[May 26, 2021] During the Vietnam War, a strategy and set of programs developed to win the popular support of the Vietnamese people and help defeat the Viet Cong insurgency. The phrase became popular and applied to events, not in the warzone. The appeal to the “hearts” of the populace was not a new method in Vietnam, but with its new name, the war took a successful turn for our allies.
Today, we see a similar attempt to win the hearts and minds of the Palestinian peoples. For 11 days, the non-state actor Hamas – an international terrorist organization – fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israel, targeting civilians.1 Only 12 people in Israel were killed, and there was minor property damage.
Yet, Hamas celebrated with fireworks despite what some have called a complete humiliation of Hamas’ military arm. It took Hamas years to build up their rocket force, construct underground tunnels, and array their forces throughout Gaza in ready for this offensive. The military strategy of Hamas was a disaster, and everyone knows it.
Hamas: a new strategy
There was something at work that went beyond their military strategy of firing rockets at civilians. Hamas has been working closely with Western journalists and politicians to paint a picture of Israel shamelessly and illegally attacking Palestinians unprovoked. Hamas celebrated their “victory” to win the greater battle fought in the minds and hearts of Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community.
Hamas: a new war
It’s a war Hamas can win. The methods used by Hamas were adopted from the BLM and Antifa violence in the U.S. Such thinking might appear contradictory at first. According to this new narrative, Israelis are white, oppressive colonists, regardless of the facts. Palestinians have succeeded in being the step-sister of the Black Lives Matter movement.
It will be a difficult road for Israel unless they can find out how to counter this new Hamas strategy.2