On Saturday, October 7th, 2023, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel. This atrocious attack was done toward mainly innocent Israeli citizens, and many have seen the horrific action done by Hamas militants. Most of the International community has condemned the action done by these militants; indeed, Israel declared war after this heinous act. At this time, Israel is responding by conducting airstrikes against Hamas in Gaza. In the process, many innocent civilians will be killed or injured. The Netanyahu government and Israel will take extreme measures to snuff out Hamas. Terrorists need to be stopped. What measures will Israel take to accomplish this objective?
Of course, the blame game begins after such an event. In the last ten years, the right-wing Netanyahu government has been focused on security concerns in the West Bank, trying to provide security to Israeli settlers living in the occupied territory. (This occupied territory was originally not part of Israel before the Israeli army conquered it in 1967 during the Six-Day War.) By focusing on the West Bank, the military and intelligence agencies may have taken one eye off of Gaza, which created the opportunity for Hamas to organize their attack from Gaza. Because of this security lapse by the Netanyahu government, some have called for him to resign as Prime Minister. If this occurs, and a more moderate Israeli government is in place, will that increase the opportunity for a peace process in that region? Or will the Palestinian leadership continue denying Israel has a right to exist?
Indeed, this latest terrorist strike by Hamas has been condemned by the United States and the E.U. However, in the past, it appears that Israel has been "winning" through conflict. The longer the conflict goes on, the more territory it gets. A cynic may say, why not keep good things going? Is that indeed the plan? Even though more land has been occupied or controlled, how is that working out for Israel? Do they feel more secure as they continue to develop in a disputed territory (West Bank)? Is that a long-term strategy?
Many journalists are condemning the horrific attack by Hamas in Israel as they should. However, on most cable television, I don’t see them condemn Israel’s longtime oppression of Palestinians. Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank for decades, violating every international norm and law with the continued expansion of illegal settlements there. Is the U.S. an honest broker in this conflict? So I'm asking: Do Palestinians matter as well? It certainly doesn't seem that way in U.S. media. The Palestinians don’t have a significant influence on the U.S. Media. Jewish Americans are much better represented in the U.S. Government and culture, enabling them to have more influence on how our government reacts to this conflict. How would you feel about having little clout in the U.S. Government if you were an innocent Palestinian?
What is the U.S. strategic interest in Israel? Some American Jews, Christian Evangelicals, and the military-industrial complex may offer blind support to Israel. Instead, would it not be in the U.S. interest to be an honest peace broker? It’s been tried before, but a different approach is needed besides the blind support and the U.S. providing Israel with six billion dollars in aid annually. For perspective, the United States has provided over half a billion dollars in assistance for the Palestinians since April 2021. If our approach does not change, history will repeat itself.
Across the Mideast, a surge of support for Palestinians as war erupts in Gaza. However, where were the Arab nations regarding the occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank? It appears that Israel and Saudi Arabia are united against the Iranian threat. Why so little support for the Palestinians? Why can’t some or all Arab nations help broker a peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel? If Gaza is an open prison, why doesn’t Egypt get involved (borders Southern Gaza) to assist these residents in a humanitarian way? Will the Palestinians continue to be marginalized in these border disputes?
I’ve read Hamas’ attack on innocent Israelis is Israel’s 9/11. It’s a sad day for those who want peace in the Middle East, and it’s a sad day for those innocent civilians. Regardless of the atrocity committed, Israel needs to focus on eradicating Hamas without further alienating the civilians of Gaza. My suggestion to Israel is to tread very carefully. If not, there could be negative consequences as a result. For example, Israel declaring that no food and no water will be allowed into Gaza violates the laws of war.
For example, after 9/11, the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, incorrectly accusing Saddam Hussein of developing weapons of mass destruction and having ties with al-Qaeda. America’s spirit was damaged then, and most Americans wanted revenge against the perpetrators. How did the Iraqi war go? How many innocent Iraqis died as a result of this invasion? Besides Iraq being decimated, Iran was strengthened. Did the Bush administration genuinely realize how the geopolitical climate would change after they toppled Saddam Hussein? Did they genuinely understand that nation-building is a lot more complicated than nation-destruction? Our leaders at the time did not admit their blunder, which is unfortunate. General Zinni, then commanding general of Central Command, deemed the Iraqi invasion the worst strategic mistake in American history. Again, be careful, Israel, as you root out evil in Gaza.
I read that Gaza is an open-air prison, where they must show identification to travel beyond that space where residents live in horrific conditions. I also read that Gaza is not an open-air prison; residents can freely travel outside the area. For individuals seeking the truth, whom do you believe?
According to the annual Demographia report, the urban area around Gaza City has nearly two million people, roughly 21,000 people per square mile. Most objective observers would say that some Palestinians can be blamed for lousy leadership; at the same time, there’s poverty, despair, unemployment, disease, and dysfunction in Gaza, so how will this be addressed moving forward?
Extremists, driven by religious fundamentalism, are currently ruling both Palestinians and Israelis, and they must be denounced. Both groups need to realize who has brought them to this moment. Indeed, the terrorists involved in this massacre have to be eradicated by Israel. This means there will be more bloodshed, primarily in Gaza, and I hope that Israel focuses on eliminating the terrorists and, at the same time, limits its vengeance against innocent civilians. Elections have not been held in Gaza for over 17 years since Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and this must change. Palestinians need a new brand of leadership if their real interests are ever to be served. Israel needs a better government to serve the needs of all Israelis. This means that Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, his Finance Minister, and National Security Minister must go. Changes made to both governments are no guarantee of lasting peace, but without significant change on both sides, strife and bloodshed will continue.