In television channels around the world, horrifying images of war are being broadcast, and most journalists appear shocked. Yet, what is happening today with Hamas attacking Israel, supported by Iran and other countries in the region, is the result of both Israeli policy and the war in Ukraine.
To understand this, we need to go back in time to 1967 when Israel began taking pieces of land from the Palestinians to settle often far-right, ultra-nationalist settlers. This annexation of land has never stopped, although it has been contested internally by some Israelis seeking peace and harmony among peoples. Unfortunately, they have been a minority for too long. Some may remember Yasser Arafat’s call for a return to the 1967 borders, which clashed with the ideas of the most extreme Israelis who believe the world must either be Jewish or disappear.
In parallel, there is what is commonly referred to as “the Water War.” For decades, by annexing Palestinian territories, Israel has deprived Palestine of control over water resources. Almost no one talks about this issue, and I refer you to this Amnesty International article for more information.
All these factors have fueled Palestinian resentment towards their aggressor. It was in this context, towards the end of Arafat’s life, that Hamas emerged and managed to recruit many Palestinians into this unique army of terrorists, for whom human life is of little value, and who prefer to kill prisoners rather than keep them hostage, and for whom women are seen as mere cattle.
Now that we have a clear picture of the situation on the ground, we must look at geopolitics. Of course, Hamas alone does not have the means to launch such an operation. Everyone knows that Russia has been attacking Ukraine for years, and the war there is essentially a Russia vs. the West conflict. Neither Russia nor the Western countries want a war on their soil that would destroy their economies. In complicity with Iran, Russia is therefore exporting this war to the Middle East. All of this is happening at a time when China is also becoming active but currently represents only a theoretical threat.
By ensuring that Iran and other countries in the region fund Hamas, Russia hopes to divert funds from the West towards Israel, which will likely happen because no one has an interest in the disappearance of Israel. However, Israelis will certainly have difficulty countering this Hamas offensive, primarily because Hamas employs terrorist tactics with hundreds of scattered fighters for whom dying as heroes is their salvation.
We should expect a protracted war that, if it settles on the ground, will likely force Israel to withdraw from some or all of the territories. What is certain is that in the long term, neither Hamas nor the Israeli far right is the solution because in both cases, aggression is their only mode of communication. Moreover, the technology put in place to protect Israel from any attack has failed, as admitted by Israeli military officials themselves. The failure is not due to poor equipment but simply because it was designed to counter a regular army with tanks, planes, etc. At most, one could speak of an intelligence failure on the part of Israel or perhaps a misinterpretation of this intelligence. One cannot help but feel sorry for the populations who are suffering from this war, collateral victims of their internal politics and geopolitics.
Thierry De Clemensat
Editor in chief
Bayou Blue Radio, Paris-Move