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The unfolding of the Gaza War sends us to a basic reality check to understand its nature. This war was initially triggered by a terrorist attack that targeted the South of Israel and yielded a full-fledged pogrom with its cortège of horrors: mass murder (the rave party rampage), women’s rape and sexual atrocities, assaults on civilians in their neighborhoods, cold-blooded assassinations and torture (elderly, toddlers, youth, entire families…), dismemberment and calcination of bodies, hostage taking, vandalism and wild campaigns of terror… This violence equates with egregious Jewish hate crimes (Judenhaß), pogroms and a blatant declaration of war that leaves no room for semantic equivocations.
Paradoxically enough, the perpetrators of these deliberate crimes, while adamant in their denial, were the ones to document and disseminate these atrocities through their webcams. Ironically, their rebuttal was relayed by various Islamic, Palestinian and leftist woke mainstreams who blasted the Israeli accounts as fake justifications based on fairy tale-spinning and fabricated accounts.
What’s appalling is the persistence of obdurate denial and the intentional obfuscation between the Hamas declaration of war and the Israeli act of war, which exculpates the aggressor and prohibits Israel’s right to self-defense. The other intellectual fallacy is the moral devaluation of the massacre under the pretext of resistance to an occupying power, whereas the attack has basically targeted civilians who were not even in a state of self-defense. The criminal forays were legitimate and morally justifiable, whereas Israel’s act of war is inherently unwarranted and unjust. Otherwise, the ongoings of the war in Gaza and its humanitarian and urban devastations were ascribed unilaterally to Israeli military action, whereas the criminal strategy of the human shields and the instrumentalization of the urban setting for military purposes were discounted as the main drivers behind the unhinged violence and its calamitous consequences.
The ideological humbug and the simulated triumphalism of Palestinian militants and their Iranian handler, the woke hysterical rambling and cynical casuistry (the statements of Harvard, MIT and Pennsylvania University Presidents, the NUPES in France, the CAIR repeated statements in the US, the various incantations of leftist movements…), and the cynicism and duplicity of the Hamas bankroller, Qatari autocrat Tamim al Thani, turned out to be empty rhetoric, while the Israeli military plan is proceeding and achieving its objectives in an orderly manner. This tragic turn of events testifies to the criminal, cynical and irresponsible war planning of Hamas and its Iranian enabler, at a time when the Palestinian civilian population is cowed by terror and unable to have a say over what has been decided on its behalf.
The instrumentalization of the Palestinian scenery, far from being a novelty, is once again re-enacted by Iranian power politics under the empty rhetoric of Palestine liberation and restoration of national self-determination, and the military ineptitude of Hamas and its ilk was amply testified in this senseless and criminal marauding. The telescoping of events, the sabotaging of a legacy of international mediations, resolutions and peace agreements (UN resolution 1947, Camp David 1978, Madrid 1991, Oslo 1993-1995 and its derivatives, Abraham accords, 2020…) were overshadowed by the dismissal of the complex coexistence plot between the two people, the inter-Palestinian civil wars, the compounded failures of the Palestinian national authority, the takeover of zero-sum game politics and terrorism, in order to justify the nihilistic turn of events, convey the false picture of a free-floating conflict with a blunted temporality.
The devastating consequences of this war are pursuing their course, insofar as the polarization within the respective camps, the reconfiguration of regional and domestic geopolitics, the reshuffling of indigenous political landscapes and the future of diplomatic mediations. The management of the war aftermath is essential if we were to preempt the pitfalls of strategic voids, unattended squalor, systematic destitution and open-ended violence, and pave the way for working diplomacy. This protracted conflict has to redefine along the following parameters: the primacy of an elaborate diplomatic agency and legacy, the taming of extremism on both sides and all along the ideological and political spectrums, the reinstatement of Palestinian autonomy hobbled by strategic dependencies and ideological foreclosures, and the restoration of moral reciprocity, as a preliminary to the urgency of a mandated international conference. This conflict cannot continue as a nihilistic struggle shorn of normative and regulatory standards and constructive political and diplomatic engagements, and subjected to the sway of destructive power politics and their shifting configurations.