Nachdem die Trump- und auch Bidenadministration zuerst meinte, die Abrahams Accords und die Normalisierung der Beziehungen Israels mit muslimischen Staaten unter Ausklammerung der Palästinenser, in Richtung eines New Middle East voranzutreiben, wird nun auch von der isrealischen Regierung eine Strategie für einen Post- Hamas- Gazakrieg gefordert, wie auch der Frage, wer dann den Gaza verwalten und kontrollieren soll. Nachdem man von einer UNO-Verwaltung erst gar nicht groß gesprochen hat, war zeitweise eine arabische oder ägyptische Lösung im Gspräch, wobei General Al Sissi keine Begeisterung zeigte, Gazaflüchtlinge im Sinai aufzunehmen oder gar auch noch in dem dann verwüsteten Gaza die Ordnungsmacht zu spielen, zumal die Palästinenser dann auch wieder wie zuvor ausgeklammert würden und eine 2 Staatenlösung immer noch nicht explizit als Ziel genannt würde. Nun scheint sich die Bidenadministration für folgende Variante entschieden zu haben:
“Blinken to visit Israel on Friday, says ‘revitalized’ PA should govern Gaza after war
Stance by secretary of state marks first time idea publicly uttered by Biden administration, which has been floating it privately with regional partners since October”
Wohlgemerkt einer revitaliserten Palästinesnserbehörde und PLO, da diese aufgrund eigener Korruption, Mißwirtschaft und bisherigen Mißerfolgs am Osloabkommen weiter festzuhalten, eben bei den Palästinensern an Ansehen verloren hatte, was auch den damaligen Wahlsieg der Hamas im Gaza zum Teil erklärte und selbst in der Gefahr steht das Westjordanland an die Hamas zu verlieren und viele Abbas für einen Dead Man waking und lame duck ansehen, weswegen er auch keine Wahlen im Westjordanland seitdem abhalte ließ aus Angst vor einem Hamassieg. Wie die Revitalisierung der PLO aussehen soll, mit oder ohne Abbas, den ja einige für einen Dead man walking und eine lame duck halten oder einen jungen Nachfolger, ob sich die PLO eventuell wieder reradikalisieren würde, bleibt bisher noch offen, zudem sie auch als Kollaborateur und indigene Besatzungsmacht aufgefasst werden könnte, was dann auch zur Entstehung neuer radikaler Palästinensergruppen führen könnte.
Die PLO stellt angesichts Blinkens Forderung, dass die Palästtnensische Autonomiebehörde den Gaza in der Post-Hamas-Zeit übernehmen soll, Bedingungen. Ohne Gesamtlösung für Gaza und auch das Westjordanland (2 Staatenlösung sagt er nicht) wird mit der PLO gar nichts gehen und dann stellt sich auch die Frage nach den Siedlern in der Westbank.
„PA’s premier says Ramallah won’t take over Gaza without plan that includes West Bank
Mohammad Shtayyeh tells UK newspaper that US, Europe should seize opportunity for a comprehensive peace proposal to end fighting; says Arab states fed up with Palestinian issue”
Ob die Hamas überhaupt so ausgelöscht werden kann, wie beabsichtigt, ist noch dahingestellt. Zumindestens stellt die Hamas klar, dass sie ihr Überleben unter Aufopferung der Gazazivilbevökerung um jeden Preis sichern will, weswegen diese auch nicht in die Tunnel als Schutzräume reingelassen werde..
“Hamas official Marzouk: ‚Gaza tunnels built to protect Hamas, not civilians‘
Marzouk also said that protecting Gazan civilians is the responsibility of the United Nations and Israel.”
Klare Worte von der Hamas: Scheiß auf die palästinensischen Zivilisten. Die dienen eher als menschlicher Schutzschild und Kanonenfutter, wobei da seitens Hamas-Sympathisanten ihr gegenüber da nicht der Vorwurf des „Genozids“ der „Gaza-Holocaust“ erhoben wird, sich nun Putin und Erdogan, die bei ihren Bombardements in Tschtschenien, Syrien oder Nordsyrien nie Rücksicht auf irgendwelche zivilen Opfer nahmen, sich als Gralshüter der Humanitöt der Mneschenrechte aufspielen, ja Erdogan die Hamas eben „Freiheitskämpfer“ und eine „Befreiungsbewegung“, auch gegen den Westen nennt.
Noch rechnet Israel und der Westen mit der zwar unter Bedingungen geknüpften entscheidenden Unterstützung der USA für Israel wie immer, doch nun sind bei Trump, der Netanjahu ja heftig kritisierte, nun auch neue Entwicklungen möglich. Nachdem Trump erklärt hat, dass er Europa nicht mehr verteidigen wird, scheint es auch eine Verschiebung in seiner Israel-Politik zu geben. Schwer zu sagen, was das Ergebnis sein wird: die 2-Staaten-Lösung, die arabische Lösung (bei weiterer Verfolgung der Abraham Accords aber diesmal unter Einbeziehung der Palästinenser) , die Weltsicht von John Mearsheimers offensivem Realismus und seiner Kritik an der“Israel-Lobby“ (während Kissinger die „Taiwan-Lobby“ kritisierte), das Ende des Israel Victory, des Transatlantismus und ein weiterer Rückzug aus dem Nahen Osten, das Ende des amerikanischen Adlers mit seinem transatlantischen und pazifischen Flügel, ein amerikanischer Adler nur noch primär mit einem asiatischen Pivot-Anti-China-Pazifik-Flügel oder vielleicht dann doch noch ein schneller und entscheidender Schlag gegen den Iran als die eigentliche Wurzel allen Übels und Unterstützer von Hamas, Hisbollah, Houtis und proiranischen Milizen chinesischer BRI-Proxy, bevor man sich China in voller Gänze zuwendet?
“At Republican Jewish event, Trump draws applause, and anxiety, as he guns for 2nd term
GOP Jewish donors fear Trump is alienated from pro-Israel advisers who shaped his foreign policy as president, and replaced by isolationists who have flirted with antisemitism
LAS VEGAS (JTA) — Throughout the annual conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition, it seemed like attendees and speakers talked about two Donald Trumps.
One was the past president who delivered the crowd’s wish list — moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, brokering normalization deals between Israel and four Arab countries, pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and more. The other was the Donald Trump of today, running for president with a vision of an insular, isolationist United States.
That split was at the core of the insecurity occupying American Jewish Republicans: With the rise in the party of an isolationist right, spurred in part by Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, how secure is the US-Israel relationship? And how committed to the relationship is the former president?
“Corners of the party have turned into isolationist navel gazing Charles Lindbergh-esque pockets of stupidity, and they’re not committed to America’s robust role in the world anymore,” said attendee Jonathan Greenberg, a Reform rabbi and conservative activist who is an adviser to a private charitable foundation, referring to the aviator who sympathized with the Nazis. “And I don’t think they understand what the ramifications of that are.”
The RJC conference, which meets annually at the Venetian, acts as a forum for Republican presidential candidates. The hotel and casino were owned by the late Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. His widow, Miriam Adelson, has said she will remain neutral in the 2024 presidential primary.
Trump got the biggest ovation of all eight candidates attending the event, earning applause for a speech laden with boasts that he would have prevented the war in Ukraine and Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel. He also repeated his falsehoods about winning the 2020 election.
“Think of it, you wouldn’t have Ukraine, you wouldn’t have Israel being attacked,” he said. “I will defend our friend and ally the State of Israel like nobody has ever defended. I will rescue the economy. I will restore America’s borders, which are a disaster. I will stand up for American sovereignty and I will save American freedom starting on November 5, 2024.”
The audience whooped with delight, a reflection of Trump’s wide lead in the polls and the very likely possibility that he will be the nominee.
But just before he spoke, one of his rivals, Nikki Haley, also earned applause when she articulated a concern that has preoccupied many in the Jewish Republican establishment.
“We all know what Trump did in the past,” Haley said. “The question is, what will he do in the future?”
Insiders say that GOP Jewish donors fear that Trump is now alienated from many of the Jewish and pro-Israel advisers who shaped his first-term foreign policy such as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. They have been replaced by isolationists who have flirted with antisemitism, such as Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Trump has indicated that if he is reelected he would pull the United States out of the NATO alliance and that he would broker a deal between Russia and Ukraine that would be favorable to Russia. In his final days in office, he sought to pull US troops out of global conflict hot spots.
Trump has made no secret of his frustration with American Jews who continue to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. One year ago, he wrote on his social network, “Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel – Before it is too late!” And private conversations about Trump during the RJC confab inevitably ended up at his dinner a year ago with two notorious antisemites, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West and the Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor who is also a contender and who addressed the RJC conference, told CNN on Sunday that Trump’s penchant for retribution presaged an uncomfortable second term for Israel and its supporters.
“What a second Trump presidency looks like will be much, much different,” Christie said, noting Trump’s repeated attacks on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in part because Netanyahu recognized Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. “F— him,” Trump once reportedly said of the prime minister.
“He will take vengeance against anyone who he thinks has done him wrong,” Christie said on CNN. “And it’s clear he thinks Benjamin Netanyahu has done him wrong and certain elements that support Israel have done him wrong politically.”
Hamas’s devastating assault on Israel, and Israel’s ensuing war on the terror group in Gaza, was a focus of the conference. A featured speaker was Eli Beer, president of United Hatzalah, the volunteer first responder corps, who wept as he read a traditional Jewish prayer for healing. A table was left with settings intact and empty chairs to honor the hostages Hamas took in the invasion, during which terrorists slaughtered 1,400 people, mostly civilians massacred in their homes and at a music festival, many of them with horrific brutality. Some 240 hostages are being held in Gaza.
In a searing address the same day, Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president, shocked the room by announcing his decision to drop out of the presidential race. Pence made clear he believed his former boss’s increasingly isolationist posture was ill-equipped to meet the current crisis.
“I don’t have to tell people that there are powerful voices within and outside our party that say we have to choose between supporting our allies and solving problems here at home,” said Pence, who never named Trump. “We have done both, we must do both and we will do both for the sake of America, Israel and the world.”
Trump’s volatility poses specific threats to Israel, said Haley, the single candidate among the seven Trump rivals who directly named the former president and repeatedly attacked him.
“As president, I will not compliment Hezbollah,” she said, referring to a recent speech by Trump in which he bashed Netanyahu and called the Lebanese terrorist organization “smart.” “Nor will I criticize Israel’s prime minister in the middle of tragedy and war. We have no time for personal vendettas.”
The deep foreign policy divisions in the Republican Party were on constant display throughout the weekend. Vivek Ramaswamy, the businessman who has explicitly called for cutting foreign aid to Israel, pitched his approach as pro-Israel.
“I am not running for president of Israel, I’m running for president of the United States,” he said. US assistance to Israel meant that the United States had a say in how Israel waged its wars, Ramaswamy said, adding that the aid was holding Israel back. He pledged that he would continue to back Israel in diplomatic arenas.
“So what does that mean for US involvement now?” he said. Using Israel’s missile defense system as a metaphor, he added, “It means we support Israel to the fullest with a diplomatic Iron Dome that allows Israel to fully defend its national existence without anybody else, not the US, not the UN, not Europe, not anybody standing in Israel’s way.”
Pence, Haley, Christie, and South Carolina Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham pleaded with the RJC to lead the pushback against those views. (Graham, a longtime ally of the RJC, was a keynote speaker and, unlike the others, is not running for president.)
“If America does not change the way we look at the world, the world will get worse,” Graham said, describing the devastation he saw during a recent visit to Israel. “Isolationism and appeasement led us to this day.”
The Democratic National Committee, which held a call with reporters ahead of the RJC conference, said it was ready to push foreign policy to the forefront of the debate when it battled Republicans for the Jewish vote — a shift from a Democratic strategy of emphasizing domestic policy in past Jewish campaigns.
“Joe Biden flew into a war zone to stand with Israel at its moment of greatest need,” said Massachusetts Jewish Democratic Rep. Jake Auchincloss. Referring to an article in The Atlantic, he said, “Contrast that with Donald Trump, who refused to even visit a cemetery of American war dead including Jewish war dead in Normandy because it made him uncomfortable.”
Despite the warnings and criticism, the crowd at the conference seemed to love Trump. The former president enraptured the audience with a speech long on extravagant claims and short on facts. Trump saluted his backers in the audience, including lawmakers, donors and a star of the History Channel reality show “Pawn Stars.” He called Miriam Adelson “a fantastic woman.”
Trump boasted of his accomplishments, pulling numbers and historical dates out of thin air.
“We kept paying them $742 million a year,” he said of US funding to the Palestinian Authority, which he cut. (It was about $564 million.) He said the new Jerusalem embassy cost $500,000, after he told his advisers not to be so cheap. (It cost an estimated $21 million. Previously, he has said he told his advisers to double the amount from $200,000 to $400,000). He said he ended 72 years of pleas to recognize Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights. (Israel has held the Golan for 56 years since it captured the territory from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.)
He praised Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban for praising him. “Viktor Orban said the other day, the only way that this world is going to be solved is a very strong man,” Trump said. He also claimed that if he had stayed in office, within three months, he would have persuaded the whole Middle East to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
And Republican leaders remained reluctant to criticize Trump for his recent comments about Hezbollah and Israel. Florida Sen. Rick Scott, in a brief interview, declined to comment on Trump’s attacks on Netanyahu. “I have a very good working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Scott said. “I’m just going to talk about my relationship.”
Matt Brooks, the RJC CEO, and Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary for president George W. Bush who is an RJC board member, said Trump’s record was more important than his ballistic rhetorical tendencies.
“He’s saying that Hezbollah, he’s not saying he supports them, he’s not saying he endorses them, he’s saying that they’re strategic and focused in how they act,” Brooks said in a briefing with reporters after Trump spoke. “That doesn’t change all that he has said previously and currently, and all that he has done. His record is unblemished on this.”
Fleischer said, “He shouldn’t have said it.” He added, “But his record is so strong and so good. He still has a deep pool of goodwill, because he earned it — as you saw in this room.”
The candidate earning the biggest boos, by contrast, was Christie, who has shaped his campaign around attacking Trump. Ronna McDaniel, the GOP chairwoman, opened the proceedings with a plea to end Republicans’ internecine fighting, which also played out in a lengthy, bruising and unprecedented fight in Congress over who would be speaker of the House.
“We cannot fight each other,” she said to applause. “Please resolve to unite around our eventual nominee.”
That appeal had resonance, even to people attending who admired Trump’s most serious rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Sharon Kattan, a New York City real estate agent, said she backed DeSantis for taking on allegations of campus antisemitism, and for how he ended COVID-19 restrictions. But she was ready to vote for Trump given his commanding lead in the polls.
“I know Trump will get it done,” she said. “But there’s a lot of divisiveness that comes along, he creates a lot of anger. And you just want a more peaceful situation in the country.”
Rep. Mike Johnson, the Louisiana Republican just elected speaker of the House, made his first public appearance in that role. He and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, also of Louisiana, said the days of Republican infighting were over. Scalise had also run for speaker.
Johnson described one of his first calls as speaker, with Netanyahu. “I assured the prime minister of our unwavering support of Israel and her people and I assured him that our Congress and under my leadership, we will be there until the end,” he said.
Almost every speaker at the conference brought up the first congressional vote of Johnson’s tenure, a resolution condemning Hamas and supporting Israel that was passed overwhelmingly, 412-10, with six voting present. Johnson said a small number of progressive Democrats’ votes against the resolution “underscored an alarming trend of antisemitism.”
He also quoted favorably G.K. Chesterton, the writer who said Hitler’s philosophy “is almost entirely of Jewish origin.”
“He observed that America is the only nation of the world that was founded upon a creed, and he said it was listed with almost theological lucidity,” Johnson said of Chesterton.
The tensions between some Jewish Republicans and people with deeply Christian outlooks such as Johnson — who has said in the past that homosexuality is “inherently unnatural” — became evident after Johnson left the stage and the comedian Modi closed the weekend.
Modi launched into a series of jokes about the differences between Gen Z and millennials by mentioning his husband, Leo, who is younger than him.
“It’s okay,” Modi said. “Mike Johnson isn’t here anymore. We can talk about it.”
There was nervous laughter.
Wie es aussueht könnte Trump als neue Berater eher weniger proisrealische Expertenrekruitieren, einige befürchten auch sogar Antsemiten im präsidialen Beraterstab u d es erscheint fragich, ob er an seiner borigen Politik festhält, nachdem es dieses Hamasfiasko gab. Möglicherweise aber hört er dann mehr auf arabische Stimen, wird aber den Schutz Israels eher darin sehen, dass man nicht mehr Hamas und Hisbolah, sondern deren Unterstützer den Iran direkt konfrontiert, gegebenfalls auch mit Schlägen wie gegen den Revolutionsgardenführer Solemeini und Flugzeugtrräger nicht im Mittelmeer, sondern im Perischen Golf nebst anderer Drohgebärden gegen den Iran auffahren lässt.
Inzwischen gibt es auch schon Stimmen in der muslimischen Welt, vor allem seitens der Abraham Accordsstaaten oder wie hier in diesem Op-Ed eines Vertreters der Vereinigten Arabische Emirate, die die Bereitschaft der USA bei einer Eskalation auch den Iran offensiv abzuschrecken, eine offene Konfrontation zu wagen, Flugzeugträger nicht nur ins Mittelmeer, sondern auch in den Persischen Golf zu verlegen in Zweifel ziehen:
“Does America fear confronting Iran? – opinion
There is no doubt that the US failure so far to resolve the fate of Ukraine makes it more cautious in dealing with Iran in the military field.
By SALEM ALKETBI OCTOBER 31, 2023 04:19
Amid the regional and international meltdown, the million-dollar question seems to be: Does the US fear a direct military confrontation with Iran, especially at the current stage?
Before answering this question, we must address the motives behind the question.
The most important is the strong discrepancy in statements by United States officials. For example, the Pentagon claimed that the US had not found any direct order from Iran to its agents to attack US forces in the Middle East.
Pentagon spokesman Brig.-Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters, “We don’t necessarily see that Iran has explicitly ordered them to take these kinds of attacks.”
When asked to elaborate, Patrick Ryder said, “We haven’t seen a direct order, for example, from the Supreme Leader saying: ‘Go out and do this.’”
In contrast, the Pentagon, through US Air Force spokesman, Gen. Pat Rader, said that US forces in Iraq were attacked 10 times between October 17 and 24, while US forces in Syria were attacked three times during the same period. As a result, 20 American soldiers were hit by drone strikes on American bases in Iraq and Syria.
That means that the Pentagon is waiting for evidence showing clear and direct orders from Khamenei for attacks on Americans. But it also admits that many recent attacks have targeted Americans – not to mention previous attacks.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged the existence of threats against US forces in the Middle East. He said they were coming from Iran’s supporters and allies in the region and that he expects them to escalate.
White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said the US believes Iran-linked groups were behind the increasing attacks on American targets in the Middle East. He said missile and drone attacks on US facilities in Iraq and Syria have become more frequent recently. Kirby confirmed that “Iranian-backed groups” are behind the attacks. For its part, the Pentagon says all the attacks on American forces bear Iran’s fingerprints. But, it says, there is no evidence at this time.
I do not know, as an observer, what evidence American officials are looking for. My astonishment here, frankly, is not aimed at condemnation, but at trying to understand. The history of the US is replete with waging wars and military operations against specific targets, sometimes without waiting for confirmed evidence, or by citing undocumented evidence and proof. Therefore, the American position in this case becomes confusing and questionable.
However, analysis of the scene can provide relatively convincing answers to these questions. It is obvious that the US has no doubt that these groups and militias are supported by Iran.
Let me refer here to the statement of an American official to CNN that there are “red lights flashing everywhere.” American officials say that at this stage, it appears that Iran is encouraging the groups rather than explicitly directing them. Kirby, as spokesman for the US National Security Council, said there is a very direct link between these groups and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
Another US official said, “The road leads back to Iran. Iran funds, arms, equips and trains militias and proxy forces all across the region.”
Despite these condemnations, it appears that there will be a long wait for evidence. Another US official explained this by saying that the extent to which these groups are willing to act independently of Iran is a persistent intelligence gap.
Iran’s goal is to maintain some level of plausible deniability
This simply means that US intelligence agencies are waiting for evidence they won’t get, they don’t want to get, and aren’t even looking for now. After all, the existence of evidence means the need to respond to the source of the confirmed threat to preserve US credibility and international standing.
There is no doubt that the US failure so far to resolve the fate of Ukraine makes it more cautious in dealing with Iran in the military field.
The state of polarization and the struggle for hegemony and global influence with Russia and China cannot tolerate a new American failure, which this time could be painful.
For this reason, despite all the efforts and assurances of support for Israel since the beginning of the current crisis, President Joe Biden and members of his administration have taken positions marked by confusion, disarray, and shifting viewpoints. Their attitudes were shaped by electoral calculations and extreme concern about Hezbollah’s involvement in the current conflict.
Biden is still hiding behind his very hesitant stance on dealing strictly with Iran. Arguably, the only case that would force the White House to engage in a direct military confrontation with Iran would be if it were to interfere directly in the conflict with Israel.
That is highly unlikely because Iran does not want such a war. This could destroy a large part of its military capabilities. Consequently, Iran is content to weaken the capabilities of its adversaries through its agents.
The Iranian and US sides are thus engaged in a game whose rules and red lines they know well. But that does not preclude the possibility of strategic mistakes or misjudgments that lead both sides to do what they dread.
The writer is a UAE political analyst and former Federal National Council candidate.
Einige Experten und Kommentatoren wie etwa auch die Strait Times in Singapur rechnen hingegen, dass es nicht zu einer von den USA geforderten Lösung des Palästinenserproblems oder einer Zweistaatenlösung kommt, sondern dass Netanjahu jetzt die Gunst der Stunde nutzt IDF, Mossad und Shin Beth die Schuld zu geben, eine Säuberungswelle dann einzuleiten und den Sicherheitsapperat mit Loyalisten zu besetzen. Smotrich und Ben Gvir versuchen gleichzeitig auf eine Wiederbesetzung, ja Wiederbesiedlung des Gaza und eine weitere Annektion der Westbank voranzutreiben. Gantz macht gute Miene zum bösen Spiel. Nur Lapid ist aus diesen Gründen nicht. der Einheitsregierung beigetreten und dürfte nach dem Krieg der wichtigste Oppositionsführer gegen Netanjahu werden.
Die Tehran Times schätzt das ganz anders als die Strait Times ein: Netanjahu sei in einem Dillema, allein auch schon wegen der Geißeln und werde scheitern, ja sei am Ende, wobei natürlich Iran ohnehin von einer Niederlage Israels im Gazakrieg und damit auch einer Niederlage der USA und des Westen schon siegesgewiss in seiner Propaganda ausgeht:
„By Faramarz Kupayeh
Crime Minister Finished
October 31, 2023 – 21:37
TEHRAN – The October 7 military operation by the Palestinian resistance groups against Israeli sites in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip has put Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bind.
Netanyahu has long prided himself on his ability to weather political storms. He faced a litany of charges ranging from bribery to the abuse of power for political gains. Yet, he not only avoided prison but also remained on the top in Israel.
The Al-Aqsa Storm, however, may put a disgraceful end to the longest-serving Israeli prime minister in Israeli history.
To begin with, Bibi Netanyahu had already been accused of serious national security offenses long before a group of Palestinian fighters seething with historical indignation broke into the castle of Israel on October 7. His controversial judicial overhaul has divided Israel and caused prolonged street protests and strikes. Also, facing increasing isolation from other political groups, he coalesced with the most extremist groups in order to maintain his longstanding grip on power. During the government formation talks, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir offered him a hard-to-resist option of forming a government even though they, with their fiery actions and words, were political ticking bombs. Netanyahu was seduced, believing that he would be able to control the extremist figures in his cabinet.
But the daily provocations of these two extremists, combined with Israel’s longstanding oppression of the Palestinian people, inevitably led to the October 7 explosion, which presented Netanyahu with bad and least bad options.
First, there is the issue of hundreds of Israelis, some of whom are high-ranking military officials, who are held captive by the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza. According to Israeli estimates, more than 239 Israelis are held in Gaza.
The families of the captives held several sit-ins and protests in Tel Aviv to put pressure on the government to bring their loved ones back home. They formed an association and are meeting with Israeli officials to get the latest about their relatives. A while ago, when the Israeli army suddenly announced an incursion into Gaza, they were extremely enraged by the Israeli government’s disinterest in the safety of the Israeli captives. To assuage these concerns, Netanyahu and his war minister Yoav Gallant received the representatives of the families. But they both refrained from making a solid promise of bringing back the captives alive.
On the other side, the Palestinian resistance groups have expressed their readiness to release all Israeli captives in exchange for Israel releasing all Palestinian captives, who are estimated to be more than 7,000.
The Palestinian groups have so far voluntarily released some of the captives on humanitarian grounds. But the Palestinian calls for a captive swap deal have fallen on deaf ears in Tel Aviv, which seems to be intent on sticking to its longstanding doctrine of terrorism-based deterrence.
Gallant said more military pressure on Gaza would lead to the release of the captives, a clear indication of the Israeli doctrine, which it applied to all its neighbors, and in some cases, led to some tactical victories for Israel. “The more military pressure, the more firepower and the more we strike Hamas – the greater our chances are to bring it to a place where it will agree to a solution that will allow the return of your loved ones,” Gallant said at a press conference.
Of note, Israel’s military mentality is based on the notion that if Israel uses maximum violence against its enemies both civilians and military, they will retreat and surrender. This was on full display during the Nakbah Wars of 1948 and the Six-day War of 1967, when Israeli military forces used maximum violence, on Palestinian civilians and other Arab societies. Only in 1948, Zionist militias, such as the Haganah, which was later incorporated into the Israeli army, displaced nearly 700,000 Palestinians, mostly villagers who, seeing their neighbors brutally killed by Zionist fanatics, decided to leave their homeland. Many of these Palestinians fled to neighboring Arab countries and some went to Gaza. The irony is that Israel wanted to displace the Palestinian refugees in Gaza again in the early days of its current carnage, but the Palestinians staunchly rejected that.
This explains why Gallant and the likes of him in Israel are insisting on violence as the only solution to the captives‘ crisis.
But there is a catch; Palestinians and the whole international community know the Israeli military mentality like the back of their hand, having paid a heavy price in the past.
Following the failure of their terrorism-based strategy in Gaza, Israel is now aimlessly killing civilians in Gaza without the slightest hope of achieving a strategic goal. They can neither eradicate Hamas – their stated goal – nor get their captives released without paying a heavy political price.
Benjamin Netanyahu is fully aware of this bitter fact. Therefore, he is desperately looking for someone to make a scapegoat of. It was under these circumstances that he blamed the Israeli army and security services for the October 7 fiasco. Facing public backlash, he quickly walked back his criticism and apologized. Then he resorted to the charade of liberating a female captive from Gaza. This came hours after Hamas released footage of Israeli captives lashing out at Netanyahu for his epic failure on October 7. But the problem was that the female servicemember Netanyahu claimed to have liberated was active on Facebook days after the October 7 attack.
Overall, Netanyahu is facing pressure from all directions. His military strategy in Gaza turned out to be an aimless slaughter of civilians, the families of the captives are increasingly fumed at his incompetence, and his political fortunes are in constant decline. Netanyahu hoped to go down in history as another Ben Gurion for Israel, but he ended up weakening Israel unprecedentedly. At the end of the day, the people of the region in 1948 weren’t cognizant of the extent to which the Zionists could be evil and cruel. Today, the people of the region learned the lessons of history the hard way. And they speak to Israel the language it understands.