The one who stands on the ground till the end is called the winner. Whether it is the ring of boxing or the military conflict, not losing the ground under one’s feet even after being beaten is a kind of victory. After 11 days of bombings in Gaza, Hamas has emerged as more popular and more capable. On the other hand, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s only ‘guardian’ claimant, is about to fall. He and his party, the Likud Party, have failed to secure a majority in four consecutive elections. Failed to get the support of the required number of MPs to form the government. In English it is called ‘standing tall’ (proud and confident behavior); The Palestinians are standing in that role. The importance of this stand must be measured, against superpowers like Israel and its allies the United States, Britain, France. Only then will it be possible to make a fair measure of the heroism of the Palestinian resistance, not otherwise.
There is also frustration among Israeli troops after the attack on Gaza. In an interview with the country’s Channel 12, one pilot admitted, “We have failed to stop the rocket attacks and destroy the Palestinian leadership by destroying their buildings.”
The victory or defeat of the war is not always determined by how many people were killed and how much destruction was caused. It is determined by how strong one is after the war. Although the Arabs suffered heavy losses in the 1963 Arab-Israeli war, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was able to win international support, tarnish Israel’s invincible image and bring Arab unity. Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, Libya stood in a line of military service. The prime minister of Israel at the time was a determined figure, Golda Meir. She is Israel’s first female prime minister and a hardliner. Due to the failure of the army and intelligence, Israel managed to get beaten in the beginning. If Israel had not received huge shipments and money for American weapons of service, another Middle East might have been seen.
Despite a strong role in the 1967 war, Golda Meir was forced to step down as prime minister. In contrast Egypt gets back the occupied land. Anwar Sadat’s popularity skyrocketed. This time around, Netanyahu has to bow his head and say goodbye, despite the horrific persecution of Gaza, the killing of more than 250 Palestinians, including 85 children. He is also likely to go to jail for corruption after losing his post. At the same time, the International Criminal Court and human rights groups appear to be more interested in seeing Israel on trial for war crimes.
Israel’s goal was to destroy Hamas’s resistance, divide the Palestinians, and take Lebanon to the streets against Hezbollah and overthrow the Assad government. They did not win in any of them. On the contrary, they have been defeated on the political front as well. Before the war, the Palestinians were divided in many ways. The Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Lebanon and Jordan were frustrated and divided.
Four Arab countries have publicly declared diplomatic relations with Israel. Trump’s dream of getting back to East Jerusalem was fading away like smoke from the Abraham Accord. Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority was moving against the nation under American pressure and Israeli pressure. Arafat’s Fatah party was divided into three parts. But the eviction of Arab settlements in East Jerusalem, the desecration of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli Arabs. Hamas fighters from Gaza stood by them. One-fifth of Israel’s Arab citizens have clashed in the streets over their Palestinian identities in protest of violent and riotous Zionist terror. Contrary to this picture, the pro-Israel Mahmoud Abbas became more isolated. The postponed Palestinian elections will be held soon and it will be seen that Hamas will win not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. It will no longer be possible for Fatah to rule the West Bank with the help of Israel and the United States.
Militarily, Hamas is one of the best in the world, and technically, it has been forced to retreat, even though it has not been able to blow up the Israeli military, which is a hundred years old. But the bigger victory is that their resistance has united the Palestinians in Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, including the occupied Palestine. They have shown that they are not terrorists, the terrorists are Israel. Anti-Israel demonstrations around the world, especially in Western capitals, That too was unprecedented. The boycott Israel movement has intensified. Recently, 600 artists boycotted performances in Israel. Ireland has cut ties with Israel and called the state a terrorist state. The lifting of the ban on Bangladeshis visiting Israel on their passports is being criticized at home and abroad. NATO leaders, including Biden, have sat down to revise Israeli policy under pressure from public opinion. While the Israelis are more right-wing, the American Jews are moving to the left. Democrat MPs in the United States are also more opposed to the Israeli occupation than ever before, according to a Wall Street Journal and Pew Research poll.
In Syria, meanwhile, the Assad government has won a landslide victory and is working to rebuild Syria. Hezbollah and Iran are stronger than ever. It seems that the nationalists will be in power in the new elections in Iran. At the same time, Iran’s nuclear program expired (July 31, 2021). Even if the new president launches a nuclear plant, a new blockade of Iran would be difficult for Sino-Russian opposition. Even if it is blocked, it will not be effective for those same allies. The Houthi rebels in Yemen are increasingly expanding Iran’s hand in dealing technically with the Saudis.
The nerve center of all this is Palestine. Israel became the lifeblood of the Anglo-American-Zionist Empire. These pranabhomas are no longer safe in the deserts of the Middle East. In contrast, the Palestinians have become the lifeblood of Arab liberation by defending the small territory of Gaza. If the Palestinians are liberated one day, Arab politics will once again become anti-imperialist.
So at the end of the day, the Hamas-Hezbollah-Houthi-Iran-Syria alliance is in a ‘stand tall’ position in the face of attacks. In contrast, Israel is under pressure to change inside-out. Whether the new Israeli government is more right-wing or not. Their behavior is not right-left. But the real thing is that the anti-Israel camp is becoming more integrated. If Israel doesn’t change, America is changing, so is Arabia.
It should be noted here that the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have never been able to win the hearts and minds of the Arab people, even though they are an obstacle to Arab independence. Since that crusade, Arab resistance has only succeeded when the three non-Bedouin countries, Egypt, Syria and Iraq (now Iran), have united. Saladin Ayoubi came to power in the joint Egyptian-Syrian state with the Iraqis
Liberated the Arab lands, including Jerusalem, from the barbaric occupation of the Crusaders. Despite many setbacks in the 1963 war, Egypt-Syria-Iraq was able to tarnish Israel’s invincible image. Even now, Egypt has no choice but to restrain Israel. Gaza’s resistance has also created unrest in Egypt’s public and military spheres. Thus the unification of Syria, the restoration of democracy in Egypt has become an urgent condition for the liberation of Palestine.
But in the last few weeks, the Palestinians have shown a sense of unity, but they will suffer a deficit. The Palestinian resistance must become a symbol and basis of unity like Arafat. There is no universal national ‘face’ in Palestine or Arabia; The one who will unite all, the one who will hold the same program, not the military, but both the extremist and the moderate in civilian clothes.
The next decade is not going to be good for Israel. Egypt’s dialogue with Iran, Sino-Russian presence on the scene, Palestinian unity with Turkey’s growing strength, and international support add to this equation. History never walks like a reptile. Then it took centuries for change. The windmill of history rotates so fast in the ever-stormy wind that it takes a decade to wait a century. In the wake of epidemics and regional conflicts, the stones of change have begun to roll down the slope.
Farooq Wasif writer and journalist