Opinion

Israel, trapped in its politics of hate

AFP/JALAA MAREY - Piezas de artillería ocupan su posición en un lugar no revelado en el norte de Israel, en la frontera con el Líbano, el 8 de octubre de 2023
photo_camera AFP/JALAA MAREY - Artillery pieces take up position at an undisclosed location in northern Israel on the border with Lebanon, 8 October 2023

Israel is living its own particular 9/11: according to the New York Times, the terrorist operation that Hamas has been carrying out since 7 October has been financed by Iran, although it does not rule out the possibility that there are other interests in the area promoting a jihadist current in Gaza among the younger Palestinian generations.

The images of the barbarity that are sweeping the world showing hundreds of militiamen kidnapping and massacring civilians in various parts of Israel are truly shocking. I have looked at them for analysis and found many parallels with the modus operandi of jihadist cells in Nigeria with Boko Haram and the abduction of young girls and teenagers; and that of ISIS in Syria, cutting off heads or a very peculiar style of torture.

Since David Ben-Gurion declared the birth of the State of Israel in Tel Aviv on 14 May 1948, there have been more than a hundred attacks claimed by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) over the years, and I recall two very telling ones:  the attack of 5 September 1972 at the Munich Olympic Games against the Israeli delegation and Operation Entebbe, on 4 July 1976, with the hijacking of an Air France plane by Palestinian terrorists.

The current events are extremely serious, there is no point of comparison and they are perhaps the most striking proof of how hatred has fuelled a population, the Palestinian population, which has been the victim of constant plunder and which has ended up locked up in a large ghetto called Gaza.  

I am not exculpating anyone. All forms of violence are to be condemned, as is the fact that the mechanisms for understanding, mediation, diplomacy and conflict prevention continue to fail. And I reiterate: the UN is only a world office to lodge a complaint and perhaps if the United States is interested, sanctions will be successful.

The real problem is that conflicts become entrenched and hatred is lubricated around them, it is impossible not to feel it because it runs through the body with those images of families taken hostage, children, teenagers by a horde of savages armed with weapons who, shouting Al-lahu-àkbar, show their murder of civilians. They hate them... they hate each other, Palestinians and Israelis, and that makes any coexistence impossible, because there is also a huge cultural, ideological and theological clash.  

If the formation of the State of Israel rests on a powder keg and years go by without the Palestinian settlers being given a choice to have their own country and the Two State Solution has not been honoured or heeded by the Israeli authorities, the question arises: will the people of Gaza have to live "per saecula saeculorum" under the yoke of Israel without any real chance of improving their lives? 

So much is Gaza in Israel's hands that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered all supplies to be cut off to the Palestinian population: no water, no electricity, no gas, no oil, no petrol, no food.  

And he has called on the families in Gaza (approximately two million people live there) to leave their homes and flee because only destruction and death awaits them.

On the subject 

Netanyahu, who has governed Israel up to six times, this time has the most right-wing government in his country's history; in fact, he made pacts with, among others, the ultra-right wing of Religious Zionism.  And now it has the golden opportunity to use missiles, drones and bombs to drive out the people living in Gaza, in order to take over this part of the territory and continue its policy of expanding Jewish neighbourhoods.  

How far will this war go? The terrorists would need a lot of military technology to sustain a war beyond the short term with the Israeli army, which is one of the best equipped in the world.  

And it would take showers and showers of missiles to get one past the mighty Iron Dome. The pitiful part of all this is the civilian population, both Jewish and Palestinian, who will see their loved ones die and suffer the loss of everything.

A new Palestinian exodus awaits the countries of the region and perhaps this time it will be the final one because Netanyahu has promised to sweep Gaza clean.

Who is behind it and why now? Saudi Arabia and Israel have been in talks for months to re-establish diplomatic ties and reach a series of economic, trade and regional agreements. Since the Abraham Accords and the departure of US and other NATO troops from Afghanistan, much has been moving in the Middle East puzzle.  

Saudi Arabia and Israel have both launched a campaign to improve their diplomatic relations with many countries in the region. For example, it came as a surprise when, in March this year, both Iran and Saudi Arabia re-established diplomatic relations that had been broken since 2016. 

The antagonisms between Iran and Saudi Arabia are well known and both want to impose their particular vision on the Muslim world, but under the Shia mould, according to Iran, and the Saudis, under the Sunni peculiarity. 

All three countries are vying for regional control: Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel. With current events, many things could happen: Israel could also take over Gaza; the restoration of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel could cool off; or the US could blame Iran for financing Hamas and the terrorists behind this barbarism and decide to escalate militarily. In any case, for Ukraine, this is bad news because its invasion takes a back seat. Whose hand is rocking the cradle?