Below is a letter about the recent (August 2022) Israeli attacks on Gaza. NVI has long advocated for a nonviolent resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Please get involved. The status quo is horrible, particularly for the Palestinians.
By Jonathan Kuttab | Nonviolence International | August 11, 2022
The biggest victory for Israel was in the muted response by the American media.
Israel is currently gloating over its recent operation in Gaza. It succeeded by all measures: Israel initiated the conflict, first by arresting an Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank city of Jenin and dragging him out in humiliation, as he was bitten by a dog; then, anticipating a reaction by his organization, Israel proceeded to bombard Gaza “preemptively.” In three short days, the Israeli military managed to rain death and destruction on Gaza, assassinating another Islamic Jihad leader, killing 46 Palestinians (including 16 children), and wounding 460 others. Meanwhile, it suffered no casualties itself aside from a few lightly wounded by shrapnel. The world press largely followed the Israeli narrative, giving credit to Israeli lies that it was Palestinian fire that killed its child-victims. Israel succeeded in calculating and limiting the actions it initiated, as Hamas was both bribed and bullied into staying on the sidelines and Egypt quickly moved in to suggest a ceasefire once Israel felt satisfied.
The operation succeeded in further fragmenting the Palestinians by distinguishing Hamas from Islamic Jihad and Gaza from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Palestinians within Israel’s borders, as well as the wider Arab world. Israel suffered no losses, illustrating the power of its iron dome defenses and setting the stage for seeking additional military aid from the supportive US. It achieved a muted response from Arab countries and the international community, which found itself busy elsewhere. Israel successfully used varying tools of influence to “manage” the event, and it got what it wanted at little or no cost. In addition, the Gaza operation served as a useful tool for internal Israeli politics, improving the chances of the interim government ahead of elections. The operation’s success was such that Israel did not even need to pretend it was defending itself or only retaliating. Now, the discourse is about Israel’s “right to protect itself” from anticipated Palestinian reactions to Israeli provocations. Its power and military dominance was in full display yet again, as was the weakness and helplessness of the Palestinians.