Netanyahu in front of map

Gaza: No victory image, only exit image for Israel

When a government set unachievable goals for a military campaign, it necessarily dooms it to failure. Considering that Israel keep changing the reasons it launched the genocidal campaign against Gaza, and the astounding losses racked during it, there is no happy “victory image” that can be sold to the Jewish public. Too many funerals of Jewish “soldiers,” too many equipment losses and not one military success to be had. This has been stated by myself and others several times, and it has been confirmed in the Israeli Jewish press as well. And the most recent time was yesterday.

On 1 August, Yedioth Ahoronoth published an article by Simon Shiffer entitled, “Netanyahu trying to market victory against Hamas.” It laid out the facts quite shockingly: there is no military victory to be had against Hamas, and Netanyahu is now looking for an “exit image” in which he can conclude this disastrous episode with some face still intact.

His Jewish public is not amused, nor is Mr. Shiffer:

[W]e won’t forget the dead and the hundreds of soldiers whose bodies will carry the wounds of the war for years of rehabilitation which might not end till the end of their lives.

We will not forget and we will not forgive those who knew about the terror [sic] tunnels and about the preparations made by the terror [sic] organizations – Hamas and the Islamic Jihad – which planned to hit us mercilessly without any intention of being impressed by the thousands of tons of bombs we dropped on Gaza’s residents.

As terrible as these things may sound, we must admit that the decision makers were unprepared, as might have been expected, for determining the objectives of the war and achieving its basic goals.

…Southern Command chief Sami Turgeman’s statement Wednesday that the army is making progress towards completing the mission it has been tasked with – destroying the offensive tunnels.

In fact, one does not need military background to reach the conclusion that Hamas has its own exit point, and it is completely different from the exit point of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who now look as if they are begging for a ceasefire.

They look as if they are begging for a ceasefire because they are.

Can’t bomb them into submission? Kill the future instead!

There is no military victory possible against Palestinian resistance, unless Israel commit total genocide and there is not one Palestinian left on the face of the Earth. Because absent that, when one resistance fighter is killed, ten more will rise up in his place. A fact that Israeli war planners seem to have forgotten is the skewed demographics of Gaza and just how many children there are as opposed to adults. Except they didn’t.

This explains the intentional targeting of civilians and especially women and children: Israel cannot win against 50.000 armed, trained men now, certainly in the future those children will grow up and Israel will face a much larger and even more fiercely determined resistance.

Strategic re-deployment, another term for retreat

Various media are reporting that Israeli troops are already withdrawing to locations close to, but still inside the Gaza border. It is anticipated that Israel will announce on Sunday that the so-called “terror” tunnels have been destroyed. But it is a mistake to see this as anything less than an admission of military failure.

Just as it has not been able to stop rockets and missiles from being launched into Israel, so has it been unable to find and all of the tunnels, nor is it actually able to do so. Its strengths have been used against it; the supposed weakness(es) of Palestinian resistance have proven to be strengths.

The situation for Israel is indeed dire. It cannot win militarily, yet it relies on the myth of its military superiority to deter the surrounding nations from attacking it. And after having been bested by Hezbollah -twice!- it cannot accept losing  but more importantly, to be seen as losing again.

It decided to not attempt a ceasefire negotiation with Hamas because the one firm point was the end of the siege. Hamas is not going to relinquish that, and Israel will not, and indeed both politically and socially, cannot grant that.


So, “Jewish brain invents patents!” and it decided to do an end-run around that and declare a unilateral ceasefire, and to falsely announce that its goals have been accomplished. The announcement, as has been reported in various media, is expected to occur on Sunday.

The sound of one hand clapping

But now that Hamas has declared that it is not bound by any Israeli “unilateral” ceasefire or withdrawal and it will continue until the siege is lifted, Israel has very few moves left.

The international community is thoroughly disgusted with the genocidal project in Gaza and the blatant violations of international law Israel have committed. Every statement in the U.N. Security Council includes a statement that the siege must be ended. Of course that is unacceptable to Israel.

It began its genocidal project on Gaza under the pretext of the “missing” Jewish settler colonists, which later turned out to have nothing to do with Hamas. In reality, it was to scuttle the unity government and elections in Palestine. Because Palestinian unity spells Israeli f e a r.

That fear is based on the fact that Israel fear peace. With Palestinian unity, it will have to negotiate in less than abominable faith to which everyone is accustomed. Israel much prefer to be in a dominant position, on from which it can oppress Palestine and keep it from growing as an independent country, because an independent country next door means competition. And Israel cannot be competitive.

Can Captain America save the day?

So it must rely on its patron, once again, to -I love this American phrase, “save its bacon” with all the horribly delicious irony it entails in this context- from itself. The Americans will most likely put forth a resolution in the Security Council that doesn’t “call on” the parties to ceasefire, but demands it, and includes a clause about negotiating an end to the siege.

Of course, having been written by the Americans in consultation with Israel, and with no other country willing to veto such a resolution, it will pass. Israel will pretend it is the more moral party and pretend that it will negotiate with Hamas, which of course it will not. Israeli government and people want, as it did in 2007 when it sponsored the Fatah coup attempt, its corrupt Fatah minions to run Gaza.

Hamas will not accept that, and if that strategy succeeds in exacerbating difficulties in the fragile unity government, it will be disastrous for Palestine. Israel will have successfully, once again, performed a divide-and-conquer strategy on Palestine. And that is the only victory it will be able to claim.

Since it doesn’t have to pay for its armaments as they are donated by the kind and ever-generous American taxpayers, it will have to work on picking its economy and image back up from the floor. That is much less than Palestinians in Gaza will have to do.

If Palestine, and by that I mean all of Palestine, falls for this divide-and-conquer strategy again it will have achieved nothing. Palestine cannot afford that, which is why I sincerely hope, for the sake of the almost 300 dead children and all the now orphaned children in Gaza, that the various factions stay standing together and reject this ploy. Because together, as political parties, resistance factions, and people, even in separated geographical areas, Palestine is stronger than Israel.

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