Modern Diplomacy
What Divisions Have Been Exposed in Europe over the Crisis in Palestine

The critical voices of certain leaders in Western Europe, the efforts of humanitarian organizations, and numerous protests in Western cities lack substantial resonance and will not lead to the swift resolution of the current Gaza crisis. The final solution to the war between Israel and Hamas will be brought by Israel, with the support of the United States of America, writes Aleksandar Raković.

When Hamas militants attacked Israel from Gaza on October 7, 2023 and massacred more than a thousand people, on the same day, after Israel’s first public reactions, it was clear that Israel would apply the Torah principle to avenge this massacre. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Israel today is applying the principle of reciprocal justice measure for measure – “an eye for an eye” in the Gaza Strip. The principle of retribution in the Torah (or the Old Testament) should not be confused with a blood feud, because a blood feud can be stopped via reconciliation.

An almost identical old way of reckoning can also be spotted in the not-so-distant past among Orthodox Christian Serbs; this was called “sacred revenge”. Namely, sacred revenge existed in some Serbian lands until half a century ago and it was applied by individuals or groups as the Old Testament principle, when all possibilities to reach justice through judicial means were exhausted, when there were no more ways to deal with murderers in accordance with the conciliatory teachings of the New Testament.

Sacred revenge lasts forever; there is no reconciliation and there can never be until revenge is committed. After the Second World War, Serbian patriots committed sacred revenge against some Croatian Ustasha Nazi collaborators who had ordered genocide and participated in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma.

In this regard, it is quite clear to many knowledgeable Serbs why Benjamin Netanyahu is sending Biblical messages to Israeli soldiers to convince them that the war that Israel is waging against Hamas is not just an ordinary military conflict, but a Jewish holy war.

Also, Netanyahu’s messages are crystal clear to the Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah and everyone else in the Middle East. After all, there is no arena for the collision between the three monotheistic religions (Jews, Christians and Muslims) like the Middle East. Completely without contact with this space, the Buddha statue at the Re’im music festival looked surreal when Hamas entered and massacred the visitors of this event.

In response to the massacre, Israel launched a reprisal that was possibly aimed at making the entire Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip leave the area and begin an exodus towards Sinai. The extent of the destruction of the besieged Gaza City is such that it is not known if anything will remain. There are rumours that Israel intends to “make a big parking lot” out of Gaza City, that is, to level it completely. The Israeli army has the capacity and motivation to fulfil all tasks to the end.

Western European countries have all condemned the Hamas massacre, underlined that Israel has the right to self-defence in accordance with international law and called for a political solution to the conflict. However, the political West will not seriously lift a finger to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Although Israel is a micro-civilization in itself, this country is the fortress of the West in the Middle East. The United States of America stands firmly with Israel. In this regard, the political elites of North America and Western Europe will accept the Israeli solution for the Gaza Strip, even if some of them have declaratively spoken out against the indiscriminate use of force that has led to the death of around 15,000 Palestinians so far, including 6,000 children.

Namely, the critically intoned positions of the officials of France, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Norway against the indiscriminate Israeli use of force have not been followed by key steps in international forums. Here and there, a more explicit position is announced on the need to withdraw Israeli forces from Gaza, some political decisions are made for internal use and sometimes it is emphasized that the final goal should be a two-state solution.

On the other hand, Britain, Germany and Austria openly support Israel. When it comes to Turkey, its support for Palestine and its hostile rhetoric towards Israel is not considered a European perspective at all. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said on October 31, 2002 in Washington that Turkey will enter the European Union when Mexico becomes part of the United States of America. Never.

Since the beginning of the Israeli military campaign against Hamas, the indiscriminate use of force has led to civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, prompting numerous pro-Palestinian and peace protests in Western Europe, which sometimes bring together hundreds of thousands of people. The protesters include Muslims from Western Europe as well as Western anti-war activists and concerned citizens. However, the Israeli media have already branded the messages that have been spread at some of these rallies as “anti-Semitic”; this immediately, for part of the public, nullifies the resonance of the messages spread by those gatherings.

Nevertheless, the critical voices of certain leaders in Western Europe, the efforts of humanitarian organizations, and numerous protests in Western cities lack substantial resonance and will not lead to the swift resolution of the current Gaza crisis. The final solution to the war between Israel and Hamas will be brought by Israel, with the support of the United States of America. Everyone else in the West will agree to it with relief, because the war will end and bring to a conclusion the reason for their disagreements. Therefore, there will no longer be fundamental divisions among the Western elites on the question of the Gaza Strip and the fate of the civilian population there.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas diverted the West’s attention from the conflict in Ukraine. It is even visible that among many Westerners, there is no symmetry in the attitude towards these two wars. Namely, at the same time there are some factors in the West that are against both Russia and Israel. This does not sit well with Western planners, who see Israel as the West’s stronghold in the Middle East. Few sane people today in the West believe in earlier media spins that Russia and Iran were behind the actions of Hamas to divert the public’s attention from the special military operation in Ukraine.

The amount of aggression with which Israel attacked the Gaza Strip showed the Western public that the Russian military has incomparably more respect for international law. It’s inevitable that such conclusions will be drawn in the ranks of the Western elites. This, however, does not mean that the political West will more rationally accept the reintegration of half of Ukraine into Russia.
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