Dan Ehrlich

World Sympathy: Again from Moral Victory to Defeat

The deadly Hamas psychopathic rampage through southern Israel briefly gained world sympathy for the Jewish state. Then came the usual pushback, something you can bet Hamas was counting on, via the routine areal bombardment of Gaza.

But this time it was anything but routine. This time the Israeli Air Force bombing runs just about matched the number of Hamas rockets flying into Israel. The death among Gaza civilians has been more severe than any previous Hamas-Israel flare-up. And, what seemed at first to be an Israeli moral victory is rapidly becoming an own goal.

From the US to the UK, at first disbelief at the carnage in Israel then growing anger after the bombing began and the Palestinian civilian death toll mounted.

Why? You can’t bombard a densely packed urban area and say only terrorists were killed. Civilians will bear the brunt of such attacks. Now, while I have little sympathy for Gaza civilians, I am concerned about big power opinion shifting towards the Palestinians.

A long and costly ground invasion and occupation of the Gaza Strip is the only way to expunge Hamas from the enclave. This is something that should have been done long before the October massacre. It was unfortunate that the Netanyahu Government had the naive belief it could engage with Hamas and keep the lid on the Gaza pressure cooker, a view that led to one of the deadliest days in Israel’s history.

Yet the root of this tragedy goes back to 2005 when Israel turned over Egypt’s land gift to Fatah aka the Palestinian Authority. Remember, Gaza was the only land occupied by Israel that Egypt didn’t want returned. Do you wonder why?

The territory, now home to some 2 million Palestinians, fell under Hamas’ control in 2007 after a brief civil war with Fatah. Had Israel kept the strip, affording uncontested land for new settlements, October 2023 most probably never would happened.

But that’s all history. What needs to happen now is for Hamas to be ejected from the territory and civil society built during a short period of Israel’s occupation.

The Gaza population is too dense for the area. Egypt and other Arab nations need to take in about a million and also rescind the Arab League law that keeps Palestinians as permanent refugees, denying them and their children citizenship in host Arab nations. This law Arab League Res. 1452 is unique among ethno-religious groups. It’s based on the idea these people will return and reclaim Israel.

With a thinned-out population living in peace, Gaza could develop into an economically sound enclave. There’s no better way to guarantee peace and security for a developed nation such as Israel than to be surrounded by other nations with affluent populations. The Abraham Accords are proof of this.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.
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