Israel’s failure to divide, disarm or defeat the heroic resistance in Gaza is seen as a historic political victory, Columnist Sara Flounders wrote in an article published by The American Workers World newspaper on Tuesday.
The article, entitled “Gaza – political victory for Palestine,” reported: “Israel caused massive destruction in Gaza and killed, according to a United Nations report, 2,104 people, including 1,462 civilians of whom 495 were children.”
“The attacks further destroyed essential infrastructure, water, electricity, schools, medical centers and almost one-third of the housing. This devastation has created international outrage. Many in Israel view the war as a devastating political setback,” the report went.
According to Sara Flounders, the seven-week military onslaught utterly failed in its objectives of defeating the elected Hamas government and dividing the new Palestinian unity government of Hamas and Fatah. All Palestinian political forces took part in the resistance, coordinating their defensive actions.
“The Palestinians’ greatest accomplishment was to prevent the high-tech, heavily armed Israeli Defense Forces from accomplishing its goal of disarming a determined Palestinian resistance, which used hundreds of tunnels, simple rockets and smuggled, hand-held weapons,” Flounders wrote.
In Founders’ terms, rallies in Gaza, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and by thousands of Palestinians living within Israel’s 1967 boundaries make it clear that the Palestinians believe they won.
“Thousands of Palestinians celebrated in streets of Gaza City on Aug. 27. Deputy Head of the Hamas Politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, and other resistance leaders joined the public celebration. Haniyeh explained that the resistance had been preparing for the battle for years: “The victory is beyond the limits of time and place. This battle is a war that lacks a precedent in the history of conflict with the enemy,” she added.
“Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida told a large crowd gathered in Gaza City’s eastern Shujaiyya neighborhood — devastated during Israel’s ground assault: ‘Resistance unified the people, and that is our big achievement. We will not return to divisions or disputes,’ Flounders wrote down.
“There is still no signed agreement. Israel’s primary demand — the disarmament of Gaza’s resistance organizations — is not even open for discussion,” she added in a section of the article dubbed “A ceasefire — no agreement”
In the writer’s view, Israel always violated both signed ceasefire agreements and agreements to open the border. Israel has violated all other agreements made with the Palestinians, including the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Flounders further pointed to the Gaza victory rally of more than 2,000 people held on August 28 in Galilee, within Israel’s 1948 borders, where marchers waved Palestinian flags and held pictures of slain children in Gaza.
The columnist referred to Palestinian elected Knesset (parliament) member, Hanin Zoabi, who said during the rally: “The Palestinian resistance and the people as a whole in Gaza defeated all the military and political objectives that Israel set for itself. Our people’s struggle thwarted all of Israel’s objectives.”
In an outspoken reference to Israel’s defeat, outlined in a section of the critique entitled “Zionists’ great fear: Israel has lost”, the writer called Israeli premier Netanyahu a “war criminal” who “hollowly proclaimed victory” and pretended that Israel had secured both a great military achievement and a political achievement.
“But the Zionist establishment now fears that the war was a howling blunder,” Sara Flounders wonders.
Flounders quoted Amir Oren of Haaretz, a major Israeli publication, in a stunning admission of how much Israel has been set back: “What Netanyahu and his colleagues have brought down on Israel, in a conflict between the region’s strongest army and an organization numbering 10,000, is not just a defeat. It’s a downfall.”
On July 23, Israeli polls claimed 82 percent of Israelis approved of Netanyahu’s leadership. On Aug. 28 the Jerusalem Post says his support is down to 38 percent and falling further, she explained.
According to Flounders, the Israeli military suffered its highest casualty rate since it attempted to invade Lebanon in 2006. This time, the Palestinian resistance was able to carry out cross-border raids and target military sites in addition to firing small rockets into Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. This has given new confidence to the desperate Gaza population, which has lived decades under a brutal occupation.
The writer referred to the evaluation of Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada who wrote: “Israel lost! If ‘victory’ is measured in the number of civilians an army kills and injures, or the number of homes, hospitals, mosques or schools it destroys, Israel is the clear champion once again.”