Fri 01 Mar 2024 5:14 pm - Jerusalem Time

Hebrew Media: There is no "day after" in Gaza without, firstly, understanding what Israel is

By Dana Weiss

Talking about the next day is misleading, as it is not about a day or a few months, but about many years to come. What we learned in the events of October 7 is that there is really no way to avoid the crucial questions about our continued presence here; How can we live alongside millions of Palestinians who share the same piece of land with us between the river and the sea?

It seems here at first glance that the discussion is about political questions with a political solution, but in practice, this discussion brings us back to the political arena and the understanding that states that there is no escape from addressing the issue, and there is a need to wake up and abandon the vision of “conflict management” that has dominated here. During the past ten years, and it increased following the “Abrahamic Agreements,” which proved that ignoring is possible, the path to normalization with the region does not pass through Ramallah, but rather the opposite.

There is also talk of a theory, within the framework of which the army preferred to have a “terrorist” organization such as “Hamas” in Gaza, which constitutes a title for the administration of the Strip, and for fear of the alternative that might require political arrangements. On the other hand, it chose the political level led by Benjamin. In recent years, Netanyahu has sought to strengthen and enhance the power of the “terrorist” organization, through bags of dollars, with the aim of isolating and weakening the Palestinian Authority. The goal of implementing the “divide and rule” policy was to prevent any possibility of the emergence of another reality in the West Bank other than what actually exists. By weakening the Palestinian Authority, deepening the settlement project, and creating facts on the ground that do not allow separation or integration.

In practice, this policy led to the growth of a type of "Hamastan" in Gaza under our eyes, and led to the strengthening of the power of "Hamas" in the West Bank, accompanied by "terrorist" waves and Iranian infrastructure that also strengthened in the east.

Along the way, years were wasted during which another alternative could have been built, or at least an internal dialogue conducted on the issue of what can be done now, and the solution that could first answer the justified fear of the majority of Israeli society of an armed and hostile Palestinian authority in the West Bank, and at the same time It itself takes into account the preferred solution of the majority that does not share its messianic vision with the extreme right. The extreme right wants to advance the vision of the entire Land of Israel from the river to the sea, and impose facts on the ground, and the same people also talk about the return of Jewish settlement to the Gaza Strip.

The plan cannot be discussed without returning to the political arena

There is no escape now, as all roads lead us to the debate that has been pushed aside, and there is no way to talk about “the next day” without Israeli society asking itself about its list of priorities: from the economy, relations with the world, all the way to the system of government, and of course what it is. The type of society he wants to see here in the future, and the answers all derive from the Palestinian issue.

A single state, or seeking a future solution of a demilitarized Palestinian authority that disavows “terrorism,” broad normalization with countries in the region, or separation from the international community and eternal war, are all part of the possible solutions, and each one has its own price. What is certain is that now, because of the fateful relationship that has been forged between the messianic extreme right and Benjamin Netanyahu, fateful decisions are being made without any in-depth discussion. Meanwhile, the reality on the ground is taking hold and becoming reality.

This is also what is happening in the Gaza Strip now, as military achievements are eroding due to the lack of a political step to end them. So why is there no such step and no horizon of decisions? As we said; Everything returns to the political level, and there is no escape from that. In order to discuss the “next day” in Gaza and the future of the entire state, we have to go through the ballot boxes, and the government must obtain a new mandate in the hope that the electoral battle this time will address what really concerns us. How can Israel, as it is supposed to, exist in this space between the river and the sea after October 7? What set of values is needed to demonstrate the strength that will keep us here for many years to come?

In the current situation, everyone who expects strategic decisions, such as Minister Gadi Eisenkot, will discover that this is happening on the ground in the hands of the one who actually holds the wheel; It is the two ministers, Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, led by Netanyahu, who are allowing this to happen.


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