A number of days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a boastful speech on the United Nations, saying the institution of a brand new Center East centred round Israel and its new Arab companions, the Palestinians, whom he completely omitted from his fantasy regional map, dealt him and Israel a deadly blow, politically and strategically.
The Palestinian resistance motion Hamas launched a meticulously deliberate, well-executed lightning incursion from Gaza into Israel, by air, sea and land. In tandem with 1000’s of missiles fired in direction of Israeli targets, a whole bunch of Palestinian fighters attacked Israeli army and civilian areas within the southern a part of the nation, which led to the killing of at the very least 100 Israelis and the seize of dozens of Israeli troopers and civilians as hostages.
Hamas’s goals within the operation aren’t any secret: First, retaliate and punish Israel for its occupation, oppression, unlawful settlement, and desecration of Palestinian spiritual symbols, particularly Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem; second, take purpose at Arab normalisation with Israel that embraces its apartheid regime within the area; and lastly, safe one other prisoner trade as a way to get as many Palestinian political prisoners launched from Israeli jails as attainable.
It’s value recalling that Hamas’s chief within the Gaza Strip, Yahya al-Sinwar, who spent greater than 20 years in Israeli jail, was launched in a prisoner trade. Mohammed Deif, the top of Hamas army arm, like many different Palestinians, misplaced family members to Israeli violence – an toddler son, a three-year-old daughter and his spouse. Due to this fact, there’s additionally a clearly a punitive and vengeful side to the operation.
In that sense, the assault might have been extremely surprising, nevertheless it was hardly shocking.
Hubris has lastly caught up with Israel and its smug leaders, who lengthy thought themselves invincible and repeatedly underestimated their enemies. For the reason that “shock” Arab assault of October 1973, successive Israeli leaders have been shocked and awed, repeatedly, by what the individuals they oppressed have 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 Eighties and the 2000s, and by the Palestinian resistance after greater than 5 a long time of Israeli occupation and 4 successive wars on Gaza.
Clearly, the Israeli army and civilian management additionally didn’t count on Hamas’s huge operation, its success representing a significant Israeli intelligence and army failure. Regardless of Israel’s subtle community of spies, drones, and surveillance expertise, it couldn’t detect and preempt the assault.
However the injury executed to Israel goes past the intelligence and army flop; it is usually a political and psychological disaster. The invincible state has proven itself weak, weak, and terribly impotent, which won’t go down properly for its plans to be a regional chief of a brand new Center East.
Pictures of Israelis fleeing their houses and cities in worry can be ingrained of their collective reminiscence for a few years to return. Immediately was most likely the worst day in Israel’s historical past. An utter humiliation.
Netanyahu, the spin physician, will be unable to vary that no matter how he spins it. Israel won’t get an opportunity to undo what the world noticed on Saturday morning: a frantic nation misplaced to its personal fantastical delusions.
Israel’s army institution will little doubt attempt to recuperate the strategic and army initiative from Hamas by instantly dealing it a significant army blow. Because it has executed prior to now, it should undertake extreme bombardment and assassination campaigns, resulting in nice struggling and numerous casualties among the many Palestinians. And because it has occurred prior to now repeatedly, this won’t destroy the Palestinian resistance.
That’s the reason, Israel might contemplate redeploying its army to Palestinian cities, cities and refugee camps throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Financial institution underneath the pretext of ending off Hamas and different Palestinian factions.
Such a full takeover is the historic want of the extra fanatic members of Israel’s ruling coalition, who need to destroy the Palestinian Authority, take direct management of the whole thing of historic Palestine or what they name “The Better Land of Israel”, and perform ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians.
That might be a giant mistake. It could result in a full-fledged asymmetrical battle, and within the course of, isolate Israel like by no means earlier than. Even Western leaders, which have to date supported Netanyahu, expressing extra of the identical transparently hypocritical solidarity with Israeli apartheid, might start to distance themselves from the Israeli authorities.
Already, Israel’s scandalous humiliation is undermining its strategic and political standing within the area. Arab regimes that normalised relations with Israel and are partnering with the Netanyahu authorities seem extra silly with each passing hour.
Determined to reverse his private failure and preserve his fragile coalition, Netanyahu is bound to overreact, and within the course of will alienate extra of his new and potential regional companions.
Whichever approach this goes, Netanyahu’s legacy can be marred by failure. He might properly take his Palestinian counterpart, the octogenarian Mahmoud Abbas, together with him down the drain of historical past.
Abbas, too, is failing politically, making an attempt to toe the road between condemning the Israeli occupation and coordinating safety with it. Such a balancing act is not tenable.
However the change that’s coming is about greater than personalities; it’s concerning the two peoples as a complete, and whether or not they need to dwell in peace or die preventing. The time and area for something in between have handed.
The Palestinians have made it clear at the moment that they’d reasonably struggle on their ft for justice and freedom than die on their knees in humiliation. It’s excessive time the Israelis heed the teachings of historical past.