OPINIONS

Thu 22 Feb 2024 5:06 pm - Jerusalem Time

Not “total victory,” but complete submission to the Messianic delusions will result in a lot of blood

By Ehud Olmert

Former Israeli PM

The most important goal for the duo Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich is not to occupy the Gaza Strip. Even settlement in the devastated Gaza is not the highest goal of this obsessed, messianic group that has taken control of the state of Israel. Gaza is the introduction, and it serves as the model upon which this group wants to build the real battle to which they aspire. The battle will be on the West Bank and the Al-Aqsa Mosque campus.

The ultimate goal of this group is to cleanse the West Bank of its Palestinian residents, evacuate Al-Aqsa Mosque of Muslim worshipers, and annex the territories to the State of Israel. The road to achieving this goal is filled with blood. Israeli blood inside the state, and in the areas it has controlled for about 57 years, and Jewish blood in many places in the world. Of course, in addition to a lot of Palestinian blood in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and if there is no other solution - among the Arabs in Israel as well. This goal cannot be achieved without a very widespread violent confrontation. Armageddon. A major war, in the south, Jerusalem, and the West Bank, and also on the northern borders, if necessary.

A war like this will strengthen the belief that we are fighting for our lives and our existence. In the existential war, many unbearable things can be done, and the hill youth are proving, day after day, that they include people who can do this. This group of lunatics succeeded in winning the first stage, in preparation for the chaos and all-out war they want, as it appears here. They took control of the government of Israel and turned its president into their servant. The possibility that they could topple the government, expel its president and prevent him from running the affairs of state, is not a crazy idea. This path is happening these days, one stage after another.

In the beginning, Ben Gvir and Smotrich decided to sacrifice the hostages in order to prevent a successful end to the military campaign that had, so far, achieved remarkable goals for the army, even if the price was great. It is clear that we are far from "complete victory." A victory like this is not possible. Even if the battle continues for several months, the price we pay is not worth the “vision” of a victory that cannot actually be achieved.

Continuing the military battle now will push the army into Rafah - and this is what they hope for. Such a step would put the peace agreement with Egypt in real and immediate danger. There is no doubt that Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE, as well as the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia, wish to dismantle Hamas. However, Egypt knows very well that there is a great possibility that the continuation of the Israeli military operation will lead to the rise of the “Muslim Brotherhood.” Egypt saw well how the Egyptian regime, which imposed itself through its decisive military control and prevented extremist fundamentalist parties from rising, could not withstand the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Only great efforts, with quiet support from the international community, allowed moderate parties, headed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, to take control of power in Egypt, and to lead it as a political and military force that helps advance stability in the Middle East.

Sisi and the military leadership will not risk letting things spiral into chaos, from which it will be difficult to emerge. The continuation of the military battle in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are gathered, will be the fuse that ignites the streets in Egypt, and after that, in Jordan as well - another country whose relationship with Israel is essential to our security.

Before things get worse, we will be faced with a group of moderate Arab countries that will lose confidence in the ability to create relations based on cooperation with Israel.

Even the United States - an ally that was remarkably mobilized to help Israel during an unprecedented crisis, when the government was in shock and its president had lost his ability to make decisions and his sense of responsibility - will take steps that undermine Israel's ability to continue to manage the two battles, military and political, and its economic stability.

In light of these scenarios, Benjamin Netanyahu decided to set fire to Al-Aqsa Mosque. When confrontations begin for the freedom of worship of Muslim citizens of Israel and Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem, a massive wave of terrorism will break out. The risks are high because of the decision, especially in light of the sense of responsibility and solidarity shown by Arab citizens of Israel, when their country was in a state of crisis. Instead of respecting the solidarity of the Arab community, Netanyahu and Ben Gvir provoke and incite against them. Every rational person sees this unpreventable dynamic. Ben Gvir and Smotrich, along with thousands of violent hilltop youth in the West Bank, who still maintain self-control, understand this.

What they are doing can only be explained by understanding that this is what they want. This is what they wish for. When the wave of “terrorism” breaks out, these Messianic people will explain to us that “terrorism” must be curbed. Thus, war will break out in all areas of the West Bank.

This is without talking about the northern border. We could try to reach understandings with Lebanon on border issues, and this could lead to a ceasefire that has pushed tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes. Through correct and precise management, without constant statements and threats, an equation can be created that allows Hezbollah to present something resembling an achievement, by resolving a dispute that has been ongoing for years regarding some points on the border, and thereby justify its withdrawal to the Litani line. This will allow Israel to restore a sense of security to the residents of the Galilee and return them to their homes for an additional 17 years of calm, as happened after the Second Lebanon War.


However, Ben Gvir and Smotrich do not want to calm the northern border. The war there will reinforce their claim that there is no solution except by annihilating all enemies, on all fronts and in all regions - regardless of the price of this confrontation. The Prime Minister knows that things are going downhill because of his absolute submission to the crazy group that controls his government. He sees, he understands, but he continues to cooperate.

Ultimately (and perhaps at the beginning as well), Netanyahu is willing to give up the hostages and undermine the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, even though they are the essential pillar of security in the State of Israel. He is prepared to destabilize relations with the United States, to the point of a public crisis with the president most committed to Israel's security in history, Joe Biden. Netanyahu understands that the continuation of this adventurous course of affairs will lead to Israel's isolation in the international community as we have never known it before.

Despite the difficult circumstances, there is no escaping the saying: Netanyahu, this will end in a lot of blood. Look, I warned you.

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Not “total victory,” but complete submission to the Messianic delusions will result in a lot of blood

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