Whenever I hear a student claiming “school” is a waste of time, I usually respond by reminding them that life itself is a continuous, never-ending learning process, so get used to it, because not everything you’re going to learn you’re going to like. Unfortunately for all of us, whenever it comes to a conflict in the Middle East between Israel or any number of terrorist organizations, we have these “counter” organizations on both sides once again demonstrating that they’ve “learned” nothing new about how to finally resolve this fanatically funded problem hindering world peace.
On Oct. 7, Hamas militants committed to wiping Israel off the map staged a violent attack on southern Israel, butchered over 1,200 Israeli men, women and children, took another 250 or so hostages, then under cover of thousands of rockets sought shelter and protection in an elaborate tunnel network under Gaza that Hamas had created since their election “victory” in 2006. Almost immediately, Israeli PM Netanyahu brought out his checklist he keeps handy for just such “emergencies”: IDF reserve troops are called into action (Check); the Defense Minister places a standing order for U.S. armaments (Check); “Bibi” lays down a guilt trip on the United States for immediate “help” beyond mere armament supply (Double Check).
Were it not for the sickening horror of viewing scenes from the initial massacre in the south, Netanyahu’s “standard procedures” routine could almost be perceived as dark comedy. I am a serious fan of historical drama, and can recall watching a 2015 episode of “The Brink” (an HBO drama/comedy starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black), wherein the writers of its plotline explained the “rationale” behind Netanyahu’s immediate reaction to call President Biden. In a scene from the first episode that was to be the start of the drama’s second season, a bemused Israeli official is going over the reasons with U.S. Secretary of State Walter Larson (played by Robbins) as to “why” the U.S.A. is so quick to come to the aid of Israel in time of crisis.
We all know the reason; we just won’t state it out loud: America’s Christian “evangelicals” (upon whose support every American presidential hopefully receives) expect the Second Coming to occur shortly – AND in Israel; therefore, the United States is “obligated” to this sect of Christianity to assure that Israel still exists when that holy event occurs.
Now, if you STILL don’t believe that America’s political entities wanted this reality to remain secret, here’s the “closer”: Within hours of that episode’s airing, HBO cancelled the show’s Season Two.
We have to start seeing these Middle East flare-ups for what they truly are: three world religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam – each allegedly worshipping the SAME “God” locking themselves into a genocidal battle to obtain the one thing political aspirants most desire – total power.
When this condition prevails, knowledge becomes sacrificed to the ritual of “taking sides” and engaging in actions seen only as some “sacrifice” almost worthy of martyrdom in their instigation, and so they react – both violently and stupidly, of course, by taking out their “frustrations” upon the innocent who practice their faith in Canadian synagogues or mosques by using spray paint, sledge hammers or bullets to express their “opinion”, or, as what happened when our right-wing disinformation specialists (FOX News) kept insisting that the “Communist” Chinese government had loosed the Covid-19 virus upon humanity, instead of being personally attacked because you “look Oriental”, you are targeted for confrontation because you forgot to take off your kippah before leaving home or still wore your hijab when you went grocery shopping.
Thanks to this predictably violent reaction to such crises, our politicians walk around in a fog, trying to maintain voter “peace” while not isolating one side of the conflict from the other, yet always managing to fail in their efforts. Justin Trudeau may be perceived as someone merely parroting the lines President Biden might utter (initially, no support for a ceasefire or exchange of hostages, for fear Hamas might use that time to regroup its forces), but his inner self is screaming for such action to actually occur. On the other hand, our alleged “Prime Minister in Waiting”, Pierre Poilievre, isn’t above “hinting” that a blast on Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge structure was a “terrorist” attack, not someone driving a luxury car into a border security structure, simply because that’s what FOX News reported – and, after all, since Conservatives believe that they have the “evangelical” vote in their back pocket, what better way to tell this block of voters that the sky is falling and beware the Muslim hordes about to overthrow democracy in Canada.
We have to stop relying upon social media and right-wing disinformation specialists to “tell” us what is happening “over there”. Most of this crew of misfits “haven’t a clue”, if you’ll pardon the grammatical oxymoron.
Consider, for instance, FOX News replacement of talking head Tucker Carlson, Jesse Watters, who maintain that “ALL Palestinians” are responsible for the atrocities inflicted upon the initial 1,200 Jewish settlers in the south – because they “voted for a Hamas government in 2006.” Really? Are Gaza refugees, 50% of whom were children in 2006 and haven’t been able to vote for change since then, responsible for today’s chaos – and the WORST part about Watters’ nattering is that Hamas barely had a plurality in that election, and only won because Hamas played a dangerous game of “The Scorpion and the Frog”, offering to pursue and maintain “hope” of finding a “peaceful resolution” to “the Palestinian Question”, all the while planning for its demise, knowing that their Opposition, Yassar Arafat’s Fatah, was infested with corrupt politicians that Gaze residents wanted to be rid of.
Now, and despite Netanyahu’s objection to such a pathway to be followed, Israel and Hamas are temporarily working through a ceasefire agreement so as to exchange hostages and provide Gazans with much-needed aid. We know that Biden is hoping to count to “10” the number of days that ceasefire will actually last, and which in the mind of U.S. strategists could signal the knock-out count to end this conflict and get back to the negotiating table. However, what will happen should that period of peace be shattered by a new outbreak of violence?
At the start of this conflict, Netanyahu indicated that the ultimate goal of IDF forces in retaliating against the violence was to obliterate Hamas once and for all. Were this event to have happened in 1967, Israeli commanders would already have had troops directly attacking Hamas forces directly in the tunnel network; instead, all the random air strikes trying to “soften up” Hamas resistance have created is a 14,000-person “collateral damage” that has horrified even a majority of persons supporting Israel itself – and STILL its military commanders have not provided any idea as to how their goal of wiping out Hamas is ever going to happen.
The outpouring of anger over the slaughter of so many innocents and the traumas through which the 250 or more hostages and their families have gone through has produced a response no spokesperson for Hamas could have expected – world-wide massive demonstrations of Palestinian refugees and Israeli citizens calling for the creation of a Palestinian state and an end to this issue once and for all. For his part, Netanyahu is no fanboy of this ever happening, and even once portrayed former PM Yitzhak Rabin as a Nazi for even negotiating with Arafat’s PLO to make this happen. When an Israeli religious fanatic eventually assassinated Rabin, his wife blamed Netanyahu for his death.
Right now, it seems reasonable to assume that Netanyahu is listening to Biden’s “count to 10” and realizing that his reign as PM is probably over. Even prior to this war breaking out, over 76 per cent of voters already wanted him “gone” from Israeli politics.
Netanyahu won the last election by agreeing to form a coalition with some of the most extreme parties in the Knesset. His two most powerful Cabinet members, Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich and National Defense Minister Itimar Ben-Gvir revel in their extremist views. Smotrich’s “solution” to the continuous eruptions of violence is to have all of Gaza’s population “voluntarily migrate”, then expand the creation of religious “settlements”, already a violation by Israel of international law. Not to be outshone, Ben-Gvir’s extensive criminal record includes having been convicted of supporting a terrorist organization and incitement to racism. Were there to be an election held tomorrow, Netanyahu’s Likud would lose at least 11 seats and the two ministers’ parties fail to reach the 3.5 per cent in voter popularity to even hold one seat in the Knesset.
Should Biden win this battle and peace talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state begin in earnest, this will not sit well with a Republican-controlled Congress teetering on the brink of insanity and still supporting Donald Trump in 2024, as America’s well-funded Christian “right” may see such a resolution to be in their best interests. What we will see, however, is Hamas voices growing silent as new Gaza leaders stress the need for aid, compassion and peace to prevail.
Should this all occur, we can therefore look forward to a Middle East voice where Bassam Aramin, a Palestinian academic and Israeli graphics designer Rami Elhanan, each having lost a daughter to conflict, help to flesh out the argument that what you are in a spiritual state can only be appreciated if the creation of that self-image results in the betterment of mankind.
My personal opinion notwithstanding, I will not be the least bit surprised when Aramin, Elhanan and President Biden win Nobel Peace prizes in 2024.