The IDF officers during their visit at the US Military Academy at West Point
The IDF officers during their visit at the US Military Academy at West PointBirthright Israel

This is not an ordinary war, not even a repeat of wars against a guerilla army in muddy trenches. This is a multi-front war of armies against armies, both funded by billions of dollars and supplied by the United States, Qatar, Iran and other countries. Call the combatants what you want: the West designates Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations whilst Qatar’s Al Jazeera uses terms such as the "occupied territories" when referring to Israel as an "occupying" force. In much of the anti-Israel media, Hamas terrorist soldiers who burned babies in ovens are called "freedom fighters" .

The meaning of Hamas is Islamic Resistance Movement. Israel’s army is the IDF – the Israel Defence Forces. Both sides are fully-fledged armies, but Hamas' army is a terrorist army.

The war in Gaza is different to any the world has seen. Israel has its back to the wall, fighting for its existence and the homeland for the Jewish people all over the world. Hamas babies are born out of their mothers’ wombs to learn that they are part of a dispossessed Palestinian Arab land, with rights to reconquer it. That brainwashing is repeated throughout their schooling and fully funded by the United Nations.

The millions of Gazans actively support Hamas whose constitution includes the destruction of Israel. Their physical needs, schooling and hospitals are financially supported by UNRWA of the United Nations, whilst Qatar has provided Hamas with finance for concrete and facilities to build a huge underground military system spanning 500 miles in length. Rockets and other military equipment for Hamas come from Iran, North Korea, Bulgaria, China and Russia. Israel is supplied by the US, Germany and Italy together with its own weapon manufacturers.

On the one hand the Hamas army does not wear uniforms. These plain-clothes soldiers blend in and out of the population. Many of them are part of the population. They use classical terrorist activities within hospitals, schools and UN facilities amongst throngs of their population from where they launch rockets into civilian areas in Israel. Their so-called refugee camps are actually double and multi-storey buildings with entrances to their underground tunnels, definitely not temporary tent cities.

On the other hand the military forces of Israel, the IDF – are a regular army, air force navy and intelligence. Their use in demolishing large parts of Gaza has not been parallelled by Hamas, particularly when bombing from the air. The Oketz unit of trained military dogs employed to locate and neutralise Hamas forces in buildings and in tunnels saves Israeli lives.

Compared to other wars of the past the collateral damage has been small. Over 6000 German civilians were killed in the bombing of cities during World War Two whilst the wholesale use of Agent Orange in war by the US caused generations of Vietnamese children to be born with disabilities. Then there were the millions killed in Cambodia, and the dropping of the atomic bomb on the civilian population of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with hundreds of thousands of dead.

Lessons to be learnt from this war are many.

First and foremost was the calculation by the IDF that there were only twenty to thirty thousand Hamas terrorist fighters to be dealt with. The truth is that almost every single Gazan should be regarded as part of Hamas. After the 7 November 2023 attack the whole population of Gaza celebrated, handing out sweets. They cheered and worse as the hostages were marched through Gaza streets. All Gaza babies will grow up to continue their traditions as they grow up in the fight against Israel. Little Mohammeds will become big Mohammads. The number of the enemy that Israel calculated is wrong not only in the present, because over the next decade or two the dead Hamas will be replaced by their youth.

This war is one religion against another. The mentality in the Middle East is decidedly not Western. Israeli forces follow the biblical dictates of the rules of war and the belief in life. Gazans rejoice in death of their own, with dead shahids (martyrs) glorified whilst their belief systems follow Islamic practices. Leaders of both armies may talk the Western talk but the underlying warmongering syncs with traditional beliefs as do their populations.

It it is no accident that Hamas engaged in murders, rapes and worse. On the 7 October 2024 many of the dead Israeli victims were peace-loving people, showing kindness to their Gazan neighbours, many accompanying their sick into Israeli hospitals. Hamas killings even included Israeli Muslims with no mercy allowed even as they begged for their lives in Arabic.

There is another dimension to this war: that is the role of the media and propaganda which is crucial. Lies, lies and more lies are evident depending upon who one is online, watching TV or reading the news. Whether it be English, French or Arabic the truth is dependent upon the politics of the countries who support either side. Twists and turns, different lexicons, photos and videos designed to evoke compassion being repeated continuously are part of propaganda. Then there is the worldwide war against the Jews. This is combined with demonstrations, pressure involving elections in other countries and also affecting the military supply chain.

Other countries reflect their power interests in many wars. Israel happens to be the only country in the Middle East representing US strategic interests as the question must be asked: does the US which has its military in seventy countries need Israel or does Israel need the United States? The billions that are being given to Israel are not being given in cash, rather by sending materiel which engages people in work in the US.

At the same time Iran, an extremely wealthy country despite all of the West’s sanctions is using Hamas and Hezbollah as their proxies in this war. Qatar is playing a double game having funded Hamas and keeping its leaders in their five-star hotels. It wants a good public face in the modern world where it is concerned about its investments and tourism whilst it hosts Israel and Hamas for negotiations to free hostages and for a ceasefire.

The latest in technology is a factor in this war. For years Israel has been at the forefront of such developments from its own satellite to battlefield inventions which they are selling to the world. Tanks have had their protection updated, facial identification and drones are routinely used. Boots on the ground are still a very important part of this war, but the Israeli technology reminiscent of Star Wars is increasingly being witnessed. The inequality of the two armies in this field has been balanced by Hamas using women and children as human shields, ambulances for military cover, hiding in medical facilities and tunnels to slow down the war whilst harnessing Al Jazeera and other media to create world pity.

The decision-makers in Israel failed to prevent the Hamas attack last November. The leaders, both in the government and the army had policies and a view that was decidedly influenced by the West. They believed in appeasement. Israel actually transported millions of dollars of cash from Qatar to Hamas, who used that money for their military purposes. These decision-makers honestly believed that their efforts to offer Gazans hospital care, a better economy with money from Qatar and work in Israel allowing Gazan families a higher standard of living would bring peace.

Israel did not believe that Gazans thought differently than they. Gazans aim was not peace as they took what Israel gave until they were ready for war. The peace movement in Israel does not believe in the biblical commandments how do deal with an enemy and did not plan for that attack because their decision-makers were and still are heavily represented in the top echelons of the army and the government. Hamas used low-technology to defeat Israel’s ability on a holy day to succeed in their attacks, despite warnings on the ground from many Israeli young soldiers and citizens living close to Gaza of an imminent breach of the border and a planned attack.

Behind the failure to prevent the October attack can be explained by examining Israel’s demographics. Over half of the population’s grandparents came from Arab countries and did not climb to the top of the ladder of power, both militarily and the government where the mindsets were Western. Those in power with their Western mindset chose not to recognise Hamas’s capabilities and that its constitution calls for the destruction of Israel. The Israeli leaders chose peace as an agenda as they gave away land rather than following biblical dictates to wipe out Amalek – that is the enemy.

It has become obvious that traditional ways are the only way to go, with some Members of the Knesset loudly and forcefully explaining how to win the war. The majority of the population follow them, particularly as most men have been forced to fight for their lives. Increasingly the population are turning to their traditions. Against them is the powerful leftist media and many other countries in the push for the illusion of peace.

We would like to believe that the leaders of Israel have learned their lesson and refuse to be swayed by the opinions of and even threats from other countries. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have chosen peace with Israel. Gaza decided the opposite. We would like to believe that Israelis are united against their implacable enemies. But over the last few days, we see that not only does Israel have to contend with outside enemies, it has to deal with internal strife.

In Arabic the word “hudna” means a break in fighting, or a ceasefire which can last for up to one hundred years, during which time a society can have their army regroup. Israel has no alternative than to win this war. Voices for the resettlement of Gazans in other countries are getting louder in Israel where the next election there will show swing to the right and intolerance to have a terrible enemy in any form next door. The costs of keeping the festering sore of Gaza, despite international pressure is not a reality for Israel.

The challenge facing Israel now is to continue the war until the Gaza of yesteryear ceases to exist, and a warning to other enemies that powerful Israel has a choice: us or them.