Guess how many skyscrapers the terror organization could’ve built instead of tunnels
By Liel Leibovitz, TABLET, July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
Israeli troops entering Gaza last week have so far uncovered 18 tunnels used by Hamas to send armed terrorists into Israel and built using an estimated 800,000 tons of concrete.
What else might that much concrete build? Erecting Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, required 110,000 tons of concrete. Hamas, then, could’ve treated itself to seven such monstrosities and still had a few tens of thousands of tons to spare. If it wanted to build kindergartens equipped with bomb shelters, like Israel has built for the besieged citizens of Sderot, for example—after all, noted military strategists like Jon Stewart have spent last week proclaiming that Gaza’s citizens had nowhere to hide from Israel’s artillery—Hamas could have used its leftovers to whip up about two that were each as big as Giants Stadium. And that’s just 18 tunnels. Egypt, on its end, recently claimed to have destroyed an additional 1,370. That’s a lot of concrete.
You may find such calculations callous. They certainly pale in comparison to heart-wrenching photos of dead children on the beach. But they matter a whole lot: If you’ve ever read Robert Caro’s The Power Broker, or played Sim City, or just looked out your window and paid attention to your city’s changing skyline, you know that urban leaders are measured not by what they say but what they build. And Hamas, almost exclusively, chose to build tunnels, bunkers, and launching pads for missiles.
Now, from purely military point of view, there is something brilliant about transforming a strip of coastal farmland into a giant concrete aircraft carrier that’s impossible for your enemy to sink. But the idea that Hamas’ tunnels are intended to promote the welfare of Gaza’s 1.8 million civilians, who are forced to live on deck as rockets are fired, is bunk. If the tunnels were truly lifelines for Gazans, as Western apologists occasionally argue, one might expect any reasonably responsible leadership to avoid firing barrages of rockets at civilians inside Israel.
The intention behind Hamas’ tunnels is clear from where the exits are located: inside Israel. The terror organization packed its subterranean networks of tunnels and bunkers with explosives, weapons, and murderers, some disguised as IDF soldiers. Their gallant plan was to send the killers through the tunnels, so they could emerge from the ground in the middle of Israeli kibbutzim and start throwing grenades and shooting indiscriminately, with the goal of killing as many Israelis as possible. That’s not very neighborly.
So, where did Hamas get all that concrete? Most of it came from you and your government. Hamas got its hands on the supplies it needed to build the tunnels after it pleaded with the international community last year to help redeem Gaza from the throes of a humanitarian crisis, caused by the fact that both Israel and Egypt closed their borders to Gaza, because both countries grew tired of having …read more