Weekend long read

1) At Foreign Affairs, Matthew Levitt explains ‘What Hamas Wants in Postwar Gaza’.

“In seeking to force a new governance structure on Gaza and to refashion the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in its own image, Hamas hopes to impose a Hezbollah model on the territory. Like Hezbollah, the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Shiite militant movement in Lebanon, Hamas wants a future in which it is both a part of, and apart from, whatever Palestinian governance structure next emerges in Gaza. That way, as with Hezbollah in Lebanon, it hopes to wield political and military dominance in Gaza and ultimately the West Bank without bearing any of the accountability that comes from ruling alone.”

2) At WINEP, David Schenker looks at why ‘An Israel-Lebanon Agreement May Not Be Worth the Costs’.

“Even more important than the perception problem, however, is the likelihood that Hezbollah will not adhere to any deal Beirut reaches with Washington and Paris. The lesson from 2008 is that the group will pocket whichever provisions benefit its position at home and the interests of its sponsors in Iran while ultimately disregarding the rest. Tragically, this lesson was punctuated in brutal fashion five years after the Doha agreement, when former Lebanese minister Mohamad Chatah wrote an open letter to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani pleading for support on implementing Security Council Resolution 1701, including the provisions on deploying the LAF to the border and ending hostilities with Israel. Just days later, Chatah was assassinated, almost certainly by Hezbollah. Hence, any new deal that perpetuates Hezbollah and Iran’s control over Lebanon is doomed to fail in the long run.”

3) The ITIC reports on ‘Criticism of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Objections to the War with Israel’.

“With the ongoing fighting along the Israel-Lebanon border, criticism of Hezbollah continues in Lebanon, including the claim that the organization dragged Lebanon into an unnecessary war which does not serve the country’s national interests and exacerbates Lebanon’s already problematic internal situation. According to the claims, Hezbollah serves the interests of Iran, not Lebanon, Hezbollah is not “the protector of Lebanon,” as it represents itself, but is dragging the country into the abyss of a severe economic-political crisis. Some of the organization’s critics state that the only way to resolve the situation is by implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the removal of Hezbollah from south Lebanon and replacing it with Lebanese army forces.

For the most part the criticism comes from a handful of public figures and politicians, mostly Christians who serve as opposition to Hezbollah, and from a small number of Lebanese residents, mainly the Christian residents of the south, who are the main victims of the war.”

4) At Commentary magazine, David Adesnik and Kevin Chen analyse ‘The Gaza Health Ministry Flimflam’.

“The Gaza Ministry of Health has proven itself to be an unreliable source of information. While posing as a neutral arbiter of facts, the ministry retails a narrative whose purpose is to blacken Israel’s reputation. Its statistical sleight-of-hand is meant to draw attention away from Hamas’s criminal conduct of the war, built around the exploitation of hospitals, schools, mosques, and UN buildings as military assets.”

5) The AJC provides ‘5 Reasons Why the Events in Gaza Are Not “Genocide”’.

“Israel’s military operation to defend itself after Hamas’ October 7 atrocities, has been falsely described as genocide against the Palestinians. Such accusations of genocide pervade the scholarly discourse, social media, the vitriol of anti-Israel protesters, and even a spurious accusation filed by South Africa in the International Court of Justice.

Few claims are more offensive and blatantly wrong.”

6) At the Algemeiner, Michael Kaplan discusses ‘The Horrible, Unspoken Truth About October 7 — Terrorism Works’.

“In order for Hamas to reap the rewards for their October 7th atrocities, there was one thing they counted on in addition to the scale of Israel’s response — they counted on the equally predictable anti-Israel bias of the UN, most of the Western press, and most of the Western leaders. Everyone played their part in a very predictable manner. […]

What the Western press and political leaders don’t seem to appreciate — or more likely, don’t seem to care about — is that by rewarding Hamas for October 7th, they reinforce the notion that terrorism works. As every economist (and every parent) knows, when you reward a behavior, you will get more of it. And so, rather than breaking the cycle of violence, the appeasement of Iran and Hamas only perpetuates it.”

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