Tag Archives: intention

Is THIS what Hamas hoped to gain from the October 7 incursion into Israel?

It seems The Spectator has been speculating on what Hamas hoped to achieve by breaking into Israel, attacking Israeli Defence Force positions and kidnapping civilians, who were taken as hostages into Gaza.

Israel was bound to strike back, and under current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that response was always going to be extremely forceful; genocidal.

So, why do it?

Here are my thoughts; let’s see if they coincide with those of that other magazine.

Well, sadly it seems this organisation has been playing with the lives of Gazan citizens in the same way one might play chess; sometimes, sacrifices have to be made in order to win.

Most of the analyses This Writer has seen suggest that Hamas in Gaza works in isolation, but this could not be further from the truth. Hamas is an international organisation – meaning Israel’s stated intention to destroy that organisation altogether is nonsense; part of its leadership is always based in other countries.

Hamas has allies in the governments of Qatar and Turkey. It used to be allied with Hezbollah in Lebanon, with Syria and with Iran but those relationships have been strained recently.

How, then, could Hamas bring all of these countries together to oppose Israel and its persecution of Palestinian people?

Isn’t it possible that the answer, for the organisation’s leaders, was to sacrifice thousands of Gazan citizens – in order to turn international public opinion against Israel?

So on October 7, Hamas breaks out of Gaza and acts according to stated intentions: eliminating the Israeli Defence Force’s Gaza Battalion and taking hostages to be traded with Palestinians the organisation claims have been jailed by Israel for no reason at all.

The operatives taking part in the operation stick rigidly to that plan; there are no atrocities – no beheaded babies, no rapes of girls or young women, and the hostages are all treated humanely. Israeli propaganda claiming otherwise then backfires, making that country’s government and military look like liars.

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Israel then retaliates – not with a surgical strike intended to recover the hostages and remove the Hamas threat in Gaza, as should have been possible after years of espionage, but with a genocidal show of strength intended to act as a warning of what will happen to anyone challenging Israeli power.

This is in accordance with the so-called “Hannibal Directive” demanding that IDF troops kill Israelis rather than allow them to stay in the hands of an enemy.

This provokes Hezbollah to strike Israel from Lebanon in an act of solidarity. Yemen, said to be part of a so-called ‘Axis of Resistance’ against Israel alongside Hezbollah and Hamas, has also struck at Israel from the south.

What happens next?

That is a matter for Israel.

Will it turn its formidable arsenal – most of which is still idle, despite the constant and extreme bombardment of Gaza – onto Lebanon and Yemen?

If so, will that prompt Iran to turn its own considerable firepower on Israel, to defend its allies?

You see, the countries/organisations that have stepped in already have been able to claim a legitimate interest in defending the defenceless; and if they are attacked, any countries that step in to defend them will be able to claim a legitimate interest in defending their allies.

The logical choice is for Netanyahu to respond to Hezbollah and Houthi (Yemeni) attacks only in defence – for the time being.

But he is still losing the propaganda war, because his forces are murdering hundreds of Gazans every day.

And the fact of those deaths is likely to stir many more members of the Muslim world – Palestinians, Lebanese, Yemeni, Iranians, Qataris, Turks or whoever – into taking up arms against Israel.

So, whatever Israel does, it loses. And this is partly because of the unacceptably violent decisions of that country’s leaders.

All it will have cost Hamas is a few thousand Gazan lives.

Let’s remember: there are no “good” sides in this conflict. As This Writer wrote in another article, weeks ago, “there are only murderers in this room”.

That’s why I’m willing to believe that this is exactly the way the leaders of Hamas have planned it.


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What was the point of the Hamas incursion into Israel on October 7?

It’s a question This Writer has asked many times in the days since it happened: what was Hamas trying to achieve when its people invaded Israel, attacked the IDF and took hostages back to Gaza? What did that organisation’s leaders think would be the result?

October 7 was an Israeli holiday – Yom Kippur – and also the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. As such, it was always possible that some kind of violence would happen.

Indeed, Israel was warned of a Hamas attack by Egypt – repeatedly – in the period before the attack. The Israeli government has denied this, but here‘s what an Egyptian intelligence official told The Times of Israel:

Jerusalem had ignored repeated warnings that the Gaza-based terror group was planning “something big.”

The Egyptian official said Egypt, which often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, had spoken repeatedly with the Israelis about “something big,” without elaborating.

“We have warned them an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big. But they underestimated such warnings,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the content of sensitive intelligence discussions with the media, told The Associated Press.

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This was confirmed by the USA:

“We know that Egypt has warned the Israelis three days prior that an event like this could happen,” Republican Michael McCaul tells reporters following a closed-door intelligence briefing for lawmakers on the crisis.

“I don’t want to get too much into classified, but a warning was given,” he says.

Given Israel’s propensity for lying, I think we should believe the Egyptians and the Americans on this.

So, with Israel looking the other way, Hamas’s Qassam Brigade launched an offensive with two strategies (this from The Cradle):

There is little to no credible evidence that Palestinian fighters had a plan to – or deliberately sought to – kill or harm unarmed Israeli civilians on 7 October. From the available footage, we witness them engaging primarily with armed Israeli forces, accounting for the deaths of hundreds of occupation soldiers. As Qassam Brigades’ Spokesman Abu Obeida made clear on 12 October:

“Al-Aqsa Flood operation aimed to destroy the Gaza Division (an Israeli army unit on Gaza’s borders) which was attacked at 15 points, followed by attacking 10 further military intervention points. We attacked the Zikim site and several other settlements outside the Gaza Division headquarters.”

Abu Obeida and other resistance officials claims that the other key objective of their operation was to take Israeli prisoners that they could exchange for the approximately 5,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention centers, many of whom are women and children.

Hamas Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Saleh Al-Arouri, in an interview after the operation, stressed: “We have a large and qualitative number and senior officers. All we can say now is that the freedom of our prisoners is at the doorstep.”

I can see no sense in either of these objectives.

Destroying an arm of the Israeli Defence Force was only ever going to provoke violent retaliation – as we have seen over the 24 days since the incursion.

And taking hostages? In case you haven’t noticed, we have multiple eyewitness reports of IDF troops shooting, or even shelling, Israeli civilians in order to eliminate Hamas operatives. Here’s another one:

Even at the Israeli “peace rave”, which has been cited as the single deadliest attack committed by Palestinian fighters during their operation, videos emerged that appeared to show Israeli forces opening fire through a crowd of unarmed civilians, toward targets they believed to be Hamas members. ABC News also reported that an Israeli tank had headed to the site of the festival.

Whichever way you stack the information, it doesn’t make sense.

Hamas must have known an attack of the limited nature available to it could only lead to a response from Israel that would be several orders of magnitude more deadly, so launching the offensive seems to be insanity.

Israel’s behaviour seems equally irrational. Knowing the attack was coming, its leaders chose to ignore the warnings, wait for the attack to happen, and then murder their own fellow Israelis in order to manufacture international outrage to support a genocidal response.

Can anybody find anything wrong with my reasoning here?

I think there’s at least one very important piece of information missing from this. If anybody has it, please pass it on.


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Labour voting-intentions data can’t help harvesters because it’s probably changed now

Oh dear. It seems a Labour Party system for storing people’s voting intentions may have been compromised by people who may want to use it for mischief.

I write “may” for a good reason.

Here’s the story:

The voting intentions of millions of Britons in local authority wards across the country could have been at risk of misuse as a result of a glitch in the Labour party’s main phone-banking system, the Guardian understands.

Experts had warned that the sensitive data could potentially have been harvested via an automated program and used for targeted election interference by campaign groups or even hostile states.

More than half a million Labour party members have access to the Dialogue system, used by activists to make calls to the public for a variety of reasons, including to ascertain how they are planning to vote.

However, within just a few clicks, the glitch meant that they could also access sensitive information including postcodes, which – when combined with voting intentions – would potentially have allowed them to generate a list of millions of people across Britain.

I wonder how much use it will be.

Depending on when the information was received, and bearing in mind the way the current Labour leadership has behaved, it is entirely possible that a lot of people who said they’d vote Labour have changed their minds.

Similarly, people who said they’d vote for the Tories may also have changed their minds and opted for Keir Starmer’s slightly-less-right-wing party.

And I remember from my time on Labour’s phone banks that a few people said they’d vote one way, and then didn’t.

In fact, I don’t think any of that information can be trusted. Could it ever?

Source: Labour glitch put voting intentions data of millions at risk | Labour | The Guardian


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Labour opens up two-digit lead over the Conservatives in voting intention polls

The Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn has opened up a huge lead over the Conservative government in voter-intention polls.

This is in spite of attempts to smear Mr Corbyn with false allegations of anti-Semitism.

It also runs against claims that Labour’s policy on Brexit is hampering the party’s electability.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1115989317598482432

In fact, there seem to be several:

The poll that offers options for a larger number of parties is the one that gives Labour a 13-point lead, and this suggests that the rise of Change UK (or The Independent Group) has harmed the Conservatives more than Labour.

It seems unlikely that the new organisation/party will be able to field candidates in all constituencies if an election is called soon, so it is perhaps unwise to assume the gulf between the two main parties will be as wide in practice.

And many people would say polls like these are designed to influence voters, rather than reflect their plans.

Still, these results may shut up the centrists who have been making noises about Labour’s lack of ability to open up a large lead despite current Tory weakness.

And it probably means mainstream media pundits will stop talking about the polls for a while (remember, they only refer to polls in order to claim the Conservatives are in the lead; think about the “gaslighting” scandal involving Diane Abbott on the BBC’s Question Time).

It is unlikely to stop certain malcontents from fabricating claims of anti-Semitism against Mr Corbyn and the Labour Party because it is impossible to draw any conclusions about this aspect of the current political debate; people could be attracted to Labour as much because of accusations of anti-Semitism as in denial of them. It’s an unpleasant thought but, as another part of current discourse has it, Brexit has encouraged a revival of racism in certain members of the electorate.

Personally, I think this is more accurate:

In related news:

and

https://twitter.com/rosskempsell/status/1115155616308264960

Some are saying that Labour has only to wait and the Conservatives will become extinct by themselves, but this is nonsense; they have been in power for nine years and that has allowed enough younger people to see what Tory policies do.

It will take a sustained period in power – and acting for the good of the population at large – for Labour to finally end the electability of the privileged class.


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Poll drubbing for Tories means nobody in the mainstream media will be talking about it

It’s business as usual next week with Theresa May getting on with Brexit and a plan to cap energy bills – and no mention at all of the fact that her party is now trailing Labour by five points.

According to the BMG poll for The Independent, Labour enjoys the support of 42 per cent of voters, while the Tories can only rely on 37 per cent.

For the Conservative Party, a mid-30s poll rating is the kiss of death – but commentators are predicting that the fall is far from over.

Theresa May’s own problems are, if anything, even worse – she trails Jeremy Corbyn, the man most people had written off as any credible candidate to be prime minister before this year’s general election, by two points.

By the way, in Scotland the situation is even worse for the Tories.

According to YouGov, Labour has leapfrogged the Tories with a five point gain to take second place behind the SNP.

Mr Corbyn has managed to gain exactly the number of popularity points that Mrs May has dropped – 62. He now has a massive 69-point lead on her, north of the border.

Left-wing commentators are already saying if left-wing candidate Richard Leonard wins the Scottish Labour leadership election, the SNP’s days at the top will be numbered … and the number isn’t very high.

So there won’t be any discussion of Scottish polls in the mainstream media either – despite the fact that Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and the SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh were on Robert Peston’s show today (October 8).

Theresa May’s crisis has deepened today with a new poll showing Labour surging ahead of the Conservatives, while the public now also has a clear preference for Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.

The exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research now has Labour five points ahead of the Tories, who are still reeling from a coup launched by ex-ministers to overthrow Ms May.

Mr Corbyn, fresh from a conference at which he cemented his position, has a two point lead over Ms May in terms of who the public would prefer to be running the country.

The under-fire PM also faces pressure from the European Union where leaders in France and Germany signalled they would not allow Brexit talks to progress on to trade.

The study by BMG Research gives Labour a four point increase to 42 per cent, while the Conservatives fell two to 37 per cent.

In a separate question on who would make the better Prime Minister, Theresa May fell two points to 30 per cent, while Jeremy Corbyn rose four points to 32 per cent.

Source: Labour pull clear of Tories as new poll shows voters prefer Corbyn over May as PM


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Failings over race earn Theresa May a figurative rap on the knuckles – twice!

Bad taste in the mouth, Theresa? Not nearly as bad as the flavour that faced British citizens, wrongly accused of being illegal immigrants because of your race vans.

Bad taste in the mouth, Theresa? Not nearly as bad as the flavour that faced British citizens, wrongly accused of being illegal immigrants because of your race vans.

Anyone with an ounce of brain in their head knew the Home Office was going to be banned from using its advertising vans again – the ones telling illegal immigrants to “go home”, in the language of “knuckle-dragging racists”, as Owen Jones so memorably phrased it.

That is, anyone except everyone working at the Home Office, including the Secretary of State – Theresa May.

The Advertising Standards Authority ordered the Home Secretary not to put the vans on the streets again, saying the phrase “go home” was indeed a reminder of a racist slogan and “clearly carries baggage”.

The authority also said the posters on the vans referred to inaccurate arrest statistics, claiming there had been 106 arrests in the area in the past week. The ASA said this was misleading as it did not relate to accurate arrest statistics for the specific areas where people would have seen the vans.

They were out in Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Barnet, Brent, Ealing and Hounslow – areas the Home Office believe many illegal immigrants live and work.

The report stated: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told the Home Office to ensure that in future they held adequate substantiation for their advertising claims and that qualifications were presented clearly.”

130804xenophobia

The ASA had received 224 complaints about the vans from individuals, campaign groups, legal academics and the Labour peer Lord Lipsey, who is from Vox Political‘s home constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire, we’re proud to say.

But in an impressive display of tightrope-walking the ASA said the van campaign was not offensive or irresponsible. While the “Go home” slogan had been used in the past to attack immigrants, its report said, the Home Office was now using it in a different context.

Oh! Well, that makes it perfectly acceptable, doesn’t it? Never mind the possibility that nobody seeing those vans in the street was ever likely to consider such a nuance, it was “unlikely to incite or exacerbate racial hatred and tensions in multi-cultural communities” because the intention was different!

What about the message implied by these vans – a message that was clearly pointed out by commentators at the time – that Conservative-leaning voters should treat with hatred, suspicion and contempt anybody who is not a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant?

What about the way they encouraged suspicion that another person may be an illegal immigrant?

What about the way the Home Office Twitter account spent the week-long pilot period in which the vans were traipsing round London tweeting messages about the number of illegal immigrants it wanted us to believe had been detected or turned themselves in? Can we believe those figures, if the number on the vans themselves was fake?

What about the photographs transmitted by the same Twitter account, of suspects who had been arrested, before they had been charged? Does anybody remember if any of these people were the white Anglo Saxons mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago?

What about the spot-checks at railway stations, where anybody who was not clearly white could be stopped by immigration officers wearing stab vests who demanded to see identification proving they were in the UK legally? How galling was it for British citizens – people who were born and raised in this country – to be faced by a flak-jacketed fiend who (it is claimed) became unreasonably aggressive when challenged over their right to behave in this manner without direct cause for suspicion?

What about the fact that the Home Office undermined its own arguments by being unable to reveal the different ethnicities of the people who were stopped – information that was vital in determining whether they had been breaking the law?

What about the fact that all of this effort was hugely out of proportion when considering the number of illegal immigrants it was likely to net? Forget forced labourers who are brought into the country but kept hidden by criminal organisations – these are not responsible for what happened to them and their cases are likely to be part of criminal investigations into the people holding them captive. Who does that leave?

And what about the possibility that this was not about illegal immigrants at all, but a sop to all those people – many of them Daily Mail readers, we expect – who believe that immigration of any kind is out of control? These are people who need to get to grips with the facts. As reported by this blog and others back in August, the UK has a lower immigrant population than almost any ‘developed’ nation; they are assessed via a points-based system, only seven per cent are asylum-seekers and only a third of asylum claims are accepted. They do not have access to most of the benefits available to UK citizens and what they do receive are nowhere near the same value. They are one-third less likely to claim those benefits, meagre as they are, than UK citizens.

The Unite union has been seeking legal advice over this matter, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission has also been investigating this. It will be interesting to see what they say.

But a rap on the knuckles over bad information is a good start. Naughty, naughty, Theresa May!

On the same day, the Home Secretary – along with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling – faced questions from two Lords committees on the UK’s 2014 opt-out from EU police and criminal justice measures, as part of a reopened inquiry.

If this opt-out is exercised, the Coalition government has listed 35 measures that it would seek to rejoin, and it is these that prompted the Lords to reopen their inquiries.

Parliament’s own website said they were likely to face questions on how they defined the national interest in selecting the 35 measures the UK would seek to rejoin, and whether the changes will break the UK’s obligations to European arrest treaties.

And there were questions to be answered on whether non-participation on measures dealing with xenophobia and racism (the issues at the heart of the matter with the advertising vans) sent an “unfortunate” signal to other EU member states that the UK, under a Conservative-led government, no longer regards those issues as important.

Fortunately for Theresa May, these proceedings do not appear to have been made public.