Once in a while I answer some random person online and it ends up so long it's worth making a whole post about. This is in response to a Bernie Sanders fanboy that was devastated with his stance on the ceasefire question. Bernie in Jewish, has visited Israel a few times but as far as I gathered, he is not identifying as a Zionist. However he IS a humanist, and therefore his many fans (I suppose mostly self proclaimed young gen Z self-proclaimed socialists) are appalled by his support for the IDF to continue ploughing into Gaza and snuffing out all Ḥamas combatants. The guy actually said Bernie "made him cry" in the replies to this post by Norman Finkelstein, a holocaust survivors' son who criticizes Israel's claim for territories. Here's my answer more or less:
Oh, so you liked everything he said until that quote and that one opinion he has "made you cry" and turn your back on the brand?
Option 1: Maybe he was sometimes wrong, and you let it slide. Why does this one opinion change your whole opinion of him?
Option 2: Maybe he was indeed smart and right most of the time because he's a learned man and has solid reasoning for his opinion in this case. Why not stop and read about it? Finkelstein's narrative is not a popular one, and has a few holes I can easily point out. There are excellent humanitarian and political arguments for and against continuing the destruction of Ḥamas, and it's not an easy question to answer. I live here in Israel, I have family on that border that only by chance survived that horrible day unharmed, and I myself don't know what the right answer is.
Option 3: Read up and get to your own conclusions, it's not like one guy will always be right about 100% of the subjects 100% of the time. Try to challenge your opinions every once in a while. I am 50 and I thought I had really strong and solid ideas about what to do about this enemy, I live 40 miles away from Gaza, and even I am questioning things in the last two months and getting acquainted with more narratives. Some of them weaken my opinions and some strengthen it. My narratives are no longer the ones I held a year ago.
Should Ḥamas as an organisation be destroyed?
Definitely, it's killing innocent people, more Gazans than Israelis until this October, mind you. They are not a freedom organization, they are a martyrdom org. This is not just me saying as an Israeli, that is pretty much the agreed position of the US, EU, UN and almost all Arab and Muslim countries. Other than the Iranians and a few other islands of Shi'a, they are a persona-non-grata. You should ask a Muslim how bizarre it is that a Sunni organization is getting funding and training from a Shi'a state. It shows how desperate Ḥamas is for patronage and how determined Iran is on the destruction of Israel. They are not doing this for the love of Palestinians.
Should Ḥamas operatives be killed?
Well, I wish they give themselves up, confess all the war crimes, and get sentenced one by one, but that's a pink dream. Some ideas have to be killed violently before they kill more innocent people, and right now those ideas are embodied by unrepentant people.
Should Gaza civilians be hurt?
Of course not. Many of them say they support Ḥamas, some may have even been paid or forced to help, but they are the main victims here under the cruel control of sociopaths. Problem is, Ḥamas is hiding under their houses and threatening they will be shot in the back if they try to run away, and Ḥamas has already done that too in this war. I assume in good faith they are "Pro-Ḥamas" for fear of it or for survival, or for lack of seeing alternatives. Can't blame them.
Can the IDF move people out?
Sounds great, but where? Jordan and Egypt refused, and they have compelling reasons. Nobody wants to get sudden responsibility over millions or even thousands of refugees, especially when you can be almost certain to have terrorists blending in.
Can the IDF just stop and move out of Gaza?
Well, the IDF needs to protect Israel from the missiles and terror attacks, and perfectly isolating civilians from harm may be impossible by the choice of Ḥamas. Furthermore, 10 seconds after IDF folding up and leaving Gaza, Ḥamas will claim a victory, continue lobbing missiles, and the Ḥezbollah will see the defeat as a weakness and start attacking from the north, and they are WAY better equipped, better trained and better financed in general, plus they are on the sovereign land of a foreign country and it may be seen as an attack on Lebanon, and we really don't want that. Also we already have 100,000 Israelis that are refugees in their own country, their houses either burnt or getting shot by anti-tank ammo, so they are taking up most of the hotel rooms in the country, and that's all out of the taxpayer's pocket of course.
Can the IDF somehow attack terrorists without hurting civilians?
Do you have a magic bomb that only kills Ḥamas people underground and spares the civilians above? Do share. We don't kill Palestinians "for fun" or genocide. It is not in our cultural DNA, it's against the national and international laws (yes. I know it's not kept too well, that's a subject for an entire series of posts), but mainly many soldiers would refuse to do that on ethical ground and it would make us look really bad on the international stage in the aftermath. Yes, there were ministers and coalition members that said we should do it. Thankfully those bloodthirsty psychopaths will not be in the next government, hopefully not in the Knesset either, and they absolutely don't represent a majority opinion.
(This was a quick and dirty post, just a brain dump of my opinions, is it any good? should I make more of these? Let me know.)