Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Significant pressure

I was reading the excellent piece by Jonathan Lis and the incredible Jack Khoury in Haaretz (oops!) about the Biden administration, which has been working on a new ceasefire proposal to make Hamas reconsider its opposition to the offer recently supported by Israel. In recent days, the US has offered the terrorist organization the opportunity to make changes to the proposed agreement announced by President Joe Biden last month. However, sources familiar with the negotiations say there has been no progress.

 “Hamas needs to decide to cooperate with the proposal instead of obstructing it,” said a foreign source involved in the negotiations. “Only then will it be possible to advance it.” The source added: “There is significant pressure on Hamas from the U.S. government and Qatar to back down on the numerous objections raised to Biden’s proposal.”

 This makes me wonder what this actually means: what does pressure from the American government really entail? You understand? Like what? Pressure here isn’t just diplomatic calls or official meetings. Pressure is a euphemism for various tactics that go from economic sanctions to military promises, passing through backdoor negotiations involving carrots and sticks. It’s a chess game where every move is calculated to make the opponent yield without visibly perceiving the heavy hand of power.

 American pressure is not mere insistence; it is an art form that manipulates the other’s reality, offering a vision of a better future or an unsustainable present. It is a combination of diplomacy and threat, of promises and warnings. The Biden administration knows that to make Hamas reconsider; it needs to move the right pieces: cut funds, block international support, and at the same time, suggest a path of relief and normalization that seems irresistible given the difficulties.

 When the source says there has not been sufficient progress from the organization so far, they say Hamas has not yet bowed. But everything can change. Pressure, that insidious word, works silently, eroding resistance and shaping decisions until the only apparent option is to yield.

 And yielding, in the vocabulary of international politics, often means losing. Driven by an uncompromising ideology, this terrorist group, Hamas, sees any concession as a betrayal of their cause. It’s not just about losing territory, lives, or influence; it is an existential issue. They prefer destruction to submission, a perverse logic that perpetuates the cycle of violence.

 In this scenario, “significant pressure” is like an embrace that’s too tight, capable of suffocating. It’s a complex dance where each step is taken with a mixture of veiled threat and promise of relief, waiting for the moment when the opponent no longer has the strength to resist and finally bends. But why hasn’t this been done already if the only thing that matters is the release of the hostages?

 That is the real question. If everything revolves around the release of the hostages, why hasn’t the pressure achieved the desired effect? Perhaps because, deep down, other games are at play, other pieces are in motion. Freeing hostages is a clear objective, but international politics is rarely straightforward. There are hidden agendas and veiled interests, and the pressure isn’t just on Hamas but on all involved. Every step and move is a calculated bet, where human suffering is tragically one of the currencies of exchange.

 Internally, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, with its far-right group, sees the continuation of the conflict as a way to consolidate power, diverting attention from scandals and political failures. Keeping the tension high serves to justify extreme measures and, ironically, keep the coalition cohesive. The release of the hostages is a noble goal, but when compared to the political gain of perpetuating a state of emergency, it becomes secondary.

 Netanyahu is not a strategist seeking peace but a political survivor, eager to maintain his position at any cost. Every inflammatory speech, every extreme measure, and every military action are pieces of a puzzle where the ultimate goal is survival in power. The narrative of a besieged nation, constantly under threat, fuels fear and hatred, which in turn cements his control. It is the politics of division, where the external enemy justifies the internal grip, where every rocket launched serves to strengthen the idea that only he can protect Israel. And so the cycle perpetuates more violence, more fear, and more power for those who feed on this constant state of war.

 Externally, the interests are equally cynical. The U.S., while ostensibly pressing for a ceasefire, also has an interest in maintaining its influence over Israel and the Arab nations. A controlled conflict serves to justify its military and political presence in the region. Qatar, on the other hand, plays a double game, funding Hamas while positioning itself as a mediator, increasing its diplomatic stature. Each actor plays their own game, where the hostages are mere pieces on a chessboard of power.

 Ultimately, the pressure isn’t being tightened enough because the interest in maintaining the war is more significant than ending it. The release of the hostages is too valuable a trump card to be spent all at once. In this theater of shadows, humanity is relegated to the role of extra, while the protagonists – governments, leaders, and mediators – play insensitive games, indifferent to the suffering they cause. And so, the pressure continues, not as a force for peace, but as a manipulation tool, where every move is calculated to maximize political gains. At the same time, the true liberation – that of the hostages – remains distant.

 Meanwhile, I walk my dog, waiting for the next Euro Cup game. We can walk the streets, discuss in cafes, and cheer for our teams, letting our destinies continue to be decided by those who have already shown they don’t care about us. Or we can keep pressing, protesting, and surviving until he falls. Because, in the end, our voice is the only hope for change in a world where the powerful toy with our pain.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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