Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 1-Mar-08
Violence in Gaza escalates significantly as Israel contemplates an invasion

Web Log - March, 2008

Violence in Gaza escalates significantly as Israel contemplates an invasion

American warships are off the Lebanon coast to promote "regional stability."

Related Articles

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Sudden generational shift puts Palestinian "Young Guard" threatening "Old Guard": Younger generations in control in Palestine and Israel bring war closer.... (16-Dec-05)
Gaza violence spiking up as Israel launches "crushing response" to rocket attacks: Hamas promised to stop attacking Israel from Gaza, to prevent spiraling out of control.... (26-Sep-05)
Gaza strip descending into further chaos and lawlessness following Israeli withdrawal: Black market prices for weapons have been falling sharply in Gaza,... (14-Sep-05)
With Israelis almost gone, Gaza is becoming increasingly violent and unstable: Especially ominous is the planned intervention by Egypt as border guards.... (8-Sep-05)
Israel withdraws from Gaza amid hopes for peace and fears of instability: Here's what you should watch for in the weeks ahead.... (16-Aug-05)
Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas meet as Mideast cease-fire unravels: Like Britain vs France, Israel vs Palestinian Authority meetings are becoming increasingly confrontational.... (22-Jun-05)
Abbas is increasingly losing control of Gaza and the West Bank: Palestinian militants are infuriated by Abbas' unilateral cancellation of parliamentary elections.... (6-Jun-05)
Some notes on current news in Darfur, Palestine and Ukraine: It appears that the genocidal crisis war in Darfur, Sudan, may be ending.... (24-Jan-05)
NY Post: "Arafat Dead - And he won't be missed.": I look at Arafat's life very, very differently.... (14-Nov-04)
Top Israeli aide says that Israel has abandoned the American-sponsored 'Road Map to Peace': The plan to create a Palestinian state has effectively been scuttled... (7-Oct-04)
Israel makes it official: The American-backed "road map to peace" is dead.: In fact, Israel itself is in enormous turmoil today because of Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan.... (16-Sep-04)
A dramatic shift in Palestinian opinion, as Arafat retains control: Major violence has not yet spread from Gaza to West Bank, but the question of whether things will "spiral out of control"... (1-Aug-04)
Beheadings part of increasing conflict level throughout Mideast: The level of conflict is increasing throughout the Mideast, from Gaza to Pakistan, from Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan. (23-Jun-2004)
"Mideast Roadmap" - Will it bring peace?: Generational Dynamics predicts something quite different for the Mideast. (01-May-03)

Israeli air strikes have killed 32 Palestinians in the last couple of days. There are presumably many Hamas militants among the 30, but there were also four Palestinian children.

At the same time, the massive rocket barrages from Gaza have grown much larger, hundreds every day, and are reaching further into Israel. One person has been killed, and several people have been wounded, including two Israeli children.

Some top Israeli officials are calling for "massive intervention" in Gaza. Matan Vilnai, the deputy defense minister called for a "catastrophic" response, and a top Knesset chairman says that Israel should reoccupy parts of Gaza and topple the Hamas government.

The rhetoric has been going over the top. Vilnai's word for "catastrophic" is the same Hebrew word that refers to the 1940s Holocaust, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the deaths of 32 Palestinians is already "more than a Holocaust."

Whatever the rhetoric, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) do appear to be massing on the border with Gaza for some kind of major intervention in Gaza, but whether it's a pinpoint invasion or a full-scale occupation is not yet known.

US warships and Lebanon

In a surprise related development, three US warships left Malta for Lebanon on Tuesday, and are remaining off the Lebanese coast in international waters.

The reasons given by the Pentagon include a "concern about the situation in Lebanon" and support for "regional stability." Lebanon's political crisis, that we last wrote about in November, has not abated, and the country has not yet found a way to select a new President. The US warships are seen by Hizbollah and some Lebanese political groups as being directed at them and Syria.

However, according to an article by Debka, which has contacts within Israeli intelligence but often gets things wrong, the US warships are there in anticipation of an Israeli ground action -- not only into Gaza (directed at Hamas), but also into southern Lebanon (directed at Hizbollah). Debka adds that there's another front as well: "The quarrel between Saudi King Abdullah and Syrian president Bashar Assad, which is nearing boiling point, threatens to be fought out in Lebanon, their main bone of contention. Both are sending quantities of arms and ammo to the Lebanese militias under their respective wings."

Memories of 2006

In 2006, the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers near the Lebanon border caused the Israelis to panic and and launch the war against Hizbollah within four hours, with no plan and no objectives.

The extreme state of anxiety that caused Israel to panic in 2006 still exists, because of the increasingly relentless barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israeli cities.

Thus today, calls by Israeli politicians for an overwhelming "catastrophic" response by the IDF are being tempered by fears of another panicked disaster.

News reports that I've read indicate that most analysts today believe that some kind of IDF response is coming soon, because the Israeli public will not tolerate the current situation much longer.

Generational Dynamics perspective

The Mideast
The Mideast

My first major Generational Dynamics prediction on this web site was in the May 1, 2003, article, "Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?" In that article, I said that the Roadmap would fail, and that the deaths of Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon would be part of a generational change that would lead to all out war between Arabs and Jews, re-fighting the genocidal war that occurred in 1948 after the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Last month, in the article, "Violence continues in Gaza as Israel kills 18 to stop rocket attacks," I summarized all the events that have occurred since then.

I recently was engaged in a discussion with some online correspondents on how the coming Mideast war would "start."

There's some semantic confusion here about what we mean by "starting a war." That concept is very fluid, and can change retroactively. For example, it's possible that historians, looking back at this decade, may decide that the Mideast war began in Lebanon in 2006, or even that the World War began on 9/11/2001.

But from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, I mean something quite specific by the start of war -- it's a point of time defined in generational theory and known as the "regeneracy." The regeneracy is the point in time where an event, or series of events (like the Pearl Harbor attack and the Bataan death march in World War II or the Battle of Bull Run in the Civil War) unify a country or society behind its leader, and the survival of the country and its way of life become the highest priority, higher than the value of an individual life. This change opens the door to genocidal acts, since an individual human life has little value any more.

When a country goes through a crisis war (like WW II for the US), the survivors are very unified. But for children born after the war (like Baby Boomers after WW II), the austere rules imposed by the survivors become unbearable, and they rebel, creating a "generation gap" and an Awakening era (60s-70s in US). By the time another generation after that has been born and grown, all the austere rules have unraveled (1990s), and individual rights are all that matter, creating a social and civil climate of political bickering. The regeneracy is the point where the political bickering ends, and the people unite behind their leader. It's called the "regeneracy" because civic unity is regenerated for the first time since the end of the previous crisis war.

So from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, I'm trying to figure out where the regeneracy is coming from in the Mideast, and how it will lead to the renewed war between Jews and Arabs.

The regeneracy can't come from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Iran, because those countries are still in generational Awakening eras. (The last crisis war for each occurred in the 1980s: The Lebanon/Syria war, the Lebanese civil war, and the Iran/Iraq war.)

The regeneracy could come from the Palestinians, who are in a generational Crisis era, but here's where the semantic confusion occurs. It's true that the Gazans could launch a few thousand missiles, but that's what Hizbollah did in 2006, as part of a war that fizzled. A militant group within Gaza shooting off missiles into Israel is a terrible thing, but it's nothing like what the Gazans would do when a real crisis war begins.

That's why I keep saying that I'm waiting for signs that the Palestinians get so furious that they're ready to smash through the security wall and start killing Israelis in their homes. Until that fury grows to the point where an ordinary Gazan is ready, willing and able to do that, there is no regeneracy from the Gazan side.

Other countries in the region are in generational Crisis eras. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are in Crisis eras, but their current governments are pro-Western, and so a massive attack from any of these countries at this time will not happen. However, if a palace coup occurred in any of these countries, then any one of these countries might follow with a massive attack on Israel of the kind that we're describing.

And so, absent a coup or some similar chaotic earthquake in the Arab world, the only place I can see a genocidal war being launched right now is from Israel. They've already panicked and done it once -- in 2006 in Lebanon. That war fizzled because Lebanon is in a generational Awakening era and is highly war-averse, in reaction to the Sabra and Shatila massacre; if Lebanon had been in a generational Crisis era, then the Israeli invasion would most likely have spiraled into a full-fledged crisis war, but not in a Lebanese Awakening era.

But the point is that Israel could panic and do something like that again, even though the Israeli government has learned severe lessons from the 2006 experience, and doesn't want to see a repeat.

However, some kind of massive attack by Israel could be triggered by some chaotic shock/surprise event that's currently unknown, or even by too long a continuation of the current barrage of rockets.

For Generational Dynamics, this would lead to an interesting situation: Israel would say that some other country or group started the war (depending on the triggering event), but from the Generational Dynamics point of view (and depending on the triggering event) it would be Israel that panicked and started the genocidal crisis war. Thus, it's possible that Generational Dynamics may hold a different view on the question of who started the war than historians and politicians do.

And so we're in a familiar situation with Generational Dynamics predictions: We know what the final destination is, but we don't know how we're going to get there -- although in this case, we've done some analysis to at least eliminate a few possibilities. However, the final destination is 100% certain: There WILL be a new massively genocidal crisis war between Jews and Arabs. There's no way to predict what will trigger it or when it will begin, but with the violence escalating on both sides in the Gaza / Israeli dispute, and with US warships waiting off the coast of Lebanon, it could begin soon. (1-Mar-08) Permanent Link
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