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Monday, November 26, 2012

Gaza’s Eight Days of Terror: What Victory?


Victory these days has become a cheap commodity that warlords bestow on each other to lift the morale and propagate a false sense of achievement.


While there is no doubt that everyone should see the latest Gaza ceasefire as a victory in saving innocent lives, I remain weary of statements such as those made by Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nassrallah. I’m not sure what Sayyed Nassrallah is boasting about or celebrating exactly; but through a well-oiled propaganda machine, he is able to convince a number of disillusioned people that the latest episode of violence in Gaza ended in a victory for Hamas.

First of all agreeing to a ceasefire with Israel is hardly the end of the Gaza conflict. Similar ceasefires were reached and broken then reinstated many times before; and the deadly rounds of violence will undoubtedly return to haunt innocent Gazans again.

This kind of rhetoric following eight days of agony, loss of life and destruction in Gaza serves only to justify the butchering of innocent Palestinians on a regular basis, without prior warning and for no particular reason that concerns them. It also means that Hamas is given the green light to drag the Palestinians into yet another ferocious killing spree by the Israeli military. This allows Iran and its proxies to test new rockets and flex muscles they have no intention to flex in a real war. Now the world knows and, more importantly, Israel knows that Iran can create havoc through Hezbollah and Hamas, in addition to a new range for its rockets on the ground that has been expanded to reach deeper into Israel as far as the capital Tel Aviv.

What Hezbollah is not talking about is what Israel has achieved through its latest Gaza mission. The weapons it tested, the political gains it amassed, and the military intelligence it gathered will never be acknowledged or discussed by Sayyed Nassrallah or his chorus.

Anyone who celebrates Gaza’s survival in the face of Israel’s wrath as “victory” should be ashamed because they are enforcing the old stereotype that Arabs don’t value life. In this case, those claiming victory are also showing their disinterest in a prosperous and free Palestinian people. Those celebrating any victory other than the ceasefire want a Palestine that is always seeking conflict by launching foreign-made rockets deeper into Israel instead of focusing on their own economic, educational or political advancements.

It is not victory but slavery when Palestinians continue to rot in an open-air prison facing an open-ended blockade that Israel controls at its own discretion, with limited access to basic medicine, goods or services. What kind of victory keeps every Palestinian life under threat from the wrath of the Israel Defense Force and Hamas simultaneously? That is the victory some wish for Gaza and the Palestinians in general.

Today, some want the Palestinian struggle to rage on as it distracts from the real bloody dictatorship in Syria and its ineffective allies in Lebanon such as a failed Hezbollah-backed government that will stop at nothing to insure Assad’s survival. Above all, some want to uphold Iran’s agenda in the region and prove time and again their unshaken loyalty to Iran and its interests. What better than the old Palestinian-Israeli conflict for a guaranteed knee-jerk reaction to that effect?

In parallel to Israel’s gains that should become clear by the January 2013 general election, the extremist Iranian agenda effectively won in Gaza. May we all be saved the repercussions of what that “victory” could mean to the region and the world!

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