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Israel's first point of order: restoring deterrence by shattering the jihadist invincibility complex
It starts with chipping away at the psyche of the holy warriors.
There is a lot of ink being spilled about what to expect in the war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
While most of it involves the kinetic circumstances surrounding the fight itself, that’s only half the battle. There’s lots of talk about tactics, strategy, and comparing and contrasting the military power of competing armies.
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But what remains unspoken is the just as important psychological component of this war.
Right now, Hamas and its allies feel incredibly emboldened, almost invincible, after their successful massacre of hundreds of civilians. It was the worst single day atrocity committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and it leaves jihadists in not just Gaza, but around the world salivating for more blood.
On Monday, the president of Iran led a conversation with the leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In his comments, he remarked that “the Israeli regime is on the verge of collapse and the resistance front is advancing toward peaks of glory,” according to a report from Iran’s state-run Fars News.
“He stressed that the ‘steely resolve’ of the Palestinians heralds the final victory over the Zionist regime,” the report added.
Leaders from Hamas and Hezbollah have been sharing similar sentiments, repeating this idea that they are protected by the divine, and that the “zionist entity” is on the ropes.
These are holy warriors who believe that they are the champions of Islam, according to their interpretation of religious doctrine, and they believe their war against Israel will succeed because of these circumstances. You don’t have to rely on my academic education to believe this. Just read the Hamas charter for yourself.
The geopolitical implications for the Hamas acts of savagery are troubling, especially considering that so many western countries have imported millions of people with a similar values structure. They too are doctrinally emboldened to pursue a truly evil agenda.
The success and growth of ISIS was largely due to this phenomena. If you recall, the head chopper stuff, coupled with territorial conquest in the name of the divine, served as an incredible recruiting campaign for the Islamic State. When ISIS started losing, the group faded into obscurity rather quickly.
Now it’s up to Israel to restore the psychological deterrent against this newly emboldened proliferation of jihadism.
The good news for the civilized world is that Israel is beyond prepared for this moment. Israel is a military power with substantial technical prowess, and its Army features an incredibly motivated fighting force, given that every war is existential.
Simply put, the IDF is going to absolutely mop the floor with Hamas. And they need to let the world see how it went down.
Despite the insurmountable on paper mismatch, Hamas and its allies truly believe that they will succeed in collapsing the world’s lone Jewish state and massacring its people. Serving Hamas a Stone Cold Stunner of a reality check is the first step in restoring order.
This is not going to be a twelve dimensional chess match, and the Israelis will fast showcase their military superiority as the war heats up, despite the inevitable toll of casualties that will occur on both sides.
The Israelis must break the spirit of their enemy, forcing the terrorists to rethink the very core foundations of their barbaric ideology. Only then will they be able to restore a deterrent to future attacks.
Give ‘em hell.