بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Political Analysis - The Discrepancy in the US Standpoint vis-à-vis the War on Gaza
Several observers view the standpoint of the US vis-à-vis the vicious military operation in Gaza and the free rein it gave “Israel” to eliminate the Palestinian resistance, as well as its support for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and its aversion to the occupation of Gaza and the displacements of the Palestinians as perplexing. In reality, and despite the apparent conviction within the American military establishment that uprooting the resistance is impossible, the US has, however, allowed “Israel” to pursue its aggression in Gaza. This decision stems from political pragmatism, domestic political considerations, the strategic value of “Israel” in the region, and other factors that may inflict harm on Netanyahu's government, deepening its domestic weaknesses and international isolation, and thus, deterring and regulating its behaviour.
As Netanyahu remains stubborn and persistent on his brutal course, the US approach may lean towards the belief that if “Israel” succeeded in eliminating Hamas and the resistance, it could nullify its pretext regarding security. This, in turn, would pave the way for a gradual two-state solution, involving a transitional technocratic government overseeing reconstruction, entirely sidelining the resistance, holding Palestinian elections, obtaining international recognition for the Palestinian state, and shaping global public opinion pressuring “Israel” to acknowledge the fragmented 'Palestinian state,' especially if the US managed to bring down Netanyahu, oust his hardline allies from the government, and diminish their influence on “Israeli” politics. This call was echoed by opposition leader Yair Lapid, who recently urged Netanyahu's resignation, attempting to divide the ranks of Likud by proposing the transfer of government leadership to another Likud member and forming a national unity government that would exclude the rightwing religious bloc.
As for Netanyahu, he will not recognise the Palestinian state. He is banking on the belief that allowing him to eliminate the resistance, reshape the authority in Gaza, and destroy its infrastructure to the point of making the territory uninhabitable, along with tightening the screws on Palestinians in the West Bank, will lead to saving his political future. He sees such an achievement as a triumph, potentially prompting a wave of migration due to the suffering for a significant portion of Palestinians (as articulated by Smotrich two days ago). Netanyahu is also counting on the fact that the reality he has generated in Gaza will occupy Palestinians for years in terms of reconstruction and addressing the complex domestic affairs amid the divergence of positions and orientations of Palestinian political forces. Simultaneously, he hopes for a change in the US administration and Trump's return to the presidency. Thwarting the rise of a Palestinian state is part of Netanyahu's phased strategy, as he stated when justifying allowing Qatari financial support for Hamas, "Anyone who wants to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state must support Hamas."
However, now that the resistance poses a threat to him and adversely affects the “Israeli” elections and following “Operation al-Aqsa Flood” which constituted an existential threat to his entity, party, and future, Netanyahu found it necessary to crush it. He turned the crisis into an opportunity to impose a new reality, involving an attempt to displace as many inhabitants of Gaza as possible. This strategy aims to continue evading a downfall and resisting the two-state solution project, especially as recent opinion polls conducted by the “Israeli” newspaper Maariv reveal a decline in the strength of the ruling Likud party to 17 seats in the Knesset, with the Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz gaining strength to reach 42 seats.
However, Netanyahu cannot succeed in uprooting the resistance (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) given the army's inability to make substantial progress. Furthermore, the Zionist entity has lost the ability to bear the economic and security costs and the attrition war if it were to occupy Gaza with the aim of sweeping it, ending the resistance, and generating a new secure environment in the northern part of the Strip. This plan would also force the displaced in the south to migrate again towards Sinai on the Egyptian border.
It is likely that Netanyahu will continue the war for as long as possible to buy time in search of an image of victory to salvage his position and return to square one. However, all of this is uncertain in the face of the unprecedented resilience of the people of Gaza, the courageous resistance, and the domestic and foreign pressures. This war is expected to jeopardise his political future and hinder the displacement process; military data in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip corroborate his persistence in pursuing this strategy up until now.
After the displacement of the northern Gaza residents under the pretext of uprooting the resistance, there has been talk about Hamas’ leadership taking refuge in the south, as recently mentioned by Olmert. The “Israeli” army has started calling on residents of neighbourhoods in Khan Yunis in the southern part of the Strip to evacuate their homes. Additionally, there are unprecedented efforts by Ben Gvir to arm settlers, along with the continuation of “Israeli” escalation in West Bank cities through raids, killings, arrests, and provocations aimed at luring broader escalation, including targeting Fatah figures. This was demonstrated by the bombing of its offices in the Balata Camp on Saturday, 18 November, after Ben Gvir's recent call to deal with the West Bank like Gaza.
Furthermore, there are attempts to lure the resistance in Jenin, Tulkarm, and Nablus to militarise the relationship with the West Bank, expand the war, and prolong it to provide conditions for displacement in the West Bank towards the Jordan Valley. This prompted Jordan to send a field hospital to Nablus, in addition to the surgical stations in Jenin and Ramallah, as a precautionary measure for the expansion of the “Israeli” military operation and to avoid the embarrassment and risks of transporting the wounded and displaced to Jordan. This explains the deployment of the Jordanian army to the border with the criminal entity, with its mission limited to preventing the potential wave of migration rather than confronting the Jewish massacres.
As for the political course on the Palestinian side and regional normalisation, it is expected to remain unchanged even if Yair Lapid or Benny Gantz came to power. Given the political division and extreme extremism in “Israeli” society, the most they can do is initiate negotiations with the Palestinians, address the economic downturn, and handle the security file through calming measures for media consumption. All of this is aimed at undermining the influence of the Zionist religious movement in the Jewish state.
As for the US stance, it is summarised in Biden's previous speech before the pro- “Israel” lobbying group J Street, where he stated: "I firmly believe that the actions taken by the Israeli government over the past several years—the relentless and systematic expansion of settlements, legitimising settlement outposts, and seizing land—move Israel in the wrong direction." He indicated that they are pushing towards a one-state reality, which he described as "serious." Biden affirmed the US commitment "to push them as hard as we can towards what they intuitively know is the only ultimate solution, a two-state solution," which is the "absolute guarantor of their security," as he described it. Secretary of State Blinken reiterated this during statements made after the G7 Foreign Ministers' Summit in Tokyo a few days ago, saying, “But we’re very clear on no reoccupation, just as we’re very clear on no displacement of the Palestinian population.” He added, “And, as we’ve said before, we need to see and get to, in effect, unity of governance when it comes to Gaza and the West Bank, and ultimately to a Palestinian state.”
Therefore, what America is keen on is preserving the distorted framework of the "two-state solution" and opposing Netanyahu's attempts to expand the war, displace the people of Gaza, escalate the tension in the West Bank and the region. It seeks to deter him from continuing the massacres that have stirred global public opinion and provoked the Arab and Islamic streets against the ruling regimes and the United States. These actions have also caused fractures within the Democratic Party, raising concerns about Biden's chances in the elections. Consequently, the US is trying to exert pressure through proxies, such as Josep Borrell and some European countries (Spain, Norway, Ireland, Belgium), as well as Brazil, South Africa, Djibouti, and several Latin American countries. They also exploit the Russian and Chinese positions, which call for ending the war, although their motives aim to improve their image in the eyes of Muslims.
The US is attempting to pressure Netanyahu by influencing global media, as seen in CNN's report that “Israel” "may have rearranged weapons" at Shifa Hospital. The BBC published a report refuting “Israeli” claims about the Shifa Medical Complex, contrary to its previous stance, which endorsed the “Israeli” narrative. Notably, the misinformation about Hamas leadership being present at the Shifa complex, which put the “Israeli” leadership in domestic and foreign embarrassment, was supplied by the US. In addition to this, the US is pressuring Netanyahu through the United Nations, international agencies, and the Security Council, which did not object to its recent resolution on the "extended humanitarian ceasefire." It also opened humanitarian corridors in all areas of Gaza, delivering aid to its residents. Furthermore, the US warned Netanyahu about destroying Gaza's infrastructure, which establishes the groundwork for population displacement, deepens the one-state trajectory, undermines the purported two-state solution, and involves “Israel” seizing gas off the Gaza coast. This resource is expected to be saved by America to ensure financial support for the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, differences between the US administration and Netanyahu are expected to widen, with NBC reporting that officials in the US administration indicate increasing disagreements regarding the attack on Gaza and Netanyahu's political future. They suggested that "establishing a buffer zone in Gaza means reducing the area of the sector, which we consider unacceptable."
As for the expansion of the war to include Hezbollah and Iran, the Iranian Foreign Minister stated in an interview with the Financial Times that communications between the United States and Iran have been ongoing through the American section of the Swiss embassy in Tehran for the past forty days.
Several indicators suggest that agreements have been reached between the US and Iran to ensure they do not slide into war and to prevent Netanyahu from expanding it. The Iranian Foreign Minister said in an interview with CBS News, "We do not want the scope of this crisis to widen at all, but the US is intensifying the war in Gaza with its strong support for Israel." Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations also stated to Reuters that Tehran would not engage in a direct conflict with Tel Aviv unless “Israel” launched an attack on Iran. Another indicator of the understanding between the US and Iran is Hezbollah's commitment to limited engagement rules with the Zionist entity. Additionally, on 14 November the US signed an extension of Iraq's exemption from sanctions imposed on Iran for 120 days to settle payments for electricity imported from Iran. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the US may allow Iraq to transfer $10 billion from frozen Iranian assets to Iran's accounts in Europe and Oman by extending Baghdad's exemption from sanctions against Tehran.
Therefore, it is not expected that Iran or Hezbollah will initiate an expansion of the war unless Netanyahu escalates it in a way that warrants an Iranian response leading to its expansion. One of the key indicators that Iran has decided not to enter the war is the praise from former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for the leader of Hezbollah and the Iranian Supreme Leader for their "wise stance of not joining the war against Israel." He pointed out that "Israel wants to drag Iran into the war, but Iran will not do so," affirming that "our support for Hamas does not include fighting alongside it."
In conclusion, the issue of Palestine today faces three options: The only option for the Zionist entity is a single Jewish state. Former “Israeli” Prime Minister Menachem Begin informed Biden, then a senator in Congress in 1982, of “Israel's” principled position on the Palestinian issue, stating: "If you ask us at any time to abandon a principle we believe in while being threatened with cutting aid, we will not abandon the principle we believe in."
As for the only option for the Arab regimes, it is to sell out Palestine through the distorted "two-state solution" gate in exchange for the thrones of the rulers.
As for the only solution for Muslims, it is the one embodied in Operation al-Aqsa Flood: "And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you." [al-Baqarah-191] This is the Shari'ah and correct solution, described by rulers as, "The alternative to peace is extremism and terrorism." With this description, Arab regimes openly acknowledge that they are the security and ideological shield for the Zionist entity and the protective barrier between the Ummah and the criminal Jewish entity.
What we all must understand is that this malignant entity is nothing but the shadow of these treacherous regimes in the lands of the Muslims. If these regimes are removed, its shadow will disappear with the leave of Allah (swt). Then, through the determination, patience, sacrifice, of the Muslims, their religion will prevail.
“He is the One Who expelled the disbelievers of the People of the Book from their homes for the first banishment. You never thought they would go. And they thought their strongholds would put them out of Allah’s reach. But the decree of˺ Allah came upon them from where they never expected. And He cast horror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take a lesson, O people of insight.” [al-Hashr-2]
5 Jumada al-Oula 1445h
19 November 2023