Is this research? Is this the production of a scientist who can be critical of his sources, or is he merely a propagandist? Judge for yourself, on the elaborate thoughts delivered straight from the intellectual headquarter of the Norwegian labor movement. Let us not forget that is the same movement which bankrolls the Red-Green coalition and brags about how the Government bends over backwards to please their paymasters.
lifted from NRK.no
Both parties to the Gaza conflict play a cynical game. But the Israeli strategy in Gaza seems less and less feasible in the long term, especially with regard to developments in the region. The time is working for Hamas, writes Middle East scholar Jacob Høigilt.
By Researcher on Middle East and Arab Politics at Fafo Jacob Høigilt Published 21/11/2012, at. 16.35.
Again, Israel has launched massive attacks on Gaza, ostensibly to defend themselves against missile attacks from there. This reasoning seems artificial. The same argument was used during the war on Gaza in 2008-2009, when approximately. 1400 Palestinians were killed. It stopped in no way rockets from Hamas and other groups in the Gaza Strip. What is that Israel really wants with these attacks?
It is tempting to think of at least one short and one long-term goal. In the short term, the attack on Gaza provides increased support in the upcoming Israeli elections, since many Israelis support the bombing. Netanyahu for himself does not need this extra help, but his coalition partner Ehud Barak is trailing in the polls. The long-term goal has been part of Israeli strategy for decades. Already in the 1920s formulated the Zionist ideologue Ze’ev Jabotinsky doctrine of the “iron wall”: The Arabs in what was then Palestine would never accept that Zionists created a state in the area, he said, and the only solution for the Zionists was to force them to their knees by force – to create an “iron wall” of military might that would prevent attacks on the future state. Jabotinsky was a major ideologue for the Likud party, which Netanyahu is the leader of today. It appears that the Likud still swears to this doctrine. From time to time, Israel launches attacks on Gaza to show that resistance to the occupation will never succeed. Among cynical American analysts, there is talk about that one must regularly “mow the lawn in Gaza.” In other words, it is a matter of maintaining the status quo, not change it.
Losing allies in the region
This has never been a particularly constructive strategy, because the Palestinians will not give up. But in the current situation this strategy seems very strange. One big difference between last Gaza conflict and today is that the regional situation has dramatically changed.
After the Mavi Marmara tragedy in 2010, Israel lost Turkey as an ally in the region, and after the revolution in Egypt Muslim Brothers came to power, a group that has close ties to Hamas. The consequences are clear: Turkey’s prime minister recently called Israel a “terrorist state” and Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi has recalled the Egyptian ambassador in Israel and has harshly criticized the attacks on Gaza. To the extent that Egypt will be a democratic country in the future, any potential future leader must look to public opinion, and in Egypt, the hostility to Israel among ordinary people is easily palpable. Both Egypt and Turkey are key players in the region.
A game which cannot be won
Israel is thus becoming a pariah state in the region, and therefore it will also cost the U.S. and EU increasingly diplomatic capital to stand through thick and thin with the country. Then it is strange that Israeli leaders choose to continue a game they can never win completely, while hostility towards the country increases with increasing civilian Palestinian casualties. The Hamas leaders strategy is perhaps not surprising, but just as cynical as Israel. Hamas edges up like Israel, and then portrayed themselves as champions of the conflict, simply because they are not completely eradicated. While Hamas leaders know that the changes in the region play in their favor and that time currently is working for them. It is against this background that one must understand the terms Hamas set to accept a truce – conditions that require major concessions by Israel. Both parties are using civilians – primarily the Palestinian – that unhappy hostages for a bloody showdown in several acts.
The right to defend itself
International diplomacy is very much a part of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the regional changes is also important for actors such as the EU and the U.S.. Therefore, it is interesting to see that the gap increases between the regional powers such as Egypt and Turkey on the one hand and the U.S. and European countries on the other. While Egypt and Turkey were quick to condemn the attacks on Gaza, the United States and European countries, including Norway, equally quick to affirm Israel’s obvious right to defend itself against rocket attacks. First of all these statements are ill-informed, for the escalation of rocket attacks began after Israeli soldiers killed a 13-year-old during a raid on the Gaza Strip 8 november. The attacks were hence not unprovoked . And secondly, this defense rhetoric is set in glaring contrast by the number of casualties: as of this writing, three Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets, probably a few more after a bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv this morning. However, at least 60 Palestinian civilians have been killed.
One must ask oneself who is attacking and who is defending himself in the light of these figures. Israel, the U.S. and European countries’ rhetoric in recent days suggest that none of them see the need to change course in the Middle East, even though the landscape has changed considerably. In the short term, it is not certain that this will have major consequences. In the longer term, however, a risky strategy to resist changes in the region rather than embracing them – at least if the goal is to contribute to peace and stability.
Is it only I who have spotted the glaring mistakes in his basic premises for this argumentation? And once more, this is the intellectual elite which bankrolls the Red-Green coalition, and also the movement which is purchasing the most media in Norway at present. Can you imagine what kind of propaganda that is to come, now that the Labor movement has become the major player on the national media and information market?