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Israel/Palestine Part 5: What Does This Mean For The Peace Process?

This article is Part 5 of a series of on the current conflict in Gaza. The opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Valiant News. Please click here for Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Bonus Round as they are published.

The topic of Israel has a way of turning normally-objective and otherwise-sane people into rabid unthinking animals, for one side or the other (this author included). Due to the abundance of propaganda on both sides of the current conflict, I found while researching this article series that most fairly well-informed people – even experts – were completely misinformed about what’s actually going on. So this will be an attempt to distill something resembling the truth from the raging torrent of propaganda and blinding fury that has flooded the internet, not to mention practically every mainstream media outlet covering the conflict.

I will attempt to apply a filter of sanity to the biggest questions and myths surrounding the conflict:

  1. Are we headed to World War III?
  2. Were the 10/7 attacks an Iranian operation or an inside job?
  3. Is the U.S. government run by Israel or vice versa? What role does Christian Dispensationalism play?
  4. Is Israel committing war crimes or crimes against humanity?
  5. What does this mean for the peace process?

BONUS ROUND: What’s the deal with the USS Liberty, Jonathan Pollard and the Talmud? Also the one conspiracy theory that’s factually true.

5) What does this mean for the peace process?

What peace process? Aside from all the human lives lost, the principal casualty of 10/7 was the vain hope that the peace process and “two-state solution” wasn’t a complete joke from the start.

This is usually the part of the conversation where virulent Anti-Zionists accuse the Israeli Right – and Bibi Netanyahu in particular – of having relentlessly undermined the peace process for decades. They say Israelis were behind the rise of Hamas, undermined Palestinian unity and intentionally inflamed Palestinian rage with the assassination of Hamas’ then-leader Sheikh Yassin just as he was moderating towards peace (if you believe this, I have an exciting suspension-bridge real estate opportunity for you in Brooklyn).

Some or all of that or even more may be true. In any event, it is entirely irrelevant now. The Israeli Right’s generations-long objections to the peace process appear prophetic now and whatever schemes Bibi may have hatched along the way make him look like Nostradamus in retrospect.

Hamas militants didn’t just raid Israel and commit atrocities. They gleefully committed some of the most hideous atrocities this side of the Bronze Age while wearing GoPro’s to record their exploits. Even habitually anti-Zionist journalists were mortified by what they saw when the IDF screened video evidence of Hamas’ crimes on 10/7 in three 43-minute-long private screenings.

Corpses of Jewish babies were found shot, burned alive and decapitated. Some people on the internet aren’t convinced that they were “beheaded“, despite the undisputed fact that a three-month old baby girl was beheaded along with most of her family of 8 by a Palestinian terrorist in the 2011 Itamar attack, a slaughter which Hamas didn’t just refuse to deny – they celebrated with their habitual candy in the streets.

Corpses of women ranging from preteen girls to wheelchair-bound grandmothers were found tortured, sodomized and mutilated. A bound teenage girl was pictured with the seat of her jeans drenched in what appears to be blood. Either the same or another with similar stains appeared in a video being dragged by her hair with ligature marks on her ankles. An Israeli police investigator David Katz told Barron’s that, while they cannot prove Hamas terrorists were given orders to engage in mass rape, “everything was systematic… nothing was done by coincidence”.

Viral video showed thousands of Palestinians cheering in the streets as the naked, bloodied and allegedly freshly-raped corpse of 23-year-0ld German girl Shani Louk was driven by. Men spat on her and beat her bare body with wooden beams. Her mother was taunted by Palestinians from the cell phone of her boyfriend, Orión Hernández Radoux, who remains in captivity. Her death was finally confirmed at the end of October from a fragment of her skull.

It is a little astonishing how Hamas fighters apparently engaged in command-sanctioned gang-rape and sodomy in the field in clear violation of Islamic law, just as burning Jews alive was similarly unlawful. In 2015, the Islamic State published a handy pamphlet outlining the correct Islamic process for raping infidels: while it is indeed permissible for a mujahid to rape a female slave that has been assigned as war booty to him by an imam after a conquest, sharing that slave with other men and anal rape are expressly forbidden.

It is also absolutely forbidden to enslave fellow Muslims, who could have plausibly numbered among the victims – this is why Palestinian terrorists in the past famously used to interrogate prisoners about the Qur’an before deciding what to do with them. ISIS fighters often broke these rules themselves (hence the pamphlet, to correct them), but not as enthusiastically as Hamas just did.

In other words, what we witnessed on 10/7 is beyond the most radical and violent interpretation of radical Islamism currently in existence; nothing in ISIS, Al Qaida or the Taliban’s infamous history comes close.

Furthermore, while what happened to Louk and other Israeli women is not seriously disputed by anyone, there are still questions about the story circulating from Israeli first responders that the body of a Jewish infant was found cooked in an oven next to the corpses of the murdered father and gang-raped mother.

Let me repeat: it does not matter whether you personally believe that Hamas cooked a Jewish baby in an oven or if it was actually the repurposed story of an Israeli atrocity allegedly committed against an Arab in 1948 or if they’re both true. What matters is that the Israelis believe it happened – and have hard proof of less-viral crimes arguably just as inhuman – so they will act based on that belief.

And, while there are certainly cases where post-1948 Israeli soldiers have sexually abused Palestinians (very rarely), these days they stand a decent chance of being court-martialed and zero chance of getting a ticker-tape parade for their crimes, unlike Palestinian rapists.

If a fraction of what is proven to have happened to Israelis had instead happened to Arabs, the Muslim world would be apoplectic and screaming for the blood of every Jew. In that situation, sanctimonious anti-Zionists would not be tut-tutting Arabs about war crimes as they waged unrestricted war on Israel.

With that said, supporters of Israel can’t have it both ways: either you can have the moral high ground or claim that Israel has the right to engage in retaliatory dictionary-definition crimes against humanity (like the leaked Isreali “concept paper” calling for driving Gazans into the Sinai Desert) in preemptive self-defense – not both.

Regardless, there is no measuring the scale of the atrocity and depravity that Hamas inflicted. Just as there is no sane world where they could be considered possible partners for peace.

In case one might dare to hope that there is a silent majority of Palestinians who yearn for peace, love, understanding and ecumenicism: that is, sadly, not remotely true. Hamas won power in a democratic election – to be fair, it was the Gaza Strip’s last democratic election and they’re not in a hurry to host any more, but the fact remains that popular will has endorsed them as the anti-peace alternative to Fatah and others.

While many Western pro-Palestinian activists tell of the kindness and earnest desire for peace of all their liberal-minded friends in Palestine, the reality in the aggregate is different: a recent poll by Arab World for Research and Development found that the vast majority of Palestinians enthusiastically support the atrocities of 10/7.

The poll found that 75% of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza strongly support the 10/7 attacks, while another 16% only somewhat support them; Hamas committed mind-rending atrocities and, with full knowledge of what they did, over 90% of Palestinians endorsed them ex post facto. 85.9% reject peaceful coexistence with Israel. 74.7% are committed to the complete destruction of Israel from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Favorability ratings for Palestine’s most violent terrorist organizations range between 70% and 90%.

This isn’t Israeli propaganda, either: AWRAD is part of Birzeit University, a Palestinian college located in the West Bank. There is one interesting note, however: while still a clear majority, less Gazans supported the 10/7 attacks (63.6%) compared to Palestinians in the West Bank (83.1%). It appears that Palestinians are more inclined to support atrocities against Jews when it is other Arabs who face the consequences.

A Hamas terrorist in a Mickey Mouse costume discusses with children the Palestinians’ goals of exterminating the Jews and conquering the world. The character, Farfour, was retired in 2007 with an episode which portrayed him being tortured and murdered by the IDF. Translated by MemriTV.

While anti-Arab racism certainly exists in the Jewish community to certain degrees, there is no comparison to the irresistible tide of Jew-hatred that average Palestinians are steeped in from the cradle to the grave. Even if the authoritarian Palestinian National Authority made peace with Israel against the will of the people, there is no guarantee that such a regime would survive what Palestinians have been trained from infancy to believe is an ultimate treason: collaboration or “normalization” with Jews.

If such an agreement sacrificed critical Israeli security infrastructure in exchange for peace, then any “peace” would likely result in more Jewish blood being shed than a continuation of endless war.

Israel and Hamas recently agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages, but it won’t last and it isn’t a sign of any road to peace. (Editor’s Note: this article was originally written before the end of the late November ceasefire)

There’s a reason why Hamas attacked this year and it has nothing to do with anything Israel has done: as a matter of religious faith inspired by the Salafist teachings of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (mentor to Osama Bin Laden), Hamas does not believe that it is theologically permissible to make peace without victory in a jihad against an infidel enemy holding Muslim land. According to their doctrine, the most they can offer an adversary is a truce – or hudna – lasting a maximum of ten years, corresponding to Muhammad’s historical Treaty of Al-Hudaybiya.

This is why all the news headlines over the years saying “Hamas Wants Peace” or “Israel Rejects Peace” are utter nonsense. Sheikh Yassin never offered “peace” with Israel and Israel never rejected “peace” with Hamas. He offered a hudna, with preconditions which would have compromised Israeli security while allowing ten years for Hamas to build up an even stronger fighting force.

Scott Horton’s public contention on Timcast and Culture War with Tim Pool that Yassin was moderating before he was assassinated by Israel in 2004 is not remotely true – at no point did he ever cease calls for suicide bombings against Israeli civilians or rejections of any suggestion of a permanent peace. The most he ever offered was a ten-year hudna.

Keep in mind that these specific views are not representative of all Muslims – only a group within the Sunni Salafi movement – but you go to war with the jihadists you have, not the ones you want.

The upshot is that there is no world where a hudna with Hamas leads to peace because the entire point of a hudna – according to their radical, though not entirely fringe, theology – is to prepare for further jihad.

YouTube video of the children’s series Tomorrow’s Pioneers aired on Al-Aqsa TV, the Hamas-run television channel in Palestine. Translated by Palestine Media Watch.

It has been slightly more than nine years since Israel’s last major war with Hamas, so the failure of whatever blue-haired simpletons populate Mossad these days to anticipate the attacks is frankly inexcusable. They may not have technically had a hudna with Hamas during that time, but it was a fool’s gamble to assume that – simply because the fighting had subsided to a dull roar of occasional rocketry – Hamas would be capable of going more than ten years without starting a major war, especially with the Abraham Accords threatening their position.

Most Israeli Jews now recognize that peace with Palestinians – at least on terms that have dominated Western “peace process” discussion for decades – is completely impossible. That’s why they kept electing Bibi Netanyahu, in spite of all the forces arrayed against him. He was the leading voice among peace-process-skeptic Israeli politicians. He literally wrote the book making the case against long-term security compromises for short-term peace.

“There’s a reason it was called a peace process and not a peace treaty,” lamented  retired U.S. Army artillery officer Major Tyler Weaver in an exclusive interview with Valiant News. Weaver is a fantasy author and attorney who makes international conflict commentary on Twitter and Telegram as Armchair Warlord. “It’s ultimately the question of whether they want to have borders or fronts. Unfortunately for Israel, we’re entering an era in the Middle East when their neighbors actually have the ability to tell them ‘no’ in the matter.”

We are entering a brave new world where – in the light of waning American power and influence under the Biden Administration – Israel’s fate lies in her leaders’ ability to navigate the collapse of that house of cards. Even if American power were to revive and approach previous levels – which would be a remarkable feat given how quickly the military and technological gap with major power rivals has closed – there is no guarantee that the next generation of Americans would be remotely interested in the survival of the Jewish people in Israel.

The end of the “Rules Based International Order” means that Israel will soon have to make very tough decisions about how far to continue fighting, how much it will cost them when the dust settles and who they can trust in the new era of world politics.

Israelis could easily find themselves winning against Hamas in Gaza, while losing American and Egyptian relationships in the process that are critical to their survival. Ultimately, the greatest danger to Israel is from Israel itself.

This article is Part 5 of a series of on the current conflict in Gaza. Please click here for Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Bonus Round as they are published.

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A.J. Cooke
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A.J. Cooke is Cuban-American freelance journalist and ghostwriter based in Northern Virginia. He grew up in Japan, Malaysia and Portugal. His father, Don Cooke, was one of the 1979 Iran Hostages and his grandfather, the late Ambassador Diego Asencio, was held hostage by M-19 guerrillas in the 1980 Bogota Embassy Siege. A veteran political campaigner, fundraiser and ghostwriter, Cooke writes mostly political news with a focus on data science and legal analysis.

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    December 18, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    Are people stupid and dumb, the only peace process in a Declaration of War is SURRENDER OR DESTRUCTION.

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