Gaza timing and Iranian timing

  • 2024-04-08 12:36:00

 If a journalist digs into the recent memory of the Middle East, he fails to find beautiful or optimistic events. Those are completely absent or rare. Road signs are burdened with wars, collapses, assassinations, militias, poverty, deception and suicidal tendencies. They also bear the marks of ancient cities that had lost their spirit, role and youth, some of whom jumped into the “death boats.”

On Sunday, we realized that six months have passed since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Flood. On Tuesday, we will mark the 21st anniversary of an American armored vehicle uprooting the statue of Saddam Hussein from Al-Firdos Square in Baghdad. The overthrow of Saddam’s regime left a bold mark on the region.

The fall of the Iraqi wall contributed to the birth of the current scenes. Iranian influence was allowed to flow into the region from Baghdad to Gaza. Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was permitted to put into effect the Iranian constitution’s clause that pertains to “exporting the revolution.”

This helped him establish “small parallel armies” that today participate in different ways in the open conflict in the region. We will not delve further into the past years. We already know that the toll is painful.

Six months have passed since the start of the “flood” and Benjamin Netanyahu’s war on it. The toll is horrific. In none of the previous Middle East conflicts have we witnessed such intensity of killing, such a systemic approach and such ingenuity. May God forgive artificial intelligence for some egregious crimes.

The numbers are so cruel. In Gaza, 34,000 people have been killed, two-thirds of them women and children, in addition to 90,000 wounded. Famine knocks on tent doors and threatens 600,000 children. In Israel, 1,500 people have died, including 600 soldiers, while 200,000 have been displaced from their homes.

The economic losses in Israel are enormous. The cost of rebuilding Gaza exceeds all estimates. Netanyahu has returned the Gaza Strip to the “stone age,” trying to write off Hamas and Gaza together.

Six full months. The conscience of the world was late in waking up. This is something usual. But in recent weeks, the blood of Gaza’s children has been able to drip onto the walls of consciences and decision-making centers, especially in the West.

Scenes of the Nakba infiltrated parties and universities and occupied the screens. There has been increasing talk of double standards and the moral downfall of the West. The division appeared clearly in societies, warning of a widening gap between the components. The new facts forced the American administration to move from stressing that the war should not expand to demanding that it stop, instead of just allowing the entry of aid.

Sympathy for Israel has become an obvious burden. There has been increasing conviction in the West that any permanent ceasefire must be accompanied by a firm commitment to open the political horizon to a solution that provides for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Living with war turned into a kind of participation in it. Silence has also become costly to the image, interests and electoral campaigns.

In parallel, Israeli confusion has escalated at home. Netanyahu’s unrealistic slogans demanding complete victory, the uprooting of Hamas and engineering the next day in Gaza have been revealed. Israeli voices have risen to warn that Netanyahu’s stay will be a severe punishment for the Israelis themselves.

The security establishment participated in questioning Netanyahu’s method of managing the war and its slogans, which have pushed Israel to the verge of international isolation. In this context came the “angry” telephone call between US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu. In the same context, demands mounted to halt the US’ supply of weapons and ammunition to Israel or to at least slow down their delivery. Despite internal and external pressure, Netanyahu has resisted any attempt to achieve a truce.

Iran did not rush to turn the Al-Aqsa Flood into an opportunity for the “big strike” that was being discussed in the offices of the leaders of the so-called resistance axis. It chose not to engage in a large-scale war, which the US quickly cautioned of and supported its warning by sending naval fleets.

Tehran instead chose limited wars of distraction across the Lebanon front, Houthi drones and missiles in the Red Sea and occasional statements by some Iraqi factions about striking targets in Israel. The Iranian calculation may have been based on an old decision to avoid any direct conflict with the US, in addition to the fact that the state of disintegration in Syria and Lebanon would make any engagement in a wider war disastrous in every sense of the word.