Foreign Affairs: Netanyahu oversaw the worst attack and intelligence failure in Israel’s history


Some observers believe that the current Israeli war on Gaza may turn the dangerous status quo upside down, and liken it to the Yom Kippur War 1973, in terms of the extent of Israeli intelligence failures, the loss of Israeli public opinion’s confidence in its government, and the national shock that followed.

With this introduction, Foreign Affairs – in a joint article by Aaron David Miller, former senior advisor on Arab–Israeli negotiations in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to US Secretary of State and Daniel C. Kurtzer, Former United States Ambassador to Israel.

The article pointed out that the ideas that Israel will leave Gaza after completing its military operations there, and that the Palestinian Authority is able to take charge quickly and officially, aren’t realistic.

US President Joe Biden announced that the region shouldn’t return to the situation it was in before the seventh of last October, but if he really wants change – according to Foreign Affairs – his administration must take bolder political steps, despite the danger of doing so.

On paper – the best option for the future of Gaza in the long term is Palestinian rule led by the Ramallah Authority, which is revitalized and whose legitimacy is renewed, because during this war, it was unable to protect the Palestinians in the West Bank from Israeli army raids and settler attacks.

Not to mention the impact on the course of Israeli operations in Gaza.

At the same time, the stock of Hamas has risen in the West Bank since its attack on October 7 and its release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

According to Foreign Affairs, restoring Palestinian confidence in the Authority will take a great deal of effort and time, and it requires the Authority to hold fair and free elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and to convince voters that it will aim to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state.

It also requires Israel to demonstrate its commitment in word and deed to strengthening the outcome of the two-state solution, which – as the authors say – is impossible under the current Israeli government.

According to article, it’s not surprising that the war broke out in Gaza and not in the West Bank, because Gaza was often at the heart of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, as the first intifada began in 1987, and it was the focal point of major Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, but the right-wing coalition led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on the West Bank, trying to create conditions for its annexation, and ruling out the possibility of a two-state solution.

However, Netanyahu’s oversight of the worst attack and the worst intelligence failure in Israel’s history has discredited his leadership, and many observers assume that his political career will come to an end soon, but he will fight to remain in power in the face of indictments for breach of trust, bribery and fraud, because he wants Strictly avoid prison.

If Netanyahu remains in power, the situation in the West Bank is likely to continue to deteriorate, perhaps leading to a Palestinian uprising motivated in part by settler extremism, and he will exploit for his own benefit whatever the United States decides to do or not do.

After long years of Israeli occupation with no end in sight, intractable political dilemmas must be settled sooner rather than later, and Washington has two options to do so: either try to help create the conditions for a two-state solution, or adapt to the post-state situation.

A conflict that is worse than the status quo, doesn’t resolve any fundamental issues, and may create the conditions for another war.

If the United States pushes for a two-state solution, the United States will have to help coordinate several critical operations at once, such as putting Gaza reconstruction mechanisms in place on the day the Israeli army departs, and bringing on board hesitant Arab parties to help maintain law and order and establish temporarily governance in Gaza.

This is in addition to forcing the Palestinian Authority to restructure itself so that it can regain the confidence of the Palestinian public and address Israeli security concerns.

However, calling for a two-state solution is worth the risk, and the first thing that Biden must do in this context, is to put pressure on Israel to quickly end its intense ground and air campaign, to increase the amount of humanitarian aid entering Gaza, and to resume negotiations to release the remaining Israeli hostages, Hamas has to put pressure on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to suppress the violence committed by settlers in the West Bank.

Will this succeed under the current Israeli and Palestinian leadership?

They responded that Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas must go, but even if they remain in power in the near term, the United States has stronger options.

Biden must not threaten to withhold necessary military assistance from Israel, but he can make clear to the Israelis that the continued strength of their relationship with Washington depends on Israel’s understanding of the fact that it cannot reoccupy Gaza, and that their ultimate security guarantee will be to reach a peace agreement with a Palestinian state with a similar peace mentality.

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