Gaza Crisis: Objectives and Results

24 November 2012 | 16:51 Code : 1909537 Review General category
An essay by Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharrazi, former Deputy Foreign Minister
Gaza Crisis: Objectives and Results


While during the past few days Cairo was the traffic center of political leaders trying to find a solution to end the Gaza crisis, the question which occupied the minds of many was how could those who chanted slogans of resistance and defending the ideals of Palestine, and for years propagated the support of the Muslim Brotherhood and other similar organizations as the strategic depth of their organization, justify their behavior with regard to the Gaza crisis.

Furthermore, the question that is raised is what the objectives of the Zionist regime were in launching vast air strikes on Gaza, and whether it reached its goals or not. It seems that an assessment of Israel’s behavior in attacking Gaza will not be possible without considering domestic issues and the election campaigns of different political parties of the occupied territories. Besides, the new type of relations between Israel and the US, and the disappointment of its radical prime minister in his unsuccessful support of the Republican rival of the current US President in the recent US elections, can have impact in this regard.

It must be noted that the developments in the Islamic world during the past two years, under the name of an Islamic Awakening (or the Arab Spring), and the radical behavior of Netanyahu in Israel have caused other ideological movements and opposing parties in Israel to express harsh criticism against the government of Netanyahu, and today he is stuck in a political dead-end that has encouraged him to embark on any adventurous measure to escape from it.  

At the same time, it must be pointed out that an unprecedented incident has happened in the history of relations between the US and Israel. That is—for the first time—Israeli leaders directly and explicitly expressed their support for a candidate in the US presidential election, one who actually lost and did not enter the White House. Netanyahu’s explicit support of Mitt Romney and his defeat in the US election worsened his situation inside the country. If Mitt Romney had reached the White House, Netanyahu would have gained a stronger position, but Obama’s victory will further cool Washington and Tel Aviv’s already somewhat cold relations.

Despite the fact the Obama’s re-election will not change the major lines of US foreign policy, especially with regard to Israel, it is possible that Barack Obama will have a new outlook on the issue of the Arab-Israeli dispute. He might reach a point where he comprehends that the US can no longer pay the price for the policies of radicals in Tel Aviv. Therefore, he may ask the government of Israel to review its behavior in the region and make some reforms in its foreign policy.

This matter can be seen in the US’ non-willingness with regard to Israel’s ground forces’ entrance to Gaza. This is while in the past the US has always and without any hesitation supported Israel’s policies regarding the Palestinians, but now Obama confronted this issue with self-restraint and prevented Israel from embarking on a ground invasion of Gaza.

It seems that besides domestic objectives, Israel, through attacking Gaza, attempted to weaken the preventive power of the Palestinian forces; hence damaging the power of the Qassam Brigades; and to evaluate the military capabilities of Hamas and other Jihadist groups.

The Zionist regime assumed that with minimum cost it would be able to destroy the armament infrastructures of the Palestinian groups in order to reduce their power to attack Israel, and therefore increase its security factor. But Hamas’ military capability overcame the preventive power of the Zionist regime and Palestinian rockets flew over the Iron Dome and landed in the heart of Israel. This shows that Israel does not have an accurate understanding of the military power of the Palestinians and lives with the illusion of its own power.

But what should be considered as an outcome of this war is the strengthening of the revolutionary and Jihadist approach in the region. During recent years, a movement led by Turkey’s Erdogan began which claimed to combat Israel with new methods. This movement made efforts to take advantage of the awakening wave in Arab countries to its own benefit, and export its ideology to these countries. But this war clarified the crisis and contradictions of this movement. In Egypt, President Morsi was faced with the crisis of what position his country should take with regard to the killing of the innocent people of Palestine. The scars of the Palestinians will not be healed by niceties and diplomatic statements made by Morsi and Erdogan. Today, the public opinion of the region judges the approach of the political leaders regarding these killings.  

In fact, the question that is raised in the minds of the people in the Islamic world is how and with what logic the traditional leaders of the Arab World and Turkey do not take any measures to militarily support the Palestinians, while they continue to send ships filled with ammunitions and arms to Syria’s opposition. This is while until a few days ago, the Palestinians praised Erdogan for his bravery and efforts, and today they cannot justify the paradoxical behavior of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

Therefore, a logical outcome of this war can be the return to a revolutionary approach of foreign policy in the region, the models of which are Iran and Hezbollah. The Zionist regime was well aware of the fact that by continuing its attacks against Gaza, the grounds would have been prepared for the awakening of the Jihadist movements of the Middle East, and perhaps that is why it accepted the truce with the Palestinians.

Nevertheless, what can be interpreted from the present crisis in Gaza is that the complicated crises of the Middle East and its equations are becoming more complex day by day, and one cannot confront them with the policies of the past.

The US and other world powers must know that the equation of the Middle East region will not be solved without the presence of all regional powers. Perhaps one of the objectives of the Zionist regime behind attacking Gaza was to weaken or delay the possibility of dialogue between Iran and the US—and to overshadow it—but it seems that the crisis in Gaza, more than ever before, proved to Obama that he needs to interact with Iran as the proponent of dialogue, revolutionary and Jihadist ideas in the region, so that part of the problems of the region, from Syria to Gaza, can be solved with Iran’s support.

tags: israel zionist gaza jihadist