We live in curious times.
We always have. Not much has changed about mankind since the time of Cane and Abel when, one would presume, there were only four people on earth. Adam and Eve willfully disobeyed God just as Cane thought he had a reason to kill Abel. Little wonder therefore, that we now have 8 billion people on earth, everyone speaking a different language, each one making a claim as the other makes a counter claim. One family, or eight billion people—-same challenge— conflict, death.
On October 7th, 2023, the world awakened to a brutal attack on Israel by an enemy who does not believe that Israel has a right to exist. I am still at a loss. What was Hamas thinking? Israel has been a victim for over two thousand years, before, and since the Romans sacked Jerusalem in AD 70. Add to that all the persecution they have had to endure in diaspora from Russia to Iran and everywhere in between, add to that, Hitler’s “final solution” which consumed six million Jews in the last century, and one may begin to see why they must by now harbor enough paranoia for them to be the way they are—- respond to October 7, by killing a fly with a sledge hammer. For Israel, we are not in their shoes, they have an existential problem on their hands, and for good measure, they have an extremist rightist, no-holds barred, no-prisoners taking man for Prime Minister. This is what a perfect storm looks like. The world will be lucky to escape an escalation as things have changed since 1973, (Yom Kippur War), 1967, (6-Day War), 1956, (Suez Canal War), and 1948, (War of Independence).
This is the century of the internet. Everyone gets the images of extreme suffering by the Palestinians in raw, unfiltered form. This is what fuels the fury and instead of sympathies flowing towards Israel as victims on October 7, their response is now the issue. That is human nature. That is the reality of our times—- unfortunately. It is hard to slice it any other way.
How did we get here, and what is the end game?
Quietly, in a vicarious way, every Arab country except Iran is secretly happy that Hamas is about to be destroyed. Anyone who knows the history of intrigues, and extremism in the region must have heard of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which was formed in 1928. When it is convenient, a sitting Arab government will use their network to grab power, and then, immediately turn around to bark at them. They are pervasive. In Egypt, after a long struggle, they managed to grab power in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. They lost it almost immediately because of extremism. They could not help themselves. One thing that must not be lost on people who aspire to power is this—-once you assume power, you must move to the center to govern. This is why extreme regimes have a short lifespan. They cannot endure. Society is not monolithic.
Having said that, Arab governments must make a public show of opposition against Israel in order to pander to their restive populations, much of which has a great influence from the Muslim Brotherhood. Herein lies the conundrum. Anyone who has tried to sign a Peace Treaty with Israel has met a cruel fate. Anwar Sadat lost his life. Arafat tried to save his life, and he lost an opportunity for the Palestinians to have their own State in the dying days of the Clinton administration. Leaders in the region face the proverbial Hobsons’ Choice in deciding the fate of their people.
It is sad, but true.
As for an end game, Netanyahu may not be the man to deliver it. He is not suitable for that role. He may have to be replaced once the war is over.
I would be looking for an international response to deliver an end game which must culminate in a viable and geographically contiguous land for the Palestinians with peoples on both sides recognizing each other’s right to exist and where both sides renounce war, and children on both sides can aspire to a future devoid of blood, of carnage, and fire. The world must turn a page on this matter or get ready to be consumed by it.
Author, Poet, Playwright,
Public Affairs Commentator, and now, NNPP Governorship Aspirant for Edo 2024.