FPJ Editorial: Time For Gaza Ceasefire

FPJ Editorial: Time For Gaza Ceasefire

Doubtless, Israel in its response has undertaken to annihilate Hamas. Unfortunately, in the process it is inflicting untold misery and pain on the Gazan civilians, a vast number of whom have no link to the terrorist outfit.

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 10:12 PM IST
article-image
Israel-Hamas War | File Image

The war triggered by the Hamas attack against Israel is now into its third week. The October 7 assault left more than 1,300 Israelis including people from some other nationalities dead and several more injured, some seriously. Besides, over 200 persons were taken hostage by the raiding marauders who took the much-vaunted Israeli secret services and security forces completely by surprise. Whether the domestic turmoil of the previous nine months over the wrong-headedness of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in some way responsible for this grave lapse needs to be examined once the current armed hostilities come to an end. The fact that Israeli society was sharply polarised over Netanyahu’s attempt to make the judiciary virtually subservient to the executive would require examination.

So strong was the outrage against Netanyahu’s regime that tens of thousands of reservists, former military heads, civil servants et al had come on the streets to take up cudgels against the incumbent regime which is backed by ultra-nationalists. The point is that strong domestic differences when allowed to simmer for long can virtually paralyse the normal working of a government. Israel under Netanyahu seems to have so engrossed itself in its own ideological dispute over judicial autonomy that by default the alertness associated with its intelligence and security services seems to have slipped pretty badly.

However, it needs to be acknowledged, and appreciated, that once Hamas pierced through the iron-clad security wall and attacked at least 25km inside Israeli territory it did not take the entire nation even a split second to unite as one man and devote itself to the higher cause of defending the nation. There were no murmurs of protest heard from those who till the Hamas attack were bitter and inveterate critics of Netanyahu. Maybe the feeling that Israel lives constantly under the threat of annihilation by some of its neighbours, including of course Hamas, has imbued in the Jews everywhere a sense of security consciousness that one finds rarely in other people. Of course, Netanyahu will be most likely made accountable for his own lapses as that of the government personnel he leads as prime minister.

Doubtless, Israel in its response has undertaken to annihilate Hamas. Unfortunately, in the process it is inflicting untold misery and pain on the Gazan civilians, a vast number of whom have no link to the terrorist outfit. It is not that Hamas is a democratic organisation. No. It isn’t. It regularly terrorises Palestinians too. But given that its top brass most likely is not inside Gaza, and might have taken shelter in Qatar, Iran or elsewhere, the bombing of Gaza can only inflict pain on poor Gazans.

They may well have sympathy for Hamas in its resolve to fight Israel but they had no role in planning and executing the October 7 assault. Denying them water, food, fuel and driving them out of their homes doesn’t make any sense. If Israel thinks the poor Palestinians being driven from their homes will bring to bear pressure on Hamas to abandon its self-stated objective of annihilating it, Israel is totally wrong. Hamas couldn’t care less what happens to the ordinary Palestinians. Nor for that matter does any other Arab nation which is why none is ready to admit them into its borders.

These are the nowhere people of modern times who have become a pawn in the bitter war between Israel and its Islamic enemies. The fact that a number of Arab states had accepted the reality of Israel and signed the Abraham Accords, and Saudis were about to make peace with Israel till Hamas torpedoed it at the instance of Iran, ought to underline the fact that the cause of Palestine as an independent sovereign State has receded in the background for even the main players in the Middle East.

Only Iran-funded terrorist organisations such as Hamas and Hezbollah seem determined to torpedo any chance of normalcy in West Asia. And Iran does so till it is under the iron grip of the extremist Islamic mullahs. Once its leadership comes to see reason maybe chances of lasting peace in the Middle East will get brighter. Meanwhile, one hopes Israel can call an early end to its ceaseless aerial attacks. Piling misery on ordinary Gazans can be further counter-productive.

RECENT STORIES

Good Governance Is Critical, And Agni Is Lighting The Way Ahead

Good Governance Is Critical, And Agni Is Lighting The Way Ahead

Editorial: Man-made Tragedies Have To Stop

Editorial: Man-made Tragedies Have To Stop

PM’s ‘Rahul-Adani-Ambani’ Gambit A Non-Starter

PM’s ‘Rahul-Adani-Ambani’ Gambit A Non-Starter

Editorial: India Shines At Cannes

Editorial: India Shines At Cannes

Migrants As Guest Workers – The Kerala Model

Migrants As Guest Workers – The Kerala Model