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

(page 2 of 3)

Both countries were ruled by Western-backed autocrats last time Gaza was invaded, but popular uprisings have since swept them aside, and Islamists now dominate in Cairo and Tunis, representing masses who back their fellow Sunni Islamists, Hamas.

HATS OFF

“Today we raise our hats to Hamas,” said Talal Okal, a Gaza political analyst normally critical of the movement. “They look organised, aware of what they’re doing and ready to pay the price to achieve their agenda. Ordinary people can only admire them today.”

“Israel is no longer able to predict what Arab leaders might do if a ground offensive takes place, certainly not what Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi could do under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist and secular parties.

“Maybe Israel does not care much, but its American and European allies do. They care for their own interests in the Middle East, the new Middle East,” Okal said.

Though the long-range rockets fired at Tel Aviv have not caused any casualties or damage - thanks largely to Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor shield - Hamas is content to see Israelis running for cover in a city that was once immune to such attack.

They claim to have shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter, and mock Israel’s “Paper Dome” as a failure. Both claims are outlandish, but they go down well with those eager to believe them.

This is still asymmetric warfare with asymmetric rules and results. Since it erupted last Wednesday, three Israelis have been killed, but 65 Palestinians are dead, most of them civilians. Yet the Islamists believe they are winning an important round in the battle for world public opinion.


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!
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • 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?
  • 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.