Israel-Hamas war is just part of the global war on Islamist militancy


US President Joe Biden’s condemnation of Hamas’s atrocities and support for Israel’s objective to eliminate the terrorist organization appears to be heartfelt. Yet, the ground war has not advanced, possibly due to concerns about its unpredictable outcomes among Israel and its allies.

When President Biden speaks of the world being at an “inflection point”, he might be more accurate than he realizes. Israel and the Jewish community are at the forefront of what could escalate into a global confrontation with Islamist terror organizations.

Israel’s cautious approach to initiating urban warfare in a densely populated city, especially against Hamas militants eager for the twisted “honour” of killing Jews and Westerners, is prudent. The city is a maze of underground tunnels where numerous Western hostages are held.

The stakes are high, with lives hanging in the balance. While Israel’s precision airstrikes may have Hamas leadership on the run, these leaders are currently enjoying the comforts of luxury hotels in other parts of the region.

Beyond Hamas, other terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank are also threats. These organizations are part of a larger Islamist network stretching from Lebanon and Syria through Iraq, all the way back to Iran.

Hezbollah poses an immediate and more formidable threat than Hamas, having amassed a large arsenal of advanced missiles in Syrian and Lebanese villages near Israel’s northern border. Iran believed this would deter Israel from targeting its nuclear facilities.

Recent meetings between Iran’s foreign minister and Hezbollah’s secretary-general suggest that Iran has given Hezbollah the green light to attack Israel, especially if Israel inflicts significant damage in Gaza.

Israel could preemptively disable Hezbollah’s capabilities in Southern Lebanon, but that would result in loss of life. This may explain why Israel has opted for US naval deterrence, as evidenced by the US Navy’s recent interception of missiles aimed at Israel.

However, allowing Hezbollah the first move could put civilian lives in Northern Israel at risk. Israel has reason to be concerned that the US might be reluctant to engage Hezbollah directly, as it would bring the US closer to conflict with Iran.

The issue is not just about the Israel-Palestinian “conflict”; it’s about confronting terrorists who deprive their youth of opportunities, luring them into martyrdom through distorted interpretations of jihad. Israel and Jews may be primary targets, but the threat extends to Christians and others.

Western democracies are becoming increasingly aware of the threat and are preparing to deport Jihadists who entered their countries as refugees during the past decade’s upheaval in the Middle East.

Protesters in Western countries should understand that the Palestinian people are victims of their own violent and corrupt leaders, not of Israel. Ending this self-imposed occupation could pave the way for international efforts to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.

President Biden’s assertion that Hamas does not represent the people of Gaza is questionable, given that they elected the group in 2006. Moreover, Hamas controls a significant portion of the West Bank, which is governed by the Palestinian Authority.

Recent polls indicate that if elections were held today, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would win a majority of the votes, while Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas would lag behind. Abbas, who is nearing 90 and is widely disliked, is unlikely to bring peace.

Abbas is more likely to incite violence against Jews than to renounce resistance against Israel. Just last week, he pledged support for the families of terrorists involved in the October 7 attacks.

This month, the Palestinian Authority instructed its mosque preachers to declare war on Israel and call for its annihilation. The message was clear: the fight will continue until an independent Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its capital.

While Israel serves as the frontline in the global fight against Islamist terror, the US could use its diplomatic influence to find a Palestinian leader willing to make peace with Israel, rather than one who incites violence.

Many young Palestinians are eager for a normal life in Israel, but their daily experiences are marred by military security checks. A new generation of Palestinian leadership could change this, allowing them to benefit from new opportunities in the West Bank and potentially easing travel restrictions.

The first step in achieving any of this is to put an end to the terror.


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