Israel’s Historic and Catastrophic “Hamas Moments”

Barry Gander
16 min readNov 23, 2023

The revolts against Rome were among the worst decisions ever made…and have lessons now.

A “Hamas Moment” is a decision that rebounds with crushing consequences.

Netanyahu once pledged: “Gamla will not fall a second time.” He is missing the motivation for its collapse.

And despite his recent ceasefire with Hamas, he pledges to continue the war until Hamas is eliminated…but Israeli history shows that you can’t do that without eliminating the Palestinian population itself.

Gamla — “the camel” in Arabic — is a hump-shaped hilltop refuge of Jewish rebels who fought against Roman rule. Similar to Masada, its inhabitants were also slaughtered by the Roman legions.

His view is a precursor to the mistakes made by Hamas, and by the mistakes of his own government.

Two of the worst Hamas Moments were the decisions of Jewish rebels to rise against the Romans both in Gamla in 66 CE and the days of Bar-Kochba in 132 CE; they were horrifically terrible decisions.

Those decisions caused the Jewish people to lose any hope of living in the land of Israel, sent hundreds of thousands of Jews to death and cruel slavery, decimated the land of Israel, and in fact turned that land into something else: a non-Jewish state named after the Philistines who inhabited the land at about the same time that the Jewish tribes arrived.

We must learn from those horrible decisions to avoid their horrific consequences.

Sadly, the lessons of Gamla and Masada have not been learned by Hamas or by Israel. The rebels based their movements on hopes and dreams, not assessments that could lead to success.

At the core is certainty in a Cause. Does either Hamas or the right-wing Zionists think their cause will fail? No more than did the defenders of Gamla or of Jerusalem centuries earlier.

They were so very wrong.

Conviction is no shield against collapse.

And what Israel lost were the tens of millions of people who would never be born; who never had the chance to be born in their homeland; instead, there was 2,000 years of persecution and expulsion.

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Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry