There was a request the other night for a post on the war in Gaza. I indicated I’d try to get one done this weekend, so here we are.
There are two reasons I’ve not been doing updates on this war like I’ve done on the war for Ukraine. The first is simply time. I just don’t have the time to do two war updates a day. The second is I really don’t have a lot more to say. Since I entered grad school in 1992 I’ve written a couple of thousand pages on Israeli and Palestinian extremism, its effect on the security in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, its effect on the Levant, the greater Middle East, the European Command and now Central Command areas of responsibility, and US policy and strategy. Had you told 20 year old me sitting in Bruce Maddy Weitzman’s senior seminar on Middle Eastern Politics that I would, twenty-three years later, be working on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process assigned to a 3 star commander as his senior advisor, I’d have laughed at you and told you you were crazy. If you told me I’d still be writing about the conflict, even if it is just for you all here, I’d have said that was depressing.
So with that enthusiastic intro out of the way, here’s what’s going on: THE ONLY PEOPLE WINNING, THE ONLY PEOPLE BENEFITING FROM THIS WAR ARE THE SPOILERS. THE EXTREMISTS IN HAMAS AND THE ULTRA-NATIONALIST/ULTRA-RELIGIOUS ISRAELI PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS, THEIR LEADERS LIKE SINWAR, BIBI, HANIYEH, BEN-GVIR, SMOTRICH, ETC!!!! IRAN, THE PRC, AND RUSSIA!!!! AND THE ANTISEMITES, ISLAMOPHOBES, NEO-NAZIS, AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS IN THE US AND EUROPE!!!! That’s the bottom line. The Palestinians and the Israelis are not getting anything positive out of this war. They’re not getting more security or more prosperity. They’re getting nothing other than killed, wounded, and further impoverished. For the Palestinians in Gaza this means disproportionate death, injury, displacement, and being forced into further food and economic insecurity. In Israel it means emphasizing the garrison state nature of Israel combined with constant fear from Hamas and Hezbullah rocket attacks, the majority of the population of Israel’s south and north being internally displaced because of them, families mourning their 1,200 dead, constantly freaked over their relatives still held hostage, worried about their relatives called up to fight, all while the Israeli economy strains under the cost of the war. For the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as for the Armenian-Israeli community in the Armenian Quarter, it means trying to simply keep your land from being forcibly stolen by a combination of extremist settlers, IDF personnel aiding and abetting the extremist settlers, and the police who are now controlled by Ben-Gvir a convicted terrorist without getting arrested, beaten, and/or killed.