says.

Hamas terrorists damaged greenhouses and barns, many beyond repair. They slashed crop nets and flooded orchards. They burned irrigation pipes and shot at fertigation systems. They destroyed the filtration system for the local reservoir...

Known for producing some of the world's sweetest tomatoes, Israel is now importing them. Lettuce and onion shortages are expected, and up to 20% of strawberry fields were abandoned. Estimates of income losses and infrastructure damage total more than $500 million.

Israel's barbaric enemies have not only demonstrated an inability to build functional societies, but they are determined to destroy the beautiful society that the Jewish people have built in Israel. It is disturbing that so many organizations that claim to be concerned about human rights, global hunger, sustainability, and other issues are either silent about this or are even hostile toward Israel.

Hamas revealed and celebrated the barbarism at the heart of radical Islam, and Hamas' actions against Israel fit the legal definition of genocide, which consists of two elements:

  1. A mental element: the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such"; and
  2. A physical element, which includes the following five acts, enumerated exhaustively:
    • Killing members of the group
    • Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
    • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
    • Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
    • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

The intent is the most difficult element to determine. To constitute genocide, there must be a proven intent on the part of perpetrators to physically destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. Cultural destruction does not suffice, nor does an intention to simply disperse a group. It is this special intent, or dolus specialis, that makes the crime of genocide so unique. In addition, case law has associated intent with the existence of a State or organizational plan or policy, even if the definition of genocide in international law does not include that element.

The facts documented above point to several important conclusions/action items:

1) In order to survive, Israel must destroy Hamas, because Hamas has demonstrated the ability and inclination to inflict mass destruction on Israel.

2) Any ceasefire in Gaza helps Hamas to regroup, and is therefore an existential threat to Israel.

3) In light of the significant support and collaboration that Hamas receives from the civilian population in Gaza, Israel must strongly consider what is the most humanitarian way to relocate most or all of that civilian population elsewhere; most wars involve population transfers to protect the innocent and minimize the likelihood of more warfare, and there is no reason that this war would be an exception. After World War II, population transfers of millions of people took place, and something similar happened in the Indian subcontinent after India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh became independent countries. Humanitarian population transfer is the best way to not only protect Israel but to also remove Gazans from the current war zone so that Israel can destroy Hamas with as few civilian casualties as possible.

In this context, it should also be remembered that--as I previously documented--after the creation of the modern State of Israel the Arab/Islamic countries expelled almost 1,000,000 Jews. Those Jews have never been compensated for their suffering or for their lost property. In essence, the Arab/Islamic countries already did an involuntary population transfer affecting Jews, and the population transfer process can now be completed--in an orderly, humane fashion--regarding Gaza (and this should be seriously considered for the hotbeds of Arab/Islamic terrorism in Judea/Samaria as well).

4) Israel faces a significant human and financial cost to rebuild everything that Hamas destroyed. Therefore, the Arab/Muslim world must foot the bill to pay whatever it costs to help Gaza's civilians now, and to relocate them to new homes out of Gaza at the earliest opportunity. The extensive sponsorship that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States provide for sports--including but not limited to auto racing, chess, and golf--demonstrate that those nations have more than sufficient funds to pay for this. Those states depend on American military muscle to survive, so it should not be difficult for America to persuade those states to do their part: the simple message is "Pay your share to fix a problem created by terrorists who you have funded and sheltered, or we will withdraw all military support and leave you to your own devices vis a vis Iran." By the way, delivery of that same message would provide sufficient incentive for Qatar--which sponsors Hamas and shelters many of Hamas' leaders--to pressure Hamas to unconditionally free all of the hostages that Hamas is holding in Gaza.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All contents Copyright (c) 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 David Friedman. All rights reserved.