Israel chances better sans Bibi

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Thomas Friedman is considered one of the best journalists in the world. He has been writing for The New York Times for years. He has also visited the region many times, and has written dozens of articles, interviews, and documentaries about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

This is a summary of his penultimate article, which changed the minds of many: People warned me before I came to Tel Aviv a few days ago that the Israel of October 7 was the Israel I had never visited before. They were right. It is a place where Israelis have never lived before, a nation whose generals have never had to protect it, and an ally that America has never had to defend, at least not to the extent that would lead its president to be its first visitor, after the Hamas operation.

It became clear to me that Israel faces a real danger, greater than at any time since the 1948 war. For three reasons: First , Israel faces threats from a group of enemies who combine medieval theocratic views with 21st century weapons.

They are no longer militiamen, they are modern armies that include brigades, battalions, electronic capabilities, long-range missiles, drones, and military equipment. Hamas is supported by Iran, Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, and the Houthis, and even Putin has become close to them, and their group threatens the existence of Israel.

How can a modern democracy live with such a threat? The beginning of the panic was the Israelis moving away from the border areas, with more than 200,000 “Israeli refugees,” perhaps in a move for some of them to leave the country next. I am amazed by the growing number of Israelis who now feel this danger.

Second: Israel is in dire need of external support, and American support in particular, but Biden cannot generate the support that Israel needs on a sustainable basis, unless Israel is prepared to engage in some kind of wartime diplomatic initiative directed toward the Palestinians in the West Bank — and hopefully in Gaza and beyond. Hamas — which indicates that Israel will discuss some kind of settlement, such as a two-state solution, if Palestinian officials are able to unify and organize their political house.

This leads directly to the third danger, which is the presence of Netanyahu, the worst leader in the history of Israel, and perhaps in all of Jewish history, who is incapable of taking the initiative, in addition to his arrogance and extremism, and all of this does not help his allies abroad build the coalition required to defeat Hamas.

Before October 7, the Israelis believed that the threat was from missiles, so they built safe rooms, but Hamas militants came and burned them in their safe rooms, so the concept of security became incomprehensible?

The October 7 operation also hardened the hearts of Israelis towards the suffering of civilians in Gaza. It also caused a deep feeling of humiliation and guilt in the Israeli army, for failing in its basic mission of protecting the country’s borders, and to overcome this failure, the army would be forced to commit brutal criminal acts.

According to Israel’s official Central Bureau of Statistics, at the end of 2021, 9.449 million people lived in Israel (including Israelis in West Bank settlements), The Times of Israel reported last year. Of these, 6.982 million (74%) are Jews, 1.99 million (21%) are Arabs, and 472,000 (5%) are not.

The Palestinian Bureau of Statistics estimates the Palestinian population in the West Bank at just over three million people, and the population of Gaza at just over two million people.

So Netanyahu says that seven million Jews will indefinitely control the lives of five million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — while offering them no hope of a political horizon, or anything, in the form of a state one day on any demilitarized terms. Netanyahu and his far-right fanatics have taken Israel on multiple flights of fancy in the past year, dividing the country and the military over fraudulent judicial reform, and bankrupting its future with massive investments in religious schools that don’t teach math, and in West Bank Jews and settlements that don’t teach pluralism — while working to build Hamas, which will never be a partner for peace and to tear apart the Palestinian Authority, the only potential partner for peace.

The sooner Israel replaces Netanyahu and his far-right allies with a true national unity government, the better chance it has of cohesion and survival.

Note: Please note that the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society consists of Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer, Anwar Al-Hasawi, Maha Al-Barjas, Abdullah Al-Humaidhi, Hamad Al-Bahr, Wafa Al-Qatami, Fawzia Al-Nassar, Walid Al-Nisf, and Dr. Khaled Al-Sabeeh.

Sorry for the unintentional mistake in mentioning names in yesterday’s article.

e-mail: [email protected]

By Ahmad alsarraf

This news has been read 855 times!

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