I can’t rule out the possibility that what a horrified world is witnessing in Gaza is precisely what those at the controls of the Israeli State wanted all along – stage one of a Final Solution, with Washington’s tacit blessing, to the Palestine Problem.
There are those within Israel who want precisely that, and were undoubtedly a factor in Tel Aviv’s response to October 7. Which is why I also can’t rule out, though I think it unlikely, the possibility that the Hamas attacks had a false flag element. 1
That would be one explanation for why neither Israel nor its US backer sought to isolate Hamas within the Middle East, in the global south at large, and within Palestine itself. As we’ll see, that would have been easy but Tel Aviv and Washington opted instead for indiscriminate fury.
There’s another explanation though: political ineptitude in both capitals, the fruit of decades of neglect and consequent atrophy of diplomatic skills deemed superfluous to requirement. This I touched on in general terms on October 26 in Floating Pointlessness … and back in February with Did the crazies capture the USA?
With this in mind and given the mediocrity at best of mainstream media coverage, I recommend another nuanced and informed discussion from The Duran. Unlike me, 2 Alexander Mercouris is forthright in condemning the Hamas attacks. But that’s beside the point. Let’s assume that they: (a) can be taken at face value, as a horrifying but brilliant operation which shattered the myth of IDF/Mossad/Shin Bet invincibility; (b) do constitute a (massively provoked) atrocity.
How might Israel and the USA have responded differently, with a Special Military Operation 3 as opposed to indiscriminate slaughter?
The discussion lasts 35 minutes. For those pushed for time here are the main points, though not in the order made in the podcast.
- Both Tel Aviv and Washington have indeed lost the art of negotiation, and for the same reason: delusions of invincibility which also allow the rise of the untalented but fanatical to prominent positions. See on the one hand Gaza should be wiped clean with bombs!” and on the other (again) Did the crazies capture the USA? How?
- Both have breached a fundamental rule of warfare: when the enemy provokes you, do not make the response he expects and desires. 4
- Isolating Hamas on the world stage should have been easy, given:
- Its unpopularity within Palestine at large and even within Gaza, which last had an election in 2005.
- Its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo and Damascus have fought for decades and – a rival to Wahhabism for Sunni fundamentalist leadership – has few friends in Riyadh.
- Iran’s hostility to Hamas, whose ‘moderate Islamists’, as a smugly idiotic David Cameron once whitewashed them, have fought Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria.
- Beijing’s and Moscow’s condemnation of the attacks; unsurprising given their own struggles with Western backed Islamist terror 5 in Xinjiang and Chechnya.
- Having made the disastrous decision to wage war on Gaza as a whole, Israel’s Plan A was its ethnic cleansing. But this required Egypt to open the Rafah crossing point in the south. Cairo saw this for the moral blackmail it was, and kept Rafah closed. Accommodating 2.3 million refugees would come with a raft of headaches, including domestic opposition and jihadist infiltration, crowned by the certainty of Israel never allowing their return. Riyadh also opposed Rafah’s opening – and told a hapless Anthony Blinken so in no uncertain terms. With this essential of Plan A stone dead, Plan B it had to be. Genocide.
- Given a military consensus that Plan B may take up to a year to complete, both Tel Aviv and Washington seek to ‘normalise’ it through information black out. It won’t work. Yes, the internet has been closed down. (That’s the 21st century equivalent of capturing post office and radio station.) But too many powerful players on the world stage have a stake in not allowing what is happening, despite Western corporate media mastery of lies by omission, to slide into quietly murderous mundanity. 6
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- Whatever the realities of this situation, no one acquainted with the Byzantine currents of Western domination of the Middle East, and the strange bedfellows momentarily thrown together – WW1 and Lawrence of Arabia … tactical alignment of US/UK interests with Shia clerics in Iran, 1953 … Israeli backing of Hamas against Fatah .. NATO/Israeli support of ‘moderate Islamists’ in Syria – could rule out, a priori, the idea of collusion between Hamas and Israel’s most atavistic elements. As to why I think it unlikely in this case, one obstacle for me is the hit to Israeli prestige: hence to its power to intimidate neighbours, and lucrative export trade in the dark arts of counterinsurgency.
- In A way forward for Palestine? Part 1, I wrote:
not a word of condemnation of the Hamas attacks will you find here. Why? Because I applaud them? Because I see Hamas Islamism as the authentic voice of the Palestinian people? Because I don’t regard Israelis as truly human? Because unlike anyone with a working brain I somehow failed to see that Gazans would pay a terrible price?
Nope. I didn’t condemn that atrocity – opting instead to contextualise it – because I didn’t set up steel city scribblings to offer redundantly asinine endorsement of the hypocrisies our corrupt media and politicians spew out without let or hindrance – and assuredly without need of any assistance from yours truly.
- Why even an SMO? Alexander Mercouris makes the realpolitik observation – evidently drawn in Beijing and Moscow too – that no military response at all from Israel was never on the cards. Like his predecessor Ariel Sharon, however rabidly right-wing Netanyahu may seem, there are Israeli currents well to his right, and far more bloodthirsty, ready to outflank him. His government never had the option, even if so minded – and of course it wasn’t – of a purely diplomatic response.
- Thou shalt not do what the enemy wants! Did Russia’s SMO, in response to decades of US/NATO provocation intensifying from 2014 on, also break this rule? The difference as I see it is that Israel had options compellingly spelt out by Mr Mercouris and summarised in bullet point 3, while those who do condemn Western provocation on Russia’s borders – but insist she should not have responded as she did – have been markedly less vocal on alternative courses open to the Kremlin.
- Western backed Islamist terror is an extension of the ‘strange bedfellows’ point made in footnote 1. A consistent principle, if that’s not too grand a term, of US and Israeli foreign policy has been “my [current] enemy’s [current] enemy is my [current] friend”.
- “…not allowing what is happening … to slide into quietly murderous obscurity …” I hope Alexander Mercouris is right but have my doubts.