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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 26-May-2021
26-May-21 World View -- The aftermath of the Israel - Gaza war

Web Log - May, 2021

26-May-21 World View -- The aftermath of the Israel - Gaza war

What did the Israelis accomplish? Mowing the lawn

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

The Gaza-Israel war by the numbers

Over $300,000 in gold shaped as nails and hidden in wooden pallets.  Hamas tried to smuggle the gold into the West Bank to fund terror activity.  (Jerusalem Post)
Over $300,000 in gold shaped as nails and hidden in wooden pallets. Hamas tried to smuggle the gold into the West Bank to fund terror activity. (Jerusalem Post)

The worst possible outcome of the recent war -- that it would spiral into a full-scale regional war -- did not happen.

The best possible outcome of the recent war -- that it would settle the Israel-Palestinian dispute once and for all -- did not happen and could not possibly happen.

The 11 day conflict ended with a ceasefire on Friday, May 21, at 2 am. Nobody believes that there won't be another war soon.

Hamas fired 4,300 rockets from Gaza into Israel during the conflict, killing two children and six adults in Israel.

Israel fired thousands of missiles into Gaza during the conflict, killing 66 children and 248 adults.

Gaza was devastated by the war. More than 100,000 people lost their homes. Water and sewer systems were destroyed, so there's no water or sanitation. There is little electricity, and many hospitals were destroyed.

What did the Gaza Palestinians accomplish? International attention

If you listen to Palestinians interviewed on tv, then you hear them say that the deaths and destruction in Gaza were worth it because those deaths have generated international outrage at Israel. There have been international anti-Israel riots and demonstrations in cities around the world. There have been calls for boycotts of Israeli goods.

In a way, this is a longing for a return to the 2000s decade, when the Palestinian issue was front page news around the world almost every day. Starting around ten years ago, Palestinian spokesmen began complaining that they had been completely forgotten by the international community because of other international issues, such as the wars in Ukraine and Syria. One of the motivations for starting the 2014 summer war with Israel is thought by some to be an attempt to get back on the front pages. And now, the Palestinians themselves seem to be saying the same thing.

Some Arab writers are saying the same thing in different ways.

German-Egyptian Intellectual Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad said the following in an interview:

"Hamas has turned the Palestinians into beggars. Where did all the money go? I would like Fatah and Hamas to explain to the Palestinians where all this money went? [Imagine] what could have been done with it.

Why wasn't it invested in good education, instead of making children TV shows that teach them martyrdom and suicide? Why do all the leaders of Fatah have villas, palaces, and a lot of money? They stole from their people and did not invest in their freedom, in their educations, and in their self confidence. They left their people only with the choice between martyrdom or begging for money."

Saudi journalists are even more harshly critical of the actions of the Gaza Palestinians, directly connecting the actions of Hamas to the agenda of the Iranians, who are supplying Hamas with the rockets that they've been launching at Israel.

As the war began, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh tweeted:

"I suspect that the move of those Palestinian factions that are agents of the Persians was carried out on orders from Iran, so as to exert pressure in [Iran's] favor in the Vienna [nuclear] talks. The implications [of the escalation] will likely be devastating for the helpless citizens of Gaza."

Another Saudi journalist, Sa'ud Al-Fawzan said that the war could have been avoided entirely, but it's something that that the leaders of Palestine and Israel wanted:

"I will never show tolerance for the killing of children in [either] Tel Aviv or Gaza. Those responsible for their death are both [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Hamas leader in Gaza Isma'il] Haniya. Were it not for Netanyahu and Haniya, the Palestinians and the Israelis would have lived together just as our forefathers coexisted peacefully with the Jews for many centuries."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this interpretation is comforting, but delusional. There is enormous mutual hostility, xenophobia and hatred between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and do Netanyahu and Haniya were doing what the people they were governing wanted them to do.

And this is further proved, by the way, by the communal violence between Palestinians and Israelis that broke out and is still ongoing.

What did the Israelis accomplish? Mowing the lawn

First, not all Israelis are happy with the ceasefire. The cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, in southern Israel, have been hit particularly hard to by Gaza rockets over the years, and have suffered numerous casualties.

According to Sderot's mayor Alon Davidi:

"This proves that despite the full support and perseverance and heroism that the residents of the south have shown for the past 20 years, it appears that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli government are not interested in defeating Hamas and prefer temporary quiet for residents of central Israel at the expense of residents of the Gaza periphery and the south, who will continue to suffer from terrorism."

Of course it's totally delusional that completely defeating Hamas is even possible, but this is a widely held desire by many Israelis, especially in the south.

When Israeli officials are interviewed about what they accomplished, they describe the war much more succintly and in military terms.

They say that Israel had to defend itself from the incoming rockets, and that they had to retaliate with massive missile strikes to destroy Hamas's military infrastructure, including military offices, weapons stores, and a huge labyrinth of underground tunnels. The objective is to prevent a new war from occurring for as long a time as possible.

Israeli military commanders do not have any expectation of defeating Hamas permanently. They use the metaphor "mowing the lawn" to capture the idea that after destroying Hamas's arsenal and tunnels, they will be restored again by Iran -- the grass will grow back and have to be mowed again.

The Biden Administration plans

It was Egypt that negotiated the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. President Joe Biden says that ceasefire was possible because of his intense behind the scenes mediation.

One of the accomplishments claimed by the Palestinians, along with the rise in worldwide outrage at Israel, is that the far left in America's Democrat Party, led by AOC, is demanding that Biden withdraw his support from Israel. In particular, Biden is being pressured from the left to cancel a $735 million weapons deal, most of which would be used to resupply the defensive missiles in the Iron Dome anti-missile system that protected much of Israel from the thousands of Gaza rockets.

Not resupplying the Iron Dome would have disastrous consequences for Israel, and would permit thousands of Gaza rockets to reach their intended destinations, killing civilians in their homes.

AOC in the past has said that she is thrilled by how Biden has taken one far left socialist position after another, but now for the first time, Biden is being forced to take a position opposed to AOC. On Friday, Biden says that the Democrat party "still supports Israel," and said:

"There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift. The shift is we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer."

I've been ridiculing the "two-state solution" through the presidencies of Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden. The first major Generational Dynamics analysis that I posted was Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace? (1-May-2003), in which I explained why there would not be peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, because they would be re-fighting the bloody 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Trump's two-state solution plan was announced just a little over a year ago. ( "29-Jan-20 World View -- Trump announces fantasy 'Peace to Prosperity' Mideast peace plan")

Since 2006, there have been five wars involving Israel and Palestinians: the war between Israelis and Hezbollah, fought largely on Lebanon's soil in 2006; the war between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in 2008, that led to Hamas control of Gaza; Operation Cast Lead, the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza early in 2009; the two wars between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in November, 2012 and July-August 2014.

These wars follow a typical, predictable pattern of a series of clashes separated by periods of peace, with each clash more violent than the preceding one. As the old saying goes, "Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading." This pattern cannot go on forever, and eventually will lead to a full-scale generational crisis war.

So now Biden is adopting the same delusional two-state solution plan as Bush, Obama and Trump. The main features of Biden's plan are like every other policy announced by Biden -- just do the opposite of Trump did.

Trump's strategy, which included isolating Iran, was to strongly support Israel and cut funding for Palestinian militias, to prevent another war. Biden's strategy, which includes negotiations with Iran to restore the JCPOA nuclear deal, is to "rebuild ties" with the Palestinians. Biden will reopen the the consulate with the Palestinians in Jerusalem -- Trump had closed it and made it part of the new embassy in Jerusalem. Biden will ask Congress for $75 million for economic assistance for the Palestinans, and also $5.5 million for emergency aid for Gaza. Biden will also restore $32 million in new aid for UNRWA, for the exponentially growing number of Palestinian "refugees."

The money being provided is intended for use in rebuilding Gaza's buildings and infrastructure after being devastated by war. The objection, of course, is that those millions of dollars will be used by Hamas to purchase new stocks of weapons from Iran in preparation for the next war with Israel, instead of to rebuild Gaza.

Along with this monetary largess comes another part of the plan that seems totally delusional. Biden's plan is to route the money though the West Bank Palestinian Authority, and let Fatah, Hamas's enemy, take charge of using Biden's money to rebuild Gaza. Yeah, that will work fine.

As for the Democrat Party, there's a poisonous anti-Semitism growing, which is resulting in violent attacks on Jews in this country. Black Lives Matter is promoting the same hate-filled anti-Semitism. Democrat leaders like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have said nothing about the growing violence against Jews.

The future of the Mideast

Regular readers will be familiar with the following paragraph, since I've written something like it dozens of times:

Generational Dynamics predicts that there is an approaching Clash of Civilizations world war, pitting the "axis" of China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries against the "allies," the US, India, Russia and Iran. Part of it will be a major new war between Jews and Arabs, re-fighting the bloody the war of 1948-49 that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. The war between Jews and Arabs will be part of a major regional war, pitting Sunnis versus Shias, Jews versus Arabs, and various ethnic groups against each other.

The latest Gaza war is actually different from previous Gaza wars in some significant ways.

First, Hamas had more rockets and more powerful rockets than in the past, supplied by Iran. Hamas points with pride to the fact that its rockets can now reach apartment buildings in Tel Aviv for the first time.

Second, Israel's missile strikes on Gaza were much more powerful than in the past. The destruction of apartment blocks and infrastructure was much more extensive than in 2014.

Third, the communal violence between Arabs and Israelis in the West Bank and within Israel itself was much greater and more violent than in the past. In particular, for the first time, Arabs living as citizens in Israel took the fight to their Israeli neighbors. This is extremely ominous, and the communal violence is still ongoing.

No politician, except the most delusional, believes that the recent Gaza war was the last one. In a sense, the continuing communal violence suggests that the recent Gaza war hasn't really ended yet. But we can expect a new Gaza war in the not too distant future, and at some point it will escalate into a full regional Mideast war.


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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (26-May-2021) Permanent Link
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