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October 3, 2014

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 3, 2014 By Alina Dain Sharon and Scan Savage Following Israel's Opera- tion Protective Edge this summer, Hamas continues to control the Gaza Strip and openly considers any truce with Israel as a time to re-arm for the next conflict, Across Israel's northern border, He- zbollah has been fighting to preserve the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but still poses a danger to the Jewish state. Meanwhile, the Islamic State has exploded across Iraq and Syria in a spectacle of unprecedented brutality that could one day also knock on Israel's door. What should Israel's strat- egy be regarding this triumvi- rate of terror groups? took the pulse of three Middle East and terrorism experts on the issue. Where things stand with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Is- lamic State Hezboilah and Hamas "pose a very particular threat to Israel but also avery special dilemma," said Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. "Both groups are not just terrorist organizations, but also very large political par- ties, which control territory adjacent to Israel," he told JNS. org. "They have long tradi- tions and complex political and military situations." Dr. Boaz Ganor, co-founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, calls Hamas and Hezboilah "hy- brid" terrorist organizations. "On the one hand ]these organizations reflect] the real grievances of a large public" by providing welfare services and winning elections, but "on the other hand ]they continue] executing terrorist attacks against civilians," Ganor told For instance, Hamas has won Palestinian hearts by providing social services to the population, and it was elected as the governing group of the Gaza Strip in 2006. Hezbollah's current leader, Hassan Nasrallah, was also a member of the aI-Dawa al-Is- lamiya movement in Lebanon, which subsequently evolved into a political party under Hezbollah that has 12 seats in the Lebanese parliament. 2154 7945 3689 1732 5467 9823 4318 8276 6591 Islamic State is on the path to adopting a similar strategy, Ganor believes. Until just more than a year ago, only four countries clas- sified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. This changed only after Hezbollah's pre- sumed involvement in the 2012 terrorist bombing of a tour bus carrying Israelis in Burgas. But even the Europe- an Union's change of Hezbol- lah's status only classified the "military wing" of the group, and not the entire entity, as a terrorist organization. Given their reluctance to classify terror groups as such, many countrieswili find themselves "quickly dealing with the same dilemma with regard to the Islamic State, the [Syrian] al-Nusra Front, and other groups," Ganor said. According to Ilan Berman, vice president of the Ameri- can Foreign Policy Council (AFPC), "the Israeli govern- ment is selling Operation Pro- tective Edge as astrategic tie," but the reality is "that Hamas has gotten a lot of benefit out "of the conflict, too." Hamas initiated this sum- mer's conflict as a cry for help, because the group was bank- rupt and felt abandoned by its traditional patrons, Iran and Egypt. Hamas's unity govern- mentwith Fatahwas supposed to be an equal partnership, but Hamas ended up becoming a junior partner, not receiving legitimate consideration for cabinet posts. Therefore, the conflict was meant to show that Hamas is a "force to be reckoned with," Berman told When it comes to dealing with a hybrid terrorist orga- nization like Hamas, "military action, as important as it is, does not eliminate the orga- nization," said IDC's Ganor. "It might hurt or temporar- ily disable the organizations' military capability, but these organizations are already based and rooted inside the society where they live and whom they pretend to repre- sent," he said. For several years, the Israeli government has avoided calls to overthrow Hamas and has preferred a policy of contain- ment through a series of blockades, with the hope that Gazans would overthrow the terror organization. Addition- ally, Israel fears that Hamas could be replaced by a more radical terror group or that it would be forced to reoccupy Gaza, which it unilaterally 38796 26381 17452 65849 89123 41675 52967 93514 74-238 evacuated in 2005. "By containing Hamas, through the enforcement of a blockade, Israel hoped that the people of Gazawould over- throw Hamas," Sachs said. But despite being financially weakened and internationally isolated, Hamas has proved re- sourceful, and Israel "should have no illusions that Hamas will disappear anytime soon," said the Brookings analyst. Ganor believes this sum- mer's conflict was a historic opportunity for Israel to defeat Hamas without the involve- ment of Hezbollah and the tacit support of Arab nations. This would have only been possible with a ground opera- tion that led to the takeover of large territories--not necessarily the whole Gaza Strip, but large parts of it. The summer conflict, according to Ganor, presented "a col- lection of situations that has not existed before and I'm not sure will be ]there for Israel] in the future." The vacuum resulting from the defeat of Hamas would not necessarily be filled with groups such as Islamic State. Sachs is in favor of bringing MahmoudAbbas's Palestinian Authority (PA) back to power in Gaza, as the PA has largely cooperated with Israel on policing the West Bank and thwarting terrorism there. Since Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, Israel, and Egypt, donor countrieswill onlywork with the PAto provide funding and materials to rebuild Gaza. "One way to do that would be not to oppose so vocifer- ously Palestinian unity, which would allow Fatah to have more ofastronghold in Gaza," Sachs said. This summer's conflictalso highlighted a shortfall in the Iron Dome missile defense system. AFPC's Berman said Israeli defense officials have told him that the rockets shot by Hamas were harder for the Iron Dome to intercept because they were poorly constructed and tilted side to sidewhen flying, as opposed to the more direct flight of Iraqi scuds during the Gulf War. This has led to fast-tracking the production of David's Sling, a new defense system designed to intercept larger, longer-range, and cruder rockets, as well as cruise mis- Miriam Alster/Flash90 The Israel Defense Forces Artillery Corps fires shells at Gaza on July 18, 2014, after Israeli forces began a ground invasion into northern Gaza amid Operation Protective Edge. Following the operation, Hamas continues to control Gaza and openly considers any truce with Israel as a time to re-arm for the next conflict. siles. David's Slingis especial- tering medieval-style Islamic ways. A senior Israel Defense ly important with regard to justicetoanyonewhostoodin Forces officer recently quoted Hezbollah, which has at least their way. by Haaretz confirmed that 100,000 rockets--10 times as "When they arrived at cit- Israel is providing intelligence many as Hamas--including ies and villages [in Iraq], the to the U.S. on Islamic State, thousandsoflong-rangemis- military forces just fled and including satellite imagery. siles that carry up to a ton of left their equipment there," Israelalsoneeds"todevelopa warheads and are hidden in Ganor said. differentmilitarydoctrinefrom deep underground bunkers Yet none of the experts thedoctrineofdealingwithArab within- Lebanon, according consultedbyJNS.orgbelieves armies, a doctrine of dealing to IDF estimates. Israel is a primary target for with insurgency that's based on "Hezbollahisaverycapable Islamic State at the moment, the capabilities of special units organization, and whenever which means the Jewish state and penetrating operations," its finds itself free from the maynotneedtobeatthehelm Syrian civil war, it will see Is- of the current battle against If Islamic State reaches rael again as its prime target," the group. Jordan or Lebanon, "things Sachs said. "There's a huge difference can change very rapidly" According to a recent IDF between an Islamic State flag and "you're going to see very assessment, Hezbollah could being waved on the Temple quickly a lot of coordination captureafewnorthernIsraeli Mount and an actual, opera- against the Islamic State," towns such as Rosh Hanikra tional cell that exists in the even between Israel and Fatah for several hours until they Gaza Strip. In Israel, you're [Abbas's party], explained are dislodged. But for now, seeing the former but not the Berman, who added the dis- "the Israelis are trying to be latter," Berman said. claimer that he is "just not very quiet with respect to Nevertheless, there have seeing that yet because the HezbollahbecauseHezbollah been indications that Israel threat is still conceptual." is fighting and dying in Syria, is interested in joining the Islamic State couldalso be- and when your enemy is do- 10:nation coalition against come athreat to other Middle ing something like that, you Islamic State, which is being East countries such as Saudi don't want to distract him," led by the U.S. Arabia and the Gulf states, Berman said. While Israel's inclusion in Turkey, and Iran. Israel's strategy on Islamic the coalition is possible, "it's "When you speak today State going to be a hard sell," Ber- with decision-makers and Islamic State has exploded man said. Specifically, Israel security sources, you get the onto the scene in the Middle may be a liability for the U.S., feeling that Iran... is'the devil East through sheer terror which is trying to build a co- we know' and 'the enemy of as well as a shrewd military alition out of Arab states that my enemy is my friend,'" said and political strategy. Form- mostly do not have relations Ganor, who believes that at- ing out of the remnants of with Israel. titude is a big mistake. al-Qaeda in Iraq, the terror "Israel is not going to get "WhenEuropeandtheU.S. group took advantage of the involved in any airstrikes wake up from their dream... chaos of the Syrian civil war or sending troops in, and I they will realize that it is a and political instability in Iraq don't believe that it should," nightmare because 'the en- to take over large swathes of Sachs said. emy of our enemy is a bigger territory, and began adminis- But Israel can act in other enemy of ours,'" he added. From page 1A ditionally, they continued to been happy to support their 4Hearing Foundation, al- expandtheirspokenlanguage causes, includingthePavilion lowing CampedUP to give Wesl Side of Manhattan as and gain self-advocacy skills. Walk, from my home in New $10,000 in scholarships to a hearing education service We had four action packed York City." She added, "My children throughout NYC. provider, weeksthissummerthatwere dad taught me how to run a These campers became a Last summer Selznick filled with new experiences business while maintaining a part of our CampedUP fam- "amped up" her involvement andmemorieswhichweknowsenseofempathyandcompas- ily, reminding all of us that as a deaf and hard of hear- campers will hold with them sion." Selznick learned the every child should have the ing educator. She fulfilled a throughout the entire school valueoftikunolam (repairing opportunity to experience lifelongdream, and combined year." the world) as a student at the the excitement of a summer herloveofsummercampwith Selznick credits her par- Hebrew Day School (now the camp," she said. the joys of teaching. Selznick ents, Karen and Steve Sel- Jewish Academy of Orlando) Formoreinformation, visit joined with two friends and znickofLongwood, for teach- in Maitland, and honed her CampedUp.comorCampedUp fellow hearing service pro- ing her from an early age to leadership skills from youth on Facebook. To make a do- fessionals, Brittany Prell and give backto the community, and teen groups, Kadima nation to the Walk4Hearing, Arielle Ditkowich, toco-found She noted, "My parents were and USY. type the following link http:// CampedUP, a summer camp great role models for volun- Selznick'snextchallengeis for children with hearing teerism. They were always preparingfortheWalk4Hear- Server?pagename=walk_ aids and cochlear implants, volunteering or helping out ing, which raises funds for home_page, then click DO- "While campers enjoyed all in the community. I tagged the Walk4 Hearing Founda- NATE at the top, followed of the typical highlights of alongwhilemymomdelivered tion, with a portion going to by "Find a Walker" and summercamp, theywerealso food to the needy with JFS scholarships at CampedUP. search Dana Selznick. Dana able to socialize with other and befriend lonely seniors "Last year, through gener- Selznick will appear as a hearingaidandcochlearim- with the Jewish Pavilion. ous donations, CampedUP participant. Click the name plant users," she stated. "Ad- Throughout the years I have raised $25,000 for the Walk- and follow the steps to donate.