When the Israelis planned the Gaza War with the approval of the USA and connivance of Egypt, they hoped that all the death and destruction and the horror of the war the Palestinians will soon endure will compel the Palestinians to blame their suffering on the Hamas, and so boot the Hamas away. And the Israelis also hoped that even if they did not eradicate the Hamas completely, at least they will render it much weaker. But they accomplished quite the opposite: the Hamas emerged stronger than ever.
The Iraq War, too, has had startling and unexpected effects on people and nations around the world. The bombs dropped on the sleeping civilians in Baghdad during the “Shock and Awe” war destroyed Iraq’s bridges, power plants, military buildings and its infra-structure, of course; but like a boomerang, the war has come back to haunt the US, and it has sullied its reputation. Even the UK, a secondary participant in this war, has felt the war’s devastating effect. The Iraq War has sullied its reputation also, which prompted Mr. David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, to declare that, “It is well to be clear about how Britain is viewed as a consequence of its decision to back George Bush.” And he said that it reinforces a prejudiced view created by British history.
The Gaza War was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”. Mr. Miliband was utterly shocked at what he saw in Gaza. The scale of the destruction wreaked by the Israelis has truly horrified him. UK’s strong support for Israel, almost as unwavering as US’s support for Israel was until very recently, is now gone. Using clear, succinct words, Mr. Miliband has called for the creation of a Palestinian state without further delay: “Urgent action on progress towards a two-state solution is needed to prevent a fatal and final blow to the scope for compromise,” Mr. Miliband has said. “It requires the new Israeli Government to freeze settlements and accept a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders.”
In the United States, President Obama, too, has called for the creation of a Palestinian state, bounded by the internationally recognized pre-1967 borders, without delay.
If the support for Israel is dwindling around the world, it’s the result of the Gaza War. In Spain, the Netherlands and the UK, support for Israel is at an all time low. The UN Human Rights Council’s investigation of the War Crimes perpetrated in Gaza - the investigation team headed by Judge Richard Goldstone of South Africa - is progressing. Who would have guessed, only a year ago, that the UK and the US governments would be so critical of Israel’s actions? This is not what the Israelis had hoped to accomplish. Israel is seeing now the astonishing and bitter fruits of the Gaza War. Isn’t it true that you reap what you sow?
Yesh Prabhu, Plainsboro, NJ