You just knew it would happen; Israel’s local war with Hamas pushing a potential World War 3 pitting NATO against Russia off the newspaper front pages.
But going-on two years the Ukraine War was becoming rather un-newsy, as is Ukraine’s President Zalensky turning-up at various international events, pleading for more weapons to fight the Russians. Meanwhile Russia’s Putin is warning the West of wider war.
What has made Israel’s war with Hamas so different was the horrific and savage Oct. 7 massacre. It immediately grabbed headlines worldwide. But the ensuing Israeli response against Gaza has created a news firestorm that has been the main story the past three weeks.
After October 7 there are a few things that stand out about this war. First and foremost is the massive bombing response that PM Bibi Netanyahu ordered, which was partly due to the realization that he and the Israeli security services bore responsibility for October 7 security failure. More than likely there eventually will be a reckoning for this failure that will make Bibi’s corruption charges seem petty by comparison.
Then there was how quickly international sympathy for Israel and the 1,400 Hamas victims evaporated after the Israeli bombing of Gaza was well underway and photos of the dead hit the news websites. In a day Israel went from terrorist victim to a nation that fitted neatly into the title of David Baddiel’s book, ‘Jews Don’t Count.’
The bombing campaign forced a mass exodus from Gaza City, which in-turn evolved into massive worldwide pro-Palestinian-anti-Israel protests. Some of the largest of these have been in London where hundreds of thousands paraded through the streets carrying Palestinian flags and placards.
This raised a question around the speed at which endless numbers of flags and protest posters were produced. It’s as if the mass protests, in London at least, were planned in advance. Someone had to be ordering paying for all these professionally produced placards.
Right on cue the protests signaled the antisemites to make their presence known with a spike in hate crimes in the UK and USA. This prompted one Brit to say she felt safer in Israel than in London.
On one hand many diaspora Jews are angry at Israel’s massive Gaza bombing blaming it for the rise in antisemitism. On the other hand, the skyrocketing antisemitism may spur more diaspora Jews to emigrate to Israel.
The massive pro-Palestinian demos also graphically illustrated the growing Muslim immigration to western countries. For 100 years Arabs have been battling against a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. But they have long felt they had the right immigrate by the millions into wealthy western nations. That’s chutzpah for you.
Over all this is the fear of wider regional war which will drag the US into it, with all the gains Israel has made with the Arab world going out the window. Oh yes, and with the possibility that a World War 3 may be moving from Ukraine to the Middle East.