Joe Biden's plan for the Middle East

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By LEONARDO SACRAMENTO*

The most plausible hypothesis for Biden's plan is that the UN resolution that approved it will not be implemented, or if it is, it will be disobeyed by Israel

The Israeli far right has put the US and its European partners on the ropes. The judge stopped and opened the count. Biden, Macron, Scholz and Sunak are bewildered. Each one tries to solve it in their own way. Macron has turned the key and is trying to be a new Charles de Gaulle in reverse. He platitudes away the expulsion of his colonialist troops in Niger and the rest of West Africa and histrionics treats Putin as the new Hitler. At the same time, he seeks to behave like the nationalist who defends European strengthening in NATO against American bossiness. Schizophrenic position, sign of the times and the crisis in the West.

Unsurprisingly, under all the chaos of neoliberal decadence, the Nazi-fascist extreme right won the elections to the European parliament. Olaf Scholz, comparing him to Angela Merkel, is a zero on the left. So zero on the left that it allowed the rise of the German Nazi right. It doesn't deserve another line.

Rishi Sunak is a card out of the deck. It represents England's current irrelevance on the international political scene. It's probably not your fault. The only things England has produced in the last forty years are the Premier League and Louis Hamilton. The first is questionable, since it caused the elitization of football, including in Brazil after the construction of stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. The second is rejected by the English, since Hamilton would be black and too popular and not very aristocratic, no reproducing the English “way” of being. In this case, he demonstrates English mediocrity under the racist memorialism of what the British empire was.

Joe Biden, in turn, became a hostage to Zionism. He would like to end the genocide without saying that it is a genocide, burying the matter along with the dead burned by white phosphorus in the midst of rubble and ruins. For the first time, he suffered a demonstration in front of the White House. In European countries and in American universities, as there is no plausible argument that would equate the Palestinian cause with terrorism, governments decided to violently repress popular demonstrations without any plausible legal justification.

The political fact is that Joe Biden cannot interfere because he cannot, he no longer has a mechanism for dissuasion and imposition on Israel. Even with the decision of the International Criminal Court, the Security Council resolution and the political repulsion of the UN Secretary General, Benjamin Netanyahu continues the genocide. Politically, the prime minister no longer has alternatives because Israeli internal political dynamics are more important than international geopolitics and the desires of the US and Joe Biden.

You can make any manifestation; In the current scenario, Israel will continue the genocide and will likely expand the war throughout the Middle East. There is no longer room for international pressure on Israel because Benjamin Netanyahu dominates Joe Biden. The question is who dominates Benjamin Netanyahu.

The deepening of Israel's military actions seems to be a reality increasingly determined by the absence of political alternatives to Benjamin Netanyahu. Knowing this, Joe Biden, with an eye on this year's presidential elections, proposed a ceasefire plan without consulting Benjamin Netanyahu, Hamas and the diplomatic negotiating apparatus installed in Qatar.

Joe Biden's strategy is based in reality. The US no longer has reasonable room for negotiation with the Israeli far-right coalition. The American president preferred the public announcement to put pressure on Israel. With this desperate act, he also publicly confesses that he no longer controls his strategic partner in the Middle East, the country that is an Anglo-Saxon creation of the alliance between Jewish Zionism and Christian Zionism, subject from the beginning to the geopolitical interests of the West in the region that is the largest oil producer on the planet.

Joe Biden's plan consists of a six-week ceasefire, with the withdrawal of Israeli troops, the exchange of prisoners and the return of 600 trucks of supplies a day. The second and third stages deal, respectively, with negotiating a definitive end to the war and rebuilding Gaza. The proposal was welcomed by Hamas, but was rejected by Israel on the same day.

The ironic thing is that it was not initially rejected by Benjamin Netanyahu, but by far-right ministers.[I] Itamar Ben-Gvir, Minister of Homeland Security, stated: “This is a promiscuous agreement, which represents a victory for terrorism and a danger to the security of the State of Israel. Agreeing to such a deal is not an absolute victory – but an absolute defeat. If the prime minister implements the promiscuous agreement under the conditions published today, which means the end of the war and the resignation of Hamas, Otzma Yehudit will dissolve the government.”

Bezalel Smotrich, Minister of Finance, defended: “I have now spoken to the Prime Minister and made it clear to him that I will not be part of a government that will agree with the proposed draft and end the war without destroying Hamas and returning all those kidnapped . We will not agree to an end to the war before the destruction of Hamas.”

Only after demonstrations by far-right ministers did Benjamin Netanyahu speak out: “Hamas continues to make extreme demands. The main one is that we withdraw all our troops from the Gaza Strip, end the war and leave Hamas alone. The State of Israel cannot accept these terms.” It turns out that withdrawing troops from the Gaza Strip was not proposed by Hamas, but by the USA.

Benjamin Netanyahu is not a hostage, but politically weakened, the most right-wing manages to guide the war. And the issue of war for this extreme right is the return of Israeli settlers to Gaza. Therefore, a Final Solution, with genocide and the expulsion of Palestinians from the territory, fostering a new Nakba.

In response, the Israeli far right turned six demanding the opening of a new northern flank against Hezbollah. In his criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Yair Lapid argued that the “government has no plan for the next day in Gaza, no plan to return residents to the north, no management, no strategy. A government of total abandonment.” For the far right, the next day is the Israeli settlement. Probably also for Yair Lapid, since the opposition has no disagreement about the relevance of war and genocide.[ii]

But Joe Biden did not stand still. His re-election depends on a ceasefire until the end of the year, or at least an attempt to hold one of the parties responsible for the predictable failure. Joe Biden's last letter was the approval by the Security Council of a new resolution, approved on June 10th. Hamas praised the resolution in a statement released by Reuters: “Hamas welcomes what is included in the Security Council resolution that affirmed the permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the complete withdrawal, the prisoner exchange, the reconstruction, the return of displaced people to their areas of residence, the rejection of any demographic change or reduction in the Gaza Strip area and the delivery of the necessary aid to our people in the Strip.”[iii] According to the US, Israel would have accepted, even with the antecedents of previous days of repulsion towards the ceasefire proposal.

The most plausible hypothesis is that the resolution will not be implemented, or if it is, it will be disobeyed due to some absurd justification from Israel. The resolution has a sin for the extreme right. He defends the existence of two states, the permanence of Gaza and its unification with the West Bank, even if it is under the “Palestinian Authority”. The resolution “rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in the Gaza Strip, including any actions that reduce the territory of Gaza.”[iv]

The extreme right is unlikely to accept such an agreement. You can disguise it as much as possible, but accepting it is something unimaginable. The lowered resolution conflicts with the power project of the Israeli far right, which is now directing its American arsenal against Hezbollah to “return residents to the north”, as the “moderate” Yair Lapid (sic!) recalled.

There is an internal problem in Israel: the settlers who left the north for cities further south and the capital, around 53.000, according to the IDF – the number is probably higher. In the view of the far right, how can we build a Greater Israel if the cities in the north, especially those closest to Lebanon, are empty? In practice, the war brought a real diminution of Greater Israel, as uninhabited borders mean a smaller territory lived by “pure” Israelis (Ashkenazi Jews).

Furthermore, 53.000 settlers who went north into occupied lands, with borders invaded after 1967, are settlers whose profile is predominantly nationalist and supremacist, with links to the same extreme right that politically holds Netanyahu's coalition. Therefore, it is a real political problem.

Faced with this scenario, Itamar Ben Gvir announced the war: “All Hezbollah strongholds must be burned and destroyed. War!".

Obviously, a war against Hezbollah is completely different from a war against Hamas. If with the Houthis the failure of US and British military actions at sea is visible and confessed, with requests for intervention from China,[v] a border war tends to bring much greater challenges.

Hezbollah, which expelled Israel from southern Lebanon after an invasion that lasted 20 years, and is therefore a nationalist insurgent force in the Lebanese context, is no longer the same. He exchanged the old and inaccurate Katyusha for Iranian missiles, set up a military intervention organization trained in real conflict – with Israel, including after the expulsion from Lebanon – and became politically, socially and culturally widespread in Lebanese society.

Benny Gantz, leader of the center-right, left the war cabinet the day before the UN Security Council resolution,[vi] exposing the problem at the same time as deepening it, as the extreme right now has a more organic composition and without internal disputes in the cabinet and coalition. He came out asking Benjamin Netanyahu to “not let our nation fall apart.” The request was reinforced by a confession: “I support the plan we decided on in the war cabinet, presented by President Joe Biden, and I demand from the Prime Minister the necessary courage to support and promote it”. In other words, the war cabinet was disauthorized by Benjamin Netanyahu at the behest of far-right ministers. In response, his departure was rehearsed with Joe Biden to put pressure on far-right ministers.

With Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, is there any alternative for Israel from a domestic point of view other than war? Probably not. Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer thinking about Israel's strategic security and the hostages, but about maintaining his government at any cost. Or if he is, he's in the background. And there is no way to succeed in this endeavor without the Israeli far right.

Israel is in an internal political impasse that it has never been in, not even in periods with more visible differences. If the extreme right leaves, Benjamin Netanyahu falls and Israel goes into crisis because the extreme right is an electorally and politically powerful force. Possibly, it would return or continue to guide national politics.

As I said, Benjamin Netanyahu should not be seen as a victim. On the contrary, the extreme right is a product of the colonialist character of the State of Israel, as there is no alternative for Israel to exist other than through colonization, apartheid and genocide. These are aspects that need to be defended and naturalized under a myth of racial superiority. No one has deepened this character more than Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister. However, Israeli internal disputes allowed the openly fascist extreme right (or more fascist than Benjamin Netanyahu, if that is possible), to guide the war, internal politics and, to the North American and European embarrassment, foreign policy, placing the Israel's strategic partners in the spotlight.

The supremacist far right has become an institutionally counterproductive force to Israel because it has thrown away all the disguises of Constitutionless “Democracy” in the Middle East. Explained the apartheid through a genocide photographed, filmed and posted in real time on social media. Worse, through the alliance between Jewish Zionism and Christian Zionism, it manages to guide and impose unilateral decisions on the United States, especially in an election year.

International pressure and pressure from multilateral organizations has no relevance for the country that has always held the world record for disobeying international resolutions and standards. Its historical and ontological alliance with NATO and the USA gives it carte blanche and safe conduct to do whatever it wants. European countries and the USA cannot carry out a deep criticism of Israel, as colonization, the apartheid and genocide are constructions of liberalism, capitalism and the West.

Making a radical critique of Israel, as South Africa does, today commanded politically (not economically) by the ANC and blacks (Zulu majority), would be a denial of the idyllic self-representation of white Europeans and North Americans. It will never happen. On the contrary, judging by the elections to the European parliament, the movement will be one of standardized pride and naturalization of imperialism based on racial supremacism.

If Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition continues, Israel will likely be led into a major war, with an unpredictable ending, especially with the intensification of NATO's action in the war between Russia and Ukraine. And a major war could lead Israel to a militarily unfavorable position, as was evident with Iran's action and the difficulty of acting on the ground against Hamas' resistance. It would force the US to send much more weapons and resources in an election year. If so far, with Hamas, it has been tens of billions of dollars, how much would it be with Hezbollah? Would opening a front against Hezbollah close the front against Hamas? It is extremely possible that these issues for the far right have little relevance in the face of internal refugees and the mythical promise of Greater Israel to settlers.

Israel's internal dynamics are leading it to an existential dilemma, in which Israel exposes limits, despite the myth of Israel's great army, a myth that obviously speaks to the religious myth of David's great army. As Marx reminds us, “everything solid melts into air”. Including David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba and sent her husband, Uriah, to war at the front to be killed. Faced with the serious sins of adultery and murder, God, wise and almighty, killed Bathsheba's newborn son with David (infanticide) and prophesied through the prophet Nathan: “I will take their wives in their own sight and I will give them to another man, who will lie with them in broad daylight” (Samuel 12:11). The other man was Absalom, son of David. Never has the history of modern-day Israel been so close to the myth of David.

Leonardo Sacramento is a teacher of basic education and pedagogue at IFSP. Author, among other books, of Discourse on White: Notes on Racism and the Apocalypse of Liberalism (Mall).

Notes


[I] Available in https://www.brasil247.com/mundo/ministros-de-extrema-direita-da-coalizao-de-netanyahu-ameacam-abandona-lo-em-caso-de-cessar-fogo-para-parar-o-genocidio.

[ii] Available in https://www.estadao.com.br/internacional/mundo-se-equivoca-a-respeito-de-israel-diz-lider-da-oposicao-a-netanyahu-yair-lapid/.

[iii] Available in https://www.brasil247.com/mundo/hamas-diz-que-apoia-resolucao-da-onu-para-cessar-fogo-na-faixa-de-gaza#google_vignette.

[iv] Available in https://noticias.uol.com.br/colunas/jamil-chade/2024/06/10/conselho-de-seguranca-aprova-cessar-fogo-e-coloca-pressao-sobre-hamas.htm.

[v] Available in https://oglobo.globo.com/mundo/noticia/2024/01/27/em-reuniao-eua-pedem-a-china-para-usar-sua-influencia-sobre-ira-e-suspender-ataques-dos-houthis.ghtml.

[vi] Available in https://noticias.uol.com.br/colunas/jamil-chade/2024/06/09/gantz-deixa-gabinete-de-guerra-e-ataca-netanyahu.htm.


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