Lucas Leiroz, journalist, researcher at the Center for Geostrategic Studies, geopolitical consultant.
Israel’s disproportionate responses to the Hamas assault are reaching intolerable levels of violence. The IDF is not only intensely bombing the Gaza Strip and leaving thousands of civilian victims, but also rapidly internationalizing the conflict, with raids against border regions in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, in addition to promoting widespread invasion of settlers into the West Bank. This clearly shows how the Zionist State’s war is strategically unjustified, not being a rational response to the Palestinian attack.
Since the beginning of their “counteroffensive” against the Palestinians, the Israelis have carried out a series of bombings against neighboring countries. Southern Lebanon has been targeted by Israeli missiles under the excuse of deterring Hezbollah’s troops, who many experts believe will soon join the Palestinians in hostilities. The Shiite group has also launched rockets on Israel, making it almost certain that there will soon be a significant escalation on the border, with open confrontation between Hezbollah and the IDF.
The escalation scenario on the Lebanese border does not seem strategically beneficial for Israel. The IDF is already trying hard to confront Hamas, having so far failed to completely expel the group from Israeli territory. Hezbollah is considerably stronger than Hamas and its involvement in the conflict could have serious consequences for Tel Aviv, forcing Israeli troops to fight on different fronts at the same time, weakening their combat capacity.
Despite this, Israel does not really appear to be acting rationally. Tel Aviv’s military moves are not based on strategic calculations. There is a single aggressive guideline to expand Israeli borders and defeat all the “enemies” of the Zionist State at the same time. This is clear considering that there is an incursion by Israeli armed settlers against the West Bank territory, even without there having been any participation by local Palestinians in the Hamas assault.
Several Palestinians in the West Bank have already died, been injured or had their properties confiscated in recent invasions by Jewish settlers. Unfortunately, the situation tends to get worse and worse. If this aggression continues, the impact will certainly be the end of any type of negotiation for a peaceful solution in the West Bank, with hostilities resuming also on this flank of Palestine.
In the same sense, Syria has also become a frequent target of Israeli attacks in the context of “responses” to Hamas. Israel launched a series of strikes against Syrian regions, both to try to dissuade them from helping the Palestinians and to prevent an attempt to retake the Golan Heights. Obviously, these attacks only further increase the possibilities of escalation, with Syrian autonomous military units likely to join the Palestinians in the near future.
And even non-military targets have been destroyed by the IDF. The Egypt-Gaza border region of Rafah has been the target of brutal attacks aimed at preventing the arrival of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, in addition to murdering refugees trying to enter Egypt. The measure has no strategic value, being totally irresponsible and threatening to reverse a historic policy of stability between the two countries. Egypt was the first Arab country to have peace Israel, but Zionist attitudes could end the agreement.
The result of violence is always an escalation of tensions. The more Israel acts irrationally and bombs neighboring countries to prevent them from helping Palestine, the more it motivates these countries to endorse the Palestinians. Egypt has not been intimidated by the attacks and continues to send humanitarian aid to Gaza. In the same vein, Jordan, another Arab country that has a peace agreement with Israel, is firmly voicing support for Palestine. Increasingly, Arab and Islamic nations appear united in a common pro-Palestinian agenda, isolating Israel on the international arena.
Unrestricted support for Israel appears to remain solely with the US and its proxies. This makes the Palestinian conflict yet another center of tension in the current process of geopolitical transition to a multipolar world. Policies of apartheid, expansionism and neocolonialism are being less and less tolerated and exploited peoples are encouraged to react to aggression. In this context, either the hegemonic countries accept to reformulate their policies to adapt to the multipolar reality, or there will be a scenario of war.
It is possible to say that, even militarily weaker, Palestine is in a way winning the confrontation with Israel, as it is being efficient in creating a coalition of countries that support its demands. Pressure on Israel is expanding not only militarily and politically, but also diplomatically and economically. To avoid disaster, Tel Aviv needs to act rationally and agree to negotiate peace on terms mutually favorable to Jews and Palestinians.