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Dhaka Tribune

Israel and Hamas: Identity and self realization

The Western axis has been quick to condemn the Hamas attack while using softer words to decry Israel’s response. And as always, there’s no hurry for any intervention to prevent carnage in Gaza

Update : 18 Oct 2023, 01:26 PM

Hamas has just handed Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu a lifeline to his tottering political career. Israel’s citizens will now put aside their vehement opposition to the law enacted that makes the country’s legal system subservient to politicians uniting against the surprisingly pincer attack by the enemy. The new anger, an outrage that sweeps across differing opinions, will now strengthen his hawkish ambitions. 

The intent displayed by him on the United Nations’ stage of an Israel that takes over the remnants of Palestine may just have gained new relevance, though international opinion had been unimpressed at the time. Donald Trump had been squarely behind him. Joe Biden may have his hand forced now.

Israel’s response to Hamas provocation has always been swift and deadly. Her list of casualties always gets disproportionate coverage compared to the Gaza strip. The demand is now about booting the Palestinians out of Gaza completely. If her superior firepower is let loose, unbridled Gaza will be a heap of rubble on which extended Israel will be built. 

No one really cares to ask why Gaza is a strip to house 2.2 million people essentially living in squalor. They don’t matter, just as the Jews didn’t matter to Hitler. Jews mattered to the United States and the United Kingdom, thus securing a place in the order created close to a century ago. They were given a state, carved unilaterally out of the Middle-East without so much as a by-your-leave.

Thereafter, a coordinated endeavour using fine and talented minds in the fields of science and finance created a silent but incisive force in much of the West. They reached indispensability, sacrificed individuality, and were rewarded by the creation of a powerful state. 

Servile to Western interests, involved in messy affairs no one else wanted to be a part of, Israel is comfortably placed as the largest beneficiary of US aid that ostensibly never needs payback. That includes sophisticated armaments that allow them the modern way of occupation, slow but relentless.

The Palestinians’ lukewarm support by the non-aligned movement that has long ago perished, led to their being blinded to reality. Until recently, the religion factor holding back recognition of Israel’s right to exist no matter how it came into being did more harm to the Palestinians. As a string of Middle-Eastern countries accepted the obvious, Gaza and its residents were left in the cold, much to the delight of a chortling Netanyahu. 

The Western axis has been quick to condemn the Hamas attack while using softer words to decry Israel’s response. And as always, there’s no hurry for any intervention to prevent carnage in Gaza. In the cold light of day, violence, especially on civilians, doesn’t solve issues. 

The gaping wounds on both sides evidently can’t be ignored either. Historical precedence provides ample instances where nations and movements, however popular, have been subject to utter humiliation. 

The matter to ponder is whether outright annihilation is any answer. The Basque separatists have been neutralized for now, till a new committed leader emerges. 

Germany has a face suggestive of turning a new leaf. Underneath the surface the far-right persuasion continues to prevail. 

The population that was born and grew under falling bombshells and rockets in Syria and Iraq may have moved to other climes; the inner seething continues to burn. Ukrainians won’t forget Russia’s adventure soon, if at all. 

The Palestinians have 75 years of exploitation and heartbreak instilled. Driving them out and scattering them provides fertile grounds for a new insurgency, dangerously potent. 

Palestinians have an identity they won’t give up on. It’s a robust self-realization that isn’t quite in place yet. When that happens, equations will change. The known unknowns are far better to face up to than the unknown unknowns. 

Israel, more than others, must know that, having gone through the Holocaust.

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

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