For now Israel seems to lose its war against the Palestinian resistance.
The October 7 attempt to gain hostages by Hamas and Islamic Jihad was successful. Israeli outrage about it should have been directed against the Israeli government and its army for their chaotic response. They likely killed more Israelis than Hamas did.
But outrage was instead instigated against the external enemy. In this case all Palestinians.
A united Israel urged its government to wage revenge. The government’s announced aim is to remove Hamas. That however is impossible to do to a social movement with deep roots in its society. The real aim is to remove all Palestinians from Gaza, to either kill them or to dump them in some foreign land. This would be followed by an attempt to remove all Palestinians from the West Bank before capturing and annexing the south of Lebanon.
However no foreign country is likely to support such a genocide and to take up the burden of millions of unruly refugees.
The Israeli government still wants to satisfy its people but has no way to achieve that.
Meanwhile the resistance against Israel, which has been built by Iran over several decades, is increasing its response. It aims to press Israel into conceding defeat and to liberate the Palestinians from their Zionist occupiers.
Changing a society’s mind requires a slow and long response. In the north Hezbullah is slowly escalating its tit-for tat war with the Israeli army. Some 100,000 Israeli civilians have fled from the border zone. The Ansar Islam movement in Yemen has blocked maritime traffic to Israel’s Eilat port. The U.S. attempt to counter that has failed:
Despite the US calling the Red Sea tensions “an international challenge” requiring a united response, the initial coalition support was limited, with only 10 nations, including Bahrain as the sole Arab state. The Pentagon later announced that 20 countries had joined the coalition, with Greece and Australia among the new members.
In a setback to the US, France, Spain, and Italy have declined their participation in the alliance.
Local resistances in Iraq and Syria are attacking U.S. troops deployed in those countries. As long as its troops are there the U.S. can to nothing to prevent that.
There are also threats to Israel’s Mediterranean coast line. Hezbollah has the ability to close down Haifa and and other Israeli ports. Missiles, cruise missiles and drones from Gaza, from Lebanon, Yemen and from resistance fighters in Iraq and Syria continue to target Israel day by day.
With more than 350,000 Israeli troops mobilized and Palestinian workers from the West Bank banned, Israel’s economy is, for lack of workers, in deep trouble.
Its military forays into Palestinian cities in Gaza have so far achieved little results but incurred significant losses. All the army can do is to destroy those cities block by block. But Hamas continues to fight back, even in rubble.
The current plan is to make Palestinian life in Gaza so miserable that leaving it will be for them the only alternative to certain death. But leaving whereto when no one wants to take them?
That is a question Israel and its U.S. backers fail to answer.
With the war going into a prolonged, unsustainable phase the Israeli government needs to do something else, or fail.
It plans to open a new front in Lebanon against Hezbollah. But a repeat of the 2006 war, which Israel lost, can not be risked. To fight Hezbollah on the ground Israel needs active U.S. backing, not only by U.S. delivery of weapons, but by U.S. forces on the ground.
A new U.S. war in the Middle East against a well prepared enemy is the last thing President Biden needs for his re-election campaign.
Pictures of Israeli settlers and their army raiding Ramallah to steal money from Palestinian money exchanges also lead to more negative voter responses.
Hamas says it can fight the war for several months.
Biden needs to shut the war down.
Either he does that now or his chances of a reelection will decrease even further.
Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.