Big Tent Ideas

JD FOSTER: The Three Big Questions Israel Must Ask Before The Ground Invasion

(Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

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J.D. Foster J.D. Foster is the former chief economist at the Office of Management and Budget and former chief economist and senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He now resides in relative freedom in the hills of Idaho.
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The infamous October 7 Hamas attack against Israel upended Middle East politics and threatens an all-engulfing regional contagion. It’s hard for experts to explain what will and should happen regarding Israel’s response, let alone for the rest of us to understand. Three simple questions go far in clarifying matters.

The mainstream media goes out of its way to argue that most Gaza residents don’t support Hamas. CNN’s Jake Tapper nearly breaks out weeping when he segues from this observation to contemplating the innocents who have died, are dying, and will die as Israel unleashes its fury. U.S. policy should be dedicated toward getting as many Gaza non-combatants out of harm’s way as possible, preferably with a short cruise to Lebanon. True, they would have to leave everything behind, but realistically, it’s not much. Impoverished in Lebanon. Impoverished in Gaza. It is all a monumental tragedy worthy of tears, but that fact doesn’t deflect what is to come. (RELATED: ERICK ERICKSON: There Are No Sidelines Between Good And Evil)

Which brings us to the first question. How did the residents of Gaza react when they first heard of Hamas’ murderous spree in Israel? Did Tapper’s non-Hamas-supporting citizens of Gaza express outrage, or remorse, or opposition of any kind? None reported.

Or did they rejoice because their great enemy Israel had been hurt badly? After 9/11, from Tripoli to Damascus the Arab Street paraded their rapturous support for the terrorists who attacked America. Today they march in those same streets in support of Hamas. Curiously, the media never asked the question what the Gaza residents thought on the 7th, probably because we all already knew.

Next question. President Biden in his oval office address said terrorists must pay a price for their actions. Very true, but what did he mean, precisely? Hamas knew it would pay a steep price and they attacked Israel anyway. They knew. They attacked anyway. (RELATED: JD FOSTER: This Proves That Trumps Prosecutors Are Playing Politics, And It Has Nothing To Do With His Charges)

Biden talks as though Israel (and the U.S.) should impose a price that will moderate Hamas’ future behavior. Can even Joe Biden be that delusional? As long as Israel exists, Hamas will remain dedicated to its destruction. As long as Iran’s current regime exists, Hamas will have the resources to try. Under the circumstances, anyone still calling for peaceful negotiation or a “two-state” solution qualifies for useful idiot status.

Final question, the big one. Suppose Israel is 100% successful in “eradicating” Hamas as they insist. This would mean killing every Hamas leader, fighter, and supporter in Gaza. Of course, it’s impossible under nearly every scenario, but just imagine.

Now imagine the year is 2028. What has changed?

Nothing that matters. Maybe it has a new name, but Hamas is back dominating Gaza, fully reconstituted, fully rearmed by Iran with thousands of missiles ready to launch, and full of hate for Israel and America. It is a dangerous fantasy to think otherwise. Israeli supporters and politicians say “Never Again” again and again. There is only one path to “never again” with respect to an attack from Hamas. That is the cold, hard reality the citizens of Gaza and their patrons in Tehran have chosen. That is the price that must be paid to buy never again. Anything else is a sugar-plum fairy.

JD Foster is the former chief economist at the Office of Management and Budget and former chief economist and senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He now resides in relative freedom in the hills of Idaho.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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