Israel Readies To INVADE Rafah?!

It’s just been announced that Israeli Defense Forces are about to launch a full-blown assault on the remaining Hamas fighters in the city of Rafah. This was expected as Hamas has largely been pushed back into Rafah, and it was only a matter of time before Israeli forces launched a campaign to destroy what remains of the Hamas infrastructure.

– Israeli officials plan to invade Rafah, Hamas’ last refuge, raising concerns of civilian casualties.

– The Biden administration’s shifting stance on ICC jurisdiction draws criticism from Russia.

– The Atlantic article discusses global shifts away from liberalism and towards alternative conservative ideologies.

Israeli officials have announced that they will be invading and taking military action against Hamas in the Palestinian city of Rafah, which is Hamas’ last city of refuge. Israeli officials issued the warning to give Palestinian citizens time to evacuate and leave parts of the city, but many are saying, given the strict Israeli-enforced limitations on their travel, they have nowhere to go. Now, this warning of an imminent invasion comes less than 24 hours after a Hamas rocket attack killed four Israeli soldiers on Sunday.

Washington officials feared that the attack would hasten the timetable of a Rafah invasion. Rafah is a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip and there are over a million Palestinians who live there and half a million of them are children. It’s feared that a full-blown Israeli invasion and military offensive in Rafah would be catastrophic in terms of innocent casualties.

Hamas immediately announced their acceptance of Israel’s terms for a ceasefire shortly after the IDF announced that all civilians should leave parts of Rafah. As of Monday evening, Israeli forces have yet to issue a response. While no formal response has been given, in many ways, I think we already have it. The rhetoric that’s coming out of Israel, particularly among the hardliners who are getting more extreme. Here’s Shimon Boker, the vice chairman of World Likud, which is the international arm of Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu’s party:

What he said there according to a translation is, “I think we should’ve gone into Rafah yesterday already. There are no uninvolved (civilians) there. You have to go in and kill and kill and kill. We have to kill them before they kill us.” What we’re hearing there is rhetoric that is hardly indicative of a coming cease-fire. The chances of a ceasefire are growing more and more remote by the day. This is all happening as the International Criminal Court is threatening to investigate the Israeli Defense Forces for war crimes, particularly for forced mass starvation. The Biden administration and the Republicans in Congress are telling the ICC to back off. They are arguing that the ICC doesn’t have that kind of jurisdiction.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is perplexed at that response by US officials. Several months ago, the ICC issued a warrant for President Vladimir Putin’s arrest for alleged war crimes. The Russian Federation would no more allow the arrest of their president on foreign soil than we would. The irony here is that the Biden administration was all over this and was fully supportive of the ICC’s warrant against Putin, and even promised to enforce it if given the chance. But now the Biden administration has conveniently changed its tune.

Now, when it comes to Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden is claiming that the ICC doesn’t have that kind of jurisdiction. Russia is pushing back against what they see as the obvious double standards in Washington when it comes to the ICC and alleged war crimes. Russian officials have been exploiting the hostilities in the Middle East, particularly the recent missile exchange between Iran and Israel by convincing more Middle Eastern administrative officials that the United States can no longer be trusted as a guarantor of stability in the region.

We saw what was in many respects a coup against Washington policy in the Middle East when China, back in March of last year, announced that they had brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to reestablish diplomatic relations that had been severed for decades. The two nations reopened their respective embassies, exchanged ambassadors, and brought an end to decades of proxy wars fought between the two nations, most recently in Yemen.

For years, US officials exploited the sectarian differences between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran to keep the two nations apart, but now, with China and Russia as full players in Middle Eastern security and stability, DC’s influence has started to wane. Ever since the events of October 7th, Russian officials have been behind the scenes blaming the whole outbreak on the United States, and its old, tired policies that are causing the world to split apart.

Russian officials are being well received as they have denounced US policy in the region that they claim was overwhelmingly one-sided in Washington’s support for Israel. Russia and Israel have a great relationship, and Israel did not participate in the Biden-led sanctions against Russia. But Russia is offering the Middle East a far more balanced approach to security and stability. While the United States and Iran are bitter, mortal enemies, Russia and Iran are allies. They have run joint military exercises together, and they’ve used each other’s air space and military bases, and that means that when Israel needs a third-party liaison as tensions with Iran escalate, they naturally turn to Putin to help arbitrate a de-escalation.

The outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East is ultimately benefiting Russia while Biden has never been weaker at home and US foreign policy has never been more challenged abroad. This is discussed in an article from The Atlantic entitled “THE NEW PROPAGANDA WAR: Autocrats in China, Russia are now making common cause with MAGA Republicans to discredit liberalism and freedom around the world.” This is a perfect example of what scholars call a post-normal lag which is a condition of denial. It’s an attempt to disguise dynamics of real change in the guise of the familiar, in this case, that which is familiar to the neoliberal. In this case, this author for the Atlantic refuses to see that much of the world no longer buys or wants anything to do with ideological and political liberalism.

This has nothing to do with Russia, China, India, Turkey, or Iran. It concerns the liberals like the ones who write for the Atlantic. It’s not Russia, China, and MAGA who are undermining liberalism, it’s liberals who preach tolerance, democracy, justice, and freedom but practice intimidation, dictatorship, weaponized legalism, and tyranny. The world is moving away from the worldview of the writers at the Atlantic and the clowns made up of both parties in DC. A new world is rising, and perhaps, that world can finally broker lasting peace in the Middle East!

Copyright, 2024.

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