Theories abound about why Hamas carried out the attack. Many pointed out that the matter amounted to a disruption of Israeli-Saudi normalization at the behest of Iran. Others focused on internal Palestinian politics and noted that Hamas is positioning itself, even at the expense of inevitable and crushing Israeli retaliation, as the undisputed leader of the Palestinian struggle after the death of Mahmoud Abbas. However, others said the reasons were simpler: the two Hamas leaders in Gaza who prepared and launched the operation were military commander Muhammad Deif and political leader Yahya Sinwar. The first lost his family in an Israeli air strike that targeted him, and the second spent 22 years in an Israeli prison. Neither of them needed exaggerated geopolitical logic to pull together such an operation.
There may be some truth in all these theories. Everything makes sense. But no one explains the way Hamas itself explained the operation in real time.
Here lies a part of Palestinian thinking and discourse that many Western defenders of Palestine ignore, because it is difficult to convince Western audiences of and because they themselves do not really understand it. Palestinian “resistance,” as Hamas envisions it, is much more than settlements, occupation, or the Green Line. A larger theory of Islamic renewal is underway.
The restoration of Islamic dignity through the final defeat of the Jews occupies a great deal of Hamas’s political thought, permeates its rhetoric and profoundly shapes its thinking about Israeli Jews and its strategy for confronting Israel. Israel is more than just an occupier or oppressor in this novel, it is a rebellion against God and the course of history that God has ordained. By showing the weakness of the Israelis, this belief makes the Israelis weak in one way or another. Redemption requires only the faith of believers, and seeing is believing….
Israelis can endure humiliation; They are less affected by honor politics than their enemies. But these heirs to the collective memory that was forged in the flames of the twentieth century cannot deal with the experience of isolation imposed on them by Hamas. It seems that Hamas is doing everything in its power to shift the Israeli psychological state from a comfortable belief in its strength to a feeling of extreme weakness.
You will soon learn the extent of this miscalculation. A strong Israel might tolerate the presence of belligerent Hamas on its borders; The weakest cannot. A secure Israel could spend a lot of time and resources worrying about the humanitarian fallout from the ground war in Gaza; Israel, the most vulnerable, cannot do that.
The wounded and weak Israel is the most ferocious Israel.
Hamas was once a plausible threat. It has made itself intolerable, all while convincing the Israelis that they are too weak and weak to respond with old-fashioned restraint.