Israel Lost This Round
The Jewish state is stunned by Palestinian and world response
Israel-Palestine conflict is there for more than seven decades, mired in series of hostilities escalating every year and subsequent bombardment by Tel Aviv of Gaza Strip. Slaughtering of men, women and children is not new to the world. The hyper civilized world has been a mute spectator. Incredibly new is that the Hamas military wing has struck back out of the blue with full response to Tel Aviv’s military action against Palestinians, bewildering and giving sleepless nights to Israelis. All assessments and daresay of Tel Aviv have proved wrong which the State blames on her intelligence failures. The renewed clashes as initiated by Tel Aviv at a time when Benjamin Netanyahu was about to be charged with fraud, maladroit, corruption and breach of nation’s trust by a high placed investigation committee that had gathered all necessary witnesses and evidences against him and his wife.
Last year, the Israeli premier had to quit many other portfolios on the charges of corruption over the past several continuous terms of his government. The Prime Minister’s personal reasons seem ultimately to have brought the entire region on the verge of a devastating war. Hamas has astonished the world for having alarmingly garnered latest rocket and guided short missile capability that has been rendering Israel with a population of 8 million souls horror-struck. Israel is facing deadliest attacks for the first time since its inception. As the reports pour in, a rain of some three thousand rockets and advanced version of short missiles have befallen Israel causing destruction and loss of dozens of lives which has not been known from any reliable source owing to a blanket ban on world media in place in Israel. The people are forced to hide in bomb shelter centres. Gaza has lost hundreds of human lives to unabated diabolical Israeli bombardments.
The most sophisticated and robust Iron dome anti-missile system of Israel has been working day and night to shield Israelites from Hamas missile attacks, only with a huge cost of millions of dollars so far although many of these landed Israel reported to be devastating by the Israeli print media. Assuming an entirely new dimension in the decades-old imbroglio the world today seems to be manifestly divided into two blocks on this conflict for the first time since post, 1967 Arab, Israel war; China and Russia obviously and overtly commiserating Palestinian cause ostensibly on moral and diplomatic grounds but observers believe that probability of some level of logistic support to Hamas and Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah groups under cover from these countries cannot be easily brushed under the carpet. Both China and Russia urged proactively the United Nations Security Council to hold a meeting that US got cancelled earlier but lately convened in virtual mode without any climacteric decision.
Understandably, Ankara, Tehran and Islamabad are awfully busy in their diplomatic efforts in garnering Chinese and Russian support against renewed Israeli attacks on Gaza. Not only this, OIC foreign ministers conference was convened under the influence of Turkey and Pakistan in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has felt the heat that it preferred to speak up in favour of Palestine cause though in low tune than to adopt silence this time. Albeit from the OIC forum yet again the schismatic narrative from other Arabs yet again was unfortunate. The new Muslim alignment of Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad is at work to persuade KSA to join it, particularly under the influence of Beijing which is working hard to gain control of the Arabian Peninsula from the United States. Saudis too have reciprocated over the recent past. KSA has already invested 200 million dollars in CPEC oil refinery at Gwadar and China has undertaken a contract to buy Saudi oil for 50 years from now.
Perhaps, bridging the gap between Riyadh and Islamabad, Ankara and also Tehran, the Chinese and Pakistani efforts have not been seen yielding the results by now since US has recently stationed its F18 fighter aircraft in Saudi Arabia to safeguard Israel; even though the kingdom has reiterated not to recognize Israel. Tehran is covertly providing military arsenal to Hamas through Hezbollah in Lebanon. Secret meetings have been unfolding between Persian foreign minister and Hamas top brass in Syria. Russian foreign minister too had a meeting with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrullah in Moscow. The Syrian stronghold of opposition groups backed by Ankara is also believed to have developed connections with Hamas secretly. These groups are equipped with sophisticated armour supplied by Turkey. Turkey and Iran have been vociferously vocal in pursuing Moscow to install air defence missile system at Gaza bordering Israel so that Tel Aviv does not have a free hand to bomb Gaza. But Moscow may not consider it for it is akin to direct intervention that may rattle pro-Israeli bloc. US in the current scenario initially appeared to be out of fray. Biden’s Israel policy was supposed to be somewhat cold as compared to that of Trump’s hot pursuit in supporting her nefarious designs. Several congressmen had urged Biden to stop financial support to Tel Aviv. Succumbing to tremendous pressure from deep state Jewish lobby, Washington is not any more neutral and has justified Israeli offensive. This was pleaded by former President Donald Trump, blaming Biden for deliberate neglect of Tel Aviv.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s foreign secretary, had warned Biden that Israel might disappear if not supported. It finally concluded in a weapons deal between US and Israel worth 735 million dollars, which is thought to be a warning to China andRussia to keep off the bay. US this time is well aware of the changing multipolar world spectrum and realizes her neutrality would encourage opposite response of China and Russia. This has yet another facet that shows how US is hell bent on destroying world peace which she claims New World Order. Cataclysms brought about by Washington from Iraq to Syria and Yemen to Afghanistan were meant only to secure apartheid Israel. Although both China and Russia seem to have little material stakes in joining this conflict directly, they are strongly believed to be at the back of their front line allies to counter US-Israel intrigues. In coming days, Israel may plan a ground onslaught on Gaza but aghast for her would be that a ground invasion on Gaza might invite Jihadists from Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen duly backed by the anti US Israel bloc. This will probably push Biden-Netanyahu duo into considering a cease-fire in coming days. Notwithstanding the call of the hour, lack of world intervention to de-escalate the situation might end in a human tragedy of monstrous proportions, and the region may turn into another Afghanistan and Syria with perilous consequences for the whole region.
The writer is a Professor at SKUAST-K.