Gaza Crisis: What is “Success” Being Measured By? 

Gaza Bombing

Continuity of war at any level cannot from any angle be viewed as wise diplomacy for any of the involved parties. With specific reference to Gaza-crisis having continued for more than a month, United States and Israel appear to have no consideration for giving any importance to initiating ceasefire. This is not surprising. It may be recalled, similar has been the approach of United States regarding continuity of Ukraine-crisis. Uncle Sam doesn’t appear to have any concern for lives lost and/or destruction of property. Washington’s prime concern apparently is to ensure further weakening of Russia and that it doesn’t gain control of Ukraine. Regarding Gaza-crisis, the prime cards are being played in interest of Tel Aviv and at present as desired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

Continuity of war as per Netanyahu’s “designs,” at present, also is equivalent to ensuring continuity of his “leadership,” irrespective of the fact that his own people have begun questioning his role as a leader. This has been done several times and at various levels. From one angle, if his leadership could be “trusted,” Hamas-attack on October 7 may not have taken place. Besides, as certain opinions and reports indicate, little or practically no importance is being given to economic sufferings being faced by Jews in Israel. Yes, certainly, these may be viewed as comparatively far lesser than those being faced by Palestinians. However, it is equally important to note -as primarily and repeatedly being emphasized by Netanyahu- continuity of war seems to be his agenda. This spells trouble not just for Palestinians but also for Israelis. But this apparently bears little significance for him. What does this really suggest?   

Continuity of the war also means disturbance of economic life, with many businesses having closed down or performing much lower than their capacity. This also signals loss of earnings for people. But apparently Netanyahu are viewing the war from only one angle- that of targeting Gaza, irrespective of whether Palestinians are killed or are forced to leave the area. Comments of Netanyahu that Israel will have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza for an indefinite period after its war with Hamas are just an indicator of his intention. He apparently desires continuity of war till Israel gains control of Gaza and/or all Palestinians are removed from there. 

Palestinians have probably understood this intention. Not surprisingly, chances of their yielding easily and quickly may be viewed as limited, at least at present. Netanyahu appears to be hardly concerned about his aggressive, inhumane approach leading to genocide and having invited wrath of world at large. He has one-point agenda with little consideration for what it is leading to – in terms loss of human lives, destruction of property, disruption of normal life and so forth. 

Continuity of the war has so far not spelled any success at any level, except for Netanyahu securing formal support of Washington and its allies. Now, if he still remains confident, maybe over-confident of gaining success on this front, what should this be measured by: — increasing number of body-bags, of those injured, people forced out of their houses, those facing hunger, shortage of fuel, medical supplies, disruption of communication facilities and so forth? At present, these problems are being primarily faced by Palestinians in Gaza. But continuity of war is likely to spell similar ones for Israelis too- with some, as reports suggest, already having begun facing them. This is the aftermath of a war that has lasted for around a month. Fear-factor of its continuity and further darkening “economic prospects” have begun being voiced by Israelis. Should this be viewed as a sign of “his success”- increasing “fear” among his own people?  

The longer the war lasts, darker are chances of life returning to normal soon throughout Israel. Certain reports suggest that Israel seeks around one lakh (100,000) Indian workers to replace Palestinian workers. Chances of Indian workers heading for a war-ravaged area may be viewed as fairly limited, however “warm” diplomatic ties between India and Israel maybe.  

So, where have US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu succeeded by continuity of this war? Diplomatically, on the global front and politically in their respective domestic terrains, this has only marked fall in “reputation” of both. Or should their “success/failure” be marked by anti-Israel demonstrations taking place across the world, the nature of “genocide,” socio-economic sufferings, destructions, loss of lives…! 

Nilofar Suhrawardy is a senior journalist and writer with specialization in communication studies and nuclear diplomacy. She has come out with several books. These include:– Modi’s Victory, A Lesson for the Congress…? (2019); Arab Spring, Not Just a Mirage! (2019), Image and Substance, Modi’s First Year in Office (2015) and Ayodhya Without the Communal Stamp, In the Name of Indian Secularism (2006).     


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