American and Israeli hubris over the last decade has allowed Iran to dictate the rules on engagement in the Levant and the Middle East. The crises in Syria, Iraq and now Gaza are cases in point.
So Hamas has broken a ceasefire to kidnap an Israeli soldier. It happens in wars: ceasefires are often broken and soldiers captured. The best response Israel can do at this stage, as counterintuitive this will seem to its current leaders and their myriad supporters in Israel and across the world, is to immediately accept a new ceasefire. Then, Israeli officials should explain to their people what everybody seem to know at this stage but few dare talk about, that the real battle in Gaza is actually part of a larger regional proxy war with Iran. For this reason, Israeli officials should tell their people that rather than rush into undertaking actions designed to satisfy a certain popular need for revenge, Israel needs to take the time and think in strategic terms, lest it keeps playing into Iran’s hands.
No amount of chaos in the Middle East can ever help fulfill the wet dreams of some Israeli politicians, namely: to drive the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza into neighboring Jordan and Egypt, respectively. The Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are here to stay. There will be no second Nakba.
To this date, any attempt at describing Assad’s war against the majority Sunni population in major swaths of the country as genocide is met with such pushback by all sorts of people, even though in certain towns and villages, the massacres did lead to the elimination of the local Sunni population, through massacres that did not spear women and children, and ethnic cleansing. Moreover, eliminating the local Sunni population was clearly the intention here. So, legally speaking, there is a case for the claim that the pro-Assad militias are guilty of “acts of genocide.” ISIS seems intent on perpetrating such acts as well.
It took decades for Palestinian to finally win overt support in some mainstream international media outlets. But, and as is often the case with modern-day Arabs, the victory is Pyrrhic in nature and will not translate into any substantive support for the Palestinians’ goal of establishing their own independent state.