Why did Blinken fail to reach an end to the war in Gaza?

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's fifth round did not achieve its stated goals of reaching a ceasefire in Gaza, despite the preparations, speculation, and circumstances that preceded that visit indicating the possibility of its success.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s fifth round did not achieve its stated goals of reaching a ceasefire in Gaza, despite the preparations, speculation, and circumstances that preceded that visit indicating the possibility of its success.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the pressure exerted by the Biden administration on the Israel’s government to stop its aggression against the Gaza Strip, which has become widely criticized by international public opinion.

The United States also took the initiative to impose sanctions against four settlers who committed massacres against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

One of the results of Blinken’s visit was that President Biden issued a memorandum demanding that governments that receive American weapons provide written guarantees of compliance with international and American law, which indicates the failure of Blinken’s efforts, and that the Israeli government does not want to abide by any American dictates or conditions.

Blinken’s visit had been postponed to leave the negotiators more time to mature the negotiation process and reach a viable and sustainable ceasefire agreement.

Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk had visited Moscow in search of Russian guarantees to sponsor any agreement to stop the fighting in Gaza.

It was also reported that the Paris meeting, which brought together William Burns, the head of the Israeli Mossad, the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, and the Qatari Foreign Minister, reached a theoretical framework for stopping the war in Gaza.

But Blinken’s visit did not achieve its goals due to Israeli intransigence and the insistence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue the war.

This may be due to the lack of experience of President Biden’s administration in Middle East affairs, and the failure of its strategy to withdraw from the region.

This strategy resulted in America’s return to the region with its largest presence since World War II.

It has become established that the Middle East region still today constitutes the “heart of the world,” and that whoever wants to rule the world must control this region, or have great influence in it at the very least.

Israeli reaction to the American position:

After the Al-Aqsa flood, Israel lost the two founding elements upon which its state was founded, which are:

– Military superiority: which began to disappear since the year 2000, when Israel was forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon under the impact of resistance strikes. And the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

– Functional role: as a protector of Western interests in the region.

After the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation, Israel lost the element of deterrence and intimidation of the neighbours, so that Israel appeared as a “state” unable to provide absolute protection for its settlers despite its possession of the most modern and sophisticated types of weapons.

Hence, Netanyahu’s talk was that the battle that Israel is waging is a battle of existence, and that victory in it is necessary to ensure the continuity of the entity.

Therefore, the Biden administration has been widely criticized by Israeli officials as a result of its position demanding an end to the war on Gaza, despite its absolute support for the entity’s government and its great sympathy for it since the beginning of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

Netanyahu, for his part, announced Israel’s position and its insistence on continuing the war until its goals of eliminating Hamas are achieved.

The Israeli press reported on the bad relationship between Netanyahu and Biden since Biden took power, denouncing the ongoing American interference in Israel’s internal affairs.

The first of these interventions was American criticism of the judicial reforms carried out by Netanyahu, as Washington saw them as “weakening democracy in Israel.”

Many Israeli officials also stated that Israel is not an American state, and the Biden administration must be aware of this and stop the policy of dictates towards the country’s government.

What is important about the matter is that the differences between the two countries have become public, and it has become clear that Netanyahu will not respond to American pressure, and that he is seeking to involve Washington more in the war.

Hamas is in a strong position

The Hamas movement, for its part, still rejects any truce whose main title is the release of Israeli prisoners only, without taking into account the interests of the Palestinian people by stopping the war and exchanging prisoners.

The prisoners’ card is still the strongest card in Hamas’ hands, and it causes more internal pressure on the occupation government to stop the war.

If Hamas distributes these prisoners within the Gaza Strip, such that one of them is killed when Israel destroys any building, and then Hamas officially announces the names of these dead, this will lead to further escalation in Israel against Netanyahu and his government.

There are more than one hundred thousand Zionist settlers who have been displaced from the areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip, and they do not think about returning there in the future, because they do not trust their government’s ability to restore safety there.

The field reality also reflects a major failure of the occupation army and shows its weakness and inability to achieve real victories in Gaza, and therefore the final decision rests with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Yahya al-Sinwar and Muhammad Deif as the field commanders of that war.

Also, global public opinion has turned against Netanyahu, and Israel has been stripped of the “historical oppression” that it presented to the world (the Holocaust).

Israel, which has historically succeeded in playing the role of the victim, is now playing the role of the executioner, which is what made many of the world’s Jews abandon their Zionism and demonstrate in rejection of the war in Gaza.

Moreover, the decision of the International Court of Justice, far from the discussion and talk about its importance, and the inability to implement it on the ground, certainly put Israel in the dock.

The idea of a two-state solution has become the only option available to find a solution to the Palestinian issue, despite all the criticism directed at this idea, and despite the Israeli rejection of it.

American compliance with the idea of a two-state solution restores the idea that going to the negotiating table is the inevitable result of this solution, which is what the Trump and Biden administrations had abandoned.

The idea of Arab normalization with the occupation government is at stake, and the Saudi condition for a two-state solution as an entry point to normalization with Israel confirms this, and threatens a retreat from the “Abrahamic normalization path” if Israel continues to reject that idea.

The war in the Gaza Strip… where to?

It seems that the Netanyahu government is continuing its war, due to personal and partisan considerations, and due to its inability to achieve its declared goals to date.

Therefore, the possibilities of escalation have become more likely, especially in light of what the Yemeni army is doing against Israeli and American ships in the Red Sea region.

In light of the major escalation against the American forces present in Syria and Iraq, they have become vulnerable to hundreds of attacks since the beginning of the war.

After Hezbollah carried out more than a thousand military operations against the Zionist occupation forces, it was able to establish a buffer zone inside enemy territory, after the settlers fled the border areas that became the target of resistance strikes.

Although this does not serve American interests, as the presidential elections are now the priority.

President Biden is working under pressure of time and fear of reactions to the military operations carried out by the United States in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

Israel suffered a major defeat on the day of the Al-Aqsa Flood, but its defeat will be much greater after ground operations stop.

Hamas’ victory will be the beginning of the end for Israel, and Hamas’s military defeat will certainly also be a political defeat for Israel.

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, and the Israeli massacres against the Palestinian people continue, many Arab and Islamic countries will be subject to internal tremors, the results of which no one can predict.

Some Arab countries have begun to sense the danger and are seeking to reach an end to the war in Gaza by any means, but that seems an unattainable goal at the present time.

Shaher Al Shaher
Shaher Al Shaher
Associate Professor School of International Studies Sun Yat-Sen University/ China Professor at the Faculty of Political Science - University of Damascus (previously)