Israel’s War: Commentary and Analysis on the October 7 Hamas Attack

Mainstream and social media are abuzz about Hamas’ incursion into and bombardment of Israel. Overwhelmingly the reports focus on the terrorizing and traumatizing effects on Israelis of the killings, abductions and destruction accomplished by Hamas in this unprecedented breach of Israeli security along the Gaza Strip.

In this special edition we bring you a compilation of opinions, commentary and analysis by individual commentators and organizations. In contrast to the reporting from the mainstream and the statements and acts of governments, the pieces below correct the omission, with few exceptions, of any consideration of the root cause of Hamas’ actions, almost always characterized as “terror” and never as resistance. In the articles here you will find direct and cogent discussions of the geopolitical aspects of these events (think Abrahamic Accords, “normalization of Mideast tensions,” Iran, Hezbollah) as well as addressing the crucial question of what are Hamas’ objectives, which have been drowned out by the expressions of shock and horror over the terrorizing impact and savage nature of the attack. Each link is followed by a brief excerpt.

Part 2, to follow tomorrow, will feature responses from the global church network for Palestine and its affiliates and counterparts in the Jewish, Muslim and allied human rights community.

Chris Hedges: Palestinians speak the language of violence Israel has taught them.

What does Israel, or the world community, expect? How can you trap 2.3 million people in Gaza, half of whom are unemployed, in one of the most densely populated spots on the planet for 16 years, reduce the lives of its residents, half of whom are children, to a subsistence level, deprive them of basic medical supplies, food, water and electricity, use attack aircraft, artillery, mechanized units, missiles, naval guns and infantry units to randomly slaughter unarmed civilians and not expect a violent response? Many of the resistance fighters who infiltrated into Israel undoubtedly knew they would be killed. But like resistance fighters in other wars of liberation they decided that if they could not choose how they would live, they would choose how they would die.

Jonathan Cook: The blood of Gaza is on the West’s hands

The bloodiest hand in the current slaughter of Palestinians and Israelis belongs, not to Hamas or the Netanyahu government, but to the West. This attack did not emerge from nowhere, or without warning. It was not “unprovoked”, as Israel would like us to believe. Already, Israel is emboldened to make much more explicit its policy towards Gaza’s two million inhabitants. There is a word for that policy, Whether by design or outcome, Israel’s starving of civilians, leaving them with no power, depriving them of clean water, and preventing hospitals from treating the sick and wounded – is a genocidal policy. And the ones funding it, the ones enabling it, are the US and its European allies. Their hands are the ones drenched in the blood of Gaza.

Nathan Thrall: Could the Attack on Israel Spell the End of Hamas?

Clearly, this act by Hamas is suicidal. It is an attack of unprecedented scope, and Israel will retaliate to a greater degree than it has before, potentially leading to outcomes we haven’t seen before: not just a simple razing of Gaza by airplanes but also a ground incursion and potential reoccupation of parts of Gaza. So the decision to wittingly, knowingly, undertake this comes from a sense that there are no other options and that there’s nothing left to lose. And part of the reason that Hamas, and Palestinians in general, feel that they’re in such a desperate situation is that they have been entirely abandoned by those who should be their allies: the Arab states. The talks about the steps toward normalization with Saudi Arabia certainly inform the Palestinian sense that they have been abandoned.

Aljazeera: From hubris to humiliation; the 10 hours that shocked Israel

Whichever way this goes, Netanyahu’s legacy will be marred by failure. He may well take his Palestinian counterpart, the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas, along with him down the drain of history. But the change that is coming is about more than personalities; it is about the two peoples as a whole, and whether they want to live in peace or die fighting. The time and space for anything in between have passed. The Palestinians have made it clear today that they would rather fight on their feet for justice and freedom than die on their knees in humiliation. It is high time the Israelis heed the lessons of history.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Statement on Palestinian Resistance

The unprecedented and ongoing resistance by Palestinians from Gaza, that caught Israel by surprise, did not happen in a vacuum. This is the response of a people pushed beyond endurance.

For decades Israel has been perpetrating unspeakable crimes against humanity, collective punishment, and has sustained an open air prison for Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip. It has allowed for the relentless and daily attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian towns and cities, and the desecration of Holy sites.

Palestinian families have been mercilessly torn apart, and generations of Palestinians have grown up in the grip of violent oppression by an occupying force. To overlook or minimize these facts is to lack depth in understanding and compromise moral clarity.

Palestinians are asserting their right to self-determination and unequivocally demanding their freedom. Never underestimate the will of an oppressed and occupied people to be free.

972 Magazine: Gaza’s shock attack has terrified Israelis. It should also unveil the context

Contrary to what many Israelis are saying, this is not a “unilateral” or “unprovoked” attack. The dread Israelis are feeling right now, myself included, is a sliver of what Palestinians have been feeling on a daily basis under the decades-long military regime in the West Bank, and under the siege and repeated assaults on Gaza.

American Muslims for Palestine, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action: Israeli violence is the root cause of violence and unrest in the region

The Biden Administration’s statements, focusing exclusively on Israel’s right to defend itself, indicate a disconnect between rhetoric and reality…The U.S. continues to provide unequivocal support, including financial, diplomatic, and military aid, thereby becoming complicit in the ongoing oppression of Palestinians…Rather than pushing for normalization between the Israeli apartheid regime and dictatorships in the region, AMP and AJP Action call upon the Biden Administration to facilitate an immediate ceasefire and address the root cause of violence, that is, Israel’s Apartheid regime, and specifically in Gaza, Israel’s brutal siege and blockade.