It will soon be a month since Hamas carried out its attack in southern Israel, killing nearly 1,400 people. Since then, Israel’s response has been an endless bombardment of a territory that was already bloodless before the war resumed. The first victims were more than 7,000 Palestinians, half of them children. Despite international protests, Israel continues to wage war on the civilian population without being really sure of finally defeating Hamas. To this must be added the fundamental parameter of the 240 Israeli and foreign hostages still in the hands of the Islamists, who are being used as bargaining chips. In the meantime, the Israeli army is committing more and more war crimes.
Violence vs. violence
International law must be put back at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian question on both sides. For 75 years now, Israel has been trying to reconcile its policy with that of its regional environment. What is far from easy seems in recent weeks to have turned into an almost impossible mission. Because Israel rejects all the United Nations resolutions, imposing not only the withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1948, the Palestinian question has been radicalised year after year to arrive at this polarisation today which divides more than ever two societies that want to do away with each other.
Zionism, which had its origins in the creation of a State of Israel in Palestine, no longer has anything to do with the project imagined by Theodor Herzl. From being socialist, collectivist, humanist and secular, it has today become even more so, under the leadership of the stainless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a nationalist, religious, colonialist, ultra-liberal and reactionary Zionism throughout the region. Today, it is no longer a question of looking for the causes and those responsible, as this is a never-ending process. In order to prepare for a hypothetical peace one day, we need to affirm that the Israeli government and Hamas will first have to answer for their actions, which are clearly war crimes, and then integrate all the components of the Israeli and Palestinian political landscape in order to find a solution to the impossible situation: and this single solution is the creation of a Palestinian State on the borders of the Green Line of 5 June 1967, and to allow the two States to live in peaceful coexistence, within the framework of a just and lasting political solution. There is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question.
Israel in a political impasse
The terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October shows the extent to which the Palestinian camp is dominated by Islamists and that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has been reduced to impotence. This is a project wanted by Netanyahu, who recognised in 2019 that Hamas, responsible for many of the current ills, needed to be strengthened in order to weaken Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Authority, and prevent the creation of a Palestinian state. In order to satisfy the parties that brought him back to the office of Prime Minister, Netanyahu has continued to colonise the West Bank, strengthening the security of the settlers there, undermining the security of southern Israel and turning Zionism into a project aimed at destroying any hope of seeing the birth of a Palestinian state in the near future. Worse still, Benjamin Netanyahu was informed of the Hamas attack by Israeli intelligence, according to his predecessor Yair Lapid. Indeed, the former Israeli Prime Minister said he had received information from the intelligence services before the Hamas attack. According to him, his successor Benjamin Netanyahu also received it. It was also under “Bibi” that intelligence wiretapping in Gaza was stopped over a year ago, due to a lack of interest and usefulness, according to the same services.
American weakness and Qatari strength
We already have to think about the post-war period, and call on the traditional mediators between the two camps: essentially Egypt and Qatar. The American withdrawal has weakened the overall situation in the region and given many terrorist groups a new lease of life. Israeli public opinion is turning increasingly against Netanyahu, who is accused of playing into the hands of the Islamists through his greed for power, in response to the constant provocations of the nationalist and religious extremist members of his majority. The Prime Minister has endangered the country, which is blindly supported by Washington: many are already thinking about the post-Netanyahu era, as the Jewish state cannot continue with someone who will go down in history as the leader under whom 1,400 Israeli civilians were killed on Israeli soil. The United States has a twofold responsibility: to fund Israel endlessly and to let them manage by withdrawing. Will it do so now that Washington is so aware of the lack of coherence and strategy in Israel’s current policy?
Qatar has been trying to negotiate for weeks and is attempting to free the hostages one by one. As it has done in previous wars, it is fighting to achieve a ceasefire, which Israel does not want and which the entire international community is calling for, but which has not yet been achieved.
Judging war crimes on both sides
Tel Aviv’s campaign of reprisals in Gaza has already claimed more than 7,000 lives, including 3,500 children. Who can condone this? The Arab countries? The West? The United States? Even Joe Biden has condemned the excessiveness of the Israeli response against Gazan civilians. This “Hannibal” operation is a fight to the finish to eradicate evil: Israel will not stop until it has defeated Hamas. And the civilian hostages? This has become secondary, which is increasingly worrying the prisoners’ families, who are protesting by demonstrating and expressing themselves widely in the Israeli and international media. This is where the setting up of a commission of enquiry in Israel will play a fundamental role in the future. Netanyahu has already agreed to do this. But more than that, at international level, who will punish Hamas on the one hand and Israel on the other for the crimes committed this month? There is talk of war crimes, but some are already talking about genocide in Gaza. Especially as the Hebrew state does not recognise the International Criminal Court and is therefore not obliged to abide by its decisions or judgements. Like its American big brother, of course!