Hamas claims that it won a famous victory over Israel in the recent war in Gaza. But what are the fruits of that “victory”?
According to the U.N., as reported in the Washington Post, they are: (1) approximately 108,000 residents of Gaza left homeless, (2) more than 60,000 displaced residents living at schools run by the U.N., and (3) almost half a million residents without access to municipal water.
Even before the war, there was a significant housing shortage in Gaza. With the destruction of an estimated of 18,000 housing units, that shortage has become all the more acute. Rents, accordingly, have doubled, according to the Post.
This, then, is a typical Palestinian victory. As Edward Luttwak shows, “great Palestinian victories” have always been “worse than defeats.”
Will the misery Gaza residents must now endure thanks to Hamas’ victory finally topple this terrorist outfit or, alternatively, cause it to choose a more peaceful path? The answer to the first question is, probably not. Hamas can count on foreign support to make sure it has the force needed to maintain power.
As to the second question, I’ll defer to Luttwak who concludes:
[J]ust as Arafat kept sacrificing the living Palestinians for the sake of his own idea of Palestine as he jetted around the world, Hamas leaders will ruthlessly sacrifice the people of Gaza for Islam, not without rewards for themselves (Gulf money is pouring in) to assuage the pain.
Thus, Gazans can look forward to more victories, and the steady dose of death, destruction, and misery that accompanies them.