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The New Intifada – So Why Did it Happen?

Dr Rehan Mushtaq

On the morning of 7 Oct, Palestinians decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1973 Arab-Israel War. Yet, most analysts are curious about the motive behind the attack. In the West, this question is being raised to blame the Hamas and Iran; while among the Muslim World, people are asking the same because in their naivety they had started believing that after the Abram Accords all is good in Palestine. Contrarily, the truth is that the information filters that were put in place after these shadowy accords, blinded most from the reality. Which is – nothing in ME will ever get normal till the Palestinians get their rightful land back.

The conspiracy theorists are questioning Mossad that how could Hamas, well known to them for violence, under its watch, be able to launch such a massive missile assault followed by ground raids, killing and capturing Israelis in hundreds. They have a point – either Mossad let the Hamas do this to hit them back strongly and decisively, or they are just incompetent. A corollary to this argumentation is that it’s a diversion planned by Israel right-wingers to distract the domestic unrest which had refused to subside since months. There is yet another reason. Mehmoud Abbas cannot prevail over Palestinians with Hamas governing the Gaza Strip. And the Arabs and Israelis know this very well, too. So they have another reason to make Hamas go rash and violent so that they can demonize and punish Hamas and their supporters.

The other school of analysts think it’s an effort by Russia and China through Iran to keep US tied up in ME. The logic goes that the US can effectively pivot towards Pacific, to confront China, only if she is free from the ME, which can materialize when there is peace between the Arabs and Israel. An add-on to this rationale is that the Russians and Chinese are just not ready to allow the Democrats to win the next elections. Afghanistan, Iran nuclear deal, Ukraine, Africa and now Palestine, the Democrats under the Biden Administration have bungled up foreign policy in a big way. Within this argumentation, it is also believed that Hamas violence also suits the Russians as it stretches and addles the West on Ukraine.

Whatever is the reason or cluster of reasons, ME has been pushed towards instability. If this isn’t a short affair, it will have serious international consequences, which will hurt the Americans the most.