In chess, whoever wants to win the game, anticipates the next move. Without going back over the horror of October 7 and the following events, the question is becoming more acute every day.
The first reaction of the vast majority of world leaders was an unanimous condemnation of Hamas. One month later there is an inflation of demonstrations worldwide, in “support of the Palestinians”. Meanwhile the terrorists became the fighters of the Palestinian resistance. At the same time such leaders have changed their statement. What we hear now : Of course, Israel has the right to defend itself, but AT THE SAME TIME, without harming civilians. Calls for a humanitarian truce or a ceasefire are growing louder, echoed by the same leaders desperate for support at home, out of fear by the waves of anti-Semitism that this long-imported conflict is stirring up. It is now like a tsunami, to which we can add the calls from hostage families, which are fully understandable.
Faced with increasing pressures from all sides
Israel will resist, because this is an existential issue, but the international environment is changing rapidly. The American presidential election is less than a year away. European elections will be held on June 9. Sunni Arab monarchies fear Shiite crowds. The past has already shown that Israel has won on the ground and lost diplomatically. The all-too-famous question of Hasbara (explanation) is still a question-mark. The “good friends of Israël” have rapidly transformed the victim into the aggressor, who colonizes, kills children, starves the population and bombs hospitals. Several government heads have made a big discovery: they have just invented the “clean war”, which doesn’t claim any victims. No doubt like those waged in Ukraine, Yemen, Sudan, Irak, Afghanistan, and during the Second World War in Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Vietnam. All clean wars. The laws of war are evoked. Reference is made to “human rights”. The word terrorist no longer seems to be part of the UN lexicon, as its Secretary-General tells the world. It has been replaced by resistant.
Israel has to face the public opinion tribunal whose memory helps above all to forget quickly.
One month later, the October 7 pogrom has been all but nearly forgotten. Major TV channels, radio stations and certain columnists hammer home the humanitarian catastrophe, the cemetery of children, the wounded, the hospitals in peril. Fortunately, there are still a few honest media outlets reporting the facts. Millions of people, undoubtedly affected by the atrocities of October 7, quickly turn into radical opponents to the Hebrew state and the Jews. We listen to the figures put forward by the notorious Hamas Ministry of Health, which shoots faster than its own shadow. The medias have been quickly silent regarding the bombing of the hospital Al Shafa that serves as the terrorists’ underground HQ, first attributed to Israel causing 500 victims, which politicians of all countries and the media echoed in chorus without any verification.
The double standard applies to the Hebrew state. Do as we say, but don’t do as we have done or are doing. Anti-Semitism is now amalgamated with anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism. Down with the Jews!
Over the years, faced with the permanent double standard it has to deal with, Israel has adopted a form of explanation (Hasbara), believing that no matter what people say, it won’t change a thing.
Moved by a sense of restraint and respect for the horrifically murdered, mutilated and burned victims, and out of respect for the families, Israel refrained from broadcasting the films taken by the terrorists using live cameras. Presumably intended to show back home in need of distraction ? This is beginning to change, as the press in Israel and elsewhere has been able to view a film retracing the butchery of October 7. But this is not enough.
The settlement policy in the West Bank is doing great damage to Israel’s image, and giving grist to the mill of those who call Israel a racist apartheid state. The relentless arming of settlers has already led to several tragedies, turning the population of these areas against the authorities. The images we have seen bear witness to this.
Three proposals to meet the challenge Israel is facing
There have been several statements about THE AFTER, generating confusion. We could do without them. Rather than being confused about the still ill-defined future. Israel should state very clearly what it will not do. Specifically:
It will not occupy Gaza
It will not expel its inhabitants, contrary to what some irresponsible politicians are statting.
It will not keep any part of Gaza under its control.
Everything must be explicit, and not give rise to muddle-headedness between incompetent ministers in search of ego, allowing themselves to make contradictory and dangerous declarations.
The difference between the terrorist organization HAMAS and the Palestinian people must be made very clear. Recall in full, with supporting documents, the Hamas program for the last election 17 years ago, notably the fight against corruption and governance for the good of the people. In 2007, Hamas seized power in a coup d’état, driving out and killing all its political opponents, including Fatah. Clearly, the Palestinians were unable to make a democratic choice. Hamas imposed its dictatorial theocracy, which allows no freedom of expression, through fear and threats
The Palestinians have undergone an ideological brainwashing which does not enable them, under current circumstances, to admit that Israel’s action is directed exclusively against Hamas. It is certainly true that there is a group of fanatics who support the terrorists, but it is a minority.
Israel must relentlessly explain all the measures it is taking to safeguard as many civilian lives as possible. Relentlessly expose the enormous difference between Israel’s method and that of the jihadists who murder children and infants.
Insist on the accuracy of air strikes, the renewed opening of safe passages to allow civilians to leave the combat zones. Allow the supply of basic products under its control, in cunjunction with NGOs, provided they are not under the control of the Hamas still present. The question of fuel supplies is a critical point. We know very well that Hamas has not stopped diverting it to its own benefit. Perhaps Israel, which controls the north, could also consider such supplies? It would be complicated but would create a positive shock in all respects.
For ideologically convinced antisemites, this will change nothing. In turn Israel needs to win back the support or neutrality of millions of others who are easily convinced by the propaganda of Hamas and its many media outlets. Israel needs to conquer the hearts and souls of all those who, doubting, missing the proper information and facts, easily accept that Jews, Israelis and others in the world are THE AGRESSOR in Gaza ex nihilo, when in fact it is a real-time, life-size mirror of what is threatening the West, and France in particular, where the worm is already in the fruit. This is the country in Europe with the highest number of anti-Semitic acts and murders of Jews, because they are Jews. Doing nothing, means leaving the initiative to the far left parties allied of Islamism while they attack the values of democracy in order to replace them by Islamic laws.