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Will Israel Attack Gaza Again?

By Salim Nazzal

Al-Jazeerah,, April 12, 2010


 The Latest news from Palestine indicates that Israel is preparing a wide scale attack on the Gaza strip. Several Israeli leaders repeated the Israeli intention to launch a wide scale war against Gaza.

 Not only Israel attacked Palestinian and international Christian pilgrims in the Good Friday, its planes attacked several places in Gaza strip which is considered by some analysts as an Israeli test to the resistance forces. But the spokesman of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza emphasized the readiness of the Palestinian freedom fighters to defend Gaza if Israel attacks.  Last year Gaza was the theatre of a huge Israeli genocide which was condemned by the whole world. The UN Goldstone commission found Israel guilty of crimes against humanity, but the international community has not so far done any serious step to punish Israel for its responsibility of murdering 1600 Palestinians including 600 babies and children.

 It must also be remembered that Israel has been imposing a tight siege on the one and half million Palestinians in Gaza since 2006, rejecting all the appeals to lift the siege to allow medicine and food to flow freely into the strip. The latest appeal came from the general secretary of the UN who visited Gaza to demonstrate the international community empathy with the people of Gaza.

Meanwhile the American sponsored peace plans does not seem to have  achieved anything since Israel, contrary to the international laws, and in defiance to the USA continues to occupy the west bank including Jerusalem with Jewish settlements. These settlements, put aside the zionist wall which takes good deal of the west bank,  are dividing the west bank into two parts, and controlling  its  major water sources,  which makes the emergence of a viable Palestinian state unworkable .

Many Palestinians supported earlier the two state solution began to revise their position.   As an example, a recent Palestinian editorial questions the credibility of a viable Palestinian state when much of the land in the west bank is being confiscated by half million Jewish settlers. The editorial concluded that the PLO needs to change its position from the two state solutions towards a democratic state in all Palestine which was the position of the PLO earlier.

Nevertheless, the revision of the Palestinian political agenda does not naturally make things any better, at least not for the time being. But it would be a complete political suicide if the Palestinian leadership does not seriously change the whole policy which benefited only the Israeli occupiers. Under the shadow of the so called peace process the Israeli settlements were tripled and great damages were done to the Palestinian ecological system.

 During 18 years of the so called peace negotiations Israel continues its unsuccessful attempts to break the will of the native Palestinians by all methods, physically, psychologically, militarily and culturally and even by means of starving civilians by using medicine and food as war instruments especially in Gaza. Arab political analyses interpret the intensification of the Israeli terror to the socio political change inside the Israeli society.

 They noted that the Israeli society is changing from primarily secular to fundamental religious society. The current fundamentalist government is the evidence that Israel is partly or fully transformed from a Zionist state into fundamental Jewish state. Or, into a Taliban Jewish state, to use the expression used lately to describe the state of Israel. The evidence is that most Israeli rhetoric is focusing on the Jewishness of the state of Israel which could mean the exclusion or the expulsion of the Palestinians who survived the Zionist massacres in the black year of the 1948. Both Zionism and Jewish fundamentalism seek to destroy Palestinians but through different approaches.

Zionism is a racist ideology par excellence yet it has narrow ingrediances of pragmatism. Pragmatical Zionists understand that the conflict without end with the whole Middle East and the policy of defying the international community will sooner or later lead to the vanishing of the Zionist state.

 After decades of expelling, murdering and oppressing Palestinians who never give up the struggle for self determination, Zionist Jews reached the conclusion that military power has its limits, and thusly they began to follow a new policy to get rid of as much as they could of Palestinians with the minimum land. This new policy which accepts a fragile and subordinate Palestinian state is not a heart change in the Zionist ideology, but rather reflecting the Zionist concern of the democratic changes which gradually goes in favor of native Palestinians.

This view has been focused on by speakers in the Tink Tank Hertezlia annual meeting which assemble Zionist Jews from all over the world.

Zionists could not also ignore the fact that the public opinion in the world is getting fed up with the Zionist occupation and the Zionist terror. They cannot ignore the fact that the USA and Europe have become publicly and privately critical to Israel. Those in power are far right fundamentalist with Stone Age mentality holding metaphysical and irrational thinking. They seek to ethnically cleansing Palestinians from Palestine under the name of the Jewish divinity.

They defy Arabs, Muslims, Europe, USA and the UN because they think they own the final truth and the rest of the world are Jewish haters!!! This is perfectly the standard of the narrow minded and fascist ideologies which claims to posses the absolute truth.

In the view of some Arab observers the attack on Gaza might be the exit for the ultra right government to escape the growing American and international pressures. The Latest meeting between Netanyahu and Obama has been unsuccessful. And it is obvious that the USA is becoming aware as expressed by General Petrayos and Hillary Clinton, of the danger of the Zionist expansionist policy on the American interest in the Middle East and the world. 

 However, regarding the possible war on Gaza Arab media reflected three major scenarios:

 The first view assumes that Israel might be waiting the (right!) chance to launch a wide scale attack on Gaza and probably on Lebanon. They argue that Israel is known of using the (security drama) as a reason to occupy and to expand .In 1967 the  Zionist propaganda claims that Israel attacks three Arab countries as a self defense .But the whole world knows now that this is a mere propaganda to cover the Zionist expansionist policy.

 The second view postulates that the Goldstone report which exposed the Israeli genocide policy might hinder Israel from launching a major attack. They argue that Israel might bomb by  planes and artillery but without ground attacks to create the minimum possible noise  in the media to avoid strong international reaction .In the last war on Gaza Israel used a tactic of three points,first,it closed Gaza for the international media,second,it prepared a propaganda media team to mislead the public opinion, third, the timing of the attack was well planned  to coincide with  the  period precedes the handling of power from the departing president  to Obama.

 The third view presupposes that any Israeli attack on Gaza might lead to a comprehensive war on the Syrian and Lebanese fronts. This argument is based on the premises that Israel has been threatening Syria   accused by Israel of supporting the Lebanese resistance. And the Israeli threats to Lebanon have become too many to count. This view assumes also that Israel know that the short wars is over. It knows too that the destruction will be mutual and it gains nothing political of the war. Moreover, last decades must have taught Israel to count to ten before launching the war.


 To conclude: In comparing between the three analyses, all views agreed upon that Israel is planning a large operation against Gaza and probably against Lebanon. The question remains, will Israel attack Gaza this spring, or this summer? This is an opened question that is not easy to answer.  What is sure that there is no single Palestinian including those negotiating with Israel, who trusts that Israel is willing to reach a just peace? Also, the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem have made the Arab and the Islamic sentiments boiling as never before.   This consolidates the assumption that this conflict is a value conflict with two basic characters: first, it is a comprehensive confrontation, second, the longer it last, it involves new generation and become more complicated. This probably is the reason why some observers anticipate that next war might destabilize the whole region, more dangerously; it probably paves the way towards further devasting wars.

Dr. Salim Nazzal is a Palestinian-Norwegian historian in the Middle East, who has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.




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