By Moreno Pasquinelli

Pasquinelli is a contributor to the Italian web magazine Sollevazione, where this article was published on Dec. 12, and was an organizer of the Oct. 27-28, 2023 Rome Conference to Stop World War III. Translation: John Catalinotto.

Arrows show how Resistance fighters entered the Israeli state Oct. 7 via land, sea and air (via terra, via mare, via aerea).

Given the unprecedented price the Palestinians and Gaza are paying, it is inevitable to ask the question: Why did Hamas and the other Palestinian Resistance movements carry out the devastating Oct. 7 action?

There are those who provide a terrible answer: They allege that the Hamas attack was a false flag operation.  The theorem rests on two legs: the false myth of Israeli military power and the infallibility of its intelligence; and a misconception of the relationship between cause and effect.

With regard to the myths, all reasoning that debunks them turns out to be futile; it is impossible to convince those who believe the myths that, however worthy of attention they may be, they are improbable if not the product of fantasy.

Regarding the conception of the cause-effect relationship, what jumps out is that, when the believers see the effect, they imagine only one possible cause. In truth — that is, in the real world — and more so in the socio-historical world, there always exists a combination of causes for which the effects may be different and often unpredictable.

The conspiracist’s reasoning can be expressed in these terms: Subject A acts. Subject B reacts. If subject B’s reaction succeeds, the conspirationist infers that subject A must have been acting in subject B’s service.

The fallacy of this inference is obvious: It means that only political actions that achieve unquestioned success are genuine and free of gray areas; if, on the other hand they end in defeat, the devil’s hand must be manipulating them.

False reasoning about Oct. 7

The thesis that Oct. 7 was a false flag operation has two consequences.

The first consequence throws us further into the most classic of vicious circles: The legend of Israel’s invincibility, supposed a priori, is confirmed a posteriori by conjecturing the diabolical cunning of the Israeli political and military commands. These commands must have known in advance everything that would happen. And  they must have chosen to inflict the Oct. 7 blow on themselves as a pretext allowing them to destroy Gaza and annihilate the Palestinian Resistance once and for all.

The second consequence of this reasoning is chilling and necessarily follows from the first: The Zionists would have to be commanding the leadership not only of Hamas but the entire chain of command of the Palestinian Resistance. After all, it is well-known that not only Islamic Jihad, but also the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades (armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), the National Resistance Brigades (armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine), and the Nasir Salah al-Din Brigades participated in the Oct. 7 action.

What evidence was brought to support the thesis of the false flag operation? None, except for the unlikely rumor reported by the New York Times that Zionist intelligence had been tipped off by other intelligence services about an “imminent attack.”

Speaking of such leaks, Leonardo Belloni writes: “Three months before the barbaric (sic) Hamas attack, intelligence from a country historically close to Israel wrote that Hamas would seek to foment terrorist attacks from the West Bank and Jerusalem, not Gaza, where it was convenient to preserve a situation of relative calm, preserve the lives of the inhabitants and keep the border crossings open to allow the territory’s economy to function. …

“Egyptian services were said to have warned their Israeli colleagues. Assuming this is true, these messages are often too general to understand where the danger is coming from, therefore to prevent it.” (LIMES, October 2023, p. 167) [LIMES is an Italian monthly publication, reputedly connected to Italian intelligence sources, that discusses geopolitical issues — trans.]

Yom Kippur War – a more egregious example

There is an even more egregious case that exposes the false claim of Israelis’ supposedly infallible skill and foreknowledge. On the very threshold of the surprise attack by the Syrian and Egyptian armies in the Yom Kippur War (Oct. 6, 1973), King Hussein of Jordan, a few days earlier (Sept. 25), had been transported by Mossad to Tel Aviv where he met [Israeli Prime Minister] Golda Meir. The king warned Meir of the impending Syrian-Egyptian attack.

Israeli intelligence did not alert Tzahal [the Israeli army], because “there was no information about collaboration or specific operational plans shared by Syria and Egypt.” It is no coincidence that this information [about Israel being informed in advance] was kept secret for decades “because of the damage it would cause to the security of the State of Israel” and the legend of its infallibility. (The Times of Israel, Sept. 12, 2013)

Penetrating Zionist propaganda’s smokescreen

To answer the question of why did the Resistance carry out the Oct. 7 attack despite foreseeing the catastrophic consequences for Gaza and its already battered inhabitants, one should start with how things really turned out, overcoming the smokescreen of Zionist propaganda that has tended to present Operation Al-Aqsa Flood as an indiscriminate massacre of unarmed civilians. The facts were quite otherwise.

The attack on October 7 followed months of very violent clashes in both the West Bank and Gaza. According to the Aug. 21 United Nations report, 2023 was the year with the highest number of victims since 2005. In particular in the month of September Israel, after having closed all the crossings for weeks, preventing thousands of Palestinians from going to work, conducted very violent air attacks on the Strip. The bombings only stopped on Sept. 29 thanks to Qatar’s mediation.

When all seemed quiet, at 6:00 a.m. on Oct. 7, an unprecedented rocket attack was launched from Gaza against Israel — no fewer than 5,000 rockets were reported. This would turn out to be just a diversionary move.

At the same time, Palestinian guerrillas, using bulldozers, attacked Israeli military positions guarding the giant wall surrounding Gaza. As many as five breaches were opened. Using trucks, motorcycles, pickups, motorized hang gliders and speedboats, some 3,000 guerrillas thus entered Israeli territory.

The guerrillas, after overpowering the border guards, captured several police stations and the localities of Nir Oz, Be’eri and Netiv Haasara, as well as kibbutzim close to the Strip. Thanks to an amphibious attack in the coastal area of Zikim, the guerrillas occupied the Bahat and Nahal Oz military bases, capturing some soldiers. Around 10 a.m., Palestinian fighters also occupied the Re’im military base.

Enormous setback for Israeli state

For Israel, it was an enormous beating. However, it is not true, considering the surprise element, that there was no prompt Israeli response. Rather, it was fierce. There is clear evidence: As many as 1,000 guerrillas (a third of the total!) were reportedly killed and 200 captured.

Of the 1,200 Israeli dead, 281 were soldiers, 57 police and 10 Shin Bet (domestic security) members. How many of the Israeli civilians killed were armed militia members, who thus fell in combat, is not known, but given the testimonies, there must have been many.

Finally, it remains to be seen how many of the Israeli civilians were killed by the very furious reaction of the Israeli army that intervened as early as the day of Oct. 7 with heavy artillery and aviation. In a live telephone interview with the Haboker Hazeh program, Israeli Yasmin Porat of the Be’eri kibbutz said that a large proportion of the civilians were slaughtered by the fire of the armed forces, which also used cannons against the buildings in which the Palestinians had barricaded themselves.

This news in turn was confirmed to the Haaretz newspaper by Tuval Escapa, a militia member from the security team of the same kibbutz, who said that the fighting went on for hours and ended only when Israeli commanders made the decision “to cannonade the kibbutz homes to eliminate the terrorists, without knowing whether the Israelis in those buildings were alive or dead.”

Why did the Resistance attack?

So if we rule out that Hamas and the Palestinian Resistance forces acted on behalf of the enemy, what purpose did they set for themselves by launching their devastating attack? Did they foresee that the price to be paid for their eventual success would be the genocide that is taking place? And if they did foresee this, does such a price have an acceptable justification?

Regarding the purposes of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, that it was a success is confirmed to us by the very people who consider themselves friends of Israel. For example, Meir Elran of the Institute for National Security Studies and director of the Homeland Security Program wrote: “The Jewish state’s power, prestige and deterrence in the region have suffered a severe blow. The more Hamas emerges weakened from the conflict, the more likely a return to the Abrahamic Accords and normalization with the Saudis will be. (…)

“Until October 6, no one would have seriously doubted Israel’s deterrence capacity against Hamas. Not even the most up-to-date intelligence services. All it took was one day for our assumptions to collapse. … The army and intelligence chiefs have already publicly acknowledged their personal responsibilities. They postponed their formal resignation until the end of the war. There will be a new leadership that will have the responsibility to study the very serious mistakes that contributed to the October 7 tragedy and reorganize Tzahal, our armed forces. They will have to change their mentality and modus operandi.” (LIMES Oct. 23, , pp. 46-49)

Even clearer are the words of the well-known U.S. journalist, Nicholas Kristof: “Five weeks into this war, I don’t see evidence that Israel’s military has degraded Hamas in a significant way, but it has killed vast numbers of civilians, put the Palestinian struggle on top of the global agenda, dissipated the initial torrent of sympathy for Israel, prompted people around the globe to march for Palestine, distracted attention from kidnapped Israelis and ruptured any possibility soon of Israel’s normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia.” (New York Times, Nov. 16)

Let us recap the goals already achieved by the Palestinian attack: (1) the Palestinian issue was brought back to the center of world attention, (2) it undermined the legend of Israel’s unbeatable military deterrence and self-defense capability, (3) it destroyed the capital of sympathy for Israel, (4) it aroused on the contrary in all parts of the world huge demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, (5) it made the Abrahamic Accords fail, thus preventing Israel’s normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia, and (6) it aggravated the internal crisis within the Zionist regime.

Had the Resistance foreseen that the price to be paid for eventual political success would be the genocide that is taking place? And if they had foreseen such a price, does it have an acceptable justification?

The answer is arguably a double yes. Here, then, are the accusations by Western well-wishers, siding lock, stock and barrel with Israel, whose Machiavellian criminality and perverse cynicism is aimed at the leaders of Hamas and the entire Resistance.

These honorable gentlemen forget the context that forged the mentality of the Palestinian fighters, a context marked by a ruthless and relentless Zionist war of occupation. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed from the Nakba [1948] to 2012. Some 6,000 and more were killed by Zionists between 2008 and 2023 alone (United Nations data). Several thousand have been arrested and tortured over the decades, alongside land theft and the destruction of homes and entire villages. The Gaza Strip (called an “open-air prison” by Human Rights Watch) has been under a cruel Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007.

The German philosopher Georg Hegel rightly wrote that history, however much this “may fill us with sadness and cause us moral bewilderment,” resembles a “butcher’s bench.” We add: with the oppressors always on the side of the butchers.

Whoever knows of a peaceful way to take the butcher’s cleaver out of his hand, may they tell us how. If they can’t do that, then they should avoid giving pious lectures trying to convince the lambs to desist from becoming wolves.

The author says his sources for the descriptions of the military battle of Oct. 7 are reports from organizations close to the Palestinian Resistance, which are themselves consistent with Israeli reports and those on Wikipedia.

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