Hamas and Israel: A timely reminder

Timothy Snyder is a Yale historian. I’ve reviewed his books “Bloodlands” and “Black Earth” about the holocaust here and elsewhere. Snyder isn’t Israeli and he isn’t Jewish. But I think the comments he posted today on his Substack blog “Thinking about” deserve reflection. Here are the money grafs:

“In evaluating what Hamas has done, it is important to remember that the atrocious crimes are not (or are not only) ends in themselves. They are utterly horrible and deserving of every condemnation, but they are not mindless. Unlike Israelis, who are shocked and feel they must urgently act, Hamas has been working out this scenario for years. The people carrying out the bestial crimes follow a plan that anticipates an Israeli reaction.

“Classically, a terrorist provokes a state in order to generate so much suffering among his own people that they will take the terrorist’s side indefinitely.

“I won’t claim to know what Hamas expects from Israel, nor what Israel should do. That would be a matter for people with the languages and expertise to read and analyze the documents and the data. My point is that it is always worth asking, in such situations, whether you are following the terrorist’s script. If what you want to do is what your enemy wants you to do, someone is mistaken. It might be your enemy. But it also might be you.”