Israel's war against the population of Gaza

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By TADEU VALADARES*

Who can, in Gaza, survive this time of legal nature that can be counted in years, so far from the humanitarian time of urgency?

 "Toutefois, le seul moyen de parvenir à un tel accord est d´ériger un mur de fer, à savoir, guarantee l´existence in Eretz-Israël au moyen d´une force telle, qu´elle ne pourra être ébranlée par aucune influence arabe . On two different terms: the second time to parvenir à un accord dans l´avenir est de renocer entèrement à toute tentative de trouver un accord aujourd´hui"
(Vladimir Z. Jabotinsky, The iron wall, P. 39).

The war against the massacred population of Gaza could last much longer than we can imagine. But despite this indeterminate extension in time, it is an Israeli war that was lost in advance as a direct result of what was decided by the Benjamin Netanyahu government on October 7th. The immediate resort to punitive violence characterized by brutal disproportionality marked the Israeli reaction to the surprising armed incursion by anti-colonial forces operating from Gaza. For this reason, in a short time the developments of the unlimited operation undermined the initial support given to Israel by the majority of Western public opinion.

As the days go by, and despite all the efforts of government authorities to justify the unjustifiable, Israel is being defeated, especially when observing the vector that has been characterizing the changing global public opinion. With unexpected speed and intensity, the logically expected condemnatory reactions of Islamic countries in general, and the Arab world in particular, were joined by the majority of states and important fractions of societies forming part of the Global South.

Completing the adverse picture for the Zionists, public opinion in the Western world was divided: the sectors opposed to the barbaric military campaign of the Israeli forces in fact began to grow significantly both in the United Kingdom and in continental Europe, in both the United States and Canada. And what public opinion and social movements signal with well-founded critical passion is, to a certain extent, translated, with another language, in the political and diplomatic spheres, especially in the great multilateral forums in New York and Geneva, the core of the UN system.

Despite this turnaround, there is not even any record – beyond the well-publicized good intentions of the Joe Biden government – ​​that measures are being considered capable of forcing Israel to accept a ceasefire which, to be sustainable, not a momentary ruse, would have to be coupled to a withdrawal, tactical as it may be, of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. Such a change in perspective would ultimately require a crucial review of the positions of the two parties in direct confrontation, something that would result in dynamics potentially leading to some solution, at least theoretically lasting, to the armed conflict that has already resulted in victims, including dead, injured and missing, more of 110 thousand people, mostly women, children, elderly people and young people. Mostly, almost all, non-combatant civilians.

Overcoming the state of war declared by Israel against the population of Gaza is, obviously, something completely different from a greater or lesser pause in the military operations in which the occupying power and the insurgent forces have been engaged for five months. This, however, cannot take shape until gigantic and constant pressures from the mobilized streets emerge – particularly in the USA, but also in the countries that make up the European Union and, together with the USA, are part of NATO –, Vietnam, not Georgia,'on my mind'.

This process of popular mobilization has already demonstrated its strength, but has not remotely achieved any of its objectives, all aimed at achieving lasting peace. Something essential for understanding this diffuse picture: while, in each of the countries of the so-called North Atlantic world, a significant majority of the respective societies are unable to decisively inflect the current guidelines of their governments, and also, even if by simple derivation, the positions of the NATO-European Union duo, it will remain practically impossible to definitively stop the massacre of the Palestinian population in Gaza.

Granted, the International Court of Justice, in a few more years, will most likely confirm what for it and for now remains restricted to the sphere of plausibility. In light of this factual legal reality, an unavoidable question arises: who can, in Gaza, survive this time of a legal nature that can be counted in years, so far from the humanitarian time in its character of absolute urgency? While the Court takes its time to decide whether the complaint raised by South Africa is real, more than plausible, the genocide will remain operationally free.

Just as the biased coverage of war as a neat spectacle, something so to the taste of our societies, all of them, I think of Guy Debord, will continue to occupy the space of the mainstream media, addicted to the immobilizing spectacle that in everyday life absorbs – if not absolves – evil. wide open in Gaza. Ample exercise, movement perpetually aimed at its trivialization.

Trapped in the circle created a hundred years ago by Vladimir Jabotinsky – the metaphor of the iron wall – revisionist Zionism finally came to power in 1977 with Menachem Begin. In other words, 54 years of developing the idea of ​​the mineral wall. Ostensibly revisionist Zionism, which continues to predominate with Benjamin Netanyahu, its most recent expression. Zionism that is essentially indistinguishable from the other line, that established by the enemy brother Ben Gurion, because both variants reject with absolute frankness any hypothesis of overcoming the Palestinian issue apart from the impossible permanent subjugation of the Palestinian people in Gaza, in East Jerusalem, in the entire occupied West Bank and – as second-class citizens – Arabs living in pre-1967 Israel.

In other words, the current government of national unity has no way, by internal, autonomous decision, to stop what ultimately manifests itself as a long-term crisis of a structural nature. Crisis of exhaustion of an era, not of a simple moment. A crisis that carries with it, with increasingly diaphanous disguises, an evident political decadence, a notorious moral desolation, total ethical incoherence and ostensible institutional fragility.

In other words: Israel is condemned to remain a walled fortress that is simultaneously impregnable and expansionist, besieging and besieged, militarily strong but with an increasingly fragile mass psychology. Ultimately, the wall proposed by Vladimir Jabotinsky can no longer, in its current avatar, even partially fulfill its original function.

Once the government decided to maintain under its yoke or, alternatively, to incorporate the territories occupied in 1967, the Zionist state has since shaped Greater Israel, whose map Benjamin Netanyahu presented to the UN, months ago, under the enlightening title of “ The New Middle East'. In it, Palestine does not exist. It is clear that the map can only become reality with the massive use of expanded military violence, increased expulsion of the native population, recurrent ethnic cleansing and, now, to everyone's astonishment, the commission of the worst of crimes, genocide.

Genocide, this, is plausible to the jurist, but evident to anyone who is not a jurist. The long process that begins with the Nakba it is the frame and the screen that contextualize and allow us to understand at the same time the Palestinian issue and its correlate, the impasse, the old world without a gate to which one of the characters in The time and the wind, an Israeli world immune to the signals emitted by 'external reality', the old Reality. This is the world in which the Israeli state and society live. This is exactly the state of the situation. A state that originates in a distant past that defines the present and mortgages the future of Jewish and democratic Israel, a true contradiction in terms.

Therefore, in the short to medium term, in terms of progress that is not a false movement, the Palestinian issue remains almost entirely dependent on the United States being willing to put aside its role as major accomplice in the (plausible) genocidal massacre of the population of Gaza. To achieve this, in an impeccably idealistic and weak logic, the Washington government would have to act in complete accordance with the liberal democratic values ​​that it claims to embody, something far removed from the rules-based international system order, itself facing the problematic transition of hegemony that is been drawing for some time. That's not in the cards. Not even in the letters that form the idealist epistolary, Fradique Mendes would say.

What is more than evident in these letters is what Benjamin Netanyahu signals every time he rejects Joe Biden's almost ethereal proposals. The American response to successive Israeli slights is a lesson in realistic abyss. Until now, the US has limited itself to censoring and punishing Israel in the form of a few settlers or little more than that. In other words, resorting to forms of pressure that are as peripheral as they are ineffective. In addition, we are informed that some profanity expressions have been frequently used. The world spins and the Lusitana spins. According to some historians, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said repeatedly that “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch…”.

In the midst of the production of the second Nakba as a tragedy and catastrophe that has been more than exhaustively announced, something is certain when analyzing the dynamics of the most recent aggression against the population of Gaza: the Palestinian people will survive this fifth war, however diminished they may be in immediate demographic terms, however terribly traumatized they may be. May those who survive the massacres remain.

I believe that the Palestinian people as a whole will become even more resilient, more determined to resist and more capable of doing so. I base my reasoning on a way of thinking: I give determining weight to generational time, that of long-term history. This is all the more valid, I believe, when the immediate is synonymous with everyday desolation. Hence my certainty that the Palestinians – with their increased will – will continue to face the persistent challenge imposed on them by colonialism in its two successive faces: the British, inaugurated by Balfour in 1917, typically imperialist-colonial; and the Israeli one, that of Zionism founded on the apartheid colonialism of settlers as thought by Ilan Pappe.

Irony of history: this was also thought of, but as a redemptive path for the Jewish people, by historically decisive characters, from Ben Gurion and Golda Meir to Benjamin Netanyahu, passing through Jabotinsky, Shamir, Begin, Sharon, Netanyahu and other intermediate links.

Because I see it this way, I believe that Palestinian victory in this war of national liberation cannot be immediate, nor achievable in the medium term. I risk speculating: victory, whatever its form, which is impossible to establish today, will only emerge with decisive force in a generation or two more. This is another time, the time of the inevitable.

Do not forget what Rashid Khalid precisely points out in his analysis of this hundred-year war: the Palestinian armed struggle did not begin in 1947/1948. Its first and terrible moment was in the great Arab revolt of the 30s, whose repression killed around 10% of the native population, then subjected to a double yoke, the British, derived from the Mandate obtained in the League of Nations in 1922, and the of the Zionist militias, which were already quite well organized, acting in close alliance with the British forces. The massive uprising was preceded by what could perhaps be understood as preliminary skirmishes: the repeated small clashes that, preceding the great rebellion, broke out from the moment it became clear to the indigenous people that the Zionist project focused on creating historic Palestine. a state whose borders to this day have not been established.

Yes, contrary to the wishes of my heart. Yes, I find myself forced to stick to the real course of the world. For me, the historic moment of Palestinian victory in their struggle for self-determination remains hidden beyond the horizon, but its glare is already noticeable. As long as this outcome – the form of which no one can predict even approximately – does not materialize, the current catastrophic equilibrium will persist.

The essential thing will also persist, a clear certainty of mine: when it becomes completely impossible to defeat or exterminate a people, their deep suffering is the greatest sign that victory is on the way.

Tadeu Valadares he is a retired ambassador.


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