WSJ: “Israel’s war against Hamas”

Buried in a Wall Street Journal article on what the lockdown champs of the Northeast will be paying for heat this winter…

Israel’s war against Hamas has injected fresh risk into oil markets. Traders have hurried to reposition themselves for a conflict that could embroil oil-rich, Hamas-backer Iran.

The recent fighting is not a battle within the war that the Arabs declared against the Jews in 1948 after rejecting the United Nations partition (background). Nor is the continued fighting part of a new war that was initiated by the elected government of the Palestinians (still popular with residents of Gaza) on October 7, 2023 (two weeks ago and, apparently, already forgotten). The current fighting is a war initiated by Israel for unspecified/unknown reasons. It is entirely “Israel’s war” and anyone who isn’t Israeli is a passive victim of the war.

Maybe CNN can shed some light on why Israel has attacked the mostly peaceful mostly defenseless Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”)? Here’s the front page last night:

Muslims are heroically working in hospitals while Jews attack for no reason.

More from CNN last night, below. Palestinians are “refugees” and “evacuees”. They need “humanitarian relief” because a “complete siege” has been perpetrated by Israel for, apparently, no reason. These are disaster victims and had no role in creating the disaster:

(Separately, if whatever food trucked in isn’t sufficient for the entire population, won’t most or all of it go to those who carry guns and fight the enemy? In any type of wartime shortage situation, don’t soldiers always eat first? Thus, will it be fair to say that President Biden’s humanitarian aid will go directly to soldiers of the Islamic Resistance Movement and Palestinian Islamic Jihad? (also known as “terrorists”, but I reject this label for people fighting on behalf of an elected government))

31 thoughts on “WSJ: “Israel’s war against Hamas”

  1. Interestingly, while the public was focused on middle east war episode 60 for the last week, the government quietly released the fed survey of consumer finances, finding no-one got richer but all the rich people in Calif* spread out & bumped the statistics up to reality.

  2. Now that WSJ finally has to deal with results of its long track record of missing and misleading financial forecasts and loosing market momentum and its advocacy of disastrous policies it too is striving to be so-called “woke” company trading in lies. WSJ, (spiritual) sister publication of NYT
    Thanks Philip for reading WSJ (and NYT) and watching CNN so we do not have to.

  3. I don’t read the WSJ snippet the way you do, Phil. Bibi declared war on Hamas so Israel is at war with (“against”) Hamas. I don’t read this as a statement on the causes of the war, who is right and wrong, etc. It is just a statement of fact. The WSJ could have started with “as a result of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians” etc but that would have changed the focus, which is on the the reaction of the traders not who is at fault or what caused the war. As an aside, I hate to come to the defense of the WSJ, since outside of the editorial pages it seems now to be dominated by the same sorts who dominate the rest of legacy media. I don’t read or watch CNN and am not going to start now so I cannot comment on the rest.

    • Google for “russia’s war against ukraine” yields 192 results. Searching for “ukraine’s war against russia” yields 2.

    • Dear Lord, take your tin helmet off. Hamas is outgrowth of Muslim Brotherhood, and if Israel created anything it was some cultural politically correct association to empower Muslim self expression. Can you spell “Hamas cowardly attacked Israel on one of its brightest religious holidays that celebrates event adorned by all people of Abrahamic faiths everywhere and in cold blood slaughtered children, women and senior citizens, thus paying back for Israeli appeasement efforts”

    • perplexed, you’re speeding up. Last time your angry response took 21 minutes but this time only 19 minutes. Bravo!

      Here’s more about Israel’s creativity: Ari Ben-Menashe on Israeli Black Operations. Excerpt:

      Abbas then gathered a team to attack the cruise ship. The team was told to make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met. As the world knows, the group picked on an elderly American Jewish man in a wheelchair [former US Air Force navigator Leon Klinghoffer], killed him, and threw his body overboard. They made their point. But for Israel it was the best kind of anti-Palestinian propaganda.

    • Dear Lord, it just happened that I replied to another post first and so your ridiculous comment. Now that I am procrastinating on important project, I want to tell you that it is pretty paranoid and sick to consider that most people see death of their comrades or beloved as propaganda fodder. Do not know who this Ben Menashe fellow is but it seem that he is pretty sick. Since you are the Lord you may also be a knight. I know your King supports Israel under attack but you seem to stand your pro-Hamas ground. Is it you there, Sir Knight?

    • Lord P: That’s an elaborate collection of quotes. I’m not sure that it amounts to official Israeli policy, however, even if the quotes are accurate. By far the largest supporter of Palestinian military efforts, including those by Hamas, is the United States. By being the largest donor to UNRWA, the U.S. taxpayer pays the largest share of ordinary government expenses (education, health care, food for a population that mostly doesn’t work; see for “the participation rate in the labour force remained at the same level of about 45% between the 1st and the 2nd quarter of 2023. It also remained at the same level of about 48% in the West Bank, while it increased from 40% to 41% in Gaza Strip between the first and second quarters respectively.”)

      Separately, the web page is insulting to Arabs because it suggests that they lack sufficient agency to form political groups, such as the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and then vote for those groups. Hamas did not win the big election in Gaza because it had Israeli money or some other kind of money. Hamas won the election because it promised to do things that Palestinian voters wanted done (see the Hamas charter, for example).

    • Let’s look at a 2009 WSJ article, “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas”

      When Israel first encountered Islamists in Gaza in the 1970s and ’80s, they seemed focused on studying the Quran, not on confrontation with Israel. The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools. Crucially, Israel often stood aside when the Islamists and their secular left-wing Palestinian rivals battled, sometimes violently, for influence in both Gaza and the West Bank.

      “When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake,” says David Hacham, who worked in Gaza in the late 1980s and early ’90s as an Arab-affairs expert in the Israeli military. “But at the time nobody thought about the possible results.”

      Arieh Spitzen, the former head of the Israeli military’s Department of Palestinian Affairs, says that even if Israel had tried to stop the Islamists sooner, he doubts it could have done much to curb political Islam, a movement that was spreading across the Muslim world. He says attempts to stop it are akin to trying to change the internal rhythms of nature: “It is like saying: ‘I will kill all the mosquitoes.’ But then you get even worse insects that will kill you…You break the balance. You kill Hamas you might get al Qaeda.”

      When it became clear in the early 1990s that Gaza’s Islamists had mutated from a religious group into a fighting force aimed at Israel — particularly after they turned to suicide bombings in 1994 — Israel cracked down with ferocious force. But each military assault only increased Hamas’s appeal to ordinary Palestinians. The group ultimately trounced secular rivals, notably Fatah, in a 2006 election supported by Israel’s main ally, the U.S.

    • Lord P: The WSJ article tells a different story than the web page you’ve cited. The web page you cite paints Jews as omniscient and super-intelligent. They could tell back in the 1990s that Hamas would be useful circa 2020 for a specific purpose. The WSJ article is about the opposite of omniscience. The Jews knew that the PLO was their enemy and hoped that the Islam-oriented guys in Hamas would be less likely to use violence. The Jews described in the WSJ are idiots who traded a short-term benefit for a long-term disaster (like a lot of corporate CEOs and politicians). The WSJ article points out, correctly in my view, that whatever Israel might have done likely made no difference in the long run. Muslims who want an Islamist government will usually be able to get one. Look at Afghanistan, for example. The U.S. spent more than 20 years trying to persuade the locals that the infidel lifestyle was superior to the Taliban lifestyle. Eventually the locals got to go back to what they wanted.

    • Ari Ben-Menashe ? Seriously ?

      Mossad arranged for the Achille Lauro hijacking and Netanyahu, the SuperJew, created Hamas ?

      С ума сойти !

    • perplexed, I’m afraid it looks like your angry rants were deemed insufficient. I can’t think why! But I am flattered to have received a philg triple-decker. I think this is my largest number of replies ever! Evidently nerves have been touched.

      philg, I suppose you’ve made about the ablest spin job possible in the circumstances. Even so, I don’t see in your comments even an attempt at refuting the article’s central thesis, that Israel assisted Hamas from its earliest days. The quotes, e.g. of Netanyahu and General Hacohen, don’t leave room for ambiguity, do they?

      It must be a tough job trying to defend Israel against all those people out there opposing them for no reason at all.

    • There is no point in refuting anything you say since your judgment is deeply affected by your penchant for conspiracy theories. It is highly unlikely that you can be persuaded by a rational argument. That much is obvious from you reliance on mere assertions of Ben-Monashe, without any other documentary evidence, that Mossad arranged hijacking of the Achille Lauro by Abu Abbas & friends in order to discredit PLO.

    • Not only Hamas, but also Islamic State. If you care about prosperity of any group of people living there, it is not a rational thing to do. But if the only thing you care about is producing state of perpetual chaos in a very important geopolitical region (#1 energy supplier in the world), in order to control it, it is very rational thing to do. Even old Romans knew it, divide et impera. Especially if you side with weapon manufacturers, and “Halliburton” type of industry, who will massively profit from this kind of politics. Details of conflict between two local sides are completely unimportant for analyzing motivation for this kind of politics, at least in the first approximation. Is tinfoil hat really needed in order to recognize behavior common through entire history? Or are rather blinders needed in order not to see it?

    • Lord P’s idea is that SuperJews created Hamas circa 1990 as part of a plan to perpetrate “genocide” against the Gazans. The population in the territories was 2.1 million in 1990 and, after three decades of “genocide”, it is 5.1 million ( ). says “The population growth rate is among the highest in the world: 3.4 percent in the West Bank and 4.0 percent in Gaza”. So the first few decades of the crafty Jews’ plan for “genocide” involved 4 percent annual population growth in a territory over which they exercised military control.

      (Contrast to Egypt, where there is no genocide but human reproduction may soon be subject to “regulation”:

      I’m not sure why Lord P reject’s stupidity and lack of foresight as explanations. Germany provided financial help to Lenin and the Soviets to take over Russia as a way of getting Russia out of World War I and then reaped a bitter harvest in the 1940s. In the 1970s, Russia was trying to impose a secular government on a population in Afghanistan that wanted Islamic rule. The U.S. provided weapons and money to the Islamist side of the fight to poke a stick in Russia’s eye and, two decades later, found itself in a 20-year war against the Islamists who’d been previously funded (maybe not exactly the same ones). History is packed with examples of governments making mistakes like this.

      Lord P’s implicit idea that Israelis don’t want peace is a strange one, given that Israel cheerfully signed peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and has maintained relations with those countries. The Israelis are reluctant to accept a sovereign Palestinian state on their borders so long as the Palestinians maintain their stated goal of eliminating Israel. If Hamas had full sovereignty since winning the 2006 election, for example, they would have had 17 years in which to import whatever weapons they wanted and that friendly Muslim countries, such as Iran, wanted to supply. I don’t think that there has been an election in the West Bank for almost 20 years (see ), but if there were one across all of a sovereign Palestine it seems that the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) would easily win. (see “The poll found that 53% of Palestinians believe Hamas is “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” while only 14% prefer Abbas’ secular Fatah party.”; this was a poll across both Gaza and the West Bank). is from September 2023 is consistent with the poll. It describes a collapse of Palestinian support for the Palestinian Authority that governs the West Bank (i.e., the PA would lose an election if one were held today) and notes “The last parliamentary elections held in 2006 were won by Fatah’s bitter rival, the Islamist party, Hamas, which is committed to the destruction of Israel.”

      As a thought experiment, suppose that the Arabs who currently live in the West Bank and Gaza chose to migrate to the EU and US (“no human is illegal”) and continue their dependence on US/EU taxpayers in a more direct manner. Then imagine that the U.S. welfare system of free housing, health care, food, smartphone, and home broadband were extended over the West Bank and Gaza. Then continue the experiment by imagining that 5 million Venezuelans migrated to the West Bank and Gaza in order to take up the U.S. taxpayer on the offer of a fully funded lifestyle. Do you think that Israel would have any problem accepting a sovereign West Bank/Gaza nation on its borders? Keep in mind that the Venezuelans don’t have any history of declaring war on Israel and don’t have any charters, such as or , that call for the elimination of Israel. If the answer is “Israel would be okay with Venezuelans governing themselves, controlling their own borders, buying whatever weapons they wanted to buy, and doing everything else that sovereign governments do” (maybe this is inaccurate, actually, because the U.S. is a sovereign nation and we don’t control our borders) then I think you are forced to conclude that Israel’s objection to a Hamas-run neighboring sovereign nation is based on something specific about Hamas.

    • mata: ” Is tinfoil hat really needed in order to recognize behavior common through entire history? ”

      Tinfoil is a sine qua non to resist the mind altering rays the Elders of Zion irradiate unsuspecting goim with. Science does not know about any other way to save your brain. I hope you have a plentiful supply !

    • > Lord P’s idea is that SuperJews created Hamas
      > circa 1990 as part of a plan to perpetrate “genocide”

      philg, I decided that reading the rest of your comment was unlikely to be of value after that ludicrous start. It’s sad to see your emotions, presumably, getting the better of you.

    • Lord P: You wrote “Perhaps Israel really is at war with Hamas, if the latter has outlived its usefulness. Either way, Israel has its pretext for genociding Gaza.”

      Perhaps you can tell us what constitutes “genocide”. Maybe you will say that population growth from 200,000 to 2 million is “genocide”, in which case the Palestinians in Gaza have already suffered “genocide”. Maybe you’ll give us some other criteria. Then, once this latest round of fighting has concluded, we can see if your prediction of an Israeli-perpetrated genocide has come true. I personally think that Israel’s stated goal of getting rid of Hamas because of the October 7 attack is the simplest explanation of the country’s rationale for military action. But I am prepared to be proven wrong.

      (I do admit to being more sympathetic to the Israeli side in the 75+-year Arab-Israeli war. I like the idea that Jews have a place to go when their country of birth becomes hostile to Jews. Remember that Germany was one of the best places in the world for Jews prior to the 1930s. Conditions can change quickly. Even here in the U.S. Can anyone foresee what the country will be like 50 years from now? Let’s assume 50 more years of open borders and a lavish welfare state that encourages a high birth rate among the lowest skilled immigrants. Do we know that this group of people will want to have Jews in their midst?)

    • (I guess you also have to tell us where you are going to get your numbers regarding the “genocide”. The New York Times right now is simply reporting whatever Hamas says. Today’s headline: “Death Toll Climbs in Gaza as Israel Intensifies Airstrikes” followed by “More than 700 people were killed overnight, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said.” The body of the article notes “It was not possible to independently verify the toll.” I guess they are adding some disclaimers after their uncritical reporting that Israel intentionally bombed a hospital (when it was a parking lot that was hit by a small rocket).)

    • mata, you have a wrong address. Jews used to have a small empire briefly, for 70 years, and it fell to financial and tribal accusations , and it was 3000 years ago. Definitely not empire builders or empire holders. For the past millennia or so European Jews had tradition of self-rule that was confined to small towns, that is it.

    • philg, this “discussion”, if it still merits that term, has become quite the eye opener. It shows that even someone highly rational and intelligent can have a sort of emotional blind spot that prevents the usual faculties from operating. For example, hallucinating that someone used the term “SuperJews” before you did, or asking bizarre questions about the definition of “genocide”.

      In a reply to another comment, you said “I’m not blind to the disadvantages of growing up in Gaza”. I don’t think you would normally use the word “disadvantages” for bombs raining down while food etc are cut off. But the bombs are coming from Israel for whom you are, as you put it, “more sympathetic”, so both logic and humanity are suppressed.

    • Lord P: You didn’t use the term “SuperJews”, but that was my take-away from your comment that Israel has been primarily responsible for the success of the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) and that supporting Hamas has been government policy in Israel as a clever pretext for a 30-year program of “genociding” Gaza (whose population today is 3X what it was when the purported clever genocide began). It’s analogous to the folks who said that FDR had advance knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack and, rather than simple incompetence by the U.S., allowing the Japanese to destroy Pearl Harbor was evidence of FDR’s cleverness (there are some facts to support this theory, e.g., the aircraft carriers just happened to be away). That would make FDR a “SuperDemocrat”!

      My comment about the “disadvantages of growing up in Gaza” was in response to a reader who cited the “israel-palestine situation”, which I understood to cover the period from 1948-2023. For most of this period, residents of Gaza have not been exposed to Israeli military action. You mention food. For nearly this entire period, residents of Gaza have been entitled to unlimited food, health care, and education, paid for by EU and US taxpayers. For most of human history, this would have been an unimaginable luxury. Quite a few Americans haven’t had these entitlements (e.g., working age men are required to work in some states).

      I am aware that the prevailing dogma is that, overall, Gazans are the world’s most oppressed and unfortunate humans. If true, though, why haven’t a significant percentage of Gazans been on the boats that cross the Mediterranean every day, joining those who are becoming residents of the European Union?

      [And, of course, Gazans are having a tough time of it right now. But when you elect a government that promises to wage war on Israel and then that government delivers on its promises, shouldn’t you expect to be embroiled in a hot war? War has always entailed sacrifices for military-age men as well as for civilians. Gazans so far have not suffered anything like the consequences suffered by people who’ve been on the opposite side of a fight with the United States. Consider the Germans, Japanese, Afghans, Iraqis, et al. The typical Japanese may not have supported the military dictatorship of the 1930s and 1940s, yet he or she was subject to relentless American bombing. Support for Hitler was only about half the German public, but German cities were destroyed and more than 500,000 German civilians were killed by Allied bombing.]

    • Yes! I will join you in your support of homosexuality! I am still unclear about what a queer person is, so I am not ready to pledge my support to that group just yet! (I am trying my very best not to use forbidden words and I always appreciate positive reinforcement.)

  4. “The recent fighting is not a battle within the war that the Arabs declared against the Jews in 1948 after rejecting the United Nations partition” — no doubt this is a side issue, however: why should the UN be allowed to “fail upwards” and continue to retain and even gain in respect and relevance on the world stage, when they have shown for longer than most posters on Phil’s blog have been alive, just how bad their judgment and ability to resolve issues, truly is?

    • paddy: I took a tour of the UN about 20 years ago. The tour guide touted the success of the United Nations in decolonization, specifically mentioning Somalia as a success story, seemingly oblivious to the ongoing civil war in that country. It was a “United Nations Trusteeship” starting in 1950 (see ) says “the al-Shabaab terrorist group … controls large parts of southern and central Somalia”

      (perhaps al-Shabaab is, like the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”), merely misunderstood; says “It is actively involved in the ongoing Somali Civil War and incorporates elements of Somali nationalism into its Islamist cause. Allegiant to the militant pan-Islamist organization al-Qaeda since 2012, it has also been suspected of forging ties with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.” Islamist and “militant”, therefore, but not necessarily “terrorist”)

    • Saying that UN has failed in its mission is like saying that Ivan the Terrible failed in his mission.
      Original Too Big To Fail.

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