Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is the Senior Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He said in an interview last week that the “soft landing” Israel is looking for as it launches its war against Palestinian Islamic terrorism was for America to keep its two aircraft carrier strike groups positioned in the region to deter Iran from escalating the war.
Schanzer talked with Margaret Hoover on PBS’s “Firing Line” and said that Hamas’ horrifying terrorist attacks changed the region forever after 1,400 of its citizens were murdered.
“Up until two weeks ago, the Israeli military establishment looked upon Hamas as what they called a tactical threat, an annoyance that can be deadly, but that was manageable,” he said. “It’s no longer manageable from Israel’s perspective. I heard one former Israeli official say the moment that they killed that many people was the moment that [Hamas] lost the right to exist. Very stark language.”
He said that Iran was “one hundred percent” helping Hamas prepare for Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza by helping them under the series of events that would happen due to their attack.
“The strategy here is to try to isolate Gaza from all of the other action that could occur,” he said. “In other words, deter Iran, convince it that it could actually suffer consequences by entering this battle; do the same with Hezbollah. And if this works the way that I think the Israelis want it to, and maybe the Americans as well, it would be a situation where the Iranian axis looks on somewhat helplessly while Israel, with assistance from the U.S. in some way or another, removes one of Iran’s chess pieces from the board.”
“In other words, they have nothing that they can do but watch as Israel destroys Hamas and frees up one of its borders from the Iran-backed threat,” he continued. “This would be, I think, the soft landing that the Israelis are looking for. Whether it’s an easy battle is another story entirely. But the last thing Israel wants, I think, is that multi-front war. That said, I think the Israelis, they’ve made it clear that if they need to fight a two front battle, they will. And it will be tough.”
We’ve been getting questions about the history of Hamas, its allies & rivalries, how it wound up running Gaza, the origins of this war, & whether there could actually be a post-Hamas Gaza. For a tutorial, our guest is Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of @FDD https://t.co/htJN7yWimw pic.twitter.com/2K8dVRrBF3
— Dan Senor (@dansenor) October 12, 2023