Netanyahu’s Expanding Gaza War

To keep the war going, Bibi has even tried to expand its area of operation by bombing a southern suburb of Beirut and killing Hamas' deputy political chief Saleh al-Aarouri.

The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has been in office on and off for 16 years.  Well known to the press, he has also been a prevaricator of long standing.  So the Gaza war drones on as Netanyahu uses it to bolster his support before the next election.  So if one asks how long the war will go on, the only feasible answer is, until Bibi feels comfortable with his electoral support. 

To keep the war going, Bibi has even tried to expand its area of operation by bombing a southern suburb of Beirut and killing Hamas’ deputy political chief Saleh al-Aarouri.  He was one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing and headed it in the West Bank. 

The attack on Lebanese soil and a Hezbollah controlled area has angered Hezbollah who have vowed revenge.  Hezbollah is Shia and closely allied with Shia Iran.  Its leader (Secretary General) Hassan Nasrallah has condemned the ‘dangerous,’ as he called it, killing of Hamas’ deputy leader and if war breaks out, he promises a fight without limits.  Has Israel opened a Pandora’s box and has Netanyahu, in his electoral greed, bitten off more than he can chew?  We will eventually find out. 

Hamas is Sunni and looks toward Egypt and North Africa.  Thus if a greater war with Israel does erupt, it could engulf almost all the Middle East.  And according to the Houthis in Yemen, Gaza is the reason for their attacks on shipping on the Red Sea.  Clearly the war is no longer localized to Israel’s borders.  But then no one likes to see women and children attacked ceaselessly, denied humanitarian aid or adequate provisions and medicine.

A hundred-days war, the question now is whether it can be stopped.  The U.S. administration is trying but without much success.  The words for peace mean little when it also keeps supplying arms to Israel in what seems like a case of schizophrenia.  Coupled with senile dementia and to think Joe Biden is planning on running again!   

To return to Bibi’s attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon, the latter’s allies are responding.  The Houthis who are also Shia and like Hezbollah are clients of Iran have decided to hurt Israel’s economy by attacking ships in the Red Sea, specifically in the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb Strait near them.  Several commercial ships have been hit and owners are now willing to add nine days to the journey by going around the Cape rather than risk losing a ship.  Longer travel distance means more expense adding to the cost of goods and hurting the Israeli economy.

Of course, tourism is at a virtual standstill,  But the pool of workers has also shrunk as young men are called up to serve in the army.  Israel’s central bank estimates the cost to be $600 million each week.  Economist Joseph Zeira believes the chances of a recession are high and that it will be a deep recession.  A professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Zeira believes the cause is the protracted war, the resulting uncertainty, the reduced investment, demand and even tourism

It goes without saying that were elections to be held today, Netanyahu would be out.  People would have supported a short punishing engagement but not the ‘hide-and-seek’ farce being played out in the myriad tunnels dug out by Hamas as preparation for an Israeli onslaught whenever it might happen.  ‘Know your enemy’ is a common saying and it holds true once more.  If Netanyahu has a worried look in the latest photos, he has nobody to blame but himself. 

Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.