Paul Eccles Blog

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The Idea that War can solve terrorism …


Is a mistaken one. It has never worked. I could clearly see it was wrong in 2003, when the US launched its war on Iraq as part of its war on terror (the 2001 war in Afghanistan was similarly a debacle). It is wrong today in the case of the Israeli war on Hamas and the Palestinians.

War will not bring greater security or peace to the people of Israel. You cannot solve the problem of terrorism with a sledgehammer. Setting off powerful bombs in Gaza achieves what, precisely, from a military point of view? It’s not clear at all, aside from vast terror, death and destruction.

For decades Israel has tried the same approach to trying to “defeat terror”. Targeted assassinations, bombing campaigns, harsh repression. What has been the result? They have not destroyed Hamas, only given them more ammunition and support through their actions. They have not stopped the rockets, which come every time Israel does another aggressive or outrageous act, in fact they have multiplied them.

What about a ground incursion into Gaza? That’s also not going to work, it’s been tried. How exactly will Israel “destroy” Hamas? They have over 1000km of tunnels. The Al-Qassam brigades have proven before that they are a formidable fighting force. Now they have become considerably more sophisticated, utilising ATGM’s on Israeli armoured convoys.

Israel doesn’t have a plan! They don’t have a plan for the endgame, except to destroy Gaza, or expel the residents. Except that ultimately the people are not going to be accepted by Egypt or Israel, so they will still languish there, an unsolved problem for Israel.

The Israeli government is completely drunk on vengeance, and has managed to convince most Israelis and many Americans to go along with their blind rages, which tragically are more genocidal than ever before for Palestinians. This time a tipping point seems to have been reached though, there seems to be no end to the war in sight, as Israel keeps threatening worse to come. We are also rapidly heading towards escalation which could break out to an even bigger conflagration, as many commentators are saying.

Where do we go from here? Although nobody seems to want a larger war, we are rapidly heading in that direction. Nobody “wanted” WW1 either, there was no real reason for it, but it happened anyway. We are sleepwalking into WW3 at the moment.

There is a simple option which is on the table, which could end the conflict right now: exchange the Israeli prisoners of Hamas for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Draw up a ceasefire. Allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza again. But these views are not expressed anywhere.


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