Real Winner in Gaza War? Could Be Hamas.

Facing Off With Israel, Islamists Bolster Standing

The Real Winners: Palestinians are bearing the brunt of the confrontation in Gaza. Yet paradoxically, public opinion is likely to sharply back Hamas.
getty images
The Real Winners: Palestinians are bearing the brunt of the confrontation in Gaza. Yet paradoxically, public opinion is likely to sharply back Hamas.

By Reuters

Published November 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

As Israel bombed Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip for a fifth day, Ali Al-Ahmed took to the streets of Gaza city in his pyjamas on Sunday to buy eggs and chocolate for his three children.

“Terrifying, that’s how it feels,” he said.

“But they are also terrorised on the other side of the border,” he added approvingly. “To be honest, I thought Hamas had forgotten about fighting Israel. I was wrong.”

That will be music to the ears of the Islamist movement that rules the blockaded sliver of land where 1.7 million people have been cooped up since 2007 when the Hamas government, hostile to Israel, took charge.

In an earlier clash, the three-week winter war of 2008-2009, many Palestinian rivals blamed Hamas’s rocket-firing bravado for bringing Israel’s military might down on Gaza.

That war ended with over 1,400 Palestinians in early graves and a territory scarred by bombing, shelling and invasion. Israel lost 13 lives in the lopsided battle, and Hamas licked its wounds.

This time is different. The Arab Spring has changed the Middle East, and Hamas has more powerful weapons.

Many Facebook pages express undisguised glee at Israelis scuttling for cover, and two singers from the West Bank have made a YouTube hit, “Strike Tel Aviv”, praising Hamas and others for firing rockets that can threaten Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first time.

Hamas also scored a diplomatic hit, with solidarity visits last week by the foreign ministers of Egypt and Tunisia while its positions were under attack.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.