The announced defeat of Israel and Hamas

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On October 7, Hamas brought the most powerful army in the Middle East to its knees and prevented an agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia that was taken for granted, but it knows it will not survive the war.

Israel will crush Hamas because its military capabilities are far superior, but it also knows that it will not live in peace or have a normal relationship with its Arab neighbors until it resolves the Palestinian conflict.


Images from Gaza after another night of intense bombing and ground fighting

"USA. "limits Israel's military actions," says mediator Gershon Beskin

The ultra-Zionist dream of a country between the sea and the Jordan, the great Israel that the Netanyahu Government has pursued since its constitution last December, will not be possible either. Israel's allies will prevent it.

“Friends have to save Israel from itself,” the mediator Gershon Baskin explained to me a few days ago in a conversation organized by Nicholas Wood, promoter of Political Tours and of Insight beyond the headlines a platform that analyzes current affairs beyond the headlines.

Baskin is a social activist and businessman who, through Holy Land Bond, finances the construction of housing for Palestinians in East Jerusalem. In 2011 he participated in negotiations for the release of Gilat Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was held captive by Hamas in Gaza for five years. Baskin speaks regularly with the Hamas political leadership in Qatar and with Egyptian intelligence, but is not involved in any mediation to free the 220 hostages he captured near Gaza.

Baskin believes that neither Israel nor Hamas will emerge victorious from this war. Hamas because, after the atrocity of October 7, “it has lost the right to exist,” and Israel because it is in the hands of the United States and will not be able to maintain unilateral sovereignty in the West Bank. “It is not independent,” he says. He cannot make decisions for himself. The United States limits its military actions” to facilitate the release of the hostages and prevent Iran and its allies in the region, especially Hizbullah, from opening the northern front. “The risk is very high,” says Baskin, “and the war there will be more violent than in Gaza.” With Hamas eliminated, Hizbullah knows it will be Israel's next target. The diplomacy and military deterrence of the US and its allies – including China – must be coordinated as much as possible to avoid a regional conflict that will double the price of oil.

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Joaquin Luna

An Israeli policeman argues with a woman as Muslim worshipers are denied entry to the Aqsa mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem on October 27, 2023, ahead of demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing fighting between Israel and the Hamas movement. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP)

This is why Israel is subordinate to the US, even though it faces existential risk. Baskin believes that Biden cannot give autonomy to Netanyahu knowing that he is not in a position to make the decisions that are best for Israel and America's own interests. “The United States – he explains – is like that friend who doesn't let you drive if you've been drinking.”

“Netanyahu, moreover, will not survive.” He is politically dead. Not only for being responsible for the collapse of military defenses, but, according to Baskin, “for selling the Israelis the illusion that the problem was invisible, that there was nothing wrong with occupying the West Bank and isolating Gaza.”

Now that there is no turning back for Israel or Hamas, Baskin has no doubt that the Islamist guerrillas will fight to the last man and that the Israeli special forces will not leave any of them alive.

“The Israeli army – he specifies – knows a large part of Hamas' tunnel network. It has the necessary technology and uses artificial intelligence to see the underground of Gaza. When the time comes, he will use robots and poisonous gases to accomplish his objectives.”

The hostages delay the offensive. The United States wants to give more time to the negotiations led by Egypt and Qatar.

Baskin states that “Hamas has offered a ceasefire in exchange for the release of women, children, the elderly and the sick, but Israel has not responded.”

Public pressure for Netanyahu to release all Palestinian prisoners – nearly 7,000 – in exchange for the hostages is growing day by day, but is still in the minority.

Baskin believes that the war should end with a treaty that resolves the conflict once and for all. “Taif, the agreement that ended the Lebanon war in 1989, is a good model.”

An Arab multinational force must impose security in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority will need to be thoroughly reformed to eliminate corruption and improve administrative effectiveness. There will be elections and a new Palestinian government will be legitimized to negotiate. “It will be the Arabs, the countries that have made peace with Israel – Jordan and Egypt – and those that aspire to do so, such as Saudi Arabia, who will lead the negotiations. The US will pressure Israel to agree to return a large part of the West Bank, territory of a Palestinian state, which the entire world must recognize. Finally, a generous international aid plan will rebuild Gaza.”

Hamas and Israel prior to October 7 will not participate in this future, whatever it may come.

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