The Day After

I wanted to call your attention to this op-ed by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy in the Wall Street Journal. In the piece he paints a vivid picture of what will happen if “Hamas wins”:

Hamas would declare victory—on the verge of defeat, then the next minute revived. These criminals against humanity would emerge from their tunnels triumphant after playing with the lives not only of the 250 Israelis captured on Oct. 7, but also of their own citizens, whom they transformed into human shields.

The Arab street would view Hamas terrorists as resistance fighters. In Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—nations that signed the Abraham Accords or were leaning toward doing so—Hamas’s prestige would be enhanced. In the West Bank as in Gaza, Hamas would quickly eclipse the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, whose image would pale next to the twin aura of martyrdom and endurance in which Hamas would cloak itself.

After that, no diplomatic or military strategy would prevail against the iron law of people converted into mobs and mobs into packs. None of the experts’ extravagant plans for an international stabilization force, an interim Arab authority, or a technocratic government presiding over the reconstruction of Gaza would stand long against the blast effect created by the last-minute return of this group of criminals adorned with the most heroic of virtues.

Hamas would be the law in the Palestinian territories. It would set the ideological and political agenda, regardless of the formal structure of the new government. And Israel will never deal with a Palestinian Authority of which Hamas is a part. Goodbye, Palestinian State. Hope for peace harbored by moderates on both sides will be dead.


Those who portray themselves as praying for the end of this war and a negotiated peace on “the day after” must recognize there is only one path to that end. First, the release of all hostages. Next, the evacuation of civilians from the zone of imminent combat. When will the world recognize that Israel, having been forced into this war, is doing more than any army ever did to prevent civilian deaths?

And finally, in Rafah, the destruction of what remains of Hamas and its death squads. Without this military victory, the endless wheel of misfortune will begin to spin yet again, though faster. This is the terrible truth.

What he fails to do is describe what will happen if Israel wins. I honestly have no idea but I can speculate.

The elected government of Gaza and much of Gaza itself will have been destroyed. Gaza’s civilian residents would be left without food or medical care and without a functioning economy or even functioning NGOs to provide assistance. Any prospect of a “two-state solution” would be dead.

It’s a bleak picture regardless of who prevails.

2 comments… add one
  • Grey Shambler Link

    How cattle from Texas may have precipitated the October 7 attacks:

  • steve Link

    Hamas cant really win, just survive which seems pretty likely. The Israeli govt that got surprised by such a large attack is not going to be able to find and kill all of Hamas, unless they kill all of Gaza. They could potentially move them all out, but then you have Hamas attacking from outside the country. Maybe they partner with Hezbollah.

    Not really buying into the ida of the rest of the world celebrating Hamas, though some individuals will. Let’s remember that no Arab nation wants to accept refugees from Gaza, partially/moslty because they dont want Hamas.


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