“There are no hostages on both sides”

October 11, 2023 • 11:15 am

We’ve recently met political analyst Tom Gross, and here he is again in a 10½-minute interview on Turkish television. The announcer gets Gross started by saying, inaccurately, that “there are hostages on both sides.”  Gross then admonishes the moderator, reiterating the kidnappings and murders enacted by Hamas. As he says of the murder of kibbutzim (many of whom were there to promote a peaceful solution),  “The people Hamas have murdered are the very people who have been on the forefront of calling for peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” noting that this has largely destroyed the Israeli peace process.

Gross adds, as everyone with neurons should know, that Hamas does not want a two-state solution, nor, he says, does it really care for the people of Gaza, since Hamas provokes airstrikes to create civilian deaths in Gaza. He also notes that given Israel’s voluntary withdrawal from Gaza and the subsequent big influx of foreign money (much of it misused for terrorism or lining the pockets of Hamas leaders), “Gaza could have become a very successful state.”

He notes that it’s a serious mistake for supporters of the Palestinian cause in the West not to have condemned Hamas’s massacres, rapes, kidnappings (see previous post), because many in the West “are fed up with apologists for terrorism.”

Finally, he notes that Palestinians have repeatedly been offered a state, and they keep turning it down.

His conclusion is that Hamas’s attacks have created a breaking point: the world is finally getting tired of the Palestinian “cause” (which I assume means incessant war with Israel, including the firing of rockets, and attempts to eliminate the Jewish state). He might be right.  People want peace, and given the peace offers rejected by Palestinians, the lack of peace now can be put largely on Palestine, not Israel.

Finally, Gross then predicts what Israel will do now, but you can listen to that part yourself.


10 thoughts on ““There are no hostages on both sides”

  1. I see the interviewer wasn’t satisfied with being corrected about “hostages on both sides”. At 8:03 she doubles down with silliness about reaching an agreement to end “atrocities on both sides.” [Face palm]

  2. Small point. The chyron says “Over 260,000 people have been forced to flee Gaza” implying that they have left Gaza. The Times of Israel reports the details “UN says over 260,000 people displaced in Gaza” with almost all of them still in Gaza as there is no where to go. They also predict this number will grow as they leave areas that may be targeted.

  3. I don’t share Gross’s optimism about the world tiring of the “Palestinian cause.”

    I think Israel will soon be condemned for their response.
    There are just too many on the college campuses and in non Western countries for me to hope much hope for support for Israel.
    The narrative of colonialism, oppressed people in Palestinian territories is pretty well ensconced in the narrative.


    sorry….Unfortunately, I can’t send link but USCMO is the largest umbrella organization of Islamist groups in America and they have come out in support of the terrorists. This article is from Focus on Western Islamism. Is is written by Dexter Van Mile.

    I hope this link came through.

    1. I do hold to the view that the ‘world will grow tired of the Israeli / Palestine conflict’. Geography plays a role in this. The center of gravity in the Arab world has moved east (away from Israel) over time. The Gulf Arabs just don’t care as much about Palestine as do (say) the Egyptians. They do care (for good reason) about Iran, which is both closer and a lot more dangerous than Israel. The Lebanese Civil War has made Lebanon a less important state. Ditto for Syria. Egypt settled with Israel long ago and needs to focus on its many internal problems (which it tries to). The world has changed. Yasser Arafat and Gamal Abdel Nasser are dead.

    2. Sadly I believe you are correct.

      The colonialism narrative is powerful but wrong, and too many people just don’t look into it at all. Too many people have taken it as fact that Israel was stolen from the Palestinians and treat the jews that came as just normal immigrants. They forget that the reason so many jews supported Zionism and why they started trying to rebuild a Jewish state in Israel is because they were being persecuted and killed in most of the rest of the world. They didn’t just decide one day that their cushy lives in Europe were no good, that they just had to leave Baghdad and move, no they were facing increasing state enforced persecution around the world.

      The founding of Israel was not the jewish state stealing the homes of 700,000 Palestinians. After Britain pulled out the place descended into civil war because of the pre-existing tensions – there were (during the civil war phase) atrocities committed by the Zionist militias but also by the Palestinian militias. When Israel declared independence it turned into a state sponsored war of extermination in which the Arab states tried to exterminate the jews. The fact that the Palestinians chose the Arab side, chose the side that promised to exterminate Israel lead to their exile. The Palestinians were made homeless during the war, but we don’t have numbers on the number of Israeli jews made homeless by the war because Israel won the war. The Palestinians chose the side that wanted to exterminate Israeli jews, why on earth would Israel let them back in? Israel doesn’t prevent Arab immigration, it didn’t exile all muslims or Arabs or even all Palestinians during the war. Furthermore, it was only after the war that the majority of Jewish people (who weren’t already living in Israel) came to the country.

      As has been made clear by this weeks events, that founding animosity, the original decision to choose the side that wanted to push them into the sea, has still not been eliminated.

      The Palestinians were given a chance at the time of Israels founding to have a state of their own. Israel, at its founding, accepted the partition plan, it was rejected by the Palestinians.

      Sorry for the long comment but it just bugs me that people seem to believe in the founding lie that Palestinians were invaded and colonized.

    3. I’m hoping for indulgence despite this excess comment on the grounds that optimism should get a free pass.

      >”There are just too many on the college campuses and in non Western countries for me to hope much hope for support for Israel.”

      My optimism comes from the observation that no one, ever, has taken seriously any idea that comes out of college campuses. Colleges have always been homes for wacko ideas that no one outside the seminar rooms and PhD dissertation defences ever gives a second of thought to, other than to mock them. Even most biomedical research is either useless or false. Whole courses are given on critical appraisal to help winnow out the occasional pearls that should change practice.

      So ugly as they are, the crackpot ideas from college campuses will never gain traction in the rest of the country which has to get jobs done and payrolls met, and has Jews as friends. BTW none of the nostalgic baby boomers needs to mention ending the Vietnam war as something college kids and college professors accomplished. What ended Vietnam was the endless stream of body bags coming home to middle America, the families whose kids actually went and fought there…for what finally dawned on them was futile and perverse. Geez. the college kids couldn’t even get weed legalized. Nothing they say matters.

      As for non-western countries, the day they stop selling us stuff is the day their people start to starve….and then revolt. We don’t have to listen to them when we decide to support Israel the best we can as individuals, as we must. Cheer up and carry on.

  4. The basics behind political Islam and the Islamist movement are too often forgotten in analyses of Hamas or Hezbollah or tha Arab-Israeli conflict generally. The real issue for the Islamists is that Israel occupies part of Dar el-Islam (not Palestine). The occupation of Palestine only matters insofar as it is occupied Islamic territory. And, the problem of terrorism is no problem at all! Non-believers don’t get to experience Paradise, so what’s the the difference if they die in battle, or are massacred, or from disease or whatever. They are just so much carrion in the road (the distinction between infidels and Dhimmi people seems to have fallen by the wayside for most Islamists). But true Muslims will experience Paradise (though Allah will have the final say on that). Put it this way: if you really thought your immortality was at risk because you failed to do your duty as a Muslim, to liberate Dar el-Isalm, and the only thing standing in your way were people that are going to die and not exist sooner or later anyway, such that they do not count, wouldn’t you act in the same way as these people? You get to exist forever! The Islamists are perfectly logical in all this, once you understand their core beliefs. I think secularists and atheists are blinded by their own values, such as separation of church and state, something that is alien to Islamists.

  5. Hamas had reason to believe that hostage taking would work. Both Israel and the USA have negotiated with terrorist regimes for the release of prisoners. The US has recently paid over $1 billion per prisoner to Iran. In 2011, Israel (Benjamin Netanyahu) released over 1,000 prisoners to get back one Israeli soldier (Gilad Shalit). Of course, this goes way back. Iran took hostages back in the late 1970s. The US response was very weak.

    It may not work this time. However, it has worked in the past.

    A minor note in this context is that Hamas attacked a ‘peace festival’ in Israel. Some folks have called this a rave. I have never been to a rave, but I have developed software for raves.

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