The Gaza scorecard

The Saker pronounces his judgement of the most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is interesting once one removes the over-the-top parentheticals. I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions, but it is a more useful analysis than the mainstream’s “whoever kills the most civilians wins” metric:

The Israeli scorecard

The problem with Gaza now is the same that the failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 has revealed: just like the Lebanese in 2006, the Palestinians of 2021 are not afraid of the Zionists anymore. Furthermore, with a great deal of help from Iran and others, Hamas in Gaza is now much, much better armed than in the past. True, some of its missiles are decidedly low tech and not very effective, but Hamas also has shown some pretty decent UAVs too. Most importantly, from now on for Hamas it is only one way: up the “quality ladder”.

The other major goal of the Israelis in this war was to prove to the world that their “Iron Dome” air defense network was the “super-dooper most bestest” in the world. It now appears that at best, the Israelis intercepted somewhere around 30-40{cc08d85cfa54367952ab9c6bd910a003a6c2c0c101231e44cdffb103f39b73a6} of the Hamas missiles. The way the Israeli hid this is by claiming that their fancy shmancy Iron Drone did not even try to engage missiles which were not deemed dangerous. But in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, that kind of silly nonsense can easily be debunked. While the full Iron Dome air defense system probably works marginally better than the quasi-useless US Patriot, the Israeli air defenses are clearly at least a generation behind the Russian ones, including the S-300s the Russians sold to Syria.

It is crucial to remember that Hamas’ missiles are much inferior to those of the Houthis and the Syrians, and even more inferior when compared to Hezbollah or Iranian drones and missiles! In other words, the “invincible” IDF can’t deal with even its weakest, least sophisticated enemies and the grotesquely expensive Iron Done cannot protect the Zionists from any determined missile attacks by the Resistance coalition of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia…. In other words, far from showing how “invincible” the Zionist entity is, this latest war against the Palestinians has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF cannot deal with any of its enemies.

The Palestinian scorecard

Let’s start by the obvious one: the Palestinians were not defeated. This victory can be further subdivided in the following:

  • The Palestinian leadership has mostly physically survived, it still exists as a local authority. Plenty of Palestinians were murdered, but that did not affect the operational capabilities of the Palestinian forces any more than the IDF succeeded in affecting Iranian operational capabilities in Syria.
  • The Palestinian leadership has also survived politically. It was not blamed by the “Palestinian street” for starting the war, nor was it blamed for how it executed it. As for Fatah, it is now, by all accounts, lost somewhere in a political no man’s land which, admittedly, it richly deserves for its incompetence, corruption and subservience to Israel and the USA.
  • Militarily speaking, the Palestinian missile strikes were not nearly as effective than, say, Hezbollah strikes would have been, but, hey, they made huge progress and we can all rest assured that the Palestinians of Gaza will, sooner or later, catch up with the Houthis and, further down the road, maybe even Hezbollah.
  • By many accounts, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have made major political inroads into the Palestinian political scene outside Gaza. Even in spite of a truly immense hasbara effort by the Israelis, the international public opinion was blaming Israel for the orgy of violence.

I think The Saker left out one obvious point in favor of the Israelis, which is that it was the Palestinians who asked for the ceasefire, not the Israelis. But the fact that the Israelis were afraid to risk the failure of a ground invasion is probably the most significant aspect of the conflict; as Martin van Creveld has pointed out, Goliath demonstrating that he is bigger than David is not a victory condition, since everyone already knew that from the start.

The other important point is that Israel stopped its air campaign after Putin told it to stop, not in response to any of Biden’s many requests. This tends to underline the idea that it is now Russia that is the primary outside influencer in the post-ISIS Middle East, not the USA, due to the way in which the Syrian war. 

Regardless, the fact that the Palestinians didn’t lose doesn’t mean that Israel did. A failure to win a clear-cut victory is not a defeat. Sometimes a failure is just a failure.

But the conflict has also demonstrated that while the US public is still generally well-disposed toward Israel, the incessant anti-American provocations by the ADL and the anti-BDS movement, combined with a large and growing immigrant population immune to both Holocaustianity and Scofield churchianity, have noticeably weakened the strength of US support for Israel.