Where is the Hamas-Israel conflict headed?

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By RUBEN BAUER NAVEIRA*

If Iran on one side and the US on the other enter this war, the level of horror will far surpass anything seen in Ukraine

To understand where this conflict is heading, the two questions for which there will most likely never be a conclusive answer are: “Did Hamas act on its own, or was it commanded by Iran?” and “Was the Mossad deceived, or did it always know everything and let it happen, 11/XNUMX style?” And a third question, to which there will very soon be an answer, is: “Will there be war between the United States and Israel on the one hand, and Iran on the other?”

In the case of the first two, what we can do is seek to construct plausible answers, knowledge that is subject to misunderstandings. In the case of the third, we can pray that the answer is “no”, because if it is “yes” the level of horror will far surpass anything seen in Ukraine, given the decades of pent-up hatred.

The Forces Quds of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

It is known that one of Iran's goals is the destruction of Israel. The Forces Quds of Iran's Revolutionary Guard are tens of thousands of elite troops, operating secretly, preparing and coordinating militias and governments across the Muslim universe, for joint action against Israel “when the time comes”. In addition to the liberation of the Palestinian people, the ultimate objective of the Forces Quds is the liberation of the holy city (also for Muslims) of Jerusalem (“Quds” is “Jerusalem” in Arabic).

There are, then, sleeping cells prepared by the Forces Quds, just waiting for a password to take action according to a pre-defined plan? Yes, thousands of them, all over the world. Does this suggest that Hamas acted on direct orders from Iran? Yes. But does that guarantee that it happened like that? No.

As much as the Quds Forces, Hamas (and also Lebanese Hezbollah) is an institution in itself. It is clear that all three consult each other seeking to coordinate their actions at a strategic level, but at an operational level each of them operates autonomously.

We must keep in mind that Hamas is an Islamic fundamentalist organization with a Sunni orientation, rather than a Shiite one like Iran and Hezbollah. During the civil war in Syria, Hamas allied itself with the (today) HTS rebels (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham), equally fundamentalist and Sunni, against the government of Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite but relatively secular person, alongside whom Iran and Hezbollah fought. There is then coordination (shattered by the events in Syria and later recomposed), but not hierarchical subordination.

Furthermore, sleeping cells tend to act in a relatively isolated manner when awakened, so as not to jeopardize the entire plan if a cell is discovered prematurely – but Hamas' attacks were highly coordinated, even with wing landings. deltas and paragliders.

Regarding this supposed participation of Iran, it is clear that Israel will support the version that best suits it, not necessarily the true one. But there is not (yet) consensus on this: Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said on Sunday that: “We know that there were meetings in Syria and in Lebanon with other leaders of the terror armies that surround Israel so obviously it's easy to understand that they tried to coordinate. The proxies of Iran in our region, they tried to be coordinated as much as possible with Iran,” while Israeli Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier General Danny Hagari said stated there are no indications of Iranian involvement in the Hamas attacks.

Whether the decision to attack Israel was taken by Iran or autonomously by Hamas, the fact is that the strategic calculation that gave basis to it took for granted that the Israeli reprisal would consist of the destruction of Gaza, as Israel would have no other option but to react as quickly as possible. as harshly as possible to the real war crime committed against its civilians.

Less than 24 hours after the attack, the facts tend to confirm that calculation, with new war crimes as responses to Hamas' war crime: Israel has completely blocked the supply of water, food, electricity and fuel to Gaza, it has been bombing not only military targets, but also civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, mosques and water treatment plants, has killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, moved more than one hundred thousand troops to Gaza's borders and called up more than three hundred thousand combat reservists.

Thus, the physical elimination of Hamas fighters amidst the death toll among the population was considered a necessary sacrifice to the cause, and even martyrdom (something valued and even sought by Islamic fundamentalists). In this calculation, of course, it was assessed that the destruction of Gaza would be unacceptable for a large part of the Arab countries, which would thus be led to go to war against Israel (in advance, Hezbollah already declared that Israel's invasion of Gaza would mean war ).

Mossad

As for the Mossad supposedly failing, it may seem far-fetched, but it is not impossible. Like any other human institution, it is subject to cycles of boom and decay. There may have been some accommodation, along the lines of becoming a “victim of one’s own success”. And Hamas has certainly gone through a learning curve, learning from its past mistakes. All this considered, the hypothesis of Mossad's failure is unlikely.

More common to occur with intelligence agencies is “not being heard” (by political decision-makers), in contexts of presumption and arrogance on the part of high-ranking authorities, erosion of trust in the work of intelligence agencies, or both – which may have been the case. Benjamin Netanyahu's government had been experiencing strong internal stress with its project to reform the judiciary, considered authoritarian and dictatorial by vast segments of society, which ended up divided. In the leak of Pentagon documents from April this year, there was information (naturally denied) that the Mossad encouraged protests against the government:

It is obvious that an event like the mass attack on civilians by Hamas would have the power to unite Israeli society around the government, thus being quite convenient for Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Israel has always cultivated and cultivated an image of invulnerability for its Armed Forces and its security bodies, making it unlikely that it would have deliberately let such a precious asset be demoralized.

Israeli society, in turn, especially the more secular portion that opposes Benjamin Netanyahu, is generally cultured, well-informed and endowed with reasonable discernment, meaning that a September 11-style “setup” would hardly last. for a long time (see the Mossad “rebellion”, above). So much so that the most traditional media vehicle mainstream in Israel, the newspaper Haaretz, did not embark on the “national unity” wave and continues to oppose Netanyahu – not because he has suddenly fallen in love with the Palestinians, but because he recognizes the existential risks for Israel in a conflagration against Iran.

Could it be possible that Benjamin Netanyahu and his government of radical anti-Palestinian religious figures decided to go for a very high-risk all-or-nothing approach in order to, in one fell swoop, overcome the internal opposition of those who oppose his reforms and eliminate external opposition? of the Palestinians in Gaza (and perhaps also in the West Bank), choosing to turn a blind eye to any warning by the Mossad and putting the very survival of the Jewish state at risk, in the name of their government project, and even personal? To be seen.

If this is true, Benjamin Netanyahu's calculation necessarily involves dragging the United States into war against Iran by allowing itself to be attacked by the Iranians, after which the Americans would have no other alternative.

The fact is that Israel knows that it cannot confront Iran without working together with the United States. Geography counts a lot, and the straight-line distance between the two countries, to be covered by the Israeli Air Force, varies from 1.300 to 2.000 kilometers (unlike the Iranians, who have developed long-range missiles and drones, Israel basically relies on its jets). Any air strike would be detected immediately after takeoff by Russian and Chinese satellites, and passed on to Tehran.

Israel, after having lost an F-16 and an F-35 against Syrian anti-aircraft defenses (the downing of the F-35 was attributed to “birds”) began to only attack that country from the waters of the Mediterranean, with much less effectiveness. And Iran's anti-aircraft defenses are far more advanced than Syria's.

The Americans, in turn, find their military logistics already overloaded and exhausted by support for Ukraine in the war against the Russians, and by preparations for war against China under the pretext of Taiwan. At this point, open one more front It's everything the American military doesn't want. Where is the largest US ammunition stockpile in the Middle East? For obvious reasons, in Israel. And there are reports that around 80% of the total ammunition in Israel has already been transferred to Ukraine.

USA, Russia and China

Thus, it is quite plausible that Iran has taken advantage of this unfavorable moment for the USA to launch its operation to liquidate Israel, and that this is being done in common agreement with the Americans' biggest adversaries, Russia and China. Russia would benefit from an inevitable reduction in the flow of resources (money and weapons) to Ukraine, and from the equally inevitable jump in international oil prices; China would gain time to continue arming itself for war against the Americans. And is it just a coincidence that, in the same year that Russia takes the lead in the war against Ukraine and the United States tends to be drawn into a war against Iran, African countries have risen up against the colonial powers?

From this, would it be possible to say that the United States, inveterate imperialists, would prefer not to enter into a war against Iran now? No, not at all. For decades every American government, Democrat or Republican, has been infiltrated by elements of an ultra-imperialist group known as the “Straussian neocons”, which manipulates the gears of power towards the goal of world domination by the United States. Thus, faced with an Iran on the rise (a supplier of arms to Russia, with its relations with Saudi Arabia finally normalized, recently admitted to the BRICS) the Straussian noecons may have made their own calculation and concluded that, if Iran does not If it is confronted and destroyed now, then it will be too late, and the United States will be doomed.

Wouldn't embarking on a confrontation against Iran, after the failures in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and at a time of logistical fraying of the American war machine, be a desperate all-or-nothing strategy? Yes, but the situation of the Americans can be considered desperate in many ways: galloping debt, slow but steady de-dollarization of world trade, imminent military defeat in Ukraine, deep internal social fractures, likely loss of the elections to Trump...

A war against Iran would ease resistance to military spending in Congress (including in relation to Ukraine), it would serve as a smokescreen to remove Ukraine from the focus of attention (the media mainstream had already stopped playing in Ukraine), it could even justify a suspension of next year's presidential elections and, converted into a global war, it could come to allow "zeroing" the United States' financial hole, which is becoming more and more frequent every day. dingy:

The fact is that the Americans have already moved the largest of their aircraft carriers, the Gerald Ford, to the eastern Mediterranean, near the coast of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. In parallel, one of the media outlets aligned with the Straussian neocons, the The Wall Street Journal, has already started the standard procedure for public catechesis via fake news:

Some final military considerations:

(i) Israel has an anti-missile defense system, which Iron Dome. The reason why a significant volume of Hamas rockets, most of which were “backyard” (although Iranian-made missiles were also launched, smuggled into Gaza) have “leaked” the Iron Dome was that they were all launched practically at the same time, thus saturating the system. In any case, the Iron Dome sought to intercept as many of them as possible, and so some analysts conjecture that an effect that may have been planned by Hamas was to “deplete” (decommunicate) the Iron Dome, and thus leave Israel even more vulnerable to Hezbollah's most modern missiles.

(ii) An “announced tragedy” that was noted was the widespread use of Western weapons by Hamas attackers, coming from the Ukrainian black market. It is already taken for granted that, around the world, insurgencies and even organized crime could be abundantly supplied with cutting-edge weapons through this route.

(iii) Israel, since the 1960s, has possessed nuclear weapons, then supplied by France and, since the 1970s, manufactured domestically. In the event of an existential threat (threat to the country's survival), Israel will not hesitate to use them, as any other country with nuclear weapons would do. Let's see, however, what is contained in Russia's doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons, widely publicized by Moscow: “The Russian Federation retains the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear weapons and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it and/or its allies and also in the case of aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons, when the very existence of the state is put under threat”.

You read “and\or its allies”. Better to pray that this war doesn't happen.

*Ruben Bauer Naveira is a political activist. Book author A New Utopia for Brazil: Three guides to get out of chaos (available at http://www.brasilutopia.com.br/).


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