Friday, May 31, 2024


The news regarding Gaza is becoming a treacherous slalom. The Middle East could figure in Dante's opus as hell. Besides it is becoming a tale of lies and sophisms.

After the tragedy of October 7th, the events followed a rightful path of sorrow and indignation. There was no ambiguity in siding with the aggrieved party, even with the knowledge that a merciless retaliation would follow.

From the start there was, however, a moral and historical confusion. The word "war" came up while it is not applicable to a terrorist organization which is not a state, obviously. The situation doesn't fit in the praxis or in the conventions that are supposed to rule warfare, which only exist between states who are accordingly under some obligations agreed upon in the pertinent Geneva conventions.

Hamas is a terrorist hybrid of unsavory individuals who are not bound by anything other than a fanatical mindset. Israel is entitled to take action and to liberate the hostages. That this cannot be achieved without collateral damage is unavoidable.

It is hard however to remain master of consequence. Hamas is the enemy and should neither be spared nor respected. However it is not a "belligerent". It is a freakish grouping with few friends, that also embarrasses moderate Arab states. Besides, it ruled Gaza as a blind experiment with no exit.

Unfortunately Israel lost self-control. The initial purpose was corrupted by overdrive and by the P.M.'s ulterior, selfish considerations. By over expanding the range of military might, he unleashed a nihilistic force upon civilians who are double- trapped, by Hamas first and by Israel now. He also undermines Israel's former credibility in the world, embarrassing Europeans and the US. 

There is a lot of talk about the rise of anti-Semitism. Actually there is an analogy with what happened during the Vietnam War or the Algeria unrest. The manifestations were less anti- American or anti-French than mostly a primary reaction directed against the abuse of power. The manifestations on campus in Europe or the US today are not directed against the Jews but against Israel. The indiscriminate military action and the absolute failure to come to terms with the two states solution only increase Israel's isolation. It has lost its added value in the region. The Gulf States look better, the world gave up looking at Tel Aviv and only sees the settlers.

President Sadat would skip a historical handshake under the current circumstances. President Biden might think twice before meeting Netanjahu now. The former US Secretary of State James Baker already found fault with Netanjahu. Imagine how the Biden administration must consider him now. 

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