Today, Muslims the world over held the Day of Rage that Khaled Mashal, head of HAMAS, asked for. So what results did Mashal’s call achieve? One crowd tried to cross into Israel, and law enforcement turned them back. Aside from several demonstrations, the shutdown of a city council session, and a few admittedly tragic casualties, that is the only result that call achieved. While this dog did not bark, a State governor and a U.S. Congress member took up slack in evacuating Americans. So yes, for some it was a bad day, even a fatal one. But it could have been far worse. And the head of HAMAS cannot have been satisfied with such militarily insignificant results.
Day of Rage – what HAMAS asked for
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Arabic Harakah al-Muqāwamah al-Islāmiyyah, abbreviated HAMAS) is the ruling party, army, and security police of Gaza. They exist to wipe Israel off the map. And not the State of Israel only, but all who call themselves Jews.
Khaled Mashal, head of HAMAS, called on Muslims worldwide to rise up and march on Jerusalem. D-Day was today.
“Brother Rachid,” a convert to Christ from Islam, shared a rough translation:
Briefly, he demanded four things:
- Mass demonstrations and a “show [of] anger” in Muslim countries and wherever Muslims lived,
- Financial contributions to HAMAS’ war effort,
- Political pressure to stop Israel from invading Gaza, and
- For Muslims to travel to Israel if at all possible and fight the War of Annihilation of the Jews.
So what happened? The political pressure came, all right – but Israel seems immune to it. After the atrocities they suffered on the first day of the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, they’ll take no advice from anyone. As to financial aid, they have that – from the Iranians. (Contrary to Biden administration pronouncement, the $6 billion is not frozen and will not be. The Iranians have so boasted.) But no one has heard anything about small donations going to HAMAS accounts in response to this particular call. (HAMAS has other ways to raise funds, and always has, according to this BBC report from nine years ago.)
What about those marches into Israel?
We now turn to the call for Muslims to travel to, and if necessary smash their way into, Israel. Three reports, from Microsoft Network, Breitbart, and the Middle East Eye, tell us what happened. Five hundred people – less than the strength of a battalion – marched toward a border fence separating Jordan from the Negev. This would be south of the Dead Sea. They were seeking to cross into Israel. If any of them were carrying weapons, the available footage does not show this.
Jordanian police turned them back with tear gas.
“Treason!” cried the protesters in Arabic. But reports do not indicate that any of those people crossed the line.
In short, Point Four of Khaled Mashal’s program was an ignominious failure.
Demonstrations – and casualties
Demonstrations did happen throughout the world, and some of the consequences were more serious. In France, someone brought a knife onto a school campus, stabbed a teacher to death and wounded two others. Their attacker shouted “God is great!” in Arabic – but turned out to be a disgruntled alumnus.
All the sympathies of anyone commenting on this story, lay with the teacher. In another report, French authorities have vowed to deport anyone supporting HAMAS or its acts.
In Beijing, China, someone stabbed a 50-year-old Israeli Embassy employee. He will survive.
A member of the Palestine Scholars’ Association in the Diaspora said Muslims may kill Israelis “wherever they may be.”
A crowd of at least fifteen people beat an Israeli at a protest in San Diego.
A second-hand report said the Emirate of Qatar threatens to cut off fuel supplies unless the bombing of Gaza stops. Unfortunately, someone deleted the post.
Several rioters stormed the Chicago City Hall and stopped City Council proceedings.
Another demonstration took place in Times Square in New York City:
CNAV does not take these events, especially the casualty reports, lightly. Neither HAMAS nor those who have killed in their name have any excuse for what they did. Still, Khaled Mashal obviously enjoys far less support than he thought he had. This applies equally to sympathy as to willingness to commit violent acts.
And on the war front…
While this so-called Day of Rage played out, the Israel Defense Forces carried out some limited raids into northern Gaza. Fox’ Trey Yingst reports these raids have two purposes: softening-up, and intelligence gathering, especially regarding hostages.
The Israel Defense Forces have explicitly warned civilians to make their way south, away from Gaza City. But Yingst reported that HAMAS will not let people leave their homes in response to air raid warnings.
Another witness reported that HAMAS set up roadblocks to stop the flight south.
Here in America, the Border Patrol arrested two Lebanese who were trying to cross illegally into the country.
Contrary to certain accusations, Americans are trapped inside Israel. Washington has told them to fend for themselves, and even to sign promissory notes if they want rescue. But Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) is taking matters into his own hands. Steadfast Daily credits him with evacuating 32 Americans thus far.
Likewise, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed an executive order to charter flights into Israel, at State expense, for more evacuations.
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78 and her strike group are taking positions off the coast of Israel. Today USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 and her strike group were scheduled to depart Norfolk, Virginia, for the Mediterranean. “Ike” was scheduled to relieve the Ford anyway – but the Navy might order the Ford group to stay.
So what about that Day of Rage?
In summary, the Day of Rage has not accomplished what Khaled Machal said he wanted to accomplish. One group of protesters, about as strong as an under-strength battalion, set out with no weapons, and had police turn them back at the border. The toll from the demonstrations, while occasionally tragic and not trifling, is still distinctly minimal. Israel is ignoring the political pressure – and the financial support would be in place without the Day of Rage.
So the head of HAMAS obviously meant what he said, and many did take him seriously. But they had their opportunity to do far worse damage – and have squandered it.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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