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Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s impossible resolve

In a window of six hours, Palestinian special forces soldiers used conventional and unconventional tactics to bypass the sophisticated security zone that has long enclosed the heavily surveilled people of Gaza and kill over a thousand Israelis — primarily armed militiamen in their settlements and Israeli soldiers in their bases — while capturing hundreds more. October 7th will go down in history as the most devastating attack on the Zionist project in all of its history.

This act triggered an erratic, poorly planned rampage by the Jewish state that has shocked the world and turned Israel into a pariah. The International Criminal Court, an institution created by the Zionist inventors of human rights doctrine and international law to punish their enemies in the Third Reich and the Arab world, has even issued arrest warrants for Israeli leadership.

The decision to subject themselves to this fate was not made lightly, it was an existential gamble taken as a last resort according to the most elemental principle of all: to be or not to be.

World events in the last 35 years have been disastrous for the Palestinian cause. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant the demise of the movement’s chief diplomatic and military backer. The 1993 Oslo Accords effectively destroyed the PLO’s threat as an armed entity, which predictably led to the Jewish state throwing out its side of the bargain by swallowing up more and more of the West Bank as the corrupt Palestinian Authority looks on.

The Muslim world, from Jordan to Indonesia, last took to the streets in large numbers in support Palestinian rights in 2009, but various civil wars and economic crises throughout the Middle East since then pushed the issue into the rearview mirror.

The Abraham Accords, which were slated to end in Saudi Arabia — home to Islam’s two most sacred cities — recognizing the legitimacy of Israel’s domination over the Palestinian people, could’ve been the last nail in the Palestinian coffin.

Hamas’ political leadership, many who live in Doha and had grown accustomed to the Gulf Arab lifestyle of luxury hotels and sports cars, were showing a growing willingness to drift away from the militant Iranians and Lebanese that had sponsored their armed struggle for decades.

When the American-Israeli-Gulf State backed insurgency against Bashar al-Assad began in 2011, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh disappointed his faithful Iranian, Syrian and Lebanese allies by deciding to move the group’s base out of Syria to Qatar. In what appeared to be misplaced Sunni solidarity, and perhaps an attempt to cosy up to the wealthy Gulf states as a backup plan, Haniyeh gave a speech attacking Assad to a crowd chanting “Death to Hezbollah!”, as well as endorsing the overthrow of the Syrian government. When Assad emerged victorious and the dust settled, Hamas’ relationship with Iran and Hezbollah chilled, creating a critical strategic setback for the Palestinian resistance that took years to fix.

Haniyeh’s opportunistic distancing from his allies in their time of need was by no means the consensus within Hamas, and by the end of his term in 2017, he was permanently sent away to Qatar to become the chairman of the group’s political bureau, a “demotion promotion” that is in effect a glorified ambassadorship.

Replacing him as chief of Gaza, arguably the most important role in Hamas besides command of the al-Qassem Brigades, was a low-key figure who would go on to become international Jewry’s Most Wanted: Yahya Sinwar.

The Man Who Rattled Zion

Gaza’s leader, Yahya Sinwar, was born to parents who were evicted from their homes by Jewish militia groups during the 1948 ethnic cleansing of what is today the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Yahya was born in 1962 in the Khan Yunis refugee camp, a location that has been repeatedly subjected to Israeli atrocities and soul-crushing poverty.

At his United Nations sponsored elementary school, Sinwar — whose surname translates to fisherman — academically excelled. As a student of Arabic Language at the Islamic University of Gaza, Sinwar was an active political organizer, though at the time he dedicated himself to organizing exclusively non-violent resistance. In spite of his attempts to remain within the law, Israeli authorities arrested and tortured him multiple times throughout the 1980s for his political activities.

After meeting several Palestinian radicals in jail and having suffered repeated betrayals at the hands of snitches, Sinwar ultimately concluded that the vast network of Palestinian turncoats informing to Israeli authorities on their neighbours were the most important hurdle holding the nationalist movement back. In response to this, he founded the counter-espionage group Munazzamat al Jihad w’al-Dawa (MAJD) in 1986, which specialized in rooting out and punishing rats.

Though generally described as thoughtful and charitable, Sinwar’s ruthlessness towards those who betray the Palestinian cause is well-established.

In 1989, Israeli courts sentenced him to life in prison for killing dozens of their assets. Sinwar later told Shin Bet interrogators that he would always refuse firearms when executing informants, instead preferring to strangle them with his bare hands as a matter of principle.

Sinwar remained a prisoner in Israeli jails until 2011, when Israel traded him along with 1,026 other Palestinian inmates for the abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Hamas considered this lop-sided exchange a victory, but upon learning of his release, Sinwar sent word to Gaza that they should rip up the agreement and renegotiate so that no Palestinian inmate would be left behind.

Some Israeli prison officials, who over the years had noticed Sinwar’s unusually high intelligence and dedication to the Palestinian cause, recommended that he not be released, but they were overruled by their superiors who believed securing Shalit’s return was a political emergency. Upon his return to Gaza, Sinwar was instrumental in perfecting the practice of hostage-taking of Jews within Hamas’ armed wing.

Master of Jewish Psychology

Following his ascension to leadership in 2017, Sinwar sought to visibly exhaust every possible diplomatic option prior to presenting his dramatic 2023 armed response.

His first order of business was to revamp Hamas’ charter, most notably reducing the group’s maximalist aims of full Jewish expulsion and replacing it with a more practical acceptance of a two-state solution, which even Western sponsors of Israel publicly claim to support. Sinwar followed this by arresting violent lone wolves under his jurisdiction in Gaza on requests from Egypt and even taking to Israeli television to plead with the Jews, in fluent Hebrew, to end the siege on Gaza and agree to a truce.

Solipsistic and insolent Israelis, including within the intelligence services, interpreted these gestures as a sign of capitulation, causing them demote the Gaza security threat down the list beneath Hezbollah, Iran’s nuclear program, and Syria. In hindsight, this set the stage for the massive security lapse that would come later.

By late 2017, the Zionist lobby got Donald Trump to strike a symbolic blow to any hopes of a two-state solution by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Small US protectorates such as Guatemala, Kosovo and Papua New Guinea would follow suit.

Sinwar responded in 2018 by helping organize a series of peaceful protests to try and rekindle global attention to the floundering Palestinian cause: the Great March of Return. Israeli snipers responded to these demonstrations by opening fire on the crowds of unarmed men, women, and children, killing 223 and wounding thousands more.

The killing of peaceful protesters did not have the effect on global opinion the Palestinians had hoped for. They were able to secure generic, unenforceable UN resolutions condemning Israel, but ultimately their only achievement was to give the US government an excuse to unilaterally cut hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank. Because no Jews were hurt, the ordeal was quickly washed out of the news cycle.

By 2020, the US government began openly supporting Israel’s internationally denounced settlement expansion into East Jerusalem, further squeezing the remnants of Palestinians in the area. That same year, Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to formally annex the West Bank, a massive betrayal of the Oslo Accords and a delegitimization of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to put down its weapons. As this transpired, the taboo in the Muslim world against openly supporting Israel was being eroded by Jared Kushner’s Abraham Accords, which Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan all become signatories to.

By the spring of 2023, mobs of Jewish supremacists were regularly invading the area in and around the al-Aqsa Mosque, viciously beating Muslims as they tried to enter to pray with the full support of Israeli police forces overseen by the Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Most men would’ve resigned themselves to their fate by this point, but Sinwar had a special power for identifying his enemy’s Achilles heel. During his incarceration, Sinwar learned to speak and read Hebrew. He dedicated himself to reading Israeli newspapers, as well as books on Jewish history and World War II. During the 22 years he spent incarcerated, the man described as “Spartan” and “single-minded” in his lifestyle, even after being freed, devoted himself to uncovering the political and ethnic weaknesses of the Jews and the Zionist worldview.

For this reason, Israeli commentators regularly refer to Sinwar as an almost mythical boogeyman type figure, a “little Hitler” (how Netanyahu references him) that holds a master key to the Jewish mind. This one-man Frankfurt School belligerently studied the Jews in the same fashion that Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernais, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, and Theodore Adorno once mapped out the White man’s dreams, impulses, vulnerabilities, and subconsciousness. In Israel, Sinwar is spoken of with the begrudging respect an equally matched adversary has earned compared to American media, which presents him as an irrational one-dimensional Durka Durka terrorist.

Most who have sought to understand Sinwar’s calculations agree that he launched October 7th knowing it would trigger a hysterical overreaction. A cutting-edge artificial intelligence program developed to find patterns in Sinwar’s decision-making process so far found that his thinking is highly scientific and rational, creating outcomes many steps in advance.

The central promise of the Zionist project is that it is a safehouse for the Jews of the world, regardless of where they are from or what crimes they are evading.

Sinwar’s plan was a functional refutation of this promise, transforming Israel from a novelty security blanket into a resource drain for the global Jewish diaspora, forcing them to request top level officials in their pay in Washington, Paris, Berlin and London to take politically unpopular and unjustifiable risks.

Jewish settlers that used to live near the Gaza Strip now refuse to return. Record numbers of Israelis have been reporting serious mental health problems since October 7th and are seriously considering leaving the country.

Every day, new videos are published to Telegram showing al-Qassem and Hezbollah soldiers blowing up Israeli tanks, shooting Israeli soldiers, and even a new clip of one of 10 existing Iron Dome batteries being destroyed by rockets. The situation is so dire that Joe Biden is now publicly conceding that Israel has lost the war and they have no choice but to negotiate.

Overnight, Israel’s barbaric war on women and children has taken it from being on the brink of full recognition by the Sunni Muslim world to its diplomats, citizens and supporters becoming persona non-grata everywhere, from Columbia to Colombia. The South Asian island of Maldives even appears willing to withstand American sanctions in retaliation for their decision to ban all Israelis from their country.

On October 6th, the Palestinians were largely isolated, ignored and bound to vanish, likely through forced emigration. Today, they count Russia and China as highly activated supporters of a full-fledged Palestinian state. A super majority of nations voted to accept Palestine as a UN member state.

Three European states — Ireland, Spain and Norway — have recognized a Palestinian state, though with many conditions. The response to this acknowledgement from Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has been thuggish. Smotrich has vowed that recognitions of the Palestinian people will lead to the theft of all of their tax revenues from the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority, who played no role in the October 7th attack.

Sinwar’s desperate gambit has been painful, but the death and destruction the Palestinian people have suffered has not been in vain. The Palestinian people’s characterizations of Israelis as bloodthirsty sadists was once dismissed as hyperbolic, anti-Jewish conjecture. Today the whole world has daily examples beamed into their smartphones and computers, proving that they were right all along.

The Netanyahu government, despite being unpopular for reasons unrelated to the Gaza war, is the pure distillation of the Talmudic spirit. The fact that billions can now see this could have dire and unforeseeable in the future.

Nobody has ever punched Israel in the nose like this and lived to tell about it. This is the reason for the Israeli government’s almost suicidal refusal to negotiate a ceasefire. They know that every day Yahya Sinwar lives represents a granule of sand in the hourglass bound to bury the state of Israel for good.

Throughout this conflict, Sinwar has been playing the Israelis like a cat whose caught a mouse. Last February, at the height of fighting within Gaza, Sinwar told nervous Hamas leaders in Qatar and Turkey being gaslit by foreign news reports that they had the IDF — who were being picked off one by one by tunnel dwelling guerrillas — exactly where they want them.

In April, Hamas strengthened its negotiating hand during ceasefire talks by releasing videos of captured hostages — many that were presumed dead — which provoked large demonstrations from Jews demanding the Netanyahu do whatever it takes to get them back.

As we speak, Israelis are once again rallying in even greater numbers demanding Netanyahu take the current offer for a ceasefire in order to bring home the hostages.

The Israeli protesters demands are infantile: kill Sinwar, exterminate or expel the Palestinians, and get all the hostages back home safe. Netanyahu has so far been unable to break the bad news to them and he has no concrete military victories to wave around.

When all is said and done, it is conceivable that Sinwar could remain the leader of Hamas and outlast Netanyahu’s regime, which has ruled Israel for a total of 16 years. A world where Netanyahu is scapegoated and jailed by the Israelis for the failure in Gaza and a renewed, energised Palestinian movement emerges from the rubble is possible.

With nothing behind him but sheer willpower, Yahya Sinwar may have altered the course of history.

This article originally appeared on Littoria and is republished by The Noticer with permission.

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