Israel won on
THE CELEBRATIONS in Gaza over the “victory” of Hamas in the recent round of violence provoke a strong sense of deja-vu.
Following Operation Cast Lead, Mousa Abu Marzook, deputy political bureau chief of Hamas, wrote in the Guardian that Israel had suffered “a decisive loss”. This prompted me to write a rebuttal in the same paper. I said that for Marzook, “the destruction brought on the people of Gaza by the just, self-defensive actions of Israel, is nothing but the spoils of victory”.
It’s the same old story all over again. I guess that the only difference is that in 2009, some of the 490 comments I received in response to my column were positive, while I’m not sure that would happen today. Unless, of course, Guardian readers start realising that executing people without trial in the streets of Gaza is the same sort of savagery that has manifested itself in the beheading of James Foley.
Coming back to the question of who won and who lost, we are confronted again with the same paradox: in recent armed collisions, Arabs lose, but still claim “victory”, while Israelis win, but still feel sour.
The Six-Day War was the last round in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict that left the Israelis with a clear sense of victory, and at the same time