Jumah Boukleb

On the Day After the Gaza War Ends

The Israeli occupation forces’ genocide in Gaza has been ongoing for over three months now. It stands out from those that preceded it in that it has sparked global attention after the world had been oblivious to what was happening in that region, which was the victim of continuous mass brainwashing by the media for decades.

Personally, I attribute the change, or the global awakening, to the internet and social media where the realities of the ethnic cleansing and genocide in this part of the world can be followed moment by moment. The traditional Western media has thereby lost control of the narrative and its ability to turn public opinion in the direction it sees fit. That is the first change.

The second shift is a result of the first. Like the traditional Western media, many Western governments are finding it increasingly difficult to ignore public pressure and demands for intervention to stop the massacre against these unarmed, imprisoned, and isolated people. Accordingly, these governments have been forced to demand that the Israeli government put an end to the war, clearly backtracking on their initial stance in support of the aggression on Gaza under the pretext of Israel's right to defend itself.

The war is now entering a more advanced and complex phase. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's prediction that the war would be a long one has proven to be accurate, indicating that the Israeli political and military leadership was not surprised by their ground forces' inability to decide matters swiftly on the ground and that they had been anticipating the significant losses of life and military equipment. The question thus becomes: what was the surprise?

In my opinion, the real surprise that changed the calculus for Israel is the growing international consensus that military solutions will not work and that there is a need to return to the negotiation table to discuss a durable peace agreement through the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state. Washington, a strong ally of Israel, was at the forefront of the countries making this demand.

I recall reading in an Israeli newspaper in English about the Israeli government’s apprehensions regarding the numerous statements from senior US officials about the need for a Palestinian state. The report also claimed that Israeli leaders demanded that those US officials refrain from making statements about the need to establish a Palestinian state. The developments that followed demonstrate that the US officials ignored those demands and continued to affirm the need for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and that this is the only solution that guarantees Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace, as well as diplomatic normalization with the Arab countries.

Most observers across the globe are constantly speculating about what will happen the day after the war ends. Most of these speculations revolve around two things: the political future of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and thus, the future of his party (Likud) and other far-right parties. Most commentators agree that Netanyahu is close to a definitive exit from politics. They see his insistence on pursuing this war till the end as a deliberate attempt to postpone his departure and remain in his seat at the head of the government. They anticipate, a notable majority of them, that the hardline right-religious parties will lose most of their seats in parliament, marginalizing their role in Israeli politics.

The second matter is the future of Hamas. At this point, opinions on the subject differ significantly. Some commentators believe that the political future of Hamas intersects with many lines, Palestinian, Arab, Israeli, and international. The most intriguing question revolves around the ability of its political leadership to redirect the movement's political course in light of the developments that will emerge after the war, and their readiness to present a vision that significantly diverges from the path Hamas has followed since its inception. Of course, foremost among the changes needed is the renunciation of the military option, recognition of Israel's existence, and showing a willingness to rebuild the bridges they have burnt the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah by accepting joining a Palestinian political coalition under Fatah's leadership.

If this direction is taken, we could potentially see the end of this tragedy in this part of the world.