What Is Israel Achieving in Gaza?

Some Israeli activists complain that in judging the genocide and material destruction of Gaza, we do not mention the October 7 attack that allegedly provoked it. Wrong! Governments have almost unanimously condemned that attack, albeit with obviously different nuances.

If Israel and its Western sponsors had dealt immediately with the return of the hostages and prisoners (as the captured military personnel should be called correctly), Hamas would have emerged morally defeated. We’d likely have had demonstrations in support of the victims of October 7. The illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, the arrests of minors without trial, the destruction of Palestinians’ homes and murders carried out by settlers with the help of the army, and the never-seen-before slaughter of journalists would have gone overlooked.

The disproportionate collective punishment has changed world public opinion for good reasons. Thus, after the genocide and destruction, all Israel will get is the return of the few hostages and prisoners who survived friendly fire in exchange for the release of thousands of hostages and prisoners it holds without trial in its jails.

It could have achieved this immediately by preserving dignity and concretely saving many more hostages and prisoners. Most importantly, without perpetrating crimes against humanity that will stain forever Israeli and Jewish history.

Instead, today, more States consider Hamas a legitimate interlocutor and not a terrorist organization. Among them is neighboring Turkey, a NATO member with a powerful army and regional political influence.

Some States and organizations have severed all relations with Israel. Most importantly, public opinion, even in the Western world, is outraged by the genocide. The most pro-Israel Western media (including the most partisan and powerful, whose ownership is mixed up with international finance and military industry) is unable to curb the widespread unrest.

In the rest of the world, hatred for Israel and its policies of occupation and apartheid has always been there. Today, there are fewer and fewer arguments to justify the Zionist state, while in the past, it might have been only controversial.

I reject all cynicism and appeals to realpolitik, but I wonder: what is Israel accomplishing with this shameful war? All wars brought by the United States and its allies to the Middle East have ended in defeat after ephemeral victories following carnage, new wars, and increased hate. Blatant lies about weapons of mass destruction by Powell, Blair, and Bush undermined the credibility of Western democracies for good.

Gaza genocide, no matter how it’ll be presented diplomatically, is the mother of all military and moral defeats of Israel, the United States, and the Western world.

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