The war goes on, but through its heavy smoke some clear basic facts can be seen. These fact indicate the way forward, to the day after.
First, the fanatic, cruel character of Hamas has been exposed. It is a proxy of Khomeinist Iran. It can’t anymore represent the Palestinian people in any discussion about their future as a nation. It has no place around any negotiation table, as ISIS has no such place where the future of Syria or Iraq is discussed.
It is quite obvious that the Palestinians understand today that the “axis of resistance” leads only to calamity and destruction. The West Bank Palestinians understand now, that if Hamas succeeded to involve them in an armed conflict with Israel, as it forcefully tried, the pictures of West Bank cities could look like those of Gaza suburbs today. Decapitated Hamas, even if not totally annihilated, is excluded forever from any political discussion about the future Palestine.
Second, October 7th massacre, demonstrated to the region and to the world, how Iran uses its proxies in its quest for hegemony in the Middle East. Iran built armed militias, finance them ,trains them and operates them in extreme cruelty in the states it wants to destabilize and take over.1400 Israelis paid their lives, 240 were kidnapped, but many millions all over the region learned what is expected to happen. The Lebanese, the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Yemenites already know.
The third one is about us, the Israelis. By a horrible price of blood, it has been proven, that Netanyahu and his entourage can no longer lead Israel. The concept of bolstering Hamas for14 years, just in order to weaken a Palestinian leadership that talks to us and conducts security coordination with us , brought about the disaster of December 7th.
Facing these three facts, what should be done?
Israel must continue the critical effort to deny Hamas’ military and administrative capacities, to destroy its networks in the West Bank, to eliminate as possible its leadership outside Gaza. This is our task and we do it at the highest price :our children and our grand children.
The democratic countries should boycott Iran, the state of terror, and religious fanaticism. If Russia and China chose Iran as a partner, let them take care of its troubles. The western democracies must clearly signal to the Iranian people that they will treat secular, democratic Iran in the future in totally opposite way.
The members of the democratic axis will wage a battle against Iran’s military proxies. Exactly as US fights Al Shabab in Somalia and as France fought Jihadists in the Sahel countries. Israel will take care of Hizballah. When the democratic axis, led by United States will do it with resolve, a new regional architecture would be possible.
When Israel elects a new government, it would be possible to offer a new horizon to the Palestinians, under the auspice of the international community. When Hamas is disarmed and its patron is boycotted, a responsible Palestinian leadership would emerge. With a broad Arab support it will attend the negotiations table. The goal of these negotiations is a two states solution.
This will be the new regional architecture. Iran is Isolated, its proxies are defeated, and the states in the region that seek stability and peace are acting together with the western democracies.
In this framework the reconstruction of Gaza can be done. Hamas and Islamic Jihad will never control it. In these days a plan for an interim civil administration for Gaza is discussed in Washington. It would run the rebuilding of Gaza and its management.
In August 2014, after 50 days of war, I raised this idea( Al Monitor August 5th 2014). It is never too late to do the right thing.
- Dr. Ephraim Sneh a retired IDF general, a former member of several Israeli cabinets