by STEPHEN GREEN
They must have felt like gods, the Hamas terrorists who invaded southern Israel on October 7. Indeed, they enjoyed almost godlike powers, first blinding Israel’s remote-control border cameras and then bulldozing through the security fence as though it were hardly there.
All so they could lord their powers over Israeli civilians — raping, torturing, murdering… and not always in that order. The “lucky” Israelis survived long enough to be dragged back to Gaza to be used as human shields and worse.
Hamas even had the ambitions of gods. A report earlier this week claimed that captured maps and reconnaissance indicated that Hamas had hoped to reach the West Bank, cleaving Israel in two, and sparking a wider war — Armageddon, to borrow a local word with global currency. “If that had occurred, it would have been a huge propaganda win — a symbolic blow not only against Israel but also against the Palestinian Authority,” a U.S. official told the Washington Post.
What a difference a few weeks make because now it’s Israel’s turn.
“Proportionality” is the diplomat’s word for “fair.” “How do we fight this war fairly?” is a question no victor ever asked, and one not being asked by Israel’s government or military.
IAF jets roam the skies at will, raining death and destruction on the terrorists who briefly fancied themselves as gods. Once thought to be impregnable, Hamas tunnels — dug under hospitals, civilian apartment buildings, and mosques — are now killing grounds for IDF and Hamas alike.
PJ Media’s own Richard Fernandez — or as I like to call him, The Smartest Man in the World™ — tweeted Monday that current reports from Gaza “appear to confirm my earlier estimate that Hamas is collapsing and increasingly focused on individual survival. IDF infantry probably shifting to pursuit and raiding in deeper forays.”
“The Hamas organization has lost control in Gaza: Terrorists are fleeing south, civilians are looting Hamas bases. They have no confidence in the government,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Monday. Hamas’ days are numbered, twilight is upon them, and every Hamas knows it.
The German word for it is Götterdämmerung, “the twilight of the gods.”
Comparisons to Hitler’s Germany almost write themselves. Flush with easy victories over Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, and even France, Hitler believed he could take the Soviet Union with as much ease. “We have only to kick in the door,” Hitler assured his generals, “and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.”
Even with the USSR’s almost inexhaustible manpower, resources, and land to retreat across, Hitler — drunk on his seemingly godlike power — believed he could defeat the Soviets in six weeks.
Two hundred two weeks later, Germany no longer existed as a functioning country. Its cities had been burned or smashed, the countryside ravaged, and its reduced territory split into four zones occupied by the victors in the war Germany had started.
The Nazis hidden in Hitler’s underground bunker were dead, like Hamas will be in their tunnels. Several high-ranking Nazis managed to escape in the confusion, and some Hamas will, too. But understand that Jerusalem will patiently hunt them down for killing or kidnapping back to Israel for fair trials. They’ll take years to complete the job, if necessary.
But that’s the future. There is still a capital city to capture — never an easy task.
Taking Berlin cost the Soviets more than 360,000 casualties, including 81,000 or so dead. At the end, the city was a burnt-out, blown-up shell of its prewar glory. Israeli casualties won’t be anything like the Soviets suffered, but for a small country, the losses may prove nearly insufferable.
It’s a price Israel has paid before.