palestine israel history

Written by Lt Gen (R) Tariq Khan 5:13 pm Articles, Current Affairs, International Relations, Published Content

A Comprehensive History of the Ongoing Palestine-Israel Conflict

Lt Gen. (R) Tariq Khan attempts to analyse the reality of the Arab-Israel conflict. It is a complicated conflict in the sense that it has a historical angle, a military dimension and a political influence. However, it is, at the same time, a simple conflict also, as it is easily explained as a phenomenon triggered by the illegal occupation of land by a usurper and the legitimate response by the legal occupants of the land in resisting this unlawful occupation.
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About the Author(s)
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Lt Gen (Rtd) Tariq Khan is a retired army officer who has served as the head of Pakistan’s Central Command.

The Plight of the Palestinians

What all had to be said about the latest Palestinian tragedy has probably been said already. The crisis has been analysed and over-analysed, yet goes on unabated and is witnessed by an indifferent world. There is no new substance one can add to the history of Palestine and Israel and all that which has already been printed and presented. While there is little one can do to alleviate the wails and anguish of the Gazan community, empathy and compassion for human dignity demand that one should at the least firmly establish where he or she stands.

 “Self Defence is not just a set of techniques. It’s a state of mind that begins with the belief that you are worth defending.” Rorion Gracie

Where life and death matters, picking a side is important, lest the wrong that civilisation perpetuates on its own remains forgotten and buried in the confusion of false narratives, hypocrisy, duplicity and perfidy publicised to hide reality. Thus, one finds oneself at a loss when in search of plausible cause and reason to determine why whole communities in general, but women and children in particular, are subjected to deliberate violence and brutality and written off in the name of collateral loss.  

To begin with, propriety demands that one must not reduce one’s argument to generalisation – it serves no purpose other than providing an environment to indict the other, with each accusation nothing more than a product of a historically driven but structured perception and a shaped opinion vested in self-interest. One should instead point towards specific incidents related to legal, moral, communal and societal violations so that the objective of the analysis is not lost in emotional rhetoric and political oratory.

Such superficial justifications are usually tainted by respective prejudices, biases and propaganda that usually find artificial moral traction through the infamous cliché, ‘In the best interest of our respective states’. This one sentence holds the key to explaining human conduct founded on fake values that justify extending a moral and physical license to annihilate whole communities, all in the name of patriotism, self-defence and national preservation. After all, as Samuel Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

A God-given Right

The backdrop to the Israeli-Arab crisis goes back to over a century and is not a new phenomenon. The Jews claim that God gave Israel to the Jews and thus established a perpetual divine right to rule the land. Arab Jews have lived side by side with the Arab Muslims in Palestine for centuries and there is nothing new in this, but bringing in Jews from Europe and the rest of the world, changing the demographic equation on the basis of a biblical statement that is 4000 years old is a ridiculous rational.

The hills and undulating terrain next to—and including—Jerusalem were always known and named as Zion and this took on a symbolic clarion call for Jews all over the world to ‘return to and concentrate around Zion’. Thus all Jews worldwide who want to establish their presence central to Zion are commonly addressed as Zionists; all Zionists are Jews but all Jews are not Zionists.

This sentiment of Zionism was later translated into the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a book originally published in 1903, but was later banned. It has since been rejected by the Jews as a piece of propaganda against them. One can take Jewish denials with a pinch of salt, simply a fake claim to dissociate from the book. The book refers to the world divided into the Goyam (non-Jews) and the Jews, with the Jews having the divine right to rule the world.

The 1917 Balfour Declaration

The four pillars of Jewish global dominance evolved around: first, propaganda/media/news etc., second, gold and banking, third, entertainment/amusement and exploitation of human vulnerabilities and weaknesses and fourth, clandestine infiltration into societies using women and wealth. (Protocols of the Elders of Zion now disclaimed by the Jews as a fake narrative). However, the Protocols eventually led to the Balfour Declaration of 1917 between the British government and the US entrepreneur Baron Rothschild, assisted by the manipulations of TE Lawrence of Arabia. 

The Balfour Declaration exists to date and specifically mentions a “national home for the Jewish people” but it never mentioned a separate country for the Jews. The concept was actually first raised by Napoleon when he conquered Acres in 1799 and recommended a Jewish homeland in Palestine. However, his proposal was based on establishing a French Protectorate and colony in the region. Later, the proposed national home for the Jews was carved out of Palestinian land by the British.

Implicit, in this whole process, with divine sanction, international conspiracy and British duplicity, nowhere, is there any sign of Palestinian involvement or relevance towards the entire process. The League of Nations allowed Palestine to be governed by a British Protectorate in 1922, having truncated the Ottoman Empire, which it had been a part of. The British had no legal or moral right to give this land to the international Jewish community and that too at the expense of the Palestinians.

A State is Created at the Expense of Another

Israel was established on 14th May 1948, sliced out of Palestinian land without Palestinian consultation or representation, and was immediately declared a state, contrary to the commitments of the Balfour Declaration. A UN resolution demanded that two separate states be established, i.e. Palestine and Israel. However, multitudes of Jews immigrated from Europe and it so happened that the British had to limit the number of Jewish refugees entering Israel and tried to confine those that had arrived to refugee camps. This led to an armed/terrorist-style confrontation between the Jews and the British, with the British conveniently surrendering the moral ground and then in their usual style, leaving the stage without a resolution to the problem.

Since then, there have been 6 wars that Israel has fought with its neighbours. The first as early as 1948-49 involved the attack on Deir Yassin by the terrorist organisation of Irgun Zvai and the Stern gang. The Arabs responded by attacking a convoy carrying passengers to Jerusalem, killing 78 Jews. The conflict resulted in declaring 78% of Mandatory Palestine as Israel (Mandatory Palestine was established between 1920 and 1948 by the League of Nations as the Mandate of Palestine). This effectively disposed the Palestinians of their lands, homes and possessions that had always been theirs since recorded history. The incident is referred to by the Arabs as Nekhba (catastrophe).

Later, a coalition of Arab Nations, led by Egypt, attacked Israel in 1956, to right the wrong perpetuated by the West but the Arabs were not up to the task. Resultantly, Israel captured huge swaths of territory that after negotiations was returned to the respective countries and Israel found itself back to the borders established in March 1956.

In 1967, the Arabs again initiated a war against Israel, famously known as the 6-day war, where Israel captured Sinai, Gaza and acquired total control of Jerusalem. Subsequently, Egypt, in 1973, mounted another offensive with its allies that led to a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel – peace was negotiated with the normalisation of relations between Egypt and Israel based on the Camp David Accords. However, this was widely unpopular in the Muslim world and was the direct cause of President Anwar Sadat’s assassination.

Resistance against Israeli occupation and expansion by the Arab communities and the Palestinians continued in simmering sporadic conflicts. It led to the raising of Hezbollah as a resistance movement against the Israelis; the resistance was conducted from Lebanon. This eventually caused Israel to pursue its aggressive designs into Lebanon, first in 1982 and then again in 2006 mainly against Hezbollah who now became the face of the resistance.

Population Size

The total number of Jews in the world is about 15 million at best, or the Jewish population is 0.2% of the world population. Of these, 81% live in the US and Israel with the rest sprinkled all over Europe and the rest of the world. The US has a total of 6 million Jews, while 7 million live in Israel making up 73% of the total population of Israel.

The global Palestinian population is 14.7 million, of which 6.6 reside in Israel including Gaza and the West Bank and 1.6 million live within internationally recognised borders of Israel which makes up 20% of the population in Israel. The major population of Palestinians in Israel are divided into two spaces, i.e. Gaza and the West Bank.

The Palestinians confined to Gaza are about 2.2 million souls restricted to a space that is 41 km long and 10 km at its widest, making a total area of 3675 sq km. Gaza has the Mediterranean Sea to the west and Israel to the east and north while Egypt is to its south. Gaza is recognised as the most densely populated area in the world and is under perpetual siege by Israel.

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The West Bank, on the other hand, is landlocked and lies east of Jerusalem and west of River Jordan and has a land area of 5640 sq km plus a water area comprising the Dead Sea, amounting to another 220 sq km. The population involves 2.7 million Palestinians and 6,70,000 Israeli settlers. The settlements are considered to be illegal by the international community.

The strategy of settlements is a product of the Allon Plan named after Yigal Allon and is designed to expand beyond the recognised borders of Israel into the West Bank by forcibly expelling Palestinians, illegally occupying Palestinian property and lands, and annexing other spaces such as the Golan Heights, Jordan Valley and East Jerusalem. The Allon Plan is commonly called pogroms (exterminations) by the Israeli community themselves. This has since been internationally considered as a war crime.

Violation of International Law

Israel is a blatant violator of international law and has no moral, legal or administrative justification for taking over lands from Palestine based on a flimsy argument that it was granted to them by God. This illegal annexation and occupation of Palestinian lands started in 1948 but in fact, mass immigration of Jews into Israel was encouraged under the British Protectorate since the late 1920s.

International indifference towards the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinians has been shocking and has exposed Western duplicity in the face of human tragedy.  The international Muslim community is about 2 billion and comprises 25% of the global population. Despite holding the major resource in fossil fuels and wealth, this 25% is overwhelmed by the .2 % of Jews and is incapable of lifting a finger to help the Palestinians.

On the other hand, with a hold on US politics, Jewish control over US international policy is astounding. A clear case of the tail that wags the dog. It is neither difficult to understand nor something to be amazed about as to why the Jews have been persecuted throughout history – again and again. With a small population of Jews in the world, they still wield a disproportionate influence in the affairs of the entire globe in general and the Middle East in particular at present.

They manage to get involved in the polity, politics, economy, media and the security paradigms of the nations of interest. However, taking a leaf out of the research done by Jayne Gardner, a summary of the Jewish modus operandi is explained: historically, Jews have been expelled from 79 countries and from some, multiple times. Some of the amazing incidents explaining their treachery involve the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, an American intelligence-gathering ship in 1967, killing 34 US servicemen and wounding many more. It was a false flag operation that was exposed and was intended to provoke a US response against Egypt.

Israel justified the matter as a case of mistaken identity, a claim passionately contradicted by the survivors of the USS Liberty, with ample evidence but who were then threatened by a court martial if they persisted with their accusations. One objective was to block any intelligence gathered pertaining to and giving away the intent of an Israeli attack on the Golan Heights, in violation of an international peace accord and ceasefire.

The second objective was to instigate a US-Egyptian confrontation by mounting a false flag operation accusing Egypt of the attack. Similarly, there is the curious case of Jonathan Pollard and other Israeli spies conducting clandestine operations against the US, but the US turned a blind eye towards this blatant act of deceit and disloyalty. It is amazing to read about anti-genteelism and the hate perpetuated in the Babylonian Talmud. That it is okay to kill and steal from a gentile (non-Jew) but that Jewish lives are sacred. That their ‘chutzpah’, that claims, a gentile is equated with a barnyard animal, is a prominent thought process.

The constant search for a new definition of political correctness where historians such as German Rudolph and David Irving, including many others, were incarcerated simply for making an academic inquiry into a specific period of history. Others too have been arrested or assassinated for simply trying to rationalise the narrative of the holocaust and into bringing out the reality of that tragedy as it really was.

It is very clear that the US-Iraq war of 2003 was an Israeli demand and had no political, moral or military justification. The war was manipulated by Jewish Zionists, “Israeli Firsters” in the Bush administration by Israel so that Jewish blood could be spared and instead young US men and women could be sacrificed. It is they who control the Middle Eastern policy of the US as it is they who control the Congress, the Senate and the puppet President currently a cadaver on life support.

The Fate of Jerusalem

In December 2017, East Jerusalem was illegally occupied and is now controlled by Israel contrary to the International Court of Justice’s ruling. Only the US has recognised Jerusalem to be the new Israeli capital while the international community have not extended any such recognition. China still recognises East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. Inconsistent with the status of corpus-separatum, the UN has designated East Jerusalem as an Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The corpus-separatum (separate-body resolution) was passed by a United Nations General Assembly with a 2/3rd majority in November 1947 and is instrumental in declaring Jerusalem as an international city to be governed by the United Nations. Thus Israel has continued unabated, with its perfidy, betrayal and dishonesty.

7th October Attack

On 7th October 2023, Hamas executed a brilliant land, air and sea manoeuvre against Israel. One of the questions is, why did Hamas choose 7th October 2023 to put in a sudden attack on Israeli territory? The current crisis is not a standalone event and has a lot to do with international politics and global dynamics as well. Thus, the Palestinian attack on Israeli settlement and the military basis must not be seen in isolation. With 75 years of occupation, continual Israeli brutality, genocide and forced expansion onto Palestinian lands with an indifferent international community and a totally impotent United nation, the attack on Israel was an event waiting to happen.

It was never about ‘if’ but ‘when’ would it happen. At this time, there was also a buzz of anticipation in an Israeli and Saudi initiative at normalisation of the relationship and it obviously involved the entire Middle East as well as many other Muslim countries. In this context, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the United Nations on a new trade corridor on 23rd September 2023.

A Plea for Existence

A utopian idea of connecting Israel, India, the Arab world, Africa and Europe. It was a US initiative and a response to the Chinese BRI. Even when it was announced, it never appeared to be something that could fly. However, the diplomatic activity around the suggestion was bringing the Saudis and the Muslim world into a normal relationship with Israel. Such a rapprochement between the Islamic world and Israel would have left the Palestinians out on a limb and totally in the cold and with a global indifference towards the Palestinian plight that they had been suffering for decades—Hamas had to act, there was no choice.

If the rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia/Middle East had met with any success, Palestine and its people would have been relegated to history and no one would have ever raised a finger to support them. They would have been forgotten and totally side-lined, while trade and business would further downgrade Palestine to an anonymous entity, corporate activity taking precedence over human dignity and decency.

So Hamas acted, a desperate die was cast, a fight for survival—with a major objective to only post a claim to exist. Some still insist that with the sophisticated early warning system, the automated Iron Dome concept and mobilisation plans available to Israel, it is inconceivable that Israel was surprised and that this was a trap/false flag operation to justify an Israeli attack on Gaza. This implies that 1400 Israeli casualties and 203 hostages taken into Gaza were actually deliberately sacrificed by the Israelis to facilitate a casus belie to conduct reprisals against Palestinians. That Hamas was by implication, an accomplice to the Israeli grand deception.

Israelis have never needed a rational or moral justification to attack the Palestinians and have always pursued genocidal atrocities against the Palestinian population without the need to justify their conduct. International indifference to the Palestinian plight makes it all the more permissible and acceptable. The Israelis have done this repeatedly in the past while the world watched on benignly.

The system that the Israelis have put up in their defence has never been tested for its impregnability and as such was susceptible and open to hacking as well as hostile electronic disruptive warfare. Also, Hamas would never conspire with the Israelis. The question that now arises is where and how have $150 billion in bilateral assistance including an average of 4 billion annual military aid from the United States been utilised and to what effect? Or then has Israeli incompetence and lack of capacity been finally exposed – are Israeli vulnerabilities so easy to exploit?

Having said this, one ought to keep in mind that the Palestinians possess three combat elements designed to prosecute a war against Israel against whatever combat potential Israel has. The first is Hamas (an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Fighters) which has 25000 primarily Sunni Muslim members and is generally located in and around the Gaza Strip. It is the legally elected representative of the Palestinian people and won the 2006 election removing Fatah of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the Gaza Strip.

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The control of the West Bank remains with secular Fatah, though. Fatah is the largest component of the PLO and is seen by the Arabs as a compromised group that is not open to resisting Israeli occupation. Hamas is resourced and funded by Egypt through sympathetic groups/individuals due to easy geographical access. Iran is a principal sponsor of Hamas despite its Sunni flavour; Iran is extending its help in pursuance of its state policy, while Qatar is a main funding source amongst many other nations of the world.

The most controversial part of Hamas’ history is the rumour that it was first established by Israel as a counterweight to PLO in 1987 but has since then turned rogue and effectively become the strongest critic and resistance fighter against Israel. Then there is the Islamic Jihad or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) with a strength of about 10,000 and is considered to be a part of the Axis of Resistance.

An offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, it acquired its ideology from Iran. It is mostly in the West Bank but has a presence in the Gaza Strip as well. The PIJ has its logistic and administrative depth in Syria but gets substantial support from Iran. It has headquarters in Damascus and Beirut. Unlike Hamas, PIJ does not participate in any political activity.

The largest and strongest group, Hezbollah, claims to have about 100,000 Shiite fighters which some analysts feel is an exaggeration but the consensus is that they can field about 20,000 trained fighters with a potential to grow to 30,000 through volunteers. Hezbollah is located in Lebanon and was founded in 1982. It has grown and acquired experience in the Syrian as well as the Lebanese civil wars and has been engaged in resisting Israel since its inception, making it a very battle-hardened organisation. Hezbollah is totally supported by Iran and is armed with sophisticated Russian missiles such as the SA-22 ground-to-air weapon system.

So what we are looking at in total is a Palestinian resistance capacity to generate about 60,000 fighters that can apply themselves from the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Lebanon and the Golan Heights. This makes it a potentially multi-directional force as well as a multi-dimensional character i.e. urban warfare and guerrilla-style, hit-and-run sporadic engagements. The resistance movement would avoid standing battles and static hard-point resistance, preferring to wax and wane.

For Hamas to have executed their manoeuvre on the 7th of October successfully, they must have gone through the process of diligently planning it for some time. It needed to be resourced, training of people had to be undertaken, and the execution rehearsed for the efficacy of timing, objectives, simultaneity and mutual support. They must have waited for an opportune time. As already explained, new bilateral initiatives between the Arabs and the Israelis must have been the trigger that set these operations off.

On the other hand, with such a brilliant execution of a surprise manoeuvre, is it really possible that the Hamas did not appreciate the ‘end-state’ of their operation? That the obvious consequence would be the brutal genocide against the civilian population of Gaza? It is not possible that this conclusion had not been arrived at, considered, and analysed. However, with the recent unprovoked Al Aqsa Mosque attacks, the evident Israeli intent in clearing more space for settlers, expansionist designs and a totally indifferent global opinion as to what was happening, it is quite possible that Hamas had deliberately done what it did on 7th October 2023, with the intent to bait and embroil the Israeli Army into a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.

This operational thought would have been to nudge the Israeli military posture, bias and bearing into attempting to dominate the Gaza Strip. The Israeli warning to the Palestinians to vacate Gaza and move South is a clear indicator that the ruse worked. US foreign secretary Blinken’s visit to Egypt was to convince them to allow the Palestinians to enter the Sinai and settle there is one thought, and Egyptian President General Sissi’s remarks that he hoped the problem of the Gaza Strip would not turn into a regional issue is another. Both indicate an Israeli intent to execute a Palestinian exodus vacating the Gaza Strip.

Israel sees this as an opportunity to align its border along the Red Sea, remove the irritant of Palestinians living in Gaza and improve their security paradigm, thus being drawn into the Hamas gambit. However, after the first knee-jerk announcement, Israel realised that they may be walking into a trap and as such have started to display a tentative streak in entering Gaza. As such, the whole process of expanding into Gaza is most likely a mindless reaction but one that fulfils an old-standing ambition to annihilate the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and sometime later, the West Bank too.

Though the current onslaught on Gaza, killing over 7000 civilians (29th October 20223 at the time of writing this paper) and murdering roughly 500 to 700 a day by aerial bombardment can be ruled out as an Israeli initiative and viewed more as a response, yet in the overall context, it must also be seen as an opportunity for the Israelis to pursue their expansionist plan in accordance to their age-old desire.

Yet, something is holding the Israelis back and the first is that Hamas has conditioned the space in Gaza for a long-standing and protracted guerrilla warfare based on underground tunnels and sub-surface manoeuvres for which the Israelis are not prepared at the moment. A matter illustrated by the combined US and Israeli Special Operations Brigade’s attempt to infiltrate into Gaza which led to their total destruction as they were cut down to pieces.

The other factor holding back the Israelis is the much greater threat that Hezbollah imposes from Lebanon, a flank in the northern extremity of Israel. Some militant action can be expected from Jordan in the West as well as the West Bank. With a large-scale ground offensive into the Gaza Strip, the implications on a military level are that first there would be a relative vacuum in Israel that can easily be exploited, while the forces in Gaza could be inextricably embroiled in a war of attrition.

With tempers high, the situation fluid and the environment uncertain, the military objectives have become more absolute: either no Israeli to be left standing or no Palestinians allowed to survive. Since this is not a realistic end-state, what is more likely is that one side will succumb to the pressures of combat and violence and surrender its sovereignty. At present, Israel seems to be too strong to be forced into a sort of surrender or a negotiated settlement, but the situation is not militarily promising for them either.

The Palestinians have the advantage that in preference to being totally wiped out, they still have options to migrate to other places within the region. This is what the Israelis hope for, by the genocide they are perpetuating and forcing the Palestinians out of Gaza. The nature of the war in Palestine will be asymmetric with one side using hi-tech equipment and the other rudimentary weapon systems. Mobility would be severely curtailed due to the destruction caused by the air bombardment.

The objectives would be absolutely aimed at the total annihilation of one or the other but would most likely be moderated by arriving at a culmination point at some stage by either side, leading to a negotiated settlement. However, to arrive at such a culmination point the war will be protracted. This would have other implications for the region. However, logistics for both sides will begin to matter very soon into the war and what kind of international support is provided to either side in terms of administration, logistics, munitions and arsenal.  

The character of the war would be focused on human targeting and causing heavy causalities. Operations would have to be based on intelligence; the Israelis having very limited human intelligence would have to depend on electronic and digital intelligence, which is susceptible to disruption by hacking, jamming or overloading of information. Since Hamas would be mostly underground, their knowledge of the terrain and locally improvised communication methods would help them remain fluid, illusive and with flexible foot mobility. 

Space would not have any direct bearing on success but controlling critical areas would. This implies setting up a series of static posts by Israel to facilitate movement and ensure command and control but then the posts themselves would be vulnerable. Hamas would have the advantage of fighting on their home ground and would be comfortable with whatever spaces they manage. The execution of the war in Gaza would be initiated by Israel and undertaken by small Israeli combat groups entering Gaza and then trying to circumvent the rubble and the catering created by the air bombardment.

Hamas would or should have planned to isolate individual Israeli combat groups and then destroy them piecemeal. Logistics would be nearly impossible to move forward without relative protection which would make it difficult. As such, each combat group would have to be self-sustained for a specific amount of time, probably 72 hours. It implies that there would be designated staging areas where the combat groups could be refitted, rested and provisioned for the next 72 hours.

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These designated areas would have to be accessible to helicopters and the destruction now caused would be far and wide apart and easily identified. Here is where Hamas using shoulder-held surface-to-air missiles can cause great damage. The only way Israel can sustain operations in such an environment is to apply itself in a multi-directional and flexible spectrum across the entire Gaza Strip with its small combat groups so as to saturate Hamas’ responses. Thus boots on the ground would be the key to success for them, but the current concentration of 300,000 troops will not be enough. This is especially so because no tactical mobility is possible in the rubble of Gaza. 

Evacuation of causalities will become very difficult and morale will sap on account of this. Connectivity with the base of operations will always remain vulnerable at a number of points and highly susceptible to disruption by Hamas, causing isolated fighting in areas operationally cut off. While Gaza gets busy in a direct military confrontation, the rest of Israel will be open to infiltration and missile attacks. Hezbollah is likely to exploit the vacuum from the north using bases in Lebanon, causing a pull on the troops in Gaza thus further slowing down the Gaza operations.

As combat escalates, the West Bank is likely to erupt and cause further military setbacks to Israel in the West thus making it a multi-directional combat situation for Israel for which they lack human resource. It is expected that if the war unfolds as described, Israel may have to come to terms sooner than later and would be the first to succumb to fatigue and attrition. The war would be under critical observation of the United States which would wish to support Israel as best as it could.

Having warned and bombed some Iranian installations in Syria, the US bases in the Middle East have been subjected to rocket attacks themselves, thus expanding the Palestinian-Israeli war. Although the US is reluctant to put boots on the ground, the situation at some stage may compel them to do so. With direct or indirect US involvement, Iran is likely to get sucked into the war, which may even be one of the desired consequences of this conflict, as hoped for by the United States and Israel. This would allow bombing and destruction of Iranian nuclear facilities immediately escalating the war to a new level.  

Russia would want to assert itself, seeing the opportunity and its capability. China may render some direct or indirect military support to Iran. The snowballing effect of such an escalation would force regional countries to take one side or the other in their own national interest and compel them to contribute in some way towards the side they have selected or elected to support. At the global level, Ukraine would gradually be down-graded and forgotten, giving Russia the victory.

Russia would consolidate in Sebastopol, strengthen its ground linkages with Crimea, dominate the Donbas Areas, establish a Russian populace and influence, subdue Ukraine, and deny space to NATO to expand towards Russia. Furthermore, the Russian Black Sea fleet would be given new life and strategic importance. In its off-shore areas, Gaza has large proven gas reserves, but they are disputed by other countries while Israel exercises control over them.

With Europe being denied gas and fertilizer, the cost of food, energy etc. is rising. Europe may eventually resist US demands insisting that Europe use North American gas. Also, China is likely to now speed up its BRI, while the utopian trade corridor, so enthusiastically presented to the UN by Netanyahu will lie dead on arrival, destroying immediate possibilities of a Saudi-Middle East-Israel diplomatic realignment.

China, with the cooperation of 130 countries already, is set to take over as the global leader in the financial spectrum and the US will try to prevent this from happening. Thus future alignment has begun to take shape with Israel, the US, India and a reluctant Europe on one side, while China, Russia, Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and possibly the Middle East, are on the other.

This is how a new world order will be reshaped by this crisis. However, what needs to be kept in mind is that global order is not a single-dimension phenomenon and has three distinct parameters. The first is ‘military domination’; this remains an exclusive US privilege, and they have uncontested global military influence, making it a unipolar order. It also explains why the US diplomatic strategy and foreign relations are aggressive, have no compromises and are ruthless.

The second paradigm is the global fiscal order and here, though the US dollar is still the international monetary reserve for many nations, the rules and regulations for doing business have divided the world into smaller power centres. The World Trade Organisation, the European Union, BRICS, BRI etc, have defined the global fiscal setting into a multipolar world with China threatening US dominance.

The third spectrum of global control actually has begun to swing into the hands of digital applications, AI, and robotics. It is expected that this spectrum of global influence will bring a totally different dimension into international methods to inter and intra-state relations. The Hamas attack on the Israeli infrastructure, disabling early warning systems, intelligence and automation systems, is a good illustration of where the world is heading. Thus tomorrow may bring stateless entities into the forefront where recognised conventions such as the UN etc. may become irrelevant.

In line with this thought is the fact that people of various countries are in disagreement with their own governments. Protests in favour of Palestine have shaken governments in America and Europe and even in the rest of the world; something unprecedented and never heard of in the past. The latest voting for a ceasefire in the UN led to 120 votes in favour with Israel and the US voting against it and the support of a few island states.

The Palestinian problem is primarily a Muslim problem where the world stands by watching benignly as a whole Muslim community is decimated. The Palestinians do not deserve to die but are subjected to a unilateral death sentence because .2% of the global population finds them to be an irritant with whom they cannot co-exist. The Muslim world (25% of the globe) apparently does not care enough to do anything about it; they have forsaken their own brethren.

The crisis as it stands today has exposed the Muslim world for its total lack of capacity, sincerity or honesty. Even as the Jordanian king gave an aggressive speech at the UN and tabled a resolution for a ceasefire, his country was facilitating US-Israel flights (62 at the time) carrying ammunition for the bombing of Gaza. Iran has emerged as the new leader of the Islamic countries while Turkey has made some noises but shown no action.

The crisis has brought Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey into a huddle, but it’s still only talk, all the while precious lives are lost while the talking continues. Palestine is on its own. This crisis is different from the ones in the past—no one is willing to assist the Palestinians in this crisis and they are managing on their own. The truth is evident as illustrated by what was recently said by them to the Islamic world in general, “Do not pray at our funerals – we are not dead but are alive. It is you who are all dead”.

A Pity for Pakistan

Pakistan, once a voice in the Islamic world, is an irrelevant entity today that the world finds fit to ignore and disregard. Considering our lack of capacityboth physical and intellectual—maybe it is a good thing; a blessing in disguise, lest we expose ourselves unnecessarily. We should do what we always do, hoot our slogans into the wind; slogans without substance and remain ineffectual.

While the two oldest unresolved resolutions at the UN are of Palestine and Kashmir, with Pakistan central to the latter, Pakistan is not found anywhere either in the matter of Palestine or in Kashmir.  Pakistan, as a nation, is best described by the posture and body language of its cricket team in the World Cup: young men representing the country whose spirit is amputated and whose people have no voice.

“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of the atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.” George Orwell

In a nation where the violation of the law, constitution, and convention are so blatant and where principle, moral code of conduct and ethical behaviour are removed from day-to-day functioning, we as a nation and a people have forfeited the right to stand and be counted, voicing our concern about anything in the world. We have forsaken our dignity and honour and abdicated from any role amongst the Islamic countries. We have actually relegated ourselves as the pariahs of our time, living off scraps thrown at us—without shame or remorse.

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