Israel, Gaza, déjà vu
Israel had attacked Gaza once before, exactly four years ago. Comments on that attack at the time were as follows: “All eyes have turned to Palestine once more with Israel’s bombing of Gaza on December 27th, 2008. More than one thousand Palestinians have died and more than four thousand have been wounded in the conflict to date. The American indifference towards any effort to cease fire despite all calls for U.S involvement and Israel insistence on continuing attacks while widening the scope renders the situation in Gaza even more critical. The motivation behind the Gaza bombings is not only the effort to keep Hamas away from power but also the calculated strategy of winning the upcoming election in Israel.”
What has changed from 2008 to today? It seems that nothing has changed from the Israeli perspective. At the time, following the 2008 elections and a new president-elect in the United States, Israel was gearing up toward a new election as well. Today, the United States president has been recently re-elected and Israel is gearing up for yet another election in January.
Israel had begun bombing Gaza in 2008 when Obama was still the president-elect and had ceased fire temporarily before the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. Obama had begun his presidency by remaining silent on the issue of the Gaza massacres, hiding behind the excuse of not yet being the sitting president. In 2012, the United States once again declared their respect for Israel’s unending “security concerns.”
Looking at the recent events from an Israeli – and from an American perspective to a degree – feels like déjà vu. What do they think is going to happen in the end? The 600-page Goldstone report is sitting right in front of me. That is the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s report to which neither Israel nor the United States has paid any heed. That is the report that documents the crimes Israel committed in Gaza. Israel must think the most the international community can do against the massacres it keeps committing is report that Israel can be managed via the United States.
There have been huge changes in the region that Israel has mostly remained indifferent to since the 2008 bombing of Gaza. Israel alienated Turkey after slaughtering Turkish citizens in the attack on the Mavi Marmara. With the Arab uprisings, the Camp David order has been changed completely and Israel has lost Egypt as an ally. Puppet governments that conventionally absorbed regional reactions against the massacres committed by Israel are being deposed of one by one. The days of Israel’s long, unchallenging enemy, the Syrian Baathist regime, are numbered. With its new policy of the “Asian Pivot,” The U.S has already declared Asia as its new priority area in foreign policy.
Israel has been living in political déjà vu for some time now. It neither comprehends the transformation in the region, nor does it have the political capacity to analyze the future. This situation will continue as long as Israel is located geographically in the Middle East but mentally in Washington D.C. For Israel to comprehend the déjà vu its been living in, it has to overcome the mind and body division that has reached schizophrenic levels.