BERIL – The war in Gaza

The war in GazaA humanitarian drama is unfolding in the Gaza Strip, and the great powers of the world are incapable or unwilling to stop it. How come these powers, who interfere with every international issue, are so silent about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas? Why can’t they stop the carnage?Given their inertness on Gaza and Syria, it seems that the great powers don’t like the idea of Islamist groups ruling over Middle Eastern countries.

We have to admit of course that the actions of radical groups in the region like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) provide sufficient justification for this position. Even a quick look at these groups’ activities gives us enough information about the kind of world they want to live in: They destroy holy sites, including mosques, they commit mass murder, they try to impose genital mutilation on women, and so on.

Nevertheless, in Saudi Arabia for example, women aren’t allowed to drive, but we don’t see much reaction in the Western world about it. Of course, one can say that compared to ISIL Saudi Arabia is not worrying at all.

Israel, in some sense, benefits from the actions of ISIL and other similar radical organizations. That is why the Israeli government repeats that they are fighting against “radical Islamists” when attacking Gaza Israel wants the Western world to accept the war against Hamas as part of the global fight against terrorism, and claims its brutal military actions contribute to the Western world’s security.

It is quite odd to observe European leaders gathering together quickly to discuss the sanctions against Russia, while they remain relatively silent about what is going on in Gaza It is only natural for Israeli decision makers to consider this tacit approval. Maybe the problem is about Israel’s enemy — no European country wants to be perceived as defenders of Hamas, as this organization has been accepted as a terrorist organization in the West.

And as for the US, they don’t want to take the risk of increasing pressure on Israel either, as the Israeli government may choose to get closer to Russia as a reaction to this. This is a question of not disrupting the delicate balance between Washington and Moscow, at a time when both these capitals are carefully watching the actions of Germany.

The US is trying to distance Germany from Russia and make Berlin accept America’s political and economic demands. The crisis in Ukraine has been a good opportunity for that, for example.

What we don’t know, however, is whether the current situation in the Middle East is sustainable or not, because one day or another Moscow or Washington may ask Israel to pick a side. When they do, they will use what is going on in Gaza to put pressure on Israel.

So the Israeli government will sooner or later have to answer for its actions in killing children, bombing schools, hospitals and beaches. The problem is, putting pressure on Israel doesn’t necessarily mean helping the Palestinians.

Despite everything, the Gaza operation may accelerate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. What is essential for the great powers is to know on whose side this state will be.

In other words, if an independent Palestine means a new Islamist state in the region, the great powers will continue to sit on the sidelines and not take action. That is the reason why Israel doesn’t really want to eradicate radical elements in Gaza Thus, it continues to kill more people and to keep the feelings of hatred and revenge intact.

This is a very dangerous game, which will probably have no winners. Israel has put itself in a very difficult position internationally and the Palestinians have lost many of their loved ones.

It is sad that, unless the great powers make a decision on the conflict, the bloodshed will continue.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman