sábado, 22 de maio de 2021

O melhor artigo sobre a guerra Israel e Palestinos

Sensação de derrota em Israel Mesmo com o cessarfogo, Israel enfrentará uma nova realidade Leiam o excelente artigo do The New Yorker. Even with a Ceasefire, Israel Must Face a Changed Reality There is a growing sense that Israel cannot come out of this crisis the same country it was when it went into it. By Bernard Avishai May 21, 2021 Palestinians crowd the streets carrying flags. Palestinians in Gaza City take to the streets to celebrate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas that went into effect early Friday morning. The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel went into effect at 2 a.m. local time on Friday, and seems to be holding. Israelis woke up to their military claiming to have “achieved all our operational goals.” Many Gazans, in turn, celebrated in the streets through the night—among them Khalil al-Hayya, a leader of Hamas’s slate in the now essentially cancelled Palestinian parliamentary elections, whose home in Gaza City was bombed. “This is the euphoria of victory,” he said. The violence lasted eleven days, long enough for the Israeli military to give its operation a name, Guardian of the Walls, though its briefings to the media have mainly been about tunnels. Hamas has built a web of them, many dozens of miles long, under Gaza’s cities; the defense establishment commonly refers to them, with perverse respect, as the Metro. Israel has mapped them, owing to “very high-quality intelligence”—so the leader of the Southern Command, Eliezer Toledano, told television reporters, last Sunday evening. By Tuesday morning, a military spokesman had claimed that the Air Force had bombed nine launch sites, including some in the tunnels, destroying sixty-five weapons launchers. It even bombed parts not immediately involved in the current action, Toledano added, just to send a message to the Hamas military leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammad Deif—themselves now targets—that the tunnels are a “death trap.” Before the ceasefire, the Israeli military claimed to have destroyed more than a hundred kilometres—sixty-two miles—of the tunnels, which is, notionally, the main goal “achieved.” Some buildings above the tunnels also became death traps. The Jerusalem Post reports that the military claims to have destroyed buildings containing “10 government offices, 11 internal security targets, and five banks that manage terror funds.” The Gaza Health Ministry reports that at least two hundred and forty Palestinians, including sixty-six children, have been killed; the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that seventy-five thousand people have been displaced or made homeless. Israeli government spokesmen, in contrast, say that two hundred and twenty-five militants have been killed, including twenty-five senior commanders—numbers that, for obvious reasons, do not quite match up. By midweek, Israel’s strategic logic seemed to have been reduced to destroying more tunnels and, collaterally, what was around them, including vital infrastructure such as the water and power supply; and destroying alleged command centers in multistory buildings—including, now famously, the Gaza headquarters of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. By Friday morning, more than four thousand rockets had been launched toward Israeli cities, especially Ashkelon, on the coast; many of the rockets got through the Iron Dome anti-missile shield. Thirteen people were killed in Israel, including two Thai workers; among the Israeli victims were an Arab father and his sixteen-year-old daughter, in the city of Lod. The mayhem is Hamas’s fault, Israeli officials say, as they often do, because Hamas attacks Israeli civilians and hides behind civilians in Gaza. (The Netanyahu government is clearly more comfortable briefing diplomats and reporters about rockets and tunnels than about settlers enforcing evictions in Sheikh Jarrah and Israeli police officers harassing Palestinians during Ramadan—actions which sparked disturbances the previous week.) The point of Israel’s operation seems to have been new entries in a grotesque ledger, shared with Hamas, whose bottom line is “deterrence,” a more strategic-sounding word than “intimidation.” “No question,” Channel 12’s military correspondent, Roni Daniel, said, “the longer this fighting lasts, the more direct hits—this will push the next round further off into the future.” By Thursday, talk of deterrence was superseded by President Joe Biden’s demand for de-escalation, and the imminence of a ceasefire. So military analysts began speaking instead of an anticipated final flurry of Hamas rockets, and final Israeli bombing runs, expecting each side to try for, as Haaretz put it, an “image of victory.” In the end, thankfully, both sides satisfied themselves with the images that they already had. It is an indication of how stale such tit-for-that rhetoric has become that a segment by the comedian John Oliver, mocking the phrase, has gone viral, even in Israel. The Israeli military’s claims fall especially flat, he said, because Israel has an enormous power advantage—which has yielded the disproportionate number of deaths. (That’s true, though of course it does not exonerate Hamas.) Oliver further argued that the Gazan civilians who are paying that price have no collective power over what Hamas does. He might have added that, as many Israelis have suggested, if Gazans did have such power, the Israeli government might have prompted them to exert it by, say, distributing covid-19 vaccines, or offering to rehabilitate the power station, rather than conducting air strikes. But the military’s rhetoric has grown stale in Israel for a quite different reason. This latest escalation has given Israel a glimpse of a widening potential threat that Benjamin Netanyahu and his military, whatever their specific contingency plans, have not prepared the public for: emboldened defiance, from the West Bank to the Lebanon front, and from the streets of Lod to Washington, D.C. Palestinian euphoria derives from justified Israeli anxiety. A potential sequence of resulting events seems all too obvious now. The suffering in Gaza might spark protests in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem, or vice versa; Israeli responses to such protests could provoke accelerating violence, much like what happened with the al-Aqsa intifada, which Ariel Sharon provoked, in 2000, and which led to the deaths of three thousand Palestinians and a thousand Israelis. (On Friday afternoon, just hours after the ceasefire, tens of thousands of Palestinians took part in afternoon prayers at al-Aqsa, some waving Palestinian flags; by the end of the afternoon, there were fresh confrontations with Israeli police.) Such violence could cause further unrest in Israel, which, during the past week, has experienced street fighting between its Arab and Jewish citizens. That, in turn, could well incite Palestinians in Jordan, who are ambivalent about the Hashemite monarchy’s legitimacy and impatient with its peace treaty with Israel. The chaos would almost certainly mobilize Iranian-backed Hezbollah cadres in Lebanon, who have seen the damage that volleys of rockets can do. Netanyahu, or any right-wing successor, would be hard-pressed to counter such a changed landscape, on multiple fronts, without America’s backing. But a growing number of Palestinian supporters in the United States (and particularly in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party) would argue that the Prime Minister and his decade-long Likud dominance in the Knesset brought the catastrophe on themselves. And they would not be wrong. Hamas drove the Fatah leaders of the Palestinian Authority from Gaza, in 2007. When Netanyahu took office for the second time, two years later, he dissociated himself from the progress that his predecessor Ehud Olmert had made with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, within the scope of the Oslo peace process. Netanyahu redoubled the government’s commitment to settlements and an exclusive claim to Jerusalem, implying that Palestinian sovereignty could be endlessly deferred, and Greater Israel persistently built, as long as the Palestinian leadership was riven. It served Netanyahu’s interests to keep Palestine divided; indeed, he instigated the last round of attacks on Hamas in Gaza, in July, 2014, in part to foil the unity agreement that Abbas and Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh had implemented that June. In 2015, the Knesset member Bezalel Smotrich, a settler zealot and Netanyahu ally, put it bluntly: “In the international arena, in the game of delegitimization,” he said, “the Palestinian Authority is a liability, and Hamas is an asset.” The challenge was to keep Hamas both solvent and in check: the former by allowing Qatar to subsidize the organization, the latter by periodically attacking it—like “mowing the lawn,” as some in the military grimly put it.

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