11 Mar 2024

Up Next: Rafah

Everyone knows that to truly defeat Hamas once and for all, Israel will have to launch a ground operation into Rafah, the southernmost section of the Gaza Strip. The Hamas rats have been scurrying that way for four months. It’s the last holdout.

I listened to commentary from Hugh Hewitt the other day; his guest was The Times of Israel’s Haviv Rettig Gur.

(I’m not a fan of Hewitt, who seems comfortable in the Washington Establishment crowd, although he always touts his conservative credential. In any case, it often helps to hear other perspectives.)

Gur said something interesting when asked if Israel would stand down for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. It’s coming up and Hamas is counting on a reprieve during Ramadan.

Gur replied that the IDF wouldn’t even consider doing that, given the fact that their neighbor enemies have not hesitated in the past to attack Israel on the eve of Jewish holy days (the 1973 War and October 7, for starters). Israel will not be deterred.

In fact, they announced weeks ago that if a serious deal for hostage release was not achieved by March 13, they would go into Rafah. Because Israel now has the upper hand on these demons, I expect the operation to commence at the optimum moment for the IDF. Actually, it’s good to know that Hamas, including the demon-in-chief Sinwar, are nervous about this last battle.

With another enemy, Joe Biden, announcing in his unhinged “State of the Union” address that the U.S. would further undermine Israel by establishing a port to bring in humanitarian aid to Gaza, the IDF’s job is further complicated. In fact, that is one of the frustrating parts of the Hewitt-Gur interview. Gur did insist on having “gratitude” to Biden for his “support” of Israel during this war. The fact is, Biden has always been an enemy of Israel, and his constant meddling in the current war has cost lives and time, and extended the horrors happening to the hostages. He is a malevolent force.

Israel has prosecuted this war in mostly stellar fashion. They went farther and faster (like Patton’s Third Army!) than they probably expected to. Hamas right now is so diminished, they can’t recover once Rafah is done.

A senior military commander told Israel Hayom that the Rafah operation is probably days away.

Rafah has a population of about 170,000 (by comparison, the largest city near me is Springfield, Missouri, with a similar-size population) and is about 20 miles south of Gaza City. This is no two-day thing. It’s more urban fighting for IDF troops, but they’ve become so good at it (their tactics will be studied at war colleges for decades to come), it’s only a matter of time before Hamas is completely destroyed.

What comes next is the issue. The interesting thing is, Israel has stuck to the basic plan from the start. In October, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Gaza would “never go back to what it was.” Netanyahu has continually rebuffed the West in its demands both for an immediate ceasefire and the lunatic ideas spread around about the next ruling body in Gaza. Israel doesn’t want the job, but rest assured, they will maintain security for a very, very long time.

The mainstream media are so evil, they are working overtime to prevent an Rafah attack. CNN says there is “catastrophic” hunger in Gaza. The UN, according to Reuters, says a Rafah attack “must not happen!”

These voices are the shrill Barney Fifes of modern geopolitics. Nothing is going to prevent Israel from finishing the job.

They don’t have another option.