Hamas, Israel, and Those So-Convenient ‘Militant Wings’

by Jim Geraghty

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

Hamas, Israel, and the Convenience of ‘Militant Wings’

Drones: So cheap and easy, even Hamas can use them:

Israel’s military said it shot down a drone along the country’s southern coast on Monday, marking the first time Palestinian militants have used such an aircraft in their latest confrontation with Israel.

The drone took off from the Gaza Strip and was downed by a Patriot surface-to-air missile near the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, the military said.

Israel didn’t comment on the specifications of the drone or whether it was armed.

“We had it in our sights the moment it took off, and we chose where to intercept it,” military spokesman Lt. Col Peter Lerner said. The wreckage of the drone fell into the Mediterranean, reported Israel Radio.

The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the drone and said it would continue its “surprises.”

Ah, the “military wing.” Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal told Al-Jazeera last month, “Hamas is comprised of a political wing and a military wing.”

Really? Because from over here, it looks like a public-relations wing and a convenient-scapegoat wing. “Oh, it wasn’t us that fired those rockets! It was our militant wing!” Militant wings are the evil twins of geopolitics. If your organization has a military wing — as opposed to an actual, declared, uniforms-and-everything-military — you’re probably a troublemaker. You notice the good guys in life rarely have a militant wing. “I’m with a hardline faction of the Red Cross.” “I’m with Mother Theresa’s paramilitary branch.”

These groups really seem to think that the political wing can’t be blamed for what the militant wing does. Guys, you’re two halves of the same chicken. Colonel Sanders just sees one bird.

The Israeli Defense Forces Twitter feed declared this morning that: “Since July 8, 38 rockets fired from Gaza have fallen within Gaza. Hamas fires from civilian areas . . . and hits its own people.” They’ve also released video of three airstrikes called off because of risk to civilians.

Hamas uses its own people as human shields, in an effort to get international sympathy. How does Hamas continually sell this strategy to the Palestinians? Remember, they’ve won elections! How do you win at the ballot box with the slogan, “To protect ourselves, we’re going to use you and your children as human shields!”? You’re really awful, Fatah; you lost an election to an alternative that promises to get the voters killed!

They’ve kept the slogan; the IDF is touting this July 13 video from Al Aqsa TV, Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, declaring, “We aren’t leading our people today to destruction. We are leading them to death.” Way to answer your critics, Hamas! See, that’s completely different!

Of course, Fatah and Hamas are all buddy-buddy now. They’ve put aside their differences and united . . . in favor of using women and children as human shields.

Wouldn’t you love to see a Hamas leader on Dr. Phil? “How’s that workin’ out for you, Hamas?” Has any Palestinian leader contemplated, “Hey, maybe we need to rethink this calculus? Because throwing the women and children in front of the missiles hasn’t really worked for the past generation.”