Обломки зданий, пострадавших в результате ракетных ударов ВС Израиля по Газе - Sputnik India, 1920
Israel-Hamas war

Nearing Brink of WWIII: Israel-Palestine Conflict

© AFP 2023 Ahmed Zakout Shelling of buildings in the Palestinian city of Gaza
Shelling of buildings in the Palestinian city of Gaza
 - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Oct 7, 2023, will be remembered by historians for the unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas, the militant Palestinian group in Gaza, and the terrifying ramifications for the entire world.
On the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, Hamas not only launched rockets into Israel – as it had done many times before – but also broke through the sophisticated Israeli border security that envelops the Gaza strip, stormed into Israeli settlements, and captured more than hundred hostages, including Israeli commanders.
The scale and speed of the operation were astonishing, as the world saw videos of Hamas flying motorized paragliders and hang gliders, or driving trucks with mounted guns through Israeli towns – like scenes from a Mad Max movie.
We are witnessing a profound inflection point in the Middle East chronicle, since it has the potential to explode into a devastating wider war – a mini-World War III – that draws in not only neighboring countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and Jordan, but also the US and NATO.
Such a humanitarian and geopolitical catastrophe can only be avoided only by finding an equitable and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the fog of war, truth is the first casualty, so let’s have an objective look.

Senseless Deaths and Alarming Escalation

More than 1000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis have died in the first week of the conflict; and nearly 350,000 people in Gaza have been turned into refugees. Both sides are engaging in heated rhetoric, trapping themselves in a brutal war, instead of seeking ceasefire and negotiations.

Israeli PM Netanyahu says, “Hamas has made a mistake of historic proportions. We will exact a price that will be remembered by them and other enemies for decades to come.” Another top Israeli official says, “It’s either us or them, and it is a matter of the survival of the state.” Israel has mobilized more than half a million reservists and is preparing for a ground invasion (of Gaza), which will lead to a brutal urban warfare. Adding fuel to the fire, the US mainstream media portrays this as the 9/11 or Pearl Harbor for Israel; and rabid Neocons like Nikki Haley go on TV to scream, “Finish them!” as if advocating genocide of Palestinians.

On the other hand, Hamas claims that it is ready for a long war, and that if Gaza is subjected to a war of annihilation, the government of Israel will “open the gates of hell.” Meanwhile, Hezbollah, the powerful militant group based out of Lebanon, has attacked Israeli military posts on the border, and looks poised to join the dangerous war.

The US has sent aircraft carriers to the region, flown ammunition to Israel, and has authorized billions of dollars in new aid to Israel. US Sec. of State Blinken is traveling to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Egypt – key Arab countries in the region, indicating that the US is planning on a long, bloody war.

Ignoring the fact that the Ukraine war is still going on, NATO has adopted the cliché, “We are with Israel.” What is alarming is that France and the UK are cracking down on pro-Palestine protests, a sign that Europe is getting ready to be involved in a long-term conflict.

In the first four days of this war, Israel dropped 2,300 missiles on Gaza, a densely packed city that has been described as the world’s largest open-air prison. Numerous hospitals, schools, a locally renowned university, mosques, and an ancient church in Gaza have been bombed into smithereens by Israel. Gaza does not have a military or a missile defense system, and thus is completely defenseless against Israeli bombardments.

Israel has now imposed a complete blockade of Gaza, turning off electricity, fuel and food. A disastrous humanitarian crisis is unfolding in real time due to collective punishment, which is against international laws and the Geneva Convention. (When it came to the Ukraine war, the EU propaganda cried that cutting off water and electricity are acts of “pure terror”). In a cynical manner, Israel has proposed a “solution” that will allow Gazans to move to Egypt, but this is just blatant ethnic cleansing. In essence, this proposal says, “We are going to bomb your homes, so leave your home, become a refugee, flee to another country, and never come back.”
© AFP 2023 Mahmud HamsA missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023
A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023 - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023

When Israel Created and Supported Hamas

This is not a conspiracy theory but a well-established fact. Israel created and supported Hamas for decades for two reasons: split the Palestinian leadership with the divide-and-rule strategy; and delegitimize Palestinian aspirations by pointing to Hamas’ violence. In other words, Israel’s strategy was to create a controlled opposition, which is violent enough to keep the endless war going and sabotage peace plans.
A 2009 Wall Street Journal article titled, “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas,” explains this perilous political strategy. US Senator Ron Paul also spelled it out in his speech at the Senate: “Hamas was encouraged and really started by Israel to counteract Yasser Arafat.” In a Wikileaks email, Israeli Defense Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin admitted in 2007 that “Israel would be happy if Hamas took over Gaza. Because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state.”
In 2019, Netanyahu told his Likud party that “anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to it.”
Note that Hamas is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood*, which has had very close relations with the U.S. for decades. In 1959, US President Eisenhower invited the Muslim Brotherhood to the White House and created a partnership to attack secular pan-Arab leaders – like those in Egypt and Syria – who were leaning towards the Soviet Union. This same playbook was used by the US and Israel to support Hamas against the secular and progressive Palestinian leadership (PLO).
However, the clever strategists created a Frankenstein Monster, which is now threatening the West’s colonial aspirations.
© AP Photo / Ohad ZwigenbergIsrael's Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, near Sderot
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, near Sderot - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system fires to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, near Sderot

Who’s a Terrorist?

Guess who said this: “That land over there is yours. You will have your homes and mosques back again. Because, your cause is right and God is on your side!"
That was geopolitical guru Brzezinski giving motivational speech to the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s when they were useful geopolitical pawns in the proxy war against the USSR.
Throughout the decades, the US has supported terrorists, Nazis, and genocidal dictators when they could benefit the US military industrial complex. If Hamas were fighting America's geopolitical enemies like Russia, China or Iran… Western media would be glorifying Hamas as freedom fighters. Hamas would be receiving funds from NED, weapons from the CIA, & free propaganda from CNN.
For over a decade, US and allies – including Israel – supported Al Qaeda** and ISIS*** in the proxy war against Syrian President Assad. All the terrorists instantly morphed into “moderate rebels” who received billions of dollars, weapons, and training from the CIA (“Operation Timber Sycamore”).
In an interview with Al Jazeera a few years ago, Mossad’s former chief Efraim Halevy admitted that Israel treats wounded Al Qaeda (known as Al Nusra in Syria) fighters; and Netanyahu visited these terrorists at a hospital on the Golan Heights border.
Even ISIS became an ally of the West. Consider these shocking revelations:
US Secretary of State John Kerry was secretly recorded admitting that the US thought ISIS could force Assad to surrender.
Israeli intelligence chief Herzi Halevy said that an ISIS-controlled Syria would be better for Israel.
Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon bragged that ISIS never attacks Israel; and when the one time it happened inadvertently, ISIS apologized immediately.
Kissinger openly warned President Trump to not defeat ISIS, because the latter helped contain Iran’s influence in the region.
Given all these facts, consider the degree of cynicism and mendacity from Netanyahu who is now trying to demonize Hamas as “ISIS.”
The list of Islamist terrorists that the US has supported is long – from Chechnya to Xinjiang and Iran to the Philippines. When convenient, the US just removes extremist groups from the State department’s terrorist list and starts funding the same groups – like the MEK group in Iran or the ETIM group of radicalized Uyghurs. America’s unethical and sinister ploys have no limits.
© AP Photo / Hatem AliPalestinians look for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.
Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.

Selective Compassion

The sad thing about this long conflict is that humanity and compassion have been replaced with vengeance and hatred. Harsh rhetoric and hate speech are common in both Israeli and Palestinian communities. Israeli officials dehumanize Palestinians as “animals.” An Israeli far-right politician shared a video in which she asks her young daughter – perhaps five years old – what she wanted to be when she grew up. The child says, “I want to drive a jeep and kill Arabs.”
US actress Jamie Lee Curtis posted on Instagram a photo of school children running and looking up in fear. She called it “Terror from the skies.” Then she found out it’s a picture from Gaza — not Israel — and the kids are Palestinians. And she removed the photo immediately!

Life of Palestinians

The life of Palestinians is a tragic story of misery and violence. According to the UN, there are 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in that region, including millions in Jordan and Lebanon.
Two million Gazans live in an area that’s 25 miles by 5 miles, and half of them are children. As the UN says, “Gaza blockade (through land, air and sea) is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to collective punishment. It severely restricts imports and exports, as well as the movement of people in and out of Gaza.” Unsurprisingly, high rates of poverty, malnourishment and unemployment plague Gaza.
To the east of Gaza, the West Bank is occupied by Israeli forces, which have extraordinary control over the lives of Palestinians, who are deprived of fundamental liberty and freedom. Every day, Palestinians are subjected to Israeli checkpoints and all sorts of humiliations. There are virtually no civil liberties, since Israeli police force can barge into any Palestinian home, and arrest/shoot any Palestinian at will. Palestinian homes are also seized and demolished by ever-growing ‘settlements’ by Israelis, even though many UN resolutions have condemned these acts. The savage philosophy is reflected in a tweet by the Israeli PM in 2018: “The weak are slaughtered and erased from history, while the strong survive.”

Since 2008, more than 150,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed or injured in Gaza and West Bank; and 33,000 of those were children. Last year was the worst in fifteen years in terms of the number of Palestinians slaughtered by Israel.

Thus, the question of who’s right and who’s wrong in this decades-old conflict is an endless debate. From Israel’s point of view, Hamas are terrorists who launch rockets into Israel and want to erase the Jewish nation. From the Palestinian point of view, Gaza and West Bank are occupied territories where nationless people lack fundamental rights and sovereignty, and are thus entitled to fight for freedom and self-determination.
© AP Photo / Fatima ShbairShelling of buildings in the Palestinian city of Gaza
Обстрел зданий в палестинском городе Газа - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Shelling of buildings in the Palestinian city of Gaza

What’s the Solution?

106 years ago — in Nov 1917 — the British signed the Balfour Declaration, which laid the foundation for Israel. In it, the stipulation was clear: “Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” Alas, that’s exactly what happened – ethnic cleansing of Arabs, apartheid regime, deprivation of human rights, mass killing of Palestinians and so on. As Russian President Putin said, “The Palestinian issue is in the heart of every Muslim, and they perceive it as an embodiment of injustice taken to an incredible degree. When creating Israel, there was also talk of immediately establishing a sovereign Palestine, but this was never done.”
The solution to this tragic situation is a two-state solution that has broad support in the world.
According to the Indian government, "Two-state solution should be achieved, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for statehood and Israel’s security concerns”. India also voted in favor of UN resolution 2334, which demands that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. (Note that, on social media, pro-Israel Indians are the loudest, but Indian politics is in a bit of a confused state).
China, a reliable friend of Palestine for a long time, supports three major initiatives:
Palestinian statehood based on 1967 borders
East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and
UN membership for Palestine
© AP Photo / Fatima ShbairWreckage of buildings damaged by Israeli missile strikes on Gaza
Обломки зданий, пострадавших в результате ракетных ударов ВС Израиля по Газе - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Wreckage of buildings damaged by Israeli missile strikes on Gaza

End of Western Hegemony and its Theory of Chaos?

A few months back, tectonic changes started happening in the Middle East. The rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia – brokered by China – stunned the world. Then, Saudis made peace with Houthis to end the war in Yemen; and Syria was readmitted into the Arab League. There was immense hope for peace and prosperity in the region.
All those positive developments were, of course, terrible for the American empire, whose hegemony in the Middle East depends on wars and chaos. How can the US control Arab countries without them feeling threatened? Existential dangers create demand for US military bases. Peace is horrifying for the US military industrial complex.
We don’t know how the new conflict will move forward. However, there are scenarios that can lead to a strategic or even a military defeat of Israel. Geopolitical constraints prevent Israel from simply dropping massive bombs on Gaza and turning it into “a parking lot.” Hence the planned ground invasion. Similarly, Israel cannot just “nuke” Syria or Lebanon, from where Hezbollah operates.
What this means is that groups like Hezbollah can cause substantial damage to Israel’s military by waging an asymmetric war with relatively low-tech and cheaper weapons such as drones, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and MANPADS. Think Super Mujahideen 2.0.
We have already seen what Hamas can do, but Hezbollah is hundred-fold more experienced and better equipped. Over the last decade, Hezbollah have fought NATO-funded jihadists in Syria, and are thus battle-hardened. Plus, unlike Hamas, Hezbollah has a myriad of sophisticated and nimble weapons like mobile cruise and guided missiles with ranges longer than 100km.
In conclusion, if Syria and Iran decide to arm Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthis in Yemen, Israel will face two choices: (1) Accept defeat and make peace, or (2) Start a regionwide war that involves the US and NATO bombing Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran. The second option would be just one step short of WW3.
A defeat in Ukraine and a defeat in the Middle East will be the last two nails in the coffin of the US empire. Oh, yes, the Ukraine war is over. As White House spokesperson admitted a couple of days ago, “US will support Ukraine as long as we can, but it is not indefinite. We are at the end of the rope.”
Obviously, such a humiliating defeat makes the US very desperate and dangerous, but its options are limited, especially considering the implications for China. If the US foolishly sets the Middle East on fire, that would not only weaken the US militarily and diplomatically, but would also significantly elevate China as the superpower. Suddenly, the entire Muslim world will be pro-China and anti-US, which will also lead to rapid dedollarization – i.e., OPEC selling oil for yuan. The end of petrodollar means the end of US hegemony. Remember the 1973 oil embargo? It will be much worse this time, considering the sanctions on Russia. As for Europe, which has already been severely harmed by the high cost of energy, a new war in the Middle East would be infinitely more calamitous.
One of the key pillars of American hegemony is its soft power, which has already been weakening over the last two decades. A war in the Middle East will be the last straw that broke American soft power. Don’t be misled by Arab leaders, some of whom are very friendly towards the US. 80% of Muslims in the region feel that the Palestinian cause is an Arab cause.
Last but not least, a Middle East war means that the American dream of containing China in Taiwan straits will never come to fruition.


Just as the multipolar world is inevitable, a multipolar Middle East is also a certainty. Just as the US needs to learn to work with Russia and China as equal partners, Israel needs to redefine its relationship with the neighboring Arab/Islamic countries. While Israel’s attempts at normalizing relations with Saudi Arabis is laudable, it should do the same with Iran and Syria to establish peace all through the region. Above all, Israel needs to accept a two-state solution that provides Palestinians a homeland. Israelis should understand that the American Century is practically over, and the US cannot dominate West Asia and protect Israel forever. Undoubtedly, Israel will benefit from having good relations with all its neighbors.

For the moment, all Arab countries should unite and negotiate as one bloc with Israel to end the assault on Gaza immediately and secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. Then, the long negotiations for an inevitable Palestinian state and a new security architecture for the region should begin, which will herald a new regional order of peace and prosperity for all.

*Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.
**Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.
***ISIS (ISIL/Daesh/Islamic State) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia and many other countries.
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