The Gaza war should serve to upend the existing order and usher in a new regional order. This transformation will be reflected in a new regional framework that relies on the normalization process between Israel and the Arab world, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia. The great war against the axis of evil should not stop there. Israel and the free world must continue the relentless pursuit of the leaders of terrorist organizations and their operatives worldwide.
One of the goals the Israeli government set for the October 7 war is the destruction of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. The people of Israel, as well as outsiders, are watching closely to ascertain whether Israel will act with the requisite determination. The outcome of the conflict in the Gaza Strip will have a profound impact on the region, subsequently influencing the international stage. A historic opportunity has presented itself here to reshape the Middle East in a manner that can enhance Israel’s strategic position.
No responsible person in Israel is willing to return to the situation on the eve of Hamas’ murderous attack. The State of Israel is confronted with a regional and global challenge. But it is not just Israel’s conflict; Israel is fighting on behalf of the free world against murderous barbarism. Israel is the outpost of Western civilization and the barrier against a barbarian invasion of the West. This is the perspective from which the war must be viewed.
The world must make a clear distinction between the forces of murderous darkness and humanity, between good and evil and between right and wrong. Hamas is just one component of the radical axis led by Iran and supported by Russia and China. Consequently, the outcome of the war will undoubtedly influence the global balance of power. Any result that falls short of the complete destruction of Hamas and making sure that Gaza cannot be a perpetual weapon against Israel would be an accomplishment for the resistance axis. This would strengthen the radical Islamist axis and its murderous struggle to disrupt the regional and global order.
The State of Israel should not settle for merely destroying Hamas but rather needs to adopt absolute security responsibility in the Gaza Strip for many years. Only in this way will it be possible to restore civilian trust in the IDF and enable the renewed flourishing of the communities in western Negev.
The Gaza war should serve to upend the existing order and usher in a new regional order. This transformation will be reflected in a new regional framework that relies on the normalization process between Israel and the Arab world, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia. With American support, the new regional alliance must stand as a barrier against the expansion of the Iranian resistance axis and aim to weaken it.
The new order requires a firm stance against the posture of those Gulf states playing a double game and deceiving the free world. The most prominent example is Qatar, a tiny principality of some 400,000 citizens and over a million modern-day enslaved persons. Qatar enjoys vast oil and gas reserves and uses the Al Jazeera media network to gain popularity and portray itself as a regional power. Despite Qatar’s support for Hamas, its relations with many states in the world remain unaffected. We must not allow Qatar to continue its deceit while hosting Hamas leaders who call for slaughtering Jews. The United States must present Qatar with an ultimatum to disengage from Hamas, expel all Hamas activists from its territory, and shut down Al Jazeera completely, or face the consequences. Without the American security umbrella, Qatar will not survive as an independent state, and the Qatari princely family will lose their grip on power. All attempts to continue to use Qatar as a mediator regarding Hamas and Iran, are nothing but disruptions of the new order that is required and serve to bolster the Iranian camp.
Hamas leaders released two hostages with American citizenship to gain legitimacy and continue to pressure Western countries, while at the same time aiming to persuade Israel to abandon a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip. Qatar, the intermediary in this deal, is once again benefiting and solidifying its position as a mediator and a significant, legitimate regional player. Any further hostage deal would potentially involve thousands of additional individuals with Israeli blood on their hands. Such an exchange would reinforce the resistance axis.
The war is a harsh and challenging event, primarily aimed at enhancing the security situation of the State of Israel for many years to come. Efforts to release the hostages should be pursued through subterfuge and military actions while maintaining strong Israeli and international pressure on Hamas and Qatar. This pressure should lead them to the recognition that the continued detention of the hostages is a burden, not an asset.
The new regional order also necessitates a departure from contemporary paradigms, including that of the need to support the Palestinian Authority (PA) without it undergoing a fundamental change. The war in Gaza highlights the weakness and irrelevance of the PA. Talk of it resuming control of Gaza is divorced from reality. Due to its weakness, corruption and illegitimacy, the Palestinian Authority is incapable of governing the Strip.
Maintaining control of the Gaza Strip once Hamas has been destroyed will require an arrangement that could return the PA to the Gaza Strip. This, however, should only occur after the PA has demonstrated its ability to govern its territories in Judea and Samaria. Moreover, this should only happen after a complete cessation of incitement, glorification of terrorists and financial support for terrorists and their families. In any event, and under all circumstances, Israel must retain absolute freedom to take necessary security measures, including freedom to operate in the Gaza Strip. This means having the capability to undertake any military actions needed to promptly counter any attempt by Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad to rehabilitate their capabilities.
The Gaza war is also a historic opportunity to dismantle UNRWA, which is an active partner in perpetuating the conflict by fostering the ethos of armed resistance, the demand for the return of refugees, and incitement against Israel.
In addition, the PA educational system has been the leading factor inciting the younger generation against Israel from the very beginning of the Oslo process. It is the disregard for fighting this incitement and the importance of changing education curricula in the PA, as well as the PA’s policy of providing financial support to terrorists and their families that has allowed the growth of broad public support for Hamas and its barbaric murderousness. We cannot allow the revival of the PA without a fundamental change to the content of its educational system and media.
The Gaza war must end with an unequivocal Israeli victory that will not only weaken and deter the Iranian axis but also serve as a prelude to dismantling Hezbollah, Iran’s forward stronghold. Israel cannot continue to tolerate the ongoing threat posed by Hezbollah for an extended period as it casts a shadow of danger from the Lebanese border across the entire territory of the State of Israel. The sole course of action vis-à-vis Hezbollah must be its complete and utter destruction. The dismantlement of Hamas in the Gaza Strip will not only enhance security in Israel but also in the United States and the free world, reinforcing the imperative of continuing the campaign to topple Hezbollah.
The great war against the axis of evil should not stop there. Israel and the free world must continue the relentless pursuit of the leaders of terrorist organizations and their operatives worldwide. The world knew how to unite against ISIS and define it as a global threat, and the free world’s goal this time must be a relentless war for the outright destruction of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Iranian proxies, all of which must be defined as a global threat. In parallel, there must be a determined and unified effort against Iran itself and a military option, should one be needed, is essential.
The Gaza war, with important American support, is turning Israel into a spearhead in the global struggle against the murderous resistance axis. The war will be long and painful, but there is no alternative. Its outcome must be a decisive victory, which will also help solidify the regional and international standing of the United States as a determined leader of the free world. In many ways, the current war is a continuation of Israel’s War of Independence. There is no more just war than this one.
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Photo: IMAGO / Xinhua