IN THE MEDIA

Dr Ran Porat interviewed on Sky News Australia about the current fighting between Israel and Hamas

May 14, 2021

Dr Ran Porat, research associate at AIJAC and the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, interviewed by Gabriella Power on Sky News Australia about the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas, 14 May 2021. 

 

Ran, what’s your understanding of the current crisis?

Hi, Gabriela Well, first of all, I have to say that the loss of life is very saddening in Israel, across the board. But there is only one actor to be blamed for it. That’s 100% Hamas terrorists that operate from Gaza, that have chosen to interject themselves into the internal Palestinian arena and to try and compensate for what they see is the loss of opportunity to grab hold of power in the Palestinian arena, by attacking or bashing Israel. It’s a known tactic that they’ve been using for many years now. Because they have nothing to show for their audiences of their population.

It’s very saddening, and it’s also ineffective because Hamas is not only losing the lives of their people and sacrificing willingly and sometimes even celebrating the loss of life in Israel and amongst themselves, but they also can’t show any achievement. As of now they shot more than close to 2000 rockets and have achieved nothing other than pain and more suffering.

What is their strategy? What’s the strategy of Hamas? They started firing rockets initially, why would they do this if they knew that there would be a military response from Israel?

Well, it’s a classic miscalculation. Actually, Hamas has a long-term strategy of not 100 years, but possibly 1,000 years. And in their religious point of view, someday in the future, like the Crusaders, all Jews or Israelis will just vanish. But of course, reality is very different. So they only have short-term strategy and that short-term strategy is to agitate Israel, and try to talk to the lowest common denominator which is sort of the defense of Jerusalem, because they know they know they have nothing else to sell. And the strategy is to get the tension. After wasting all the money that they’ve been given from the Qataris and former European agencies, on weapons on attack tunnels. They are not taking care of their own population. They’re trying to extort more money and to extort more attention this way by attacking Israel and killing civilians.

How did this current crisis erupt? Was it over Israeli evictions in East Jerusalem?

Well, the issue of Sheikh Jerrah, the real estate and sort of ideologically charged dispute there is not important, it is somewhat important. But it all started because Abu Mazen, the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas wanted to impress the Biden administration, and called an election in the Palestinian territories, and in Gaza. And what happened is that he understood it very clearly, because he’s so corrupt. And again, a failed leader he’s going to lose these elections to Hamas. So he had to call them off. And Hamas understood that they’re gonna lose their opportunity to grab power through the elections, and they were looking for another way to grab power. And that’s why they started this attack. They also misunderstood or miscalculated the Israeli response, they were thinking about a few rockets maybe a couple of days and this all be over. But they misunderstood or don’t understand that Israel probably had had enough of these 20 years of rockets and terror attacks, which are unacceptable to any nation. And Israel has now long-range military plans, and they are taking down the high and mid-level command chain of Hamas, destroying their huge ammunition depots and their infrastructure, the terrorists that structure their bank chains, whatever. And Hamas is going to pay, is paying a huge price for that mistake.

What does Hamas hope to achieve?

Hamas wanted to achieve to garner support around him inside the Palestinian population.

But you can see that actually, it’s not working for them in even in the West Bank, where there’s more Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority is actually stopping any protest or support for Hamas. They don’t get any support from that side of the Palestinian population and also not in Gaza. You can see people in Gaza actually very scared and very agitated because Hamas has dragged them yet again, to useless from their point of view useless round of attacks on Israel, which leads to nothing there if they were hoping to get more support, more reconstruction, more attention, more power, they are about to be very disappointed because that’s not the way you will achieve anything with Israel nowadays. Of course.

Ran Porat, I appreciate your time.

Thank you very much, Gabriella

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