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Israel is a Loser All the Way

A country can lose a war in various ways. It often involves a combination of military, economic, political, and social factors.

Arshad Shaikh studies the ongoing war against Palestine by Israel from the perspective of victory and defeat. Although Israel has the upper hand in the battlefield, both air and ground, it is losing the war of ideas and perception. Also, a closer analysis of the objectives that Israel set out for itself, after the attack on Gaza, does not appear to materialize. What does Israel then gain from this unending conflict besides moral defeat and ignominy? Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

The death toll in Gaza after Israel’s retaliation over Operation Al Aqsa Flood has risen to 11,500 and the injured number around 30,000. Nearly 70% of those martyred were women and children. It has been over 40 days since the conflict in Gaza started and there are no signs of Israel calling an end to hostilities.

If we analyze the situation from the perspective of the objectives, that Israel set out for itself at the beginning of the war; none of them seems to have been achieved. Is Israel winning the war or losing it?

To get some perspective on the Israeli strategy of non-stop bombing of Gaza to eliminate Hamas, one must read the article in Al Jazeera by former UN official, Moncef Khane (Bombing Gaza won’t bring Israel victory; One only needs to look at the US carpet bombing of Cambodia, 13 Nov). Khane correctly points out, “Biden, Blinken and Netanyahu should be reminded that the horrific carpet bombing of Cambodia for years produced only one seminal political outcome: Cambodia’s takeover by the infamous Khmer Rouge. What the posited annihilation of Hamas would yield is thus not a frivolous question. “Anything that flies, on anything that moves” and bombing to “crack the hell out of them” sowed death and craters still visible today. It produced infamy and misery, but no military victory.”

Typical causes of military defeat

A country can lose a war in various ways. It often involves a combination of military, economic, political, and social factors. Let us check these factors in the context of Israel’s war on Palestine.

  • “Losing key battles or campaigns can weaken a country’s military and strategic position”. Operation Al Aqsa Flood not only exposed the myth of Israel’s supposed invincible military prowess but also showed the lethal capability of Palestinian resistance.
  • “If an enemy successfully occupies crucial territories, it can put significant pressure on the defending country”. Despite the show of bravado and narcissistic boastful declarations by the Israeli military that it has dropped more than 10,000 bombs and missiles on Gaza City alone, the fact remains that re-entering Gaza and capturing it will not be easy and sustainable.
  • “Wars can strain a country’s resources, leading to economic exhaustion.” The war in Gaza is bound to drain the economic resources of Israel. However, with the backing of America, it may pull on the war for some time, but the heavy toll on the Israeli economy is bound to sink the ratings of Netanyahu even further.
  • “Economic blockades can cripple a nation’s economy by restricting access to essential resources and trade routes.” Although this blockade is not discernible because of the political clout that Israel enjoys with the West, there is a strong “boycott Israeli goods and services” called by BDS (Boycott Disinvest Sanctions). The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) calls for a boycott of Israeli and international companies that are complicit in violations of Palestinian rights. This is very popular in the Muslim world and is clearly hurting Israel.
  • “A government can lose public support and legitimacy if the war becomes unpopular or if the public perceives a lack of progress.” On this count, the Israeli government was on its last gasps of breath before the war. The leader of the Opposition in the Israel, Yair Lapid has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign immediately for his failure to prevent the October 7 attack.
  • “Political instability, civil unrest, or internal conflicts can distract a country from focusing on the external threat.” The internal political churn in Israel is bound to create instability and confusion among the ranks of the political and military leadership leading to blunders in their decisions during the course of the war.
  • “If a country loses its allies or fails to garner international support, it may face diplomatic isolation, making it more vulnerable.” Israel is already facing international condemnation over its genocidal war on Gaza. The bridges that it so assiduously built with its Gulf neighbors lie in shambles.
  • “Inadequate strategic planning or flawed military strategies can lead to defeats on the battlefield. Misjudging the enemy’s capabilities or intentions can result in strategic errors.” This was so apparent after October 7. The myth of impenetrability of Israel’s Iron Dome crashed like a pack of cards after it failed to stop the barrage of over 5000 rockets fired from Gaza. The assumption of Israeli strategists that Gazan militant resistance has waned and weakened and the belief that Hamas dare not attack again proved to be completely wrong.
  • “Facing unconventional threats, such as insurgency or terrorism, can pose challenges for a conventional military.” The insurgency run by Hamas has put Israel in a bind. It does not have an answer both strategic and military to counter Hamas. Analyzing the October 7 attacks, Marwan Kabalan (Director of Policy Analysis at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies) wrote for Al Jazeera, “The Hamas attack has not only changed the path of the Palestine-Israel conflict, but also the dynamics of the whole Middle East. It has left the US strategy of de-escalation in the region in shambles, put Arab governments and Iran in a difficult position and opened the door for greater Chinese and Russian involvement.”

Israel is a loser

  • Although Israel seems to have the upper hand in its war on Palestine, a closer examination reveals the opposite
  • Israel is losing on all fronts be it political, economic, military, diplomatic and strategic
  • This war has destroyed Israel’s image of invincibility and given a renewed boost to the Palestinian cause and liberation of Al Aqsa

Every time you look at the Palestinian-resistance versus Israel that boasts of being a nuclear state with the strongest and most sophisticated army in the region, one is reminded of the Quranic verse (2:249), “But those who were certain that they would meet Allāh said, “How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of Allāh. And Allāh is with the patient.”

Unfortunately, those who claim to be the descendants of David are behaving like Goliath. Undoubtedly, they are bound to meet the same fate.

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