Cats near a sukkah in northern Israel (
by Steve Timmer
Apr 29, 2024, 10:30 AM

Israel Has Been Defeated – a Total Defeat

Update 5/11: This new Mondoweiss article is a worthwhile read:

The genocide in Gaza will also be the end of Israel

Here’s the subhed:

The war’s aims won’t be achieved, the hostages won’t be returned through military pressure, security won’t be restored and Israel’s international ostracism won’t end

Pretty brutal, but Chaim Levinson writing in Haaratz makes a good case.

We’ve lost. Truth must be told. The inability to admit it encapsulates everything you need to know about Israel’s individual and mass psychology. [I would have said psychosis, but that’s just me.] There’s a clear, sharp, predictable reality that we should begin to fathom, to process, to understand and to draw conclusions from for the future. It’s no fun to admit that we’ve lost, so we lie to ourselves.

Other than that, everything is fine, I guess.

More brutal truth from Chaim:

After half a year, we could have been in a totally different place, but we’re being held hostage by the worst leadership in the country’s history – and a decent contender for the title of worst leadership anywhere, ever. Every military undertaking is supposed to have a diplomatic exit – the military action should lead to a better diplomatic reality. Israel has no diplomatic exit.

Levinson thinks that Bibi Netanyahu clears the Ariel Sharon “worst leader” bar with ease. Really bleak, Chaim, but just let it out.

Recently on Twitter — which most of us still call it — some wag said that Hamas really thought it could defeat Israel, hahaha! That’s funny on a couple of levels. The first level was just explained to you by Chaim Levinson.

The second level is that this fool thinks defeating Hamas militarily in the short term makes a hill of beans worth of difference.

There is a story from Vietnam war days — I can’t confirm it or link to it — where a North Vietnamese general and a US general were discussing the outcome, and the US general said, “You never defeated us on the battlefield, you know.” The North Vietnamese general replied, “We didn’t have to.”

There are probably no better students of Bibi Netanyahu than Hamas; it knew exactly how Bibi would react.The apartheid, land grabbing, racist violence against the Palestinians has proceeded apace for a long time. The end game of Israel has also been also been apparent for a long time, since at least 1967 and maybe stretching back to when Menachem Begin and his pals blew up the King David Hotel in 1946, hastening the end of the British Protectorate.

The idea that Hamas thought it would defeat Israel militarily on October 7th is ludicrous. It did reveal in the months that followed that Bibi, Likud, and Likud’s supporters are genocidal maniacs. It came at a high price to the Palestinian civilian population, but that’s where Israel was headed, anyway, just on the installment plan. Now a lot more people see it.

One of the most important audiences for the carnage is the American taxpayer. And American campuses.

You can quarrel with the strategy, but you have to understand it. Moderate Arab states like Egypt and Jordan had abandoned the Palestinians, and Israel was trying to seduce (not so moderate) Saudi Arabia, too. Shi’i Syria and Iran seem to be Sunni Palestine’s greatest supporters.

The Algerian war of independence echoes through Palestine. I’ve referred to the movie The Battle of Algiers before; the Algierians fought a guerilla war against French civilian colonial targets until they and the French people back home got tired of it. Apparently, the U.S. military, the Black Panthers, and the IRA all used the film as an aid in understanding insurgency. It isn’t documentary, but it’s close.

I read a movie review of the film by Roger Ebert years ago and it prompted me to buy a disc set of it. I don’t watch it often because it is so harrowing. A dialog recited in the review is the raison d’être for terrorism as an asymmetric war tactic.

At the height of the street fighting in Algiers, the French stage a press conference for a captured FLN leader. “Tell me, general,” a Parisian journalist asks the revolutionary, “do you not consider it cowardly to send your women carrying bombs in their handbags, to blow up civilians?” The rebel replies in a flat tone of voice: “And do you not think it cowardly to bomb our people with napalm?” A pause. “Give us your airplanes and we will give you our women and their handbags.”

Tony Blinken sounds like the French journalist when he rails at Hamas to come out and fight like men. The FLN leader explains why they don’t.

*  *  *

Update 4/29: Bibi’s finance minister didn’t get Chaim Levinson’s memo. But he demonstrates the genocidal mindset really well here on Twitter.

Let’s blow them all up

It sound genocidal, no? Remember, this is Israel’s finance minister.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.