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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 30-Dec-2008
Israel declares "war to the bitter end" and "all-out war" against Hamas in Gaza

Web Log - December, 2008

Israel declares "war to the bitter end" and "all-out war" against Hamas in Gaza

The rhetoric indicates an extremely dangerous situation.

There's never been much doubt that if Hamas had the ability to launch an "all-out war" against Israel, they would have done so. Such a war scenario might be, for example, a massive uprising of Gazans, breaking through the security wall to Israel, backed up by missiles supplied by Iran.

On the other side, there's never been much doubt that Israel could remove all restraints from its IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), and squash Gaza like a bug, in response to Hamas' missiles. That's why the world expects more restraint from Israel than it would from Hamas.

Gaza Strip - areas of conflict <font size=-2>(Source: Times Online)</font>
Gaza Strip - areas of conflict (Source: Times Online)

Thus, a lot of people are taken aback by the ferocity of Israel's attack on Gaza, with hundreds or perhaps thousands of bombs targeting Hamas leaders from one end of Gaza to the other. Hundreds of Gazans have been killed, and many more injured, though Israel claims that the vast majority are terrorists.

In reaction, thousands of Arabs and Greeks protested at the Israeli embassy in Athens. Similar demonstrations occurred in other European capitals, and in capitals in Arab countries, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.

Undoubtedly, the Israelis fantasize that this attack will cripple Hamas' ability to attack Israel with rockets, or that it will cause the Palestinians to agree to a peace agreement. In a world that's so full of official fantasies these days, those aren't really surprising.

But Hamas terrorists were expecting this attack, and so their supply of rockets is well hidden away. And the median age of densely populated Gaza is 17, so there isn't a snowflake's chance in hell that these hormone-laden kids, running around with guns and rockets, are going to allow any peace agreement.

Hamas officials have their fantasies too. The kids see a life of glory following a heroic victory (or 72 virgins after a heroic death). The adults believe that Israel will be forced to back down.

Both sets of fantasies are undoubtedly fed by Israel's 2006 war with Hizbollah in Lebanon.

For Hamas, the 2006 war shows the way to humiliate the Israelis again, as they were humiliated in 2006.

For Israel, the new war applies lessons learned. The 2006 war was completely panic-driven. Israel went to war in four hours, with no plan, no objective, and no idea what was going on.

This new war is NOT panic-driven. The Israelis have planned this attack in detail. There will be no hesitation. We don't yet know what their objectives are, but we can be sure that, this time, there are firm objectives, and a plan to achieve them.

Thus, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, this was "all-out war," and that it was a "war to the bitter end," he was saying that the humiliations of the 2006 will be repeated, no matter what the cost.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is a very important time.

If this war had occurred ten years ago, when Israel was in a generational Unraveling era, then Israel would compromise and end the war as quickly as possible. And the Palestinians would simply compromise as well. There would still be plenty of survivors of the horrific, genocidal war of 1949, following the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

But now both populations are in generational Crisis eras, and those survivors are gone now, and we're left with new, young generations in Gaza and Israel, kids who have no memory of the horrors of the 1949 war, and who have no fear of death or war.

What we're seeing is very common throughout history. Each side expects the other to act as it would have during the Unraveling era. So each side risks brinkmanship, taking things farther than they would have dared ten years ago. But the other side doesn't back down, as they would have ten years ago; instead, the other side reacts with its own brinkmanship. This is how things escalate into a new genocidal crisis war.

Is that what's going to happen in this new war? Of course, it's impossible to predict. It's quite possible that some sort of truce will be reached.

But that will never be the end of it. The Hamas rockets have infuriated the Israelis. And the ferocity of Israel's attack has shocked kids throughout the Arab world. If there was a surprise from the Israeli side this time, then the next surprise will probably be from the Arab side. Perhaps it will come from Egypt, where the huge membership of the Muslim Brotherhood is sympathetic with Hamas, and furious not only at the Israelis, but at the Egyptian government, whom they see as siding too much with the Israelis.

Or perhaps it will come from Saudi Arabia, where al-Qaeda linked Islamist terrorists have been trying to stage a coup against the government for years.

Generational Dynamics predicts that, one way or another, there will be a new major war between Israelis and Palestinians, re-fighting the 1949 war, and this new war will engulf the entire region before it's over. It may happen now, or it may happen later, but it's coming with absolute certainty.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Mideast thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.) (30-Dec-2008) Permanent Link
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