Who is the right to defence?
Axier Lopez @axierL 2023ko urriaren 09a
Argazkia: Gazako palestinarrak Israelgo armadari lapurtutako tanke baten gainean, sionistek ezarritako muga gainditu ostean. Yousef Masoud-AP

On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinian armed militants, especially those of Sixteen, have overcome the barriers established around the Gaza Strip and have penetrated through land, sea and air into Israeli cities and colonies in the area. In this unprecedented action, Palestinian militias have destroyed border barriers with excavators, conquered Israeli army vehicles, attacked military bases and police headquarters, raided villages, committed mass killings – according to Israeli rescue agency Zaka, killed 250 people at the Supernova music festival – 16 have launched the prestigious rocket air system.

Today, Monday at noon, Israel claims that nearly 800 people have been killed “on its territory” and another 100 have been kidnapped by Palestinian military personnel between military and civilian personnel.

To respond to the aggression, Israel has acted regularly, while Gaza has bombarded the citizens. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, it has caused 510 deaths and 2,751 injuries, including 91 children.

Israel is preparing for a major military attack. The Israeli Armed Forces spokesman, Daniel Hagari, has pointed out that in a few hours 300,000 reservists have been mobilized, which would be the largest mobilization in history in such a short time.

“Our September 11”

Representatives of the far-right government Benjamin Netanyahu have said the Palestinian attack is “our September 11,” recalling the attack on the twin towers of the United States. They have also pointed out that these days are “one of the worst in Israel’s history.” And, therefore, war. Like they haven't been in war for a long time. It is an eternal conflict, but what has changed is that the intelligence and defence services of a country in the world that is more technically and culturally militarized have failed. Historical.

The attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad has revealed the shame of the Israeli defence system. And they have done so, let us not forget, under the total punishment and systematic control that Gaza has endured for decades. This small overpopulated territory, 45 kilometres long and 5 to 12 kilometres wide, with serious problems of access to drinking water and energy, affected by unemployment and precariousness, is the most controlled place in the world. That's why they call it the world's largest jail.

The attack shows a high degree of coordination between the political and military leaders of some Palestinian armed factions. Ventilates the image of the union before the “common enemy”, which in Palestine is very expensive in recent years.

Again the Palestinian National Authority (PAN) has been left out of the game. President Mahmoud Abbas continues to lose space for the benefit of Hamas, and not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank, the legitimacy of his command continues to diminish among the citizens. It should be remembered that in the PAN command structures there have been no major changes in recent decades, nor have there been presidential and parliamentary elections since 2005 and 2006, respectively. Furthermore, in the last year Israel has considerably intensified the systematic repression of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and although it is curious to us, it has on several occasions done so with the complicity of PAN. As a sign of this collaborative attitude, Abbas said at a conference in Ramallah last November that his priority is “to end the era of Palestinian militias”.

Quite the opposite. In the same West Bank, new armed resistance groups have been formed in some localities such as Nablus or Jenin. And in general, the gap between PAN and Hamas and the other armed and political groups has widened. Something was moving in the Palestinian liberation process and these weekend attacks have confirmed.

Israeli warplanes bombard Gaza City on Sunday. Mohammed Saber - EPA

Why now?

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 6,407 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli armed forces between 1 January 2008 and 19 September 2023, and 152,560 Palestinians were wounded and seriously injured. In addition to the dramatic situation in Gaza, the UN has declared that 2023 was the bloodiest in the long history of the occupation of the West Bank.

There is no shortage of reasons for an armed response in Palestine. Through the latest offensive, they have highlighted the path of the most crude armed struggle: the murder or abduction of Israeli civilians. Without diminishing the importance of the Palestinian internal force, there have been geopolitical movements and today there are some of the main Palestinian agents. And in this case, the support received “from the outside”, not only rhetoric, but material, has played an important role, led by Iran and Hezbola.

This international aspect can also be one of the objectives of the attack. In addition to being a call for armed resistance to the occupation, it is not absurd to think that aggression seeks negotiation between Israel and Saudi Arabia. That is what the Zionists and the Gulf dictatorship are all about in recent months, as has already been done with other states. In 2020 Israel reached “standardisation” agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, strengthening relations with Morocco and Sudan. In other words, Israel is trying to closely unite the Arab countries, which have historically been close to the Palestinian cause.

Therefore, from this perspective the comments of Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Sixteen, after the Saturday attacks are better understood: “We say to all countries, including our Arab brothers, that this organization [Israel] that cannot defend itself against the resistant [Palestinians], cannot give you any support.”

It should also be remembered that a large part of Israeli society has in recent months made massive demonstrations against the Netanyahu government. The protest aroused the claim to deprive the Supreme Court of its powers and to give more power to the Government. A reform that would allow the government to repeal the judgments of the Supreme Court by a simple majority of Parliament and would give more powers to the political power to appoint the judges of the court. Furthermore, Netanyahu himself is engaged in a judicial process for corruption. The matter has led to a profound political crisis and this messy situation has led to some unseen consequences in Israel, such as the threat of many reservists giving up military service.

In Israel the most extreme government in its history, which are great words in a country structured according to a supremacist ideology that permeates all political forces, both left and right: Zionism. It is ruled by the far-right, the very tip of the right that for many years has called for the “Final Attack on Gaza”. They are now in government and they are managing the situation. These extreme sectors of government will put on the table the full occupation of Gaza.

Israel is again punishing the Palestinians. A lot. There is no doubt. And knowing that this was going to be the case, it is to assume that the attack these days is not the only one prepared by Sixteen, Islamic Jihad and Palestinian resistance in general. But one thing is clear, when the logic of war requires wisdom is buried.

Members of Brigade Izz ad-Din al-Qassam of Sixteen in a 2022 image. Photo: EPA

Violence or what?

The Israeli Prime Minister has told the Palestinians in Gaza to “leave”, warning them to attack “everywhere”, “with all its strength” and “turn” part of Gaza into “waste”. The Israeli Defense Minister said he ordered an "absolute site" on the Gaza Strip: "There's no electricity, no food, no gas, everything's closed. We fight human animals and act accordingly.”

To this end, the Israeli security cabinet has officially confirmed the war situation for the first time since the Yom Kippur war in 1973. The Israeli cabinet has also requested permission for detainees to be held for a long period of time, without being prosecuted. The Israeli Ministry of Security has mandated the streamlining of arms licences and access to arsenals for licensed persons, such as police volunteers, army reservists and any authorized citizen.

After several wars and two Intifadas, Israel has not been able to place Palestinian resistance at the foot of the occupation. But of course we can say the same thing from the Palestinian side. For it is clear that the Palestinians will not be able to defeat only by force the state created, financed and armed by the major warlike powers of the world, led by the United States and the European Union. The military difference is enormous. The balance of international protections should change a great deal to change the situation, for example, to ensure the direct military participation of Iran, Hezbollah and other Arab forces in the region, and the significant losses in significant Israeli partners. That is very difficult today. But, despite geopolitics, let us be clear, what other option do you have left, or rather have you left the Palestinians? What has to lose who has only his people?

Moreover, there is no political option in Israel to defend the disappearance of apartheid. None. Why? The absence of anti-colonialist settlers. These days there is no need to recall what happened in July 2014. Israeli explosives killed more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza, including 556 children and more than 10,000 wounded. The Israelis in Sederot, near Gaza, climbed every night to a hill with chairs and drinks to see “the show” until the bombs fell on the heads of the Palestinians. Last Saturday, Sederot was one of the first places to attack Palestinian Islamic resistance.

European Commission headquarters in Brussels on Sunday. Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, portrayed the photo on Sunday with the text “We are with Israel”.

Who defends?

In the face of the Palestinian attack, the western international community has called for the “right of the State of Israel to defend itself”. They reaffirm to Israel the “right” to occupy and die massively the Palestinians. Ukraine and Palestine are not the same in the eyes of power. Ukrainian life is worth more than Palestinian and the reason is simple: Israel is necessary to maintain the interests of the Western elite in the Middle East. For Bera, an officer of the U.S. military says Washington has sent some 20 fighter planes to the Middle East to "quell any attack in Iran or the expansion of fighting beyond Israeli borders."

According to this simple equation, rights are distributed, including the right to face a foreign occupation. That is why we will never see rulers of Europe or the United States recognizing the right of Palestine to defend itself, despite evidence of colonization, occupation, apartheid and systematic massacre.

“Once the relation of oppression has been established, violence is underway. In history, the oppressed have never begun violence... Violence begins with those who trample on it, those who exploit it, those who do not accept others as people, not those who are oppressed, exploited and unrecognized.” These words from pedagogue and educator Paulo Freire have been disseminated these days by the international initiative BDS (Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanction). Israel does so for just one reason: impunity. Impunity is based on the complicity, funding and armaments offered by the US and the major European powers, with the invaluable support of the corrupt Palestinian power.