Israel maintains that destroying Hamas will take months and perhaps years. Already, most Gazans are struggling to find shelter, food, and water. Decent medical care has become almost an impossible dream as medical professionals scramble to do what they can without supplies, medical equipment, electricity, or even hospital facilities. Disease, malnutrition, exposure, infection from wounds, horrendous sanitary conditions, and other threats are running rampant. It’s important to realize that the people dying from these causes are not being recorded in the daily casualty counts.
All of that is after less than three months. 1% of Gaza’s population has already been killed, and fungal infections are so widespread they’re even killing Israeli soldiers now. Imagine what things will be like in another month, let alone a year.
By “demilitarized,” Netanyahu means a permanent Israeli military presence not only in Gaza but also at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. This is ostensibly to prevent weapons smuggling, but there is no such thing as stopping smuggling — no country has ever been able to do that. Occupied people, besieged people, and people living under tyranny will always find a means of resistance.
When Netanyahu says “deradicalized,” what he is referring to is a “re-education” program for Palestinians so they will learn to love their Israeli colonizers. His comparison to Germany and Japan after World War II is so absurd it hardly merits discussion. But to be clear, the Allied powers, after devastating both Germany and Japan, actively rebuilt the countries and boosted the countries’ economies toward independence and growth. They gave the people of Germany and Japan a reason to want to reconcile with the Allied powers and to see their respective pre-war governments as having led them to disaster.
Netanyahu does not intend to do this, or anything of the kind. The last thing he wants to see is any kind of independent Palestine. He’s certainly made that plain enough times. And he has no intention of rebuilding Gaza with a vibrant economy, but to repeat the isolation Gaza has experienced since 1948, first by Egypt, and then, since 1967, by Israel. His notion that “ Palestinian civil society needs to be transformed so that its people support fighting terrorism rather than funding it,” reads as a ridiculous fantasy that arises from the false, racist notion that Palestinians are being taught to resent Israelis, not that the experiences of violence, killings, deprivation, and humiliation by Israel might just engender some negative feelings...