Secret Agendas Fuel The Hamas-Israeli Conflict In Gaza – OpEd


Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, initiated deadly, large scale terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023 to deliberately provoke Israel to respond with overwhelming military might.  The Hamas attacks were strategically widespread and brutal, killing about 1,200 Israeli’s, most of whom were unarmed civilians.  Many Israeli women were raped, with most of them being killed after the assault.

Yahya Sinwar, and other Hamas leaders, knew that this level of killing and brutality would likely unleash a harsh and prolonged response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).  Hamas leaders wanted to provoke Israel to retaliate in force, destroying Gaza and killing thousands of innocent Palestinian Arabs.  That was the primary objective of Hamas’ vicious attack.

Hamas leaders view Palestinian civilians as expendable assets, who increase in value if they are killed or wounded by Israelis.  The more the Palestinians suffer from injuries, death, and the destruction of their homes and communities by the Israelis, the greater the rewards for Yahya Sinwar and other wealthy, corrupt Hamas leaders and officials.

The Gulf States, led by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with other Islamic states and wealthy Muslims around the world, donate billions of dollars to Hamas, to help the Palestinians.  These donations have reportedly increased 70 percent since Israel launched retaliatory attacks on Gaza.  Hamas will also garner massive donations during the reconstruction period that follows.  This is a win-win for Hamas leaders and officials, who will reap millions of US dollars for themselves, by stealing and diverting most of the donations and aid, just as they’ve been doing since taking control of Gaza in 2007.

According to a news story covered by the Daily Mail, three of Hamas’s most prominent senior leaders – Ismail Haniyeh, Khaled Mashal, and Mousa Abu Marzouk – who were living luxurious lifestyles in Qatar, until they recently went into hiding, have a combined net worth of over US $11 billion.  The actual amount is difficult to verify, due to the numerous “fronts” they use to hide their vast wealth in international real estate, bank accounts, stocks, and other investments.

Reportedly, Yahya Sinwar and 1,200 other Hamas officials and cronies are millionaires, profiting from the misery of the Palestinians, which is knowingly and deliberately orchestrated, facilitated, and sustained by Hamas.  The motivation for Hamas officials is money, not an enhanced quality of life for Palestinians.  Hamas officials want to keep Palestinians destitute and suffering, because it generates more donations for Hamas’ officials to steal, and scores of desperate young men to fight and die for Hamas.

Similar reports about the wealth of Hamas leaders appear in numerous international print and electronic media outlets.  War, poverty, and suffering are highly profitable for the Hamas leaders, who are willing to sacrifice the lives and prospects of innocent Palestinians and their children, to increase their personal wealth.  Hamas leaders further increase the suffering of Palestinians by stealing or diverting most of the money, commodities, and humanitarian aid donated to help the Palestinian population, in addition to stealing much of the tax revenues, fees, and other community income.

Hamas, which evolved from the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1987, claims to be a political party, while Israel, the United States (US), and other states call them a terrorist organization.  In reality, Hamas is a vile criminal organization that utilizes extortion, intimidation, embezzlement, smuggling, theft, murder, and other criminal activities to enrich themselves.  They are also a terrorist organization and a political organization, but these are secondary to their extensive criminal operations.

Hamas operates as terrorists to encourage generous donations from wealthy Islamic states and individuals, and to provoke Israel to retaliate, spiking donations.  Hamas operates as a political party to make it easier to steal and divert money and resources that are meant to help the Palestinian population.  Hamas officials seized monopolistic control of key businesses for their relatives and cronies, enabling them to inflate prices and fleece the Palestinian population, adding to their misery.  After gaining power, Hamas has cancelled elections, ensuring they maintain total tyrannical control of Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Radical Right-Wing Israeli Officials

Yahya Sinwar and Benjamin Netanyahu are both arrogant, conniving, corrupt, leaders.  Each of them are multimillionaires, profiting from their positions in “public service,” just as other millionaire Palestinian and Israeli leaders – past and present – have done.  Benjamin Netanyahu’s deadly and destructive response to Hamas’ October 7, 2023 terrorist attacks is what Sinwar and the Hamas leadership counted on and hoped for, anticipating the windfall of donations they could steal for themselves.  Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Forces eagerly took the bait and fell into the trap, just as Israel, the United States, and other states have knowingly or unwittingly done before, in response to actual or exaggerated terrorist and insurgent activities around the world.

It has been suggested that Netanyahu was duped by Hamas into launching a war of revenge that would be beneficial to Hamas on multiple levels.  Israel’s military response is perceived as excessive by the international community, sullying Israel’s reputation and straining their relationships with other states.  However, the reality is that Netanyahu recognized and enthusiastically responded to this trap, for the purpose of exploiting it for the political and economic objectives of himself and his associates.

A History of Conflict for Public Objectives and Hidden Agendas

For over 75 years, dating back before the State of Israel was created on May 14, 1948, Israeli and Palestinian leaders and power brokers deliberately and repeatedly embraced a policy of conflicts and conquest, while undermining opportunities for sustainable peace.  These leaders were driven by hidden agendas and greed, amassing vast power and wealth, while their respective citizens suffered, especially the Palestinians.  

Initially, the primary motivating force for Israeli and Palestinian leaders was for control of specific pockets of territory, with each side trying to drive out the other from targeted areas.  Territorial control shifted during the wars of 1948 and 1967, with additional modifications, including the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty that returned the Sinai to Egypt, 1993Oslo Accords, and other events.  The current Israeli leadership continues to facilitate territorial encroachment and settlements in Palestinian area of the West Bank, increasing the harassment and displacement of Palestinians.

Historically, the core Palestinian and Israeli leaders did not want a two-state solution that could help stabilize the region, regardless of the deceptive sound bites they feed the international media.  Initially each side wished to control both states, driving out the other.  Some leaders, on both sides, still strive for that, but the Israelis have been actively pursuing it through ongoing encroachment, settlements, and acts of violence and vandalism in the West Bank to drive out legal Palestinian residents.

In January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections, elevating Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas to form a Palestinian national unity government with Fatah, which had previously ruled Gaza, and continued to rule the West Bank.  Not wanting to share power, Hamas and Fatah clashed, with Hamas seizing full control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, while Fatah and the Palestinian Authority controlled the West Bank.  Hamas tightened their grip on Gaza, controlling all facets of the government, the legal and illicit economies, and security.  Hamas cancelled future elections, while their thugs silenced critics of Hamas’ corruption, abuses, and thefts, with beating or death.

Critics call Hamas, Israel’s creation, since they initially funded it to diminish the PLO and the Fatah party, which were led by Yasser Arafat.  Israel does not want a two-state solution, so having Gaza and the West Bank controlled by opposing groups facilitates that.  Israeli Brigadier General Yitzhak Segev, who was the military governor of Gaza in the 1980s, affirmed that Israel was funding and supporting Hamas.  Israel allowed Qatar and other states to provide massive donations to Hamas, increasing their power and their capacity to buy weapons and fund attacks.  Having a jihadi government in Gaza, that is launching rocket and terrorist attacks, and calling for the destruction of Israel, negates the pressure for a two-state solution, while facilitating the destruction of Gaza.

The Israeli Far-Right Zionists and Ultra-Nationalists Objectives in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, far-right Zionists, and ultra-nationalists, seek to seize and absorb the Palestinian territory in Gaza and the West Bank to form an expanded State of Israel.  That’s one of the reasons so many Israeli settlements have encroached into the West Bank.  It’s also the primary reason for the continued bombing and destruction of Gaza, following the vicious Hamas attacks of October 7, 2023.

Netanyahu claims that he is committed to destroying Hamas, which is an impossible task, since the Israeli’s will not be able to kill all of the Hamas fighters and commanders in Palestinian territories, nor all of the new ones being created, nor the top Hamas leadership living safely in other countries.  Equally important, Israel cannot stop the sources funding Hamas, which include wealthy and powerful Gulf States, and others, in addition to Hamas’ expansive international portfolio of investments and wealth.

Netanyahu launched “Swords of Iron,” his military campaign against Hamas, stating it would be a protracted operation.  In early January 2024, Netanyahu stated that military operations in Gaza will continue for at least another six months to drive out terrorists.  This will not eliminate Hamas, but it will help achieve the primary objective of Netanyahu and his cronies, destroying and depopulating Gaza.  Prolonging the war and destroying most of the buildings, homes, and infrastructure in Gaza, encourages more Palestinians fleeing the bloody devastation, to seek permanent residence in Egypt or elsewhere.  Palestinians will have nothing to come back to in Gaza, but misery and devastation.

Netanyahu and other Israeli officials claimed they are using guided smart bombs, with pinpoint accuracy, in addition to taking extensive measures to avoid civilian casualties.  These deceptions are told to the media to deflect accusations of Israel’s deliberate destruction of Gaza, with extensive collateral damage, which is a double-speak term for the killing and maiming of civilians and the destruction of nonmilitary targets.

The Israeli selection of targets is often speculation and random.  Additionally, a US intelligence report noted that about half of the munitions used against Gaza are the traditional “dumb” variety that lack a guidance system, so they may land anywhere within a wide radius of the target.  If Israel was trying to limit civilian casualties and the destruction of nonmilitary targets, these munitions would be limited or avoided, especially in urban areas.  However, since the objectives of Netanyahu’s core group is to destroy and depopulate Gaza, “dumb” bombs facilitate their objectives, with the ruse that smart weapons are being used, providing plausible deniability of what is deliberately taking place.  Almost 20 percent of Israeli fatalities since the invasion of Gaza were caused by friendly fire and accidents, reflecting the impact of erratic targeting and dumb bombs.  This is a very high number compared to most conflicts.

The objective of excessive and prolonged bombing, destruction, and death in Gaza to drive out the Palestinians, is similar to what Israel did in the 1948 war, to drive out Palestinians and discourage them from coming back to their historical communities.  Many of these communities were completely destroyed, while others were preserved and made available to Israeli settlements, expanding Israel’s encroachment into the areas that the United Nations (UN) designated for the Palestinians in the 1948 partition.

Benjamin Netanyahu and other far-right Zionist leaders and powerbrokers would like to depopulate and seize Gaza and the West Bank.  Historically, Israel has used operations by Israeli military units, militias, and local Israeli residents to drive out indigenous Palestinians.  Right-wing Zionist and nationalist groups will encourage more Israeli settlements in these areas to fill the void, in anticipation of annexing all of Gaza and the West Bank in the future, which is their objective.  If the Palestinians were granted a formal state, it would significantly negate Israel’s prospects for seizing and annexing Gaza and the West Bank into an expanded State of Israel.

During a television interview on December 30, 2023, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, publically advocated for Israel to facilitate and encourage emigration of Palestinians in Gaza to relocate to other countries.  Smotrich, who claims the Palestinians want to leave because they are living in a ghetto of hardship and poverty, also advocated a revival of Israeli settlements in Gaza, as part of an Israeli military and civilian takeover.  Smotrich said, “The Israelis want to return to Gaza because it’s a beautiful place, and they will turn the desert into a prosperous place.”

In 2005, 21 Israeli settlements were evacuated, as Israeli civilians and military units were pulled out of Gaza as part of a disengagement agreement.  Smotrich was one of the Israelis arrested in 2005 for protesting Israel’s removal of Israeli settlers in Gaza.  Some residents took the Israeli cash offer and moved, other Israelis refused to move, and had to be forced out by the Israeli military, who then demolished their homes.

Between 2009 and 2023, Smotrich was leader of the Religious Zionist Party, a right-wing, ultra-nationalist group that was formed in 1998.  In August 2023, it merged with The Jewish Home Party, a far-right, Orthodox Political Party to form the National Religious Party–Religious Zionism.  These groups wanted Israel to seize Gaza and the West Bank to form an enlarged Israeli state, with most of the Palestinians driven out.

During a radio interview on Sunday, December 31, 2023, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, said that 90 to 95 percent of the Palestinians should be removed from Gaza.  Smotrich’s rhetoric echo’s that of many Israeli right-wing Zionists and nationalistic groups.  Smotrich is representative of the kaleidoscope of Israeli and Palestinian drivers and groups in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, vying for influence.  

As of January 26, 2024, over 85 percent of the Palestinians in northern Gaza have been displaced, and over 75 percent throughout Gaza.  Some of the families and civilians had to move multiple times to escape the carnage.  The depopulation of Gaza has been “encouraged” by Israel’s relentless attacks.  By January 26, 2024, 26,083 Palestinians have died and 64,400 wounded.  About 7,000 are missing and presumed dead.  

Reports state that 35 to 70 percent of Gaza’s buildings and homes are destroyed.  This variance is caused by the methodology and which areas of Gaza were surveyed, with higher levels of destruction in the north.  Most reports state over 50 percent are destroyed.  Gaza is being reduced to an uninhabitable warzone.  Infrastructure is badly damaged, with water production at less than 10 percent of the prewar supply.  About two-thirds of the hospitals are inoperable.  Due to the water, sanitation, and other issues, Gaza is primed for significant outbreaks of disease and other health ailments. 

Netanyahu’s proclamation of “at least” six more months of a savage war is meant to encourage Palestinians to flee Gaza, with the mindset that they will not be coming back.  This is a significant psychological ploy, forcing Palestinians to look for other countries to emigrate to, rather than seeking temporary accommodations in a secondary area or refugee camp within Gaza, prior to coming back to their homes and communities.

Israel’s 3-D Campaigns in 1948 and 2023-24

This 3-D Israeli campaign of destruction, death, and depopulation in Gaza is similar to the strategy that Israel used in 1948, when the UN created the State of Israel on Friday, May 14, 1948, designating specific areas as the Israeli state, while Gaza and the West Bank were designated as Palestinian territories.  David Ben-Gurion, who became the first Prime Minister of Israel, and right-wing Zionist leaders, sanctioned car bombs, terrorism, and brutal attacks by Jewish paramilitary groups and military forces that included massacres of Arab men, women, and children in Palestinian villages in Palestinian territories and the new State of Israel.  These attacks began more than six months prior the UN patrician, as Jewish leaders initiated an aggressive campaign to drive out Palestinians.  There was extensive looting and other crimes and atrocities.   

After the July 1948 Israeli attack on the village of Lydda, in Palestinian territory, as designated by the UN, Yitzhak Rabin, who became the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, signed an expulsion order, after David Ben-Gurion signaled him to drive out the residents.  This order forced all of the residents – regardless of age and health – to leave their homes and walk 10 to 15 miles towards the Arab Legion positions.  Temperatures reportedly reached 30 to 35 degrees Celsius (86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit).  They had to leave most of their possessions, which were looted by the Israeli Defense Forces.  Some Palestinian refugees were searched by Israeli soldiers, who took their wallets, jewelry, and valuables.  This was an Israeli policy to make the refugees more dependent upon the Arab armies, depleting their resources and diverting their troops.

Many residents were carrying their children, while others carried a few personal possessions, which were often left along the road, as the Palestinians, lacking adequate water and weary from the walk, discarded them.  It’s estimated that about 330 to 350 people died during the march, which was especially brutal and exhausting for the elderly and the children.  Palestinians and others refer to this as the Lydda Death March.

During the war, Ben-Gurion told the military and militias that a decisive blow should be struck in each attack, resulting in the destruction of homes and the expulsion of the Palestinian population.  As Israel’s brutal ethnic cleansing progressed, news of these savage and ruthless tactics and massacres created fear and panic among Palestinians, causing many of them to flee their communities ahead of advancing Israeli forces.  

Jewish forces destroyed or depopulated more than 400 villages and towns, driving out Palestinian residents, including villages in areas the UN designated as Palestinian territory.  Many villages were demolished, leaving residents nothing to come back to.  Other villages were left fully or partially intact, providing free furnished housing for Jewish settlers, who were encouraged to move into these villages and seize the buildings and homes, to block the return of Palestinians, who owned the properties.

The lawful Palestinian residents received no compensation, nor did Israel recognize any recourse to reclaim their property and possessions.  Following the war, UN Resolution 194 directed that Palestinian refugees, who wanted to return to their homes, and live in peace, should be allowed to do so, but Israel ignored the Resolution, and the UN did nothing to back it up.  Other UN Resolutions were also ignored.

Israeli military and paramilitary groups made vicious incursions into the designated Arab territories, attacking towns and villages to drive out the Palestinians, so Israelis could seize additional areas beyond their territorial boundaries designated by the 1948 UN patrician.  Israeli paramilitary groups included the National Military Organization, also known as Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, who became Israel’s sixth Prime Minister, and Fighters for the Freedom of Israel, also known as Lehi and the Stern Gang.  Avraham Stern started the group in 1940, launching terrorist attacks against the British, and seeking an alliance with Nazi Germany, in an attempt to form an Israeli state

Intense fighting for territorial position between Arab and Jewish communities began months prior to the expiration of the British Mandate, and the creation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.  There were massacres carried out by Jewish and Arab forces between December 1947 and November 1948, in addition to random attacks, including Jewish and Arab civilians being killed on the streets and in their homes.

Jewish led massacres during the 1948 war, included the village of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948 carried out by the Irgun and Lehi militias, and the massacre of Al-Dawayima, carried out by the Israeli military on October 29, 1948.  There were also massacres carried out by Arabs, along with ongoing attacks on Palestinian and Jewish villages.  Arabs and Jews often have conflicting accounts of these massacres, but reports by the UN and others organizations provide unbiased reporting and evidence of these events.

The Phony War

Some regional Arab leaders during the 1948 war spoke of ridding Palestine of the Jews, but did little militarily to back up their rhetoric.  A month prior to the UN partition that created the State of Israel, the Arab League announced that Arab armies would come into Palestine to lend support to the Palestinians on a temporary basis.  Palestinians had not been allowed to form, arm or train military forces under the era of the British mandate, so they were no match for the Jewish fighting units, which Arab historians claim were well-armed and well-trained, which they were, compared to the Palestinians.

The Arab Legion was disorganized, lacking a functioning united command, and with schisms between the armies.  Bagdad ordered the Iraqi forces to return to Iraq.  King Abdullah I of Transjordan, whose army was led by British military officers, reportedly made a secret deal not to engage Israeli forces.  In return, Israeli leaders sanctioned King Abdullah I seizing the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, which other Arab states believed was a temporary seizure.  The British and Israelis wanted to stop Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, from controlling the West Bank.  He had worked for the Nazis, broadcasting propaganda and supporting the Holocaust, while trying to prevent Jews from immigrating to Palestine to escape it.  The Mufti spent time in Germany, meeting with Hitler, Himmler, and other Nazis, as well as Mussolini in Italy.

British Officer, John Glubb, an advisor of King Abdullah I and commander of Transjordan military forces, called the 1948 Arab incursion into Palestine “The Phony War.”  It may have been phony and lackluster for many of the Arab forces, but Israeli forces were slaughtering and displacing the ill-equipped Palestinians.  King Abdullah I of Transjordan ignored the “temporary” status, and announced he would annex East Jerusalem and the West Bank, undermining Palestinian hopes of independence, and causing schisms with the other Arab states, including Egypt, which took control of Gaza.

In 1948, the newly formed Palestinian government in Gaza announced the formation of a Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, but only a few Arab states recognized it, including Egypt, which continued to maintain control of Gaza.  Transjordan and other states did not recognize an independent Palestinian state in Gaza.

Reinforcing his expansion into the West Bank, King Abdullah I prohibited the use of the term “Palestine” in legal documents.  In December 1948, the Arab-Palestinian Congress sanctioned the acquisition of the West Bank, which was reportedly supported by the majority of the newly absorbed Palestinians.  The Palestinians in the West Bank wanted security, stability, and prosperity – just as they do today.  Transjordan appeared to be a better option than the chaos and corruption of emerging Palestinian leaders.

While some Arab League members were against the annexation, it was approved by the Palestinians and the Jordanians, with the combined territories being renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on January 21, 1949, and approved by the National Assembly April 24, 1950.  King Abdullah I was shot and killed by a Palestinian July 20, 1951, while visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.  The West Bank continued to be part of Jordan until the Six-Day War of June 1967, when Israel seized it from Jordan, along with the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Israeli forces aggressively pushed Palestinians into outlying areas of the West Bank and Gaza, and into the contiguous states of Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, and Egypt.  In total, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians were displaced, which coincidentally is the number of Jews, who emigrated from other countries to the new State of Israel between 1948 and 1951, with many given Palestinian homes.  

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion directed that all Palestinian villages and towns be given Hebrew names, as he and other Zionists erased historical and cultural traces of Palestine from the maps and minds of people in the region and around the world.  Some Jews stressed Israel’s historical ties to the area, dating back to biblical times of Joshua, David, and Solomon, who shared the land with the Philistines and other groups.

Palestinians referred to this mass removal during and after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war as Nakba, an Arabic word that means “catastrophe.”  During this brutal ethnic cleansing waged by Israeli military and militias, an estimated 80 percent of the Palestinians, who had been living in what became the State of Israel, were driven out.  Reportedly, 250,000 more Palestinians were driven out of their homes from villages and towns in areas, which the UN had designated as Palestinian territory.  By the time of the UN Armistice in 1949, over 50 percent of the Palestinians were refugees.

Both the Far-Right Zionists and Hamas are Against a Two-State Solution

Benjamin Netanyahu, right-wing Zionist leaders, and ultra-nationalists are strongly against a two-state solution that would create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.  This would disrupt their future plans to annex these areas into the State of Israel.  Hamas is also against a two-state solution, as was Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Hamas and the PLO have historically disrupted opportunities for a peaceful resolution and a two-state solution, due to excessive greed, theft, and embezzlement by unscrupulous Palestinian officials, who prefer the power and profits of conflict and corruption over the accountability and scrutiny of running a Palestinian state.

Continuing the conflict ensures that billions of US dollars in cash, commodities, and humanitarian aid will continue to pour into Palestinian territories annually, with much of it being stolen by corrupt Palestinian officials and their cronies.  Additionally, continuing the conflict with Israel diminishes accountability for corrupt and incompetent Palestinian leaders and officials, who fail to provide adequate infrastructure, services, employment, and opportunities to Palestinian residents, in spite of the billions of dollars in money, goods, and services that have been donated.  Thieving, inept Palestinian officials blame Israel for all of the shortages and suffering of the Palestinians, in spite of the fact that virtually all of the poverty and problems in Gaza and the West Bank have been directly or indirectly caused by unscrupulous Palestinian leaders.

The current war in Gaza makes a two-statesolution less likely, fulfilling the desires of the Far-Right Zionists and Hamas, with the Palestinian population and the Israeli and US taxpayers paying for this deceit in blood, shekels, and dollars.

As noted, the ulterior objective is for the right-wing Zionists to drive out most or all of the Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank, so these territories can be annexed into the expanded State of Israel.  Hamas uses the same objective as a prop, but with the expulsion of the Israelis from the region.  

Some Hamas and PLO officials wanted armies from Arab states to help conquer Israel and drive out the Israelis.  That’s another reason why Hamas, the PLO, and other militant groups continued initiating suicide bombings and terrorist attacks against Israel.  They wanted to provoke harsh Israeli retaliations against Palestinian terrorism, with the hope that the IDF’s response incited Arab armies to launch attacks against Israel.

Historically, most of the devious Hamas and PLO leaders have cared little about the Palestinian population, except how the discouraged youth can be duped into becoming fighters or suicide bombers, and how the bloodied bodies and corpses of Palestinian civilians can help increase donations.  The primary objectives of Palestinian leaders and officials is to keep provoking hostilities, destruction, and death, to enrich themselves.

The Israeli-Palestinian issues are complex, layers of hidden drivers, personal agendas, and deceit that cloud Palestinian-Israeli issues, Arab-Israeli issues, and Palestinian interactions with Arab states.  However, the most significant deceptions are how Palestinian leaders and officials manipulate, use, and abuse the Palestinian population.

The Bizarro World of Counterinsurgency and War

People throughout the world have seen the fallacy of false and exaggerated reasons for going to war, the flawed and obtuse objectives for being at war, and the foolish and counterproductive military and civilian operations that occur during the war.  I’ve operated in a variety of war zones, in addition to conducting research and interviews around the world on terrorism, insurgencies, and wars.

In US popular culture, “Bizarro World” refers to situations and characteristics that are the exact opposite of what they should be.  In this inverted world, good things are bad, and bad things are good.  This often applies to foreign policy, counterinsurgency operations, and warfare, in that hidden drivers create Bizarro World equivalents in how foreign policy and military conflicts are handled.

Traditionally, the use of diplomacy to peacefully address and resolve issues should be preferable to war.  Additionally, during counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations, military operations should strive to diminish the capacity and motivation of enemy forces and their supporters, instead of elevating them.

Unfortunately, in many cases, the opposite tactics are used – deliberately or mistakenly – with negotiations focused on inciting and justifying military operations, instead of avoiding them.  Once engaged, military operations often appear to be focused on expanding and prolonging conflicts, instead of minimizing and ending them.  These trends are problematic, as many states and organizations – from the United States and Israel to ISIS and Hamas – profit from both the reality and threat of war.

The hidden drivers in these Bizarro World scenarios include assassinations, coups, military operations, False Flags, and exaggerating or fabricating alleged enemy activities and threats, to get control of strategic states, territories, and resources.  In this quest, democratically elected leaders may be replaced with complicit, corrupt tyrants, often for the dubious objective of “spreading democracy.”

Drivers also include deliberately or recklessly encouraging terrorism, insurgencies, and wars to justify and increase bloated military and defense budgets, misguided military operations, and an increasing erosion of civil liberties, in which law-abiding residents of ethically-challenged, war-mongering states are subjected to stasi-like surveillance, harassment, and attacks by nefarious agencies of their respective governments.  These malicious, illegal assaults on innocent citizens are allegedly done to “protect” them.


Hamas leaders got the response they wanted, when Netanyahu and his cronies seized upon Hamas’ terrorist attacks to achieve their own objectives.  Like Hamas, they were unconcerned about Palestinian and Israeli casualties.  Nor were they concerned about the second- and third-order effects of their operations, which include increased attacks on Israeli and US interests by affiliated or supportive groups of Hamas in the Middle East and around the globe.  The blowback and escalation – from Hamas’ initial terrorist’s attacks, Israel’s excessive military response, the ongoing and expanding regional terrorists attacks, and US military reactions – were predictable. 

Many terrorist and insurgent organizations have become savvy propagandists, utilizing and manipulating the global print and electronic media, social media, blogs, the Internet and cell phones to publicize their acts of terrorism – staged political theater – meant to increase their exposure, financial donations, state and community support, and recruits from throughout the region and around the world.  

Additionally, they strive to have their targets – the US, Israel, and other states – overreact, responding with excessive force that causes destruction and deaths in civilian communities.  This sullies their reputation in the targeted region and the international court of public opinion, undermining cooperation, support, and empathy, even when they were prompted to act, after being victims of recent terrorist attacks.

Historically, it’s common for terrorists and insurgents to launch attacks from civilian settings or to hide among the population, trying to provoke their adversaries to kill and wound civilians, alienating the indigenous population, compromising the credibility of local officials, and reinforcing the propaganda talking points of insurgents and terrorists.  In some cases, fanatics will deliberately kill civilians, so as to blame it on their enemies. 

Truth – on all sides – is often the first casualty of war, while the perceived reality in war zones is often established by who gets their messaging out first, with the caveat that it must be presented in a way that is culturally and operationally accepted, absorbed, retained, and regurgitated by the target population – local, regional, and international – in a way that preemptively and continually neutralizes opposing rhetoric and propaganda.

Culturally savvy, skilled operators can take this to the next level, planting trigger points within the population, and / or the target audience, that will spontaneously denigrate their opponents – states, insurgents, or terrorists – every time they spew their traditional talking points.  These actions cause enemies to undermine themselves, by turning their established talking points into negatives that discredit, isolate, and shame them.

The theatrics, objectives, and subliminal aspects of terrorism, insurgencies, and war go well beyond Information Operations and Psychological Operations, especially the way they are maximized by media-savvy insurgents and jihadis, operating within their demographic cultural bubble, and those trying to comprehend and counter them.

Palestinians Can Prosper by Ousting Corrupt Leaders and Leeches

The Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been repeatedly abused, neglected, and exploited by an ongoing parade of thoroughly corrupt and deceitful leaders, from the PLO to Hamas.  The primary hindrances preventing Palestinians from achieving stability and prosperity are Palestinian leaders and meddlesome, self-serving Arab states and terrorists groups, in addition to the Israelis.

Historically, Palestinian leaders, Islamic heads of state, along with Hamas, PLO, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist and insurgent groups, have all used and abused the Palestinians as props, to be exploited for personal profit, unsavory objectives, and to justify violent and illegal, self-serving actions.  These nefarious groups sully themselves, by repeatedly violating the teaching of the Qur’an and Hadith.

All of the Palestinian leaders – from the PLO to Hamas – have deliberately kept the population in a state of poverty and despair, for selfish reasons.  “The Poor suffering Palestinians” make great props, enabling corrupt, self-absorbed Palestinian leaders to garner billions of dollars in donations and aid, most of which is stolen or diverted by greedy, thieving Palestinian leaders and officials, along with their relatives and cronies.

Keeping Palestinians suffering and discouraged provides Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups with an ongoing supply of duped jihadis to carry out terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, fueling unnecessary violence to perpetuate conflicts and graft.

One thing that should come out of this recent conflict between Hamas and Israel is for the Palestinian population to realize they need to oust Hamas and other corrupt leaders, groups, and regional leeches, who have been sucking the life, the wealth, and the future out of Palestinians for decades.

Palestinians should insist that all of the money and goods generated from taxes, donations, tunnel trade, and other sources be transparently accounted for, and spent on Palestinian infrastructure, services, and the population, instead of providing corrupt, decadent leaders with luxurious lifestyles and billion dollar portfolios.  Palestinians can have prosperity for themselves and their children, when they rid themselves of corrupt, tyrannical leaders and false prophets, who are only interested in enriching themselves.

Palestinians should demand an end to the jihadi brainwashing of Palestinian children and adults, and the needless acts of terrorism that enhance the profits of unscrupulous leaders, but diminish basic necessities and opportunities – from clean drinking water to employment – for Palestinians.  Stopping the self-destructive violence and the indoctrination of hate is the best way to get the Israelis to negotiate in good faith to address the aspirations and demands of the Palestinian population.  

Stopping the terrorism, rocket attacks, and the hate-filled, jihadi rallies, will add credibility to the Palestinian cause.  This can create a groundswell of support for the Palestinians from throughout the world, backed up by economic and political drivers, compelling Israel to address Palestinian concerns on current issues and future objectives.  This is a path to peace, prosperity, and ethical self-rule for Palestinians.

James Emery

James Emery, a cultural anthropologist, has dealt with issues and events in the United States and overseas for over thirty-five years, from cultural, political, and economic issues to narcotics trafficking and insurgencies. He’s conducted extensive interviews and research in the US and around the world, including combat zones and conflict areas.

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