No winners in Gaza war

What Hamas destroyed

The high price of a pointless war

Palestinians’ hatred of Israel runs so deep that they cheer Hamas for insisting on the destruction of the Jewish state rather than negotiating a two-state peace.

by Editorials

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, August 28, 2014,

So much anguish, so much bloodshed, and we’re back to a basic truth: Hamas is an utterly nihilistic force that values its maddened hatred of the Jewish state far more than it does the lives of the Gazan people.

And in its anti-Semitic fervor, the terrorist organization has a depressingly deep well of support from the very people whose lives it toys with.

From day one of the conflict that began in June, Israel would have preferred calm.

But Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket attacks that terrorized innocent Israelis, as well as the kidnapping and murder of three boys, forced Israel to respond, to stop the rockets and dismantle Hamas’ terror tunnels.

More than 2,000 Palestinians, along with 70 Israelis, ultimately paid with their lives — with most of the Gazan casualties coming after Hamas rejected an Egyptian ceasefire proposal 35 days ago.

The Palestinian people gained nothing between that fateful decision and what appears to be the final ceasefire agreed to on Tuesday. The terms are essentially the same. Only the unnecessary body count is higher.

With Hamas cut off from its Iranian patrons by the civil war in Syria, its leaders live in the lap of luxury in the Gulf state of Qatar, a thousand miles from the one-sided conflict that’s devastated the territory they’ve controlled since Israel ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005.

OLIVER WEIKEN/EPA Self-destructive hatred

The distance helps explain Hamas’ indifference to the price Palestinians paid in blood and tears for the pointless war it began and continued.

Then, too, Palestinians’ hatred of Israel runs so deep that they cheer Hamas for insisting on the destruction of the Jewish state rather than negotiating a two-state peace.

Israel did what it had to do in self-defense. Its military degraded Hamas’ ability to fire rockets, destroyed the tunnels Hamas had built to infiltrate Israel and dispatched a number of top Hamas commanders. But long-term, the prospects for peace are nil.

Distressingly, the U.S. contributed to the dim outlook. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry so misplayed efforts to broker a truce that the superpower was sidelined as Egypt took the lead in working out the end to hostilities.

As another measure of America’s diminished influence in the region, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates joined forces to conduct airstrikes in Libya without informing the U.S. and, still worse, reportedly lied about it to the administration.

Bottom lines: Hamas eclipsed any pretense of moderate leadership by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Obama and Kerry squandered trust. And Israel lived to prepare to fight another day.

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