Israel Won. Hamas Lost. Period.

Israel won this war. Don’t be ridiculous. If you thought Israel ever considered toppling Hamas, much less dismantling it as an organization, you had no idea what Israel was doing there in Gaza or how near impossible it would be for a military operation to destroy an organization. Operation Protective Edge was a military success, even with the diplomatic problems.

Gaza Hamas Rockets Fired

Two Gazan rockets launched at Sderot – date unknown (CC BY SA 2.0 tipinfo via Flickr)

Israel won in 2006 also, when everyone thought Israel had lost because they hadn’t done something more against Hezbollah. Hezbollah didn’t gain international legitimacy. Hamas hasn’t either.

Whatever PR victories Hamas achieved were erased by the blatant anti-Semitic nature of anti-Israel demonstrations – an anti-Semitism they never tried to condemn, one that if anything they only encouraged.

Hamas has lost many seasoned military commanders. If the IDF decides to keep the pressure on – which they should – they’ll make it impossible for Hamas to rebuild a cohesive command structure.

Hamas was caught with their strategic asset – attack tunnels – being located right under residential buildings, making those neighborhoods targets of a number of artillery barrages that functioned as suppression fire for Israeli infantry. That guaranteed the destruction of surrounding infrastructure, something that Gaza isn’t in a position to easily replace.

Gaza, referring to its government and speaking of it as an independent entity, destroyed itself by trying to function in an offensive way without any strategic depth. The political leadership lost command by the end of the war when whatever was left of Hamas command in the strip gave up its demands and surrendered to the same ceasefire proposal that just a month ago they said they would never agree to.

Israel has PR issues, and perhaps there there is something lost. But Hamas just got pinned. It won’t mean anything without follow up militarily and politically and diplomatically, but Hamas lost big time. That Gazans are being told they won is, I guess, necessary for their morale but in perspective it’s a perverted delusion of reality that only encourages these sort of wars in the future – wars that Hamas can’t win.

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