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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR
Columns
Opinion articles written in the style of their author. These texts are to be based on verified facts and must be respectful towards people, even though their actions may be criticized. All opinion articles written by individuals from outside the staff of EL PAÍS shall feature, along with the author’s name (regardless of their greater or lesser renown), a footer stating their office, academic title, political affiliation (if any) and main occupation, or the occupation related to the topic being assessed

Waning Palestine

There is a hollow ring to any explanation that disguises as a legitimate right to self-defense what is already an unbearable price being paid by all Gazans in response to Hamas’ atrocities

War Israel Gaza
A column of smoke and fire after an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.Ali Jadallah (Anadolu / Getty Images)
Lluís Bassets

An offensive war with no other goal than revenge and the demonstration of superiority can hardly lead to victory. It is the path taken by Netanyahu, who has transformed the initial response to the attack against Israel into a war of retribution with no other purpose than the annihilation of the adversary.

One month is enough time to evaluate what the war can accomplish and also the political purpose that will make it possible to declare the success of the invasion and consider Israel’s deterrence capabilities restored. For Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founding father of right-wing Zionism, the “eye for an eye” rule was not enough, he demanded double retribution: two eyes for one eye and the entire set of teeth for a single tooth. In view of the field of ruins and the growing pile of corpses, there is a hollow ring to any explanation that disguises as a legitimate right to self-defense what is already an unbearable price being paid collectively by all Gazans in response to the atrocities committed by the barbaric Islamic militias of Hamas.

All attention is now focused on defining the war through postwar organization. Two extreme temptations, aired by Netanyahu’s associates, are misplaced. The greatest folly would be the launching of a nuclear bomb, as proposed by one of Israel’s most extremist ministers. It is followed by another perverse idea, the simple expulsion of the Palestinians to Egypt. Hamas and the extremists in Netanyahu’s government share similar ideas of genocidal and ethnic cleansing, which they would like to apply between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, some against the Jews and the others against the Palestinians. The former want to recover the Islamic land and the latter the biblical Judea and Samaria, which fall within the West Bank, without either one or the other caring in the slightest about the future of Gaza and its population.

Once permanent military occupation has been ruled out or prohibited by the allies, it is unlikely that we will see the involvement of the discredited Palestinian Authority, international institutions or an Arab coalition in the management of the disaster caused by others, especially without the recognition of the Palestinian state that Netanyahu has fought tooth and nail. The Abraham Accords that left the Palestinian Authority cornered are in the freezer, so everything leads to buying time with a new kick forward, without anything worthy of the name of definitive peace or justice for the Palestinians.

With Gaza divided and cut by wider security borders, its population decimated and traumatized, and Hamas diminished but not gone, Zionist expansionism will have managed to claw at more Palestinian territory and continue postponing a solution to the conflict, as it has been doing for the last 56 years, just like a tumor is reduced with shock therapy. It is a paradoxical horizon in which the idea of two states continues to move away just when it is perceived as the only one available to peacefully resolve the disputed rights of the two peoples over the same land.

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