Hamas Can’t Be Beat, Assures NY Times Longtime Anti-Israel Voice in Lead Story

Political News

The New York Times lead story Thursday certainly was a downer for those who support the one democracy in the Middle East in its war on the terrorists of Hamas. Longtime reporter Neil MacFarquhar penned a piece headlined “Skepticism Grows Over Israel’s Ability to Dismantle Hamas.” But MacFarquhar’s long history of anti-Israel, pro-Arab bias makes him the least dependable reporter to pen a lead story on the Israel-Gaza war.

His lead opened the floor to Hamas’s representative in Lebanon.

Standing before a gray backdrop decorated with Hamas logos and emblems of a gunman that commemorate the bloody Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Osama Hamdan, the organization’s representative in Lebanon, professed no concern about his Palestinian faction being dislodged from Gaza.

“We are not worried about the future of the Gaza Strip,” he recently told a crowded news conference in his offices in Beirut’s southern suburbs. “The decision maker is the Palestinian people alone.”

Mr. Hamdan thus dismissed one of Israel’s key objectives since the beginning of its assault on Gaza: to dismantle the Islamist political and military organization that was behind the massacre of about 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials, and which still holds more than 100 hostages.

So if a Hamas chief said it, it must be true? In fact, there’s only one pro-Israel source within the long story (Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). Every other source is there to undermine Netanyahu’s goal of eliminating Hamas.

And critics both within Israel and outside have questioned whether resolving to destroy such a deeply entrenched organization was ever realistic….

Since it first emerged in 1987, Hamas has survived repeated attempts to eliminate its leadership. The organization’s very structure was designed to absorb such contingencies, according to political and military specialists. In addition, Israel’s devastating tactics in the Gaza war threaten to radicalize a broader segment of the population, inspiring new recruits.

Analysts see the most optimal outcome for Israel probably consisting of degrading Hamas’s military capabilities to prevent the group from repeating such a devastating attack. But even that limited goal is considered a formidable slog.


“Hamas is actually weathering this assault quite well,” said Tareq Baconi, an author who wrote a book about the group. “It’s still showing that it has an offensive military capability.”

Besides the tactical admiration, bordering on cheerleading for Hamas, MacFarquhar set things up so even if Israel wins, it loses.

The scale of Israel’s war is likely to radicalize a new generation: More than 20,000 Gazans have been reported killed thus far, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Some Gazans curse Hamas, even taking to the airwaves or social media to do it, despite the organization’s history of repressing opponents. Other Gazans, however, say that they still back “the resistance,” and Hamas has long attracted support by providing services like schools and clinics.

MacFarquhar’s journalism seems suspiciously set against any move that might strengthen the survival of Israel in a region surrounded by murderous religious enemies.

In an August 2006 appearance on the Charlie Rose show, he made comments against then-president George W. Bush regarding Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hezbollah using American artillery: ….And in 40 years, we have gone from Kennedy milk to the Bush administration rushing bombs to this part of the world. And it just erodes and erodes and erodes America’s reputation.”

A week later MacFarquhar was favorably comparing Hezbollah terrorist leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to a Disney figure, “…combining the scripted logic of a clergyman with the steely resolve of a general to completely rewrite the rules of the Arab-Israeli land feud….Some call it his ‘Disney touch.’”

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