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04 July 2010

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Mr. Whitman, Mr. Silverman,
Haaretz reports: Hamas and Hezbollah 'beginning to embrace non-violent tactics'

Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist organizations known for their violence against Israel, have begun to embrace new strategies that incorporate non-violent tactics, including civil disobedience, protest marches, lawsuits and boycotts, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Hamas officials said that the IDF raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed showed that more can be gained by getting Israel to draw international condemnation through its own use of force than by carrying out violent attacks against Israel.

"When we use violence, we help Israel win international support," Aziz Dweik, a Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank told the Wall Street Journal. "The Gaza flotilla has done more for Gaza than 10,000 rockets."... Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah have officially foresworn violence, however. Both organizations continue to stockpile weaponry and the Hamas charter still calls for Israel's destruction.
...
The report quoted a senior Israeli foreign ministry official saying that Israel was aware of the change in tactics of Hamas and other terrorist groups. The official said the groups remain committed to Israel's destruction but have realized that they are more likely to achieve that goal by isolating Israel internationally than through violent conflict.

That will certainly test the Israeli response. If they keep on with 'wog bashing' they'll only discredit themselves further.

It is an interesting question how COIN can be applied to that. Since COIN is: counter-guerilla operations + political action + economic development, and the Israelis don't do the latter two, how will they fare in face of counter-guerilla operations, when they have to direct them against non-violent protesters?

The Mavi Marmara episode showed that, even with some people resisting, that badly hurt Israel.

My hunch tells me that the Israelis, if only for lack of a better idea, will try to provoke the Palestinians into violence, to be able to denounce the non-violent efforts as hypocrisy and a fig leaf, in an effort to justify continuing their harsh response as 'self defence' against vicious terrorists.

That's at least the example of the Gaza flotilla suggests to me. Israel then denounced the people on the ship of having ties to "agents of international terror, international Islam, Hamas, al Qaeda and others." Never mind that putting actors as different as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda in the same basket is just silly.

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