The West refuses to understand Hamas

by Joseph Frager

Rather than defeat terror, the West swallows Hamas’s lies.

(JNS) The vicious systematic slaughter of innocent men, women and children on Oct. 7 has revealed the West’s total lack of understanding of the Middle East. Although most people were horrified by the atrocities, the Hamas propaganda machine went to work almost immediately. It has not stopped for a moment since.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) is a case in point. He went on record falsely claiming there is “no evidence” that Hamas “beheaded babies or raped women” He is a liar. As if that weren’t bad enough, Bowman claimed that these documented atrocities were just Israeli “propaganda.” He has slightly walked back his defamatory lies, but the damage was done.

Bowman is only a symptom. The West does not and has never understood the Middle East. Appeasement of the Arab world has been the avowed policy of the U.S. State Department for decades. It has completely failed to bring peace to the region. Instead, it has fomented terror and war. The Abraham Accords were not brought about by appeasement. They were brought about by strength.

In particular, the West does not understand that Hamas and its ilk lie and deceive as a matter of course. They know the West is gullible, and they exploit it to the fullest.

For example, the casualty figures reported by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry have been exposed as almost certainly bogus. Israel has done its best to prevent civilian deaths. Israeli soldiers have put their lives at risk to avoid collateral damage. Unfortunately, Hamas does everything possible to engineer dead civilians by using human shields. They do not care about their own people.

The appalling presentation of a George Polk Award to photojournalist Yousef Masoud—who has worked with The New York Times—was pure salt in the wound, given that Israel has credibly accused him of having foreknowledge of the Oct. 7 massacre. The Reynolds Journalism Institute awarded “Photo of the Year” to Ali Mahmud, who works with the Associated Press. That photo showed the half-naked lifeless body of Shani Louk with a Hamas foot on her back. These awards were monstrous and shameful.

I am all for humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, the West does not understand that Hamas operatives are stealing the aid for themselves. Hamas is also the main reason the items don’t reach those who need them. The terror group would prefer to exploit the Gaza population in service of a political narrative than actually help the people of Gaza. It is estimated that Hamas spent billions of dollars to build its vast array of tunnels. Those tunnels extend for more than 350 miles. The money could have been spent on building civilian infrastructure. Instead, it was wasted on terror tunnels to nowhere.

Hamas wants the media to blame Israel for everything when it is Hamas itself that is to blame. The West appears unable to grasp this.

The early Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky once wrote an essay called “The Iron Wall.” In it, he said, “As long as the Arabs feel that there is the least hope of getting rid of us, they will refuse to give up this hope in return for either kind words or for bread and butter.” It is clearer than ever before that Jabotinsky was right.

Appeasement and swallowing Hamas’s lies will have dire consequences for the West. Only with the total defeat and surrender of Hamas will the Arab world finally make peace with Israel. The West should learn this quickly. Israel already knows it.

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