By Fabio Bosco
On January 1, Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, announced the withdrawal of two brigades from the Gaza strip. Each brigade has around 4,000 soldiers. He claimed that the costs of the war against the Palestinians had become a burden on the Israeli economy. He further announced that three more brigades will withdraw for training. But he said the criminal war drive would continue for several months.
In fact, the Israeli economy shrank by about 2% in the last quarter of 2023 alone, due to high military costs and also the impact of the call-up of reservists emptying their workplaces. But the minister did not mention the other two most important reasons: international pressure for a ceasefire that forced the United States administration to pressure Israel to change its military strategy in Gaza; and the Palestinian resistance that imposed 170 Israeli casualties on Gaza and destroyed a large number of tanks and military material.
The change in military strategy desired by the United States consists of replacing the so-called Dahiya doctrine of indiscriminate attacks on the entire Palestinian population and widespread destruction meant to pit Palestinians against Hamas. This doctrine was applied by Zionists in Dahiya, a southern neighborhood of Beirut during the invasion of Lebanon in 2006. For the moment, President Joe Biden has agreed to maintain the violent occupation of Gaza, but wants attacks focused on Hamas and its leaders in order to deflate international pressure and to characterize an Israeli “victory” over Palestinian resistance.
Another point of disagreement is over the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza. Zionists want to implement the “final solution,” that is, the expulsion of all or almost all of the Palestinian population to the Sinai Peninsula or even to different countries. To this end, it seeks to make human survival in Gaza impossible. The U.S. administration may agree to expel a small part of the 2.4 million Palestinians from Gaza by granting visas to several countries but understands that it is politically unfeasible to expel the entire population, particularly to Sinai where it might be problematic for the Egyptian regime.
The latest public disagreement is over the future of Gaza. Zionists want Gaza without Palestinians and do not accept the American proposal for the Palestinian National Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, to rule Gaza, which would pave the way in practice for a Palestinian mini-state in Gaza and the West Bank.
However, the State of Israel is an imperialist enclave in the Middle East and depends on economic, military, and diplomatic assistance from the United States to survive. That is why a discreet announcement of the reduction of troops in Gaza was made on the eve of the arrival of Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, without this representing any recognition of concession to American pressure.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Judicial Overhaul Reform
On the same day, the Israeli Supreme Court decided by 8 votes to 7 to annul the judicial reform approved by the Knesset (Israeli parliament) that emptied its powers to strike down any decisions made by the Zionist government and parliament.
The Supreme Court made this decision now, taking advantage of the unpopularity of the government led by Netanyahu and also taking into account the imminent end of the term of two members of the Supreme Court, which could have changed the result of the tight vote.
This judicial reform divided the Zionist state, the Zionist population, and even the Zionist movement outside occupied Palestine. This reform was approved last year by a parliamentary majority that united the bloc of settlers led by the Religious Zionism party led by the finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, and the Jewish Power party led by the national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, with the religious fundamentalist parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism) and the far-right Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu.
The settlers want complete freedom to expel the Palestinians and colonize all of Jerusalem (Al-Quds for the Arabs), the West Bank, and Gaza. The fundamentalists want to maintain state financial subsidies for their members to dedicate themselves exclusively to religious studies and to avoid military service. Furthermore, they want to remove from the Supreme Court the right to block the appointment of ministers convicted of corruption, as happened with the leader of Shas, Aryeh Deri. Netanyahu, on the other hand, wants to dismiss three legal cases for corruption against him.
On the other hand, the reform was met with broad opposition from various sectors of the state bureaucracy itself (including sectors of the armed forces and secret services) and the Zionist middle class concerned about the effects of the current government’s openly racist anti-Arab discourse on Israel’s international image, as well as bourgeois sectors concerned about the losses caused by the boycott campaign (BDS) on their businesses. They see the independence of the judiciary as a counterweight to an openly racist and fundamentalist government. Furthermore, there was widespread opposition to this judicial reform among the largest Jewish community in the world, which is located in the United States.
Mobilizations for the Resignation of the Government and the Call for New Elections
Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going through his worst moment. In addition to his likely conviction for corruption, Netanyahu has faced street protests demanding the fall of his government. Public opinion polls indicate that his parliamentary bloc would lose around a third of its members in new elections, and the opposition led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, both Zionist war criminals, would be able to form the new government. In fact, the Hamas-led Palestinian resistance counteroffensive of October 7 practically threw the wrench into Netanyahu’s political future. The Israeli Zionist population understands that Netanyahu ignored the various warnings about the Hamas attack on October 7, and left the Israeli population unprotected. Furthermore, the families of Israelis imprisoned in Gaza want Netanyahu to accept the conditions of Palestinian resistance of their exchange for Palestinian political prisoners, a condition that Netanyahu will do everything not to accept.
The Future of Gaza
The Palestinian resistance led by Hamas managed to put the question of Palestine back on the world agenda, paralyzing the normalization of diplomatic relations between Arab countries and the state of Israel (only three Arab states were not in the process of normalization: Kuwait, Algeria and Tunisia), and also sealed Netanyahu’s future.
These achievements are very important but insufficient. It is necessary to achieve an end to the aggression on Gaza and the West Bank, the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, an end to the siege on Gaza, and its reconstruction. These achievements are steps towards the political and military defeat of the State of Israel, and the liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
However, there are many enemies. First and foremost, the State of Israel – whether in its openly racist fashion that preaches the expulsion o fPalestinians, or in its “moderate” fashion of expelling Palestinians while talking about peace and two-state solution – backed by the U.S. and European imperialisms, which have funded Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
Russia and China limited themselves to voting for a ceasefire in the U.N. Security Council. Putin has always supported the State of Israel and has an agreement with it that allows Israeli forces to bombard Syrian territory without the Russians activating their anti-aircraft batteries installed in Syria.
Arab countries and Iran also limit themselves to making diplomatic statements against the genocide in Gaza, whether they are direct allies of the U.S. imperialism, such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or the countries of the so-called ‘Axis of Resistance’ led by the Iranian regime. In fact, only Yemen’s Houthis have taken an active role in preventing the transit of ships to Israeli ports in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait. Iraqi Shiite militias have also carried out some attacks on American troops in the country. The Lebanese Hezbollah, which was expected to open a new war front in the north of occupied Palestine, has limited itself to exchanging bullets and missiles with the Israeli army in a small border strip, despite the Zionists’ efforts to generalize the fighting as demonstrated by the assassination of Saleh Al-Arouri, an important leader of Hamas, in Beirut, on January 2, 2024 as well as the explosions in Kerman city in Iran on January 3, 2024.
The true allies of the Palestinian people are not the Arab regimes but the Arab and international workers and youth. These are the forces that, through a Palestinian Intifada and a new wave of revolutions in the Arab world strengthened by international solidarity, will have the conditions to defeat the military forces and put an end to the State of Israel, and conquer a secular and democratic Palestine, from the river to the sea.