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Israel’s actions breed a stronger resistance

As seen in Capital Times.

Jason slew the dragon to get the golden fleece. He then sowed its teeth. Warriors grew from the soil, according to myth.

But myth or not, “sowing the dragon’s teeth” results in an unanticipated future. You generate enemies.

Israel’s right-wing government hopes it will destroy Hamas. Actually, it will do the opposite.

There are 14 million Palestinians in the world — 3.2 million are in the West Bank and 2.1 million are in Gaza. This is 38% of the total. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt have 4.5 million Palestinians. Israel has 1.65 million with about 1 million in Chile, South Africa and the U.S. This is about half of the Palestinian diaspora. The other 12% are spread out throughout the world

The Jewish population is about 16.1 million. About 47.2% of them are in the U.S., 44% in Israel. About 1.1 million are in France, the UK and Canada, making up about 7%. This is about 98%. These numbers are estimates, but give an excellent idea of how populations are split.

Numbers are boring; I understand that. But numbers help see the future.

Hamas’s terrorist attack was horrendous, but Israel’s incursion on Gaza is draconian. It will, in my opinion, result in the growth of opposition to Israel.

What motivates terrorism, especially the Hamas attack that killed 1,400 people?

What generates retribution, like the kind that Benjamin Netanyahu, has unleashed against the Gaza strip? To date, this is more than 10 times the number of Israelis that Hamas killed. It is estimated, at last count, that about half are children.

Part of this on both sides occurs when you see the “other” as non-humans.

While it is probably true that most members of Hamas are Palestinians, it is also true that all Palestinians are not supporters of Hamas.

Part of the answer to terrorism and insurgencies lies in the thinking of Eric Hofer’s book “The True Believer.”

To summarize from Wikipedia, fanatics arise when large numbers of frustrated people, believing their own individual lives are worthless, join a movement for radical change. The real attraction is to escape from the self. My own reading of Hofer and others agrees with this opinion.

Is the discord in Israel-Palestine about religion? I believe it is about land.

Why did Hamas make this attack now? My guess is that it was motivated by the talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel and the recognition by some countries in the Middle East, combined with the current government’s policies on settlements in the West Bank, the takeover of police by right-wing Israeli politicians, as well as the right-wing movement to neuter the Supreme Court.

How is peace achieved with warring people?

First, explore the causes and disputes.

Second, recognize that the absence of war, does not equal friendship. Egypt and Israel are a good example.

Third, see your adversary as human.

In the end, Israel’s war in Gaza will not result in peace. In destroying the Palestinian people along with Hamas, they will only reap the new warriors that will rise from the dragon’s teeth.

Bob Chernow is a futurist who has expertise as a military intelligence officer in the Army and Special Forces.

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