Will Gaza become an Israeli Hiroshima?


Will Gaza become an Israeli Hiroshima?

Will Gaza become an Israeli Hiroshima?
Rubble litters a street between smoldering buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike in Jabaliya, Gaza Strip, Oct. 11, 2023. (AP)
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Israel possesses a formidable military force and destructive capabilities that could easily devastate the Gaza Strip. If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has already caused turmoil in Israel’s political landscape by clashing with the judiciary, wanted to fulfill a wish expressed by Yitzhak Rabin — his political opponent before Rabin’s death — which involved the disappearance of Gaza and its inhabitants, he could achieve this by turning Gaza into an Israeli equivalent of Hiroshima. Netanyahu might even be nominated for and potentially win the Nobel Peace Prize. It is worth noting that this award has been subject to politicization on numerous occasions.
However, even if this highly unlikely hypothetical situation were to occur, it would not erase the stain on the idea of Israeli security, nor would it alter the consequences of recent events on the ground. The events that unfolded on Saturday came the day after the 50th anniversary of Egypt’s crossing of the Suez Canal and the Syrian incursion into the Golan Heights. Both were a shock to Israel and its allies.
But is all the suffering endured by both parties necessary? The straightforward answer is no, it is entirely unnecessary. Another question arises: could both parties have been spared the pain they are experiencing? The answer is a definite yes, without any equivocation. It is as clear as daylight. Sadly, such a situation has not been reached since the wars between the kingdoms of Judea and Samaria in ancient Israel, or against the Philistines thousands of years ago, or since the establishment of Israel as a state in most parts of historical Palestine 75 years ago. However, it may be wise to avoid delving into the depths of the distant past and focus on the unfolding reality before us in the hope of finding a compelling answer to the question: why all this suffering?
To find an answer, it is essential to examine the historical role of Britain. A comprehensive assessment of Britain’s involvement in the various stages of events in the Arab region prior to the establishment of the state of Israel would objectively attribute a significant portion of responsibility to its governments in the early 20th century for instigating the events that unfolded in Palestine. This began with the issuance of the Balfour Declaration on Nov. 2, 1917, followed by the facilitation of Jewish immigration to Palestine and ultimately leading to the termination of the British Mandate on April 29, 1948, just weeks before the establishment of Israel.

Prior to the British intervention in Palestinian affairs, there was a coexistence among the followers of different religions in Palestine.

Bakir Oweida

Prior to the British intervention in Palestinian affairs, there was a coexistence among the followers of different religions in Palestine. However, London’s alliance with the founders of the Zionist movement, who laid the groundwork for its future direction, directly contributed to the erosion of that coexistence and paved the way for the establishment of Zionist terrorist organizations that even targeted British soldiers.
In light of this context, it can be argued that Britain’s abandonment of its responsibilities as an occupying authority in Palestine perpetually places it in a position of accountability and justifiably assigns it partial responsibility for the subsequent situation. While it may be true that recalling the past cannot change the course of events since last Saturday, understanding the present through the lens of history can offer valuable insights.
The crucial question now is: where will this path of bloodshed ultimately lead? Undoubtedly, it will result in further destruction. That much is clear and known. What remains uncertain are any covert agreements that might have been reached prior to the recent escalation, which caught everyone off guard, engulfing the Gaza Strip in what is referred to as the “Al-Aqsa Flood.”

Bakir Oweida is a Palestinian journalist who pursued a professional career in journalism in Libya in 1968, where he worked at Al-Haqiqa newspaper in Benghazi, then Al-Balagh and Al-Jihad in Tripoli. He has written for several Arab publications in Britain since 1978. He worked at Al-Arab newspaper, Al-Thadamun magazine and the international Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. He has also worked as a consultant at Elaph online newspaper.

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