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IRAN: View from the LEFT, Nov 2023 N0.47

IRAN: View from the LEFT, Nov 2023 N0.47

“A Pause Until…?”

The horrors of Israel’s military campaign against Gaza have been “paused” once again, thistime for another 24 hours. Rendering the guns silent for 4 days, then 2 days more and anotherday after that – any number of days – is welcome. But then what?

Netanyahu’s government has declared the total destruction of Hamas – both militarily andorganisationally -- its prime objective. Despite the unprecedented and relentless firepowerunleashed upon Gaza, causing more than 15,000 deaths and destruction of over half of theterritory’s homes, and the nearly total siege preventing water, food or fuel from reaching the2.2 million people trapped there, the proud and brave people of Gaza have shown a dignifiedcivility.

Gaza has not descended into chaos. Social order continues. To what extent this is the result ofspontaneous self-discipline rather than Hamas’ continued control is unclear. But at the very least, by continuing the regular, orderly handover of captives (both Israeli and non-Israeli) astheir part of the captive exchange, Hamas makes crystal clear that it is still very much intact. By releasing at least one group of its captives from within Gaza City, Hamas has proven thatdespite Israel’s carpet bombing campaign, the IDF has not even been able to take full controlof Gaza City.

Despite his bombastic statements, Netanyahu has already crossed some of his own red lines: no negotiationswith Hamas, no exchange of prisoners and no 'pause'. Netanyahu is adamant that Israel will resume the war after this pause. In other words, thegenocidal attack against Gaza’s 2.2 million people, already squeezed into a tiny area withnowhere to shelter, will be resumed with renewed vigour. Any resumption of this war couldresult in arguably unprecedented horrors.

Can the “pause” be turned into a ceasefire? The Americans have been providing unwaveringsupport for Israel’s crimes in every possible way: militarily, financially and diplomatically.

Now, belatedly, they are trying to play the “good guy” or at least play down their up-to-nowopenly “bad guy” role by suggesting the ‘pause’ might lead to a ceasefire.

But this is where Netanyahu can throw a spanner in the works. His insistence uponannihilation of Hamas leaves almost no room for a ceasefire agreement that avoids ‘loss offace’ by the Israelis.So what next? The choices are stark: negotiations toward a long-term resolution of thisintractable conflict or renewed bombardment.

The root cause of the fear, terror and unending suffering is clear: Israel’s illegal occupation ofthe West Bank and Gaza, and its unbearable system of apartheid imposed on Palestiniansthroughout Palestine/Israel. Palestinians have shown that no amount of firepower will forcethem to flee the only land they have left.The international community MUST force Israel to negotiate.

IRAN: View from the LEFT, Nov 2023 N0.47


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