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Israel’s Deadly Game of Politics

Desperate times call for desperate measures and it seems Israel has decided that the only way to deter Palestine from achieving an observer state status at the United Nations is to destabilise the region and use the argument that Palestine is not ready to become a state due to its violent and confrontational nature.


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On Wednesday 14th November Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip. Hamas said Ahmed Al-Jabari, who ran the organization’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with a passenger after their car was targeted by an Israeli missile. Jabari has long topped Israel’s most-wanted list. Israel blames him for a string of attacks, including the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006. The Israeli military says its assassination of the Hamas military commander marks the beginning of an operation against Gaza militants.

The consequences of Israel’s actions were already noticeable just a few hours after the announcement as immediate calls for revenge were broadcast over Hamas radio and smaller groups also warned of retaliation: “”Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences,” Islamic Jihad said.” There is now a real chance that this event can lead to another full-blown conflict similar to the three week conflict in 2008 and 2009.

However perhaps a full blown conflict in the region is exactly what Israel wanted. On the 29th of November, Palestine will put in a resolution to upgrade the status of Palestine to that of a non-member observer state in the organization. Unsurprisingly Israel with the support of the United States have opposed this move arguing that it will hinder real negotiations, despite the fact that the majority of UN members believe Palestine should be granted a full state membership at the international organisation. Israel has bluntly said that they will consider partial or full cancellation of the Oslo Accords if the United Nations General Assembly adopts the resolution. On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry sent an urgent cable to all Israeli representatives around the world, asking ambassadors to deliver a number of messages to senior officials in those countries as soon as possible. “You are asked immediately at the beginning of the work week to contact the foreign ministry, prime minister’s office, national security adviser or president’s office and request to do all possible to halt the Palestinian initiative because of its far-reaching consequences,” the cable to the ambassadors said. As opposed to the decisions of the UN Security Council, General Assembly decisions cannot be vetoed, therefore the USA cannot play its ace card to prevent Palestine achieving its objective. Despite strong pressure from Israel, the Palestinian President has defiantly said he will not back out from his plan to table the resolution at the United Nations.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and it seems Israel has decided that the only way to deter Palestine from achieving an observer state status at the United Nations is to destabilise the region and use the argument that Palestine is not ready to become a state due to its violent and confrontational nature. Hamas have always argued that asking the UN to grant Palestine a member status would be purely symbolic and would not achieve anything on the ground. For this reason, it is likely that Hamas will retaliate against Israel after the death of Al-Jabari, which is exactly what Israel wants them to do. Abbas is likely to plead to Hamas not to seek revenge at such a crucial time for the Palestinian state, but Hamas (who are already on cold terms with Abbas) are unlikely to listen, giving Israel more ammunition to claim that Palestine is a divided nation and thus do not deserve a place at the United Nations.

While many claim that it would be purely a symbolic matter if Palestine were to become an observer non-member state, the consequences are far greater than that. Netanyahu is fully aware of the fact that the new status as a non-member state would allow Palestine to be accepted as a member of the International Criminal Court of the UN in The Hague and demand Israel and its leaders be tried for war crimes. This is a very serious threat to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land and teh Israeli officials will not take this lightly.

One may argue that the two events (UN resolution vote on the 29th November and Wednesday’s assassination of the Hamas militant) are purely coincidental in their close timing. But as Roosevelt said: “In politics nothing happens by accident”. Not much else needs to be said.


Photo Credit: Lilachd

2 thoughts on “Israel’s Deadly Game of Politics”

  1. In most walks of life, it helps if you begin at the beginning. The targeted killing of Al-Jabari was not the beginning, and by framing your article with that false narrative, you undermine much of what you say. You seem to have overlooked the small matter of Israeli citizens being under indiscriminate rocket fire. Again and again. And again. No nation would tolerate what we have put up with. No nation should. So, as far as Israel is concerned, the responsible party for the present escalation is Hamas. The solution is simple: they need to stop firing rockets and undertaking other terror activities. It would be nice if they also were to put a halt to the continuous stream of anti-Semitic, poison they put out in their media. But, perhaps that’s expecting too much.As for the ridiculous claim that “a full blown conflict in the region is exactly what Israel wanted”, it’s utter nonsense. We do not want ANY conflict. We do not want ANY war. Do you blame Israel for the full blown conflict in Syria? You are falling too much for the mainstream name calling of Israeli politicians as “hawks” or “right-wingers”. But that is demonization not based on fact. We and our politicians want peace. But, if we are attacked, why should we turn the other cheek any more than we already have? We are surrounded by enemies. It is not too simplistic to say that if our enemies put their weapons down tomorrow, there would be peace. However, if we put down our weapons tomorrow, there would be a real genocide.And there is no connection with the PLO’s theatrical UN resolution. First, the resolution is a breach of the Oslo Accords. (But why should we expect the PLO to keep to their word?) Second, the resolution attempts to set borders; a matter over which the General Assembly has no legal standing. Third, I would venture to suggest to you that in a real, independent court system, it would not be Israel’s leaders who would be in the docks for war crimes, but the terrorists of Hamas and their ilk.Israel stands against the UN resolution because that is not how peace is obtained. You do not impose peace. But we know they are not interested in peace, because if they were, they would either have accepted any of the previous substantial offers of peace, or they would be sitting down and talking about it now. Remember, they asked for a building freeze and got it. But they did nothing with it. Nothing. If they were really interested in peace, they would have been round at the PM’s office quicker than you can say “from the river to the sea”.Nobody in Israel relishes ANY loss of life. We do not want any Palestinians to die. We do not want any to suffer. The solution – long term – is in the hands of the Palestinians and their leadership. But in the short term, whatever painful price the Palestinians pay, is entirely the responsibility of Hamas.

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