By Gilad Atzmon
IDF’s colossal defeat in Gaza this week leaves Israel and Israelis with just three political and personal options:
1. Mass expulsion – ethnic cleansing of the entire Palestinian population from territories controlled by Israel. Such action may sound unreasonable or even phantasmic, but it is actually consistent with Zionist ideology and has many supporters within Israel and within the current Israeli cabinet. Moreover, oppression and brutality are embedded within Jewish political culture and even within the culture of the Jewish Left. Clearly Israel possesses the military capability and fire power to proceed with such a plan for Nakba II.
2. Exodus – mass emigration of Israelis who, quite reasonably, prefer to run for their lives. This option is obviously embedded within the exilic Jewish culture and completely consistent with Jewish diaspora identity. Emigration is available to most Israelis at the moment. However, it is likely that as violence in the region continues to escalate and Israel finds itself complicit in more and more war crimes and human rights abuse, Israelis may find out that their freedom to travel around the world is gradually restricted.
3. Buying time – Israel’s favourite option. And certainly Benjamin Netanyahu’s preferred policy.
While both the 1st and the 2nd options are consistent with Jewish ideology, heritage and culture, it is the 3rd option that has been chosen by Israel’s governments for decades. It entails constant devastation of Gaza by means of medium scale massacres in the hope that Palestinians will eventually surrender and accept the domination of the Jewish State.
Just a month ago it seemed as if only divine intervention could save the Palestinians. However, as things stand at the moment, even God may find it difficult to rescue his favourite people. Israel has sunk into a fatal political, military and ideological paralysis. The destiny of the Jewish State has been revealed. It has no future in the region.
The key to understanding of Israel’s paralysis is not complicated. As much as Israelis favour the deployment of their devastating military might and its fire power, Israelis do not like to be caught with blood on their hands. As much as they like to kill, they hate to be the killers. This dilemma has matured into a political, ideological, strategic and spiritual deadlock. It puts the Jewish State into an impossible scenario that makes dwelling on someone’s else land simply unimaginable.
Noticeably absent among the viable options above is peace. Reconciliation is not a viable concept anymore. The notion of ‘peace’ as we understand it in the west (harmony and reconciliation) does not exists in modern Hebrew. The word ‘shalom’ that is commonly translated as ‘peace” is understood by Israelis as ‘security for the Jews.’ Israel has had plenty of time to reach harmony and reconciliation with the Palestinians. But it didn’t happen and for a reason. Israel is the Jewish State, it is ethnocentric to its core, it is blind to the notion of universal rights and totally dismissive of the Palestinians and their rights.
It may be crucial at this point to add that the final stage of the Jewish State and the genocidal enthusiasm in which it manifests itself, throws a devastating light on Jewish culture and the dangerous aspects that are entangled with Jewish identity politics and Jewish national collectivism.