Wednesday, December 6, 2023


The horrors of Hamas' incursion into Israel on October 7th have unleashed an unforgiving reaction, with no end in sight.  The sheer violence of this conflict is hard to process. Both parties in this carnage have a lot to lose.

Israel is already a nation changed. The early understanding for its angry retaliation is changing. Too many people in Gaza who are de facto jailed or locked-up both by Israel and Hamas are being killed with no shelter to hide in and no place to go. Israel seems no longer willing to calibrate or show an once of sympathy. Acting in such a way, it is jeopardizing its standing in the West and its modus vivendi with its Arab neighbors.

Europeans will no longer fall for the antisemitism that is branded whenever criticism of Israel comes up. When the British bombed Dresden, the almost universal condemnation thereof was never considered as being anti-British. Now Israel might once and for ever have turned the page of exceptionalism. It entered the age of the unexceptional. Hamas is perverse and tenacious. It must be recognized that the claim of its hiding around and under human shields is real, and should be one more argument for sparing the innocent from yet an other trauma.

There remains that this is a conflict, not a war. Hamas is a hybrid, not on equal footing with a legitimate state. Once there will be time to clean up the rubble it will be part of the former, and not of the solution.

Another major problem is that a solution will even become harder to find since both uneven parties to this conflict are incapable of suggesting a possible outcome. Israel might again be considering becoming Gaza's overlord rather than going once and for ever for an intelligent, two-states solution, with no input from the undesirables on both sides. Time is a vicious component since it allows outsiders to further stir discontent on all sides. Even America might start to feel the heat with a House wherein the Republicans count more delinquents than wise men.

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