The Gaza conflict will probably end when Hamas extremists believe they have won

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I was startled by Robert Kraftowitz’s remarks (“The U.S. Bankrolls Inhumanity in Gaza,” July 14), which reflect the alarm, shared by many unbiased pure souls at the huge disproportion in casualties between the Gazans and the Israelis. Only the devil could be that immune to suffering. I was also taken aback by the display of political-historical ignorance and to oblique references to Scripture. The Scriptures remind me of the story of Exodus. Egypt was inflicted with horrific plagues, to which the Pharaoh was immune. He was not moved by the suffering of his people — just as the Hamas leadership is not moved by the suffering of its own people. The Pharaoh relented only after disaster hit home.

Mr. Kraftowitz lumps together the Palestinians and Hamas, I suspect, not because of the announcement of a “unity” government. No reasonable, cool person could argue against two states as the only pragmatic and fair solution. The Palestinians led by Mahmoud Abbas should have their own state not because of any moral or historical claims. Not after two previous offers of two states (Peel Commission, 1937, U.N. Resolution, 1947) were rejected and not after five bloody wars that claimed thousands of casualties. They should have their own state because this is the only possible route to true (and lasting?) peace.

Hamas of Gaza (the leadership, not the people) is another story. Hamas is the last remaining entity of the Muslim Brotherhood. This extreme Islamist organization has been banned in all Arab countries, except perhaps in Qatar. Dwindling financial and moral support from their traditional friendly Middle East has put the Hamas leadership under serious strain. They have to assert themselves, they have to prove their viability, or lose the support of their own people.

When will the current conflict end? I presume after Hamas feels that it won. Hamas will win either by scoring a major hit in Israel, which CNN will report with all the gory details, or suffering a major hit that will be lamented by CNN with all its gory details.


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