EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In the so-called “March of Return,” Hamas is utilizing a new kind of power in international relations called “sharp power.” This term originally referred to the subversion, manipulation, distraction, and lies authoritarian governments employ to undermine liberal democracies. The concept can now be applied to terrorist organizations like Hamas.
Democracies don’t know yet how to effectively cope with the challenges of “sharp power”. They do not understand how vulnerable they are, and are largely unable to prevent abuses of fundamental freedoms and human rights. Unfortunately, the Western media, including the major social media networks, as well as international organizations like the UN and its affiliated agencies along with human rights organizations (which are major tools of sharp power), collaborate with the Islamic dictatorship of Hamas in Gaza.
Types of Power
Power is the ability to influence others to get what you want. In the past, there was only “hard power”: getting what you want by using or threatening to use force or sanctions, or inducing compliance with rewards. When the Cold War ended, Harvard professor of Government Joseph Nye, Jr. coined the term “soft power”, defined as getting what you want by attracting and persuading peoples through values, policies, institutions, and culture.