Despite the uncertain outcome of the Gaza war, Israel has suffered a significant loss while Hamas has emerged victorious. Amidst the chaos, the United States is the only rational global leader capable of defusing the volatile situation. However, there remains a ray of hope that a ceasefire and even peace negotiations could arise from the destruction inflicted upon both sides of the conflict.
On October 7th, Hamas launched a sudden attack that resulted in the death of over 1,300 Israelis, with 3,000 others being injured and more than 222 people being abducted. When considering the size of the population, the number of Israelis killed in the attack is comparable to the loss of about 40,000 Americans. This tragedy left a deep impact on the nation and its people, as they mourned the loss of their loved ones and struggled to come to terms with the devastating aftermath.
In the aftermath of these events, a large number of Israelis have been forced to leave their homes in the northern and southern regions and relocate to the relatively safer central part of the country. With the constant threat of danger looming over their heads, many people now spend their nights in safe rooms or public shelters, while others wake up in the middle of the night to keep themselves updated with the latest news. As a result, schools have been shut down, and employees are either working part-time or not at all, leading to a weakened economy.
The Israeli people have experienced a different sort of loss – one that has left a lasting impact on their collective psyche and sense of well-being. It is evident in the way they speak, their cautious language, and their expressions – a sense of being deceived and betrayed. The feeling of “we have been had” is palpable among Israelis, a wound that runs deep and continues to cause pain.
Israelis were once filled with confidence and a sense of invincibility, thinking that a surprise war like the 1973 Yom Kippur War could never happen again. They believed that if such a situation were to occur, their military would quickly resolve it. However, the recent Hamas attack, which occurred almost 50 years after the Yom Kippur War, shattered their confidence and left the nation in a state of profound trauma. The experience was comparable to the American mindset shift after Japan’s surprise attack on U.S. warships in Pearl Harbor.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been ongoing for decades, with roots dating back to Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. During this time, many Palestinians were forced to flee to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, leading to the formation of a national Palestinian identity. Today, Palestinians continue to fight for their own independent state, similar to the Jewish population’s desire for the State of Israel prior to 1948. Despite the passage of time, the desire for self-determination remains a driving force for both sides.
It appears that the Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking revenge for the loss of their countrymen, but it’s unclear what they hope to achieve beyond that. However, the prime minister’s approach of using indiscriminate violence to obliterate Gaza is not a viable way to redeem himself from his failure to protect Israel’s safety.
Thankfully, Israel’s plan for a full-scale ground war in Gaza has been moderated by the United States and various Western European nations. President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, along with numerous others, have been working tirelessly to engage in shuttle diplomacy and find a way to assist Israel militarily while also reigning in their aggressive tactics.
Amidst the ongoing crisis, Biden has established himself as a wise and experienced statesman who can effectively moderate Netanyahu’s urge for an imbalanced response. He has also played a key role in facilitating the opening of the Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt, which has allowed for the much-needed flow of food, water, and medical supplies to reach the people of Gaza. Additionally, Biden’s decision to send carrier ships to the east Mediterranean has sent a clear message to other nations to refrain from intervening. As a result, Putin and Xi Jinping have been forced to accept a diplomatic defeat, while their presence on the global stage has dwindled.
The heinous acts committed by Hamas have brought the Palestinian conflict to the forefront of the world’s attention. After experiencing immense and tragic losses on both sides, it is high time for Israelis and Palestinians to work together towards a peaceful resolution with the aid of global leaders. It is crucial for both parties to recognize that violence and bloodshed will only lead to more devastation and turmoil for everyone involved. Though this path may be complex and challenging, the alternative is simply unacceptable.
It is my hope that this newfound understanding will encourage them to engage in negotiations and come to a resolution that resembles peace, or at the very least, a cease-fire agreement.