The Swamp logo

Content warning

This story may contain sensitive material or discuss topics that some readers may find distressing. Reader discretion is advised. The views and opinions expressed in this story are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vocal.

How Iran Pried Palestinian Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

An open-source analysis of how Iran has used Palestinians towards their own ends

By James Graham IIIPublished 9 months ago Updated 9 months ago 5 min read
AP Photo/Yousef Masoud

Reader discretion is advised: this article discusses war and violence.

BLUF: It is highly likely that Iran engineered or perhaps even ordered the terror attacks in Israel to expose an inevitably, brutal Israeli response with the goal being to discourage Muslim nations from normalizing relations with Israel or perhaps even encouraging a Muslim coalition invasion of Israel.

By now it’s almost certain that you’ve heard or read of the attacks committed by Hamas upon people in Israel which were done in such an indiscriminate manner that not only Jewish people found themselves victims, but many foreigners and even ethnic Palestinian Muslims – likely who work or study in Israel but live in Gaza. I will spare you from recounting the gruesome details of how these victims’ lives were taken and instead will focus on the “why” of this attack. A few reasons have been given but most, lack true logic and foresight.

To start, according to the New York Times and other outlets1, Muhammad Deif, the leader of the military wing of Hamas, stated that they conducted their terror attack so that “the enemy will understand that the time of their rampaging without accountability has ended.” The rampaging he specifically referred to revolved around right-wing, ultra-nationalist Israeli Jewish assaults on Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli police force raids on and near Al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount.

Which to his credit is not without truth. Earlier this year Israeli Security forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, one of the most holy periods of the year in Islam.2 At least 400 Palestinians were arrested after some were beaten by police who say the worshippers barricaded themselves inside and refused demands to disperse peacefully. This incident by Israeli police sparked widespread condemnation from both in and outside of the Muslim world. But if this act was what sparked Hamas’ will to massacre more than 1,000 people (at this time of writing), I struggle to see their logic.

The heavy-handed and unrelenting retaliation from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has leveled entire blocks in Gaza killing mass amounts of presumed militants but also women and children. HAMAS officials, likely reeling from the most intense air campaign Israel has launched upon them in more than a decade, have since said they are open to a ceasefire which the Israelis have flatly ignored.3 Perhaps Hamas leadership thought the more than one hundred hostages they kidnapped would stay an Israeli invasion, but clearly that action has not saved them. So, in the end we are left to ask ourselves, did Hamas really consider that it was worth it to kill around 1,000 civilians if it meant Israel could kill ten times that number of Palestinians in retribution?

I do not consider this reason that Hamas has given to be genuine. It serves more as a convenient excuse than a real reason. Obviously, no reason they could give would provide justification in any way. But alas, military operations, even those committed by terrorists, usually have some strategic or tactical goal. But as the retaliation continues against Hamas, it must now be becoming increasingly clear to them the reality: they will not survive this retaliation. Israel’s military will wipe them out and will not care how many Palestinian civilians they kill in the process of doing so.

So, if the conclusion of this is the total destruction of Hamas, then one might be led to believe they were even suicidal. But I don’t believe that to be true either. Hamas isn’t suicidal. Delusional perhaps, but not suicidal. No, I assess the situation to be more complex than that. Hamas was used and is now being sacrificed by Iran. The Iranian regime is the only party to gain anything at all from this display of slaughter.

Iran provides an unprecedented amount of support to Hamas and neighboring Hezbollah in the form of weapons, training, and propaganda. It is my assessment – and one shared with many other professionals4 – that it is a near certain that Iran helped orchestrate, if not outright ordered, these attacks. Hamas for its part lacked the foresight to see how destructive the Israeli response would be. Hamas and the Palestinians who support them, will end up gaining nothing from this except one singular day of self-proclaimed victory – followed by weeks of their own destruction and their own families being slaughtered without condition by the Israelis.

But even if Hamas is destroyed – and again I maintain that it will be – Iran wins. At the very least, Iran will create a stage in which to broadcast the total-war destruction the Israelis used upon Iran’s proxy, Hamas. They will broadcast any footage they can find of collateral damage, targeted specifically at the global Muslim audience. The goal being to prevent or perhaps even reverse the recent trend of Islamic nations normalizing relations with Israel. At the most, although the chances of this are extremely low, Iran might hope to rally another Muslim coalition to invade Israel and save Palestinian Hamas from destruction.

The timing of this attack and resulting war lends even more evidence that Iran orchestrated these attacks. Palestine was in a way, winning against Israel. Palestinians enjoyed broad support on a global scale and Netanyahu’s right-wing government was bleeding support to moderates and liberals.5 Ultra-Orthodox Jews – the ones responsible for brutal attacks on Palestinians – were also not popular amongst the Israeli population and Israeli Police had been increasingly involved with suppressing Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rallies. Israel was becoming more liberal and tolerant, not less. That tolerance and liberalism could have paved the way for a more peaceful resolution between Palestinians and Israeli Jews. But peace is bad for Iran’s ideological mission, which seeks to prevent Muslims making peace with Israel.7 Palestinians were probably closer to their own state – their victory – now than at most times during their history. But not anymore.

In a way, Hamas is a victim of this as well. Of course, they will never be victims like the lives they stole and shattered. But in a way they are Iran’s victims too. Hamas leaders did not plan to die after their attack. They did not plan for their families to die. They did not plan to lose their enclave and have even more Palestinians – the ones that survive – to be subject to occupation, death, homelessness, or annexation. All of which are likely now. They have been used by Iran like a battering ram and now have been left to be slaughtered. Martyred for Iran’s ideological agenda.

Tragically, no matter what happens over the next few days, weeks, and months, Iran will have achieved some form of its goals. The more human beings who are killed, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, the bigger Iran’s victory will be.

1. https://www.nytimes.com/article/israel-gaza-hamas-what-we-know.html

2. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/5/al-aqsa-mosque-compound-and-recurrent-ramadan-tensions

3. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/hamas-official-says-group-is-open-discussions-over-truce-with-israel-2023-10-09/

4. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/hamas-and-israel-irans-role#:~:text=The%20Iranian%20role%20in%20the,by%20training%20is%20well%20known

5. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israels-netanyahu-down-polls-over-judicial-reform-2023-07-26/

6. https://www.timesofisrael.com/ultra-orthodox-anti-draft-protesters-clash-with-police-in-jerusalem/

7. https://www.timesofisrael.com/rouhani-warns-muslim-countries-against-friendship-with-israel/

opinionhistorydefense

About the Creator

James Graham III

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For Free

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    JGIWritten by James Graham III

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.