A couple of days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a boastful speech on the United Nations asserting the creation of a brand new Center East centered on Israel and its new Arab companions, the Palestinians, whom he utterly omitted of his imaginative regional map, him and Israel a deadly blow, politically and strategically.
The Palestinian resistance motion Hamas launched a fastidiously deliberate, well-executed lightning raid from Gaza into Israel, by air, sea and land. Along with hundreds of rockets fired at Israeli targets, a whole lot of Palestinian fighters attacked Israeli army and civilian areas within the southern a part of the nation, resulting in the deaths of a minimum of 100 Israelis and the seize of dozens of Israeli troopers and civilians. hostages.
Hamas’s aims within the operation aren’t any secret: first, to retaliate and punish Israel for its occupation, oppression, unlawful settlement and desecration of Palestinian spiritual symbols, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem; second, concentrate on Arab normalization with Israel, which embraces its apartheid regime within the area; and at last, set up a brand new prisoner trade to launch as many Palestinian political prisoners as potential from Israeli prisons.
It’s value recalling that the chief of Hamas within the Gaza Strip, Yahya al-Sinwar, who spent greater than twenty years in Israeli jail, was launched in a prisoner trade. Mohammed Deif, the pinnacle of the army department of Hamas, like many different Palestinians, misplaced family members to Israeli violence: a son, a three-year-old daughter and his spouse. So there’s clearly additionally a punitive and vengeful side to the operation.
In that sense, the assault could have been extremely surprising, however it was not shocking.
Delight has lastly caught up with Israel and its conceited leaders, who lengthy thought of themselves invincible and repeatedly underestimated their enemies. For the reason that “shock” Arab assault of October 1973, successive Israeli leaders have been repeatedly shocked and awed by what the folks they oppressed had been able to.
They had been caught unprepared by the Lebanese resistance after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, by the Palestinian Intifadas within the Nineteen Eighties and 2000s, and by the Palestinian resistance after greater than 5 many years of Israeli occupation and 4 successive wars towards Gaza.
Clearly, Israel’s army and civilian management didn’t count on Hamas’ huge operation both, as its success represented a serious Israeli intelligence and army failure. Regardless of Israel’s subtle community of spies, drones and surveillance know-how, it couldn’t detect and stop the assault.
However the injury to Israel goes past the intelligence and army flop; it’s also a political and psychological disaster. The invincible state has proven itself susceptible, weak and terribly powerless, which won’t go down properly with its plans to develop into a regional chief of a brand new Center East.
Pictures of Israelis fleeing their houses and cities in worry will stay etched of their collective reminiscence for a few years to return. At this time was most likely the worst day in Israel’s historical past. A complete humiliation.
Netanyahu, the spin physician, will not have the ability to change that regardless of how he spins it. Israel won’t have an opportunity to undo what the world noticed Saturday morning: a panicked nation misplaced to its personal improbable delusions.
The Israeli army institution will undoubtedly attempt to regain Hamas’ strategic and army initiative by dealing a direct main army blow. Because it has performed up to now, it’ll undertake heavy bombing and assassination campaigns, resulting in nice struggling and numerous casualties amongst Palestinians. And as has occurred time and time once more up to now, this won’t destroy the Palestinian resistance.
That’s the reason Israel could contemplate redeploying its military to Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps within the Gaza Strip and the West Financial institution, below the pretext of ending off Hamas and different Palestinian factions.
Such a whole takeover is the historic want of the extra fanatical members of the Israeli governing coalition, who wish to destroy the Palestinian Authority, take direct management of the whole lot of historic Palestine, or what they name “The Higher Land of Israel,” and ethnic cleaning of Palestinians.
That might be an enormous mistake. It could result in a full-fledged uneven conflict, isolating Israel like by no means earlier than. Even Western leaders, who’ve to this point supported Netanyahu and expressed extra of the identical, transparently hypocritical solidarity with Israeli apartheid, could start to distance themselves from the Israeli authorities.
Israel’s shameful humiliation is already undermining its strategic and political place within the area. Arab regimes which have normalized relations with Israel and are cooperating with Netanyahu’s authorities appear to be rising extra silly by the hour.
Determined to undo his private failure and protect his fragile coalition, Netanyahu will certainly overreact, alienating extra of his new and potential regional companions within the course of.
Nonetheless this goes, Netanyahu’s legacy will probably be marred by failure. It’s totally potential that he’ll take his Palestinian counterpart, octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas, with him into historical past.
Abbas additionally fails politically and tries to toe the road between condemning the Israeli occupation and coordinating safety with it. Such a balancing act is now not sustainable.
However the coming change is about extra than simply personalities; it’s in regards to the two peoples as a complete, and whether or not they wish to dwell in peace or die preventing. The time and area for every thing in between is over.
Palestinians immediately made it clear that they might fairly struggle on their ft for justice and freedom than die on their knees in humiliation. It’s excessive time that Israelis heed the teachings of historical past.