So wrote the secretary of the Israeli Labor Party, Merav Michaeli, minutes after Israel unleashed yet another criminal attack on the Gaza Strip and a moment before the killing of the first – but not least – Palestinian child: “The citizens of ‘Israel deserve to live safely. No sovereign state would accept a terrorist organization putting its inhabitants under siege. I support the security forces ”.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had not yet reacted, the leader of the far right Itamar Ben-Gvir had not yet woken up, General Yoav Gallant had not yet threatened to “behead the snake”, that is Hamas, which already the leader of the the Zionist left had aligned with the right, praising the military and supporting a war that hadn’t even started. It was even faster than Shimon Peres.
Michaeli cannot be forgiven for her incredible lack of awareness: after four days of partial (self-proclaimed) blockade in the south of the country, the leader of the left says that no state would accept a “siege”. Without batting an eye, no state. A government official responsible for a horrific 16-year siege dares to be scandalized by a two-minute voluntary partial closure. Instead of advocating a line of moderation (elections are approaching), the Labor Party has once again supported an absurd and deliberate war, as all its predecessors did.
The fastest gun in the west
The Zionist left redefines the concept of double standard downwards. Perhaps at least, now, the truth will be clear to many center-left supporters: there is no real difference with the right. Israel can’t even pretend it doesn’t have this war – which was born with the infant name of Operation Breaking Dawn.– or that he had no other choice. This time he even gave up on using threats and went straight to the point: arresting an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank, knowing in advance that this would provoke a harsh reaction; then the assassination of a senior commander in the Gaza Strip, knowing that this would mark a point of no return. This was enough for Israel to claim to be engaged in a “defensive war”, a just war of a state that is allowed everything. A country that loves peace and only wants the safety of its inhabitants: a true innocent. The state that has everything, except deterrence: nothing or no one can dissuade Israel from attacking Gaza.
But this time the government is the one of “change and healing”. Fifteen months after the last jewel, the “Guardian of the walls” operation, dawn has risen. Five weeks after his inauguration as prime minister, Yair Lapid, the fastest gun in the west, was already sending the army to war. Never in Israeli history has a prime minister been in such a hurry to kill.
All of Netanyahu’s precedents pale in the face of the crime of launching a futile war that resulted in only further bloodshed, mostly Palestinian. And all of Netanyahu’s failures pale in the face of his relative restraint in the use of military force when he was in office. Continue to be scandalized by the various gifts Netanyahu received when he was prime minister: at least he doesn’t have to prove his macho credentials, as Lapid does now.
It is true that political analysts, the club of the same old politicians and mayors of southern Israel have insisted on waging this war, as they always do, but there has never been such a quick capitulation to their whims to launch a war. Now, when only a few months separate one attack on Gaza from another, it doesn’t even make sense to ask what the goals are. There are no goals, if not the desire to demonstrate one’s power.
If there were goals, and if peace was one of them, and if this was a government of change, then Lapid would have given Israel a lesson in moderation; and if Lapid had also been a brave statesman, he would have brought about change by recognizing Hamas, lifting the siege and making an effort to meet the Gaza leadership. Anything less is a direct continuation of the policies of all Israeli governments, in whose DNA there are baseless wars. This is why there is no need for a government of change. But remember who started this war and who supported it.
(Translation by Federico Ferrone)