Before we start covering the news from Palestine in the current mode for the website, we need to provide some important explanations. We understand very well that some of our readers will agree with some of them, some with a part of them, and some will not like some of them. Nevertheless, we have to write this because, judging by the past few days, no one else will say it except us. So we will have to do it ourselves, and we may be criticized. But let’s go in order.
The long-term cause of what is happening is the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Israeli authorities’ rejection of a political solution to the Palestinian problem on the basis defined by the international community, including UN General Assembly resolutions. Specifically, the creation of two states for two peoples, the cessation of illegal settlement construction, the removal of existing settlements, the return of refugees, and other issues listed in these resolutions. For years, the Israeli authorities have been doing the opposite, including expanding illegal settlements. And during the years of Netanyahu’s rule, they have done so with an increase in punitive raids in the occupied Palestinian territories. These raids kill more Palestinians than the number of Israelis killed in a day of Hamas attacks, but because this happens over time and does not attract media attention, the world could care less. However, this has become the systemic cause of the ongoing violence and will lead to new outbreaks until a systemic solution to this problem is found. Therefore, regardless of how Muslims feel about Hamas and its actions, we must all be united in demanding a just solution and the implementation of the recognized right of the Palestinian people to their own state with its capital in (East) Jerusalem.
When we talk more specifically about the current reason for what is happening now, we need to move from the general level of Jewish-Arab relations to a consideration of the forces currently at work, their motives and interests. And here we will see that, strangely enough, this war serves the interests of those who seem to be opposed to each other. On the one hand, for Netanyahu and his allies, against whom almost half of the Jews who participated in the mass demonstrations spoke out, this is an opportunity to rally the people around them and stay in power. On the other hand, for Hamas, this is an opportunity to stay in power and to prevent the rapprochement between Israel and Arab countries like Saudi Arabia. And here a question may arise: didn’t the one contradict the other in this case? If Hamas wanted to sabotage the normalization of Israel’s relations with the Arab world, does that mean that normalization was in Netanyahu’s interest, not war? No, it doesn’t contradict, because Netanyahu and his allies are trying to establish control over the Israeli state, but it is not yet equal to Netanyahu. And the normalization of relations with the Arab world is a long-term interest of Israel as a state, which does not guarantee the preservation of Netanyahu in power, but rather, considering that he builds his entire politics and career on escalation and war.
Therefore, strangely enough, the interests of the Netanyahu camp and Hamas coincide here. And, just as importantly, they coincide with the interests of another actor – the Kremlin, which has close relations with both of them and others. As well as the Iranian regime, which is aligned with the Kremlin. It benefits the Kremlin by diverting the West’s attention and resources from Ukraine and undermining the unity of the anti-Kremlin forces, which we are witnessing now and will discuss further. And it benefits Iran by not allowing its isolation as a result of the normalization in the Middle East, but rather solidifying its position as the leader of all Muslims who support Hamas, regardless of what they themselves think about it or whether they want it or not.
Now, the part that will certainly not please many, but we cannot avoid writing about it.
Why did we pay so much attention to the success of Azerbaijan in the Second Karabakh War and the Third One-Day War? Not only because it was the solution of an important issue for our people at the national and regional levels. But also because it was a very rare example for modern Muslims of how to solve such problems not only with violence, but with real and intelligent violence. By preparing for it economically, in terms of personnel and information, by gaining the support of several international platforms, by creating an army for it, and after all, by coming for what is rightfully theirs, in order not to leave later.
No less important aspect of Azerbaijan’s effectiveness in the One-Day War was maximum restraint. Yes, they were accused of ethnic cleansing, but no one could say that there was mass killing, genocide, etc. And this is because the Azerbaijani leadership and the Azerbaijani army provided an organized exit of the civilian population, the police distributed water and sweets to children, and journalists politely interviewed their representatives and offered them to stay under the guarantee of the Azerbaijani state. Even the separatist leaders, whose hands were stained with the blood of thousands of Azerbaijanis, were treated very correctly, presented to the public as intact individuals, their statements were taken according to the protocol.
What prevented Hamas from conducting its operation in a similar manner? And would the world’s reaction be the same if Hamas officers showed a respectful attitude towards the civilian population and the prisoners held by them, as it is now, when videos of naked corpses being transported on motorcycles, stripped hostages – women, public humiliation of prisoners and hostages are published on the Internet? Someone may say that they couldn’t hold back and retaliated for the violence and humiliation of the Israeli forces. But according to this logic, the Azerbaijani forces should have carried out a massacre because they also had something to avenge. But this is the difference between a serious state political force and spontaneous, uncontrolled violence.
And the main difference in this situation is that Azerbaijan had been preparing for a long time to go in and not to go out. Hamas, on the other hand, entered in a surprising way, but few doubt that in the best case they will keep what they conquered, and in the worst case they will lose what they had.
And here we cannot fail to note that in recent decades examples of effective solutions to military-political problems have been demonstrated by Turks and (unfortunately) Persian Shiites, but not by Arab groups. Turks – during the Cyprus war, then during Turkey’s operations in Syria and Libya, and finally during the last two Karabakh wars. The Persian Shiites, regardless of how we perceive them, have managed to build a serious state with an army and intelligence services, their nuclear program, and have established themselves through their Shiite proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and their “Sunni” proxy Hamas in Gaza, regularly forcing even those who cannot stand them to play by their rules.
But everything related to the activities of jihadist groups in the Arab world or their branches in non-Arab countries is, to use modern jargon, “epic failure”. And it works mainly according to the principle of doing something very striking and impressive, mobilizing the support of Muslims through emotions, provoking a harsh reaction, including against the peaceful Muslim population, and then expressing outrage about it. This was the case with the 9/11 attacks, with the ISIS blitzkrieg, and most likely it could be the case now in Palestine.
But most of all, what is heartbreaking is not even the approach of these groups. After all, they are solving their specific tasks – both Hamas and Iran understand very well what they are doing and why. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about their spontaneous fans among the Muslims occupied by Russia or resisting its occupation. In the last two days, they forgot, due to their emotions, about their goals and tasks, who their allies are now, who their opponents are, and what place Hamas occupies in these alignments. They were ready to throw everything away, to justify any madness they commit, and as a result, to break our relations with our allies and sacrifice our priorities. And precisely because the issue of Al-Aqsa and Palestine is an issue of the entire Ummah, and not of a few shady groups manipulated by Iran, it is in its interest that this issue be resolved by the forces that have proven their effectiveness in the long run, and not by actions based on the principle of “if we can’t catch up, we’ll heat things up”. And these forces, represented by countries like Turkey, have clearly stated what is needed now – to stop the bloodshed and begin a serious political settlement of this problem with the participation of international mediators.