By Mordechai Ben-Menachem
Israel has found tunnels with bomb-rigged shafts, located directly under Israeli kindergartens. The intended results are clear. Detonation would mean collapse of the buildings and wholesale murder of the little children within them. Sedatives, hypodermics and piles of handcuffs found in tunnel after tunnel clearly indicate Hamas’ intent to abduct Israeli civilians. And the world yawns at another war crime.
Tunnels must be found and destroyed not ‘just’ because they constitute a physical danger to Israel and thousands of Israelis. They must be located and destroyed, and Hamas’s capacity to rebuild them eliminated because the very idea, the capability they represent, makes normal life impossible and is a threat to the entire world.
Hamas’ political and military commanders hide in them. These aren’t the trivial hidey-hole that Saddam Hussein hid in. These are reinforced concrete bunkers and interconnected tunnel complexes that enable Hamas senior leadership to move with freedom and continue planning and ordering attacks.
Hamas’ tunnels’ sophistication surprise no one. The planners and perpetrators of the entire tunnel enterprise are part of the United Nations – UNWRA. This is not an embarrassment (and who ever heard of the UN embarrassed by anything). This is an international catastrophe of monumental importance. Know this: Every Purchase Order for concrete and reinforcing steel has an UNWRA stamp.
Hamas’ rapid tunnel and missile technologies advances must be deeply worrisome to any and every American – and that is aside from the US Taxpayer having funded it. Let there be no misunderstanding here. This know-how has already spread to Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and ISIS; to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Lebanon and to the US-Mexico border areas. At a minimum, if it is allowed to end this fight as a coherent, well-armed terrorist army, Hamas will rapidly rebuild and expand its capabilities – with the concomitant export of know-how to Mexico and South America.
Hamas is the ‘armed wing’ of the Muslim Brotherhood, not a stand-alone splinter. It is part of the international web of Islamic jihadist organisations, including Hezbollah, al Qaeda and affiliates. All threaten every Arab state, many South American states, and with stakes now in the Latin drug cartels, even the United States itself.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates unprecedentedly support Israel’s efforts to defeat Hamas. Why have Kerry and the Obama administration insisted upon concluding an immediate cease-fire when everyone else knows that would be an exceedingly poor choice (apologies for the understatement)?
Hamas’ state sponsors are Qatar and Turkey. Qatar is the bankroll. Turkey is the Hamas NATO representative; think about that! Turkey has also been a major supporter of ISIS and al Nusra.
At a meeting yesterday, one of whose participants is a Druze with 25 years of Army service (and a doctorate) he relates a seemingly fantastical fact. Over the past few weeks he received tens of emails from Gaza City acquaintances, even from Sajiyah, begging, literally begging, not to halt the operation prematurely – to please free them from the horror of living under Hamas. They are begging for us to finish the job because Hamas is too horrible to countenance. He showed me a video, smuggled out of Gaza, of Hamas police beating people to prevent them from leaving the area after an Israeli warning – I saw a pregnant woman beaten to death.
Neither Israel nor Egypt invited Kerry. The US’ most important Middle East allies do not trust US President Obama’s intentions, as the State Department openly applauds Turkey and Qatar for their attempts to achieve a ceasefire.
What is really going on here?
Mordechai Ben-Menachem is a former researcher/lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and an author of 30 book ranging from engineering to poetry. He is also an ordained clergyman and a former soldier.