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OP-ED: A nail in the coffin

  • Published at 01:53 am May 17th, 2021
israel palestine toronto
Police stand between supporters of Israel and Palestine in Toronto REUTERS

One thing is for sure: Israel won’t be footing any bills

There has been a Tectonic shift, undetected on the Richter Scale. That’s because there is no scale that can measure human tragedy. After the obliteration of Iraq, Syria, and Yemen by an unholy conglomeration of unfathomable interests, Palestinians are being hammered again.

The shift is that the trouble began in Israel. Arab citizens were to be evicted from their homes. Israeli Jews would take over them. The sight of Israelis smoking and drinking across the street in open view of Arabs waiting for iftar was unthoughtful. Skirmishes broke out.

Added to that was putting Al Aqsa mosque out of reach of devotees for evening prayers. Reported stone throwings were repulsed by stun grenades. How appropriate!

Clashes were inevitable. It appears that Israel now wants to drive these Arabs out of their homes with no resettlement plans. The violence has spread to other Israeli towns.

The response by Hamas was a barrage of rockets fired. Why they did so is up for scrutiny. It was an internal Israeli issue, involving their citizens, Arab or otherwise. There were painful deaths in Israel, including children. The aftermath was just a matter of time. Sophisticated armaments brought down buildings and residential areas. More deaths of children and women. Collateral damage?

Is this part of the strategy to implement Donald Trump’s approved redrawing of the map that further truncates the Gaza Strip that was to be Palestine? Probably. That redrawing includes giving Israel the Golan Heights of Syria. Joe Biden hasn’t retracted that infamous mapping. He and his secretary of state have been clear. Israel has the right to defend itself.

The distance between Biden and Hawkins stood out. The secretary at least mentioned the rights of the Palestinians. Strategically, he had to. Biden’s policy of withdrawing resources from the Middle East was met with a setback.

The rockets and drones targeting Israel show that the Palestinians have sourced weaponry in the midst of severe shortages for basic requirements. Where did these come from? What are their origins? Some of these have unexpected long range reach. It’s business as usual for arms dealers, suppliers, and manufacturers. 

The US has objected to a Security Council meeting. When it happens, Israel will have achieved its goal. When it happens, the veto will be applied. 9,000 reserve troops have been summoned, tanks lined up, and artillery barrages begun. An incursion is on the cards.

There has been outrage. Surprise, surprise that no one has stood up to be counted. The exception is Sheikh Hasina, who has had the courage to condemn the attacks. Reccip Erdogan is another, enhancing his leadership credentials for Islamic leadership. 

The UAE and Qatar’s recognition of Israel puts them in a dithering back seat. Saudi Arabia is nowhere. The OIC is heading the same way.

People will die; children, too, on both sides. Palestinians will bear the brunt. Once much of Gaza is levelled, Israel will say, “Mission accomplished.”

Only Benjamin Netanyahu knows how long he will continue the “punishment.” A few days of media mediocrity and then the world will move on.

There will be renewed calls to lift the economic blockade of Gaza. More calls for allowing Palestinians to go and work in Israel will emerge. Even more calls by the United Nations for emergency aid are invariably expected.

Joe Biden has overruled Donald Trump’s suspension of funds for the UNHCR work in Gaza. Perhaps Trump’s remarks weren’t remiss. He didn’t want funds put in to be used against Israel.

The cynical smiles of the dealers will return as both sides re-arm. And there will be a scurry of businesses to re-build from the ruins. One thing is for sure: Israel won’t be footing any bills.

Mahmudur Rahman is a writer, columnist, broadcaster, and communications specialist.

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