To Summarize the Israeli/Gaza War
1) The causus-belli, the kidnapping and death of three Israeli teenagers was false. This has now been admitted by Israeli officials. There was never a scrap of proof, only supposition.
2) Bibi said Hamas did it, and started a war based on that, for vengeance.
4) Except that we all know it was just a pretext. Doing it based on a lie just rubs that in.
5) Hamas has been fighting better than last time, inflicting enough Israeli casualties to matter.
6) Israel has been deliberately leveling large parts of Gaza. The damage is much worse than Cast Lead. Most refugees will have no home to go back to.
7) Israel wants truces now, but by and large it’s Hamas who is refusing them.
9) Because the status-quo ante is unacceptable. Gaza was under siege, unable to bring in most goods, food, water and so on and most residents could not leave, even for life-saving medical care.
10) Hamas’s condition for the end of the war is substantially “life the siege”. If the siege is not lifted, the parts of Gaza which have been flattened cannot be rebuilt, because the equipment needed cannot enter Gaza.
11) Israel can inflict as much collective punishment (a war crime) as it likes on the Gazans, but it can’t make Hamas stop fighting, or shooting missiles.
12) Israel also wants, as part of a condition for peace, for Hamas to let it keep hunting down the tunnels. In other words, it wants Hamas to allow Israel to destroy its ability to fight back even a little.
Israel has a problem. It takes two to make peace, and Hamas won’t. Israel could re-occupty Gaza, of course, but that leaves them with occupation troops in Gaza indefinitely, and while they’ll eventually root out Hamas, they’ll take significant casualties doing so. Plus, then, they have to run Gaza rather than just try to starve it into submission.
Though I know of no polling, I have seen more than one interview where non Hamas Gazans have supported Hamas continuing the war until the Israelis lift the siege. The general consensus seems to be that living in Gaza is death already.
The larger problem is simple enough. Israel is an apartheid state which wants to pretend it doesn’t rule its Bantustans while at the same time slowly strangling them to death, and in the case of the West Bank, continuing to settle them.
This is an unsustainable position. Israel needs to either become a secular state with equal citizenship for all residents regardless of religion or ethnicity; or the logic of situation will require them to remove the Palestinians once and for all.
As a bleeding ulcer, Israel does not work. More and more diaspora Jews are turning away from it. At some point the foreign aid it requires to exist will go away.
Israel was always a profoundly ill-considered venture: the idea of giving Jews a homeland by pushing current residents out, in many cases literally, of their homes, could only be an ongoing war crime and this is no longer the great colonial era, where genocide to create settler states is acceptable (nor is there a great plague to target only Palestinians and wipe out 90% of their population, as with the Native Americans.)
Israel is a state which, as currently constituted can only continue to exist by engaging in regular and ongoing war crimes and crimes against humanity. Its right to exist is irrelevant, its ability to exist is the question. Israel will either engage in as great a crime as was used to justify its existence after World War II, or it will become a secular state. The two state solution is dead.