Gaza: The battle of symbols and connotations

تم نشره في Mon 21 July / Jul 2014. 01:35 PM - آخر تعديل في Mon 21 July / Jul 2014. 01:36 PM

By Mohammed Aburumman

If we take the military "balance of power" between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli army, we find no comparison; the battle is settled in terms of the size of the losses and the ability to destroy.

However, despite the human cost and economic costs paid by our “brothers” in Gaza to this barbaric aggression, the results of the current battle is more complicated this time; the offensive invokes invisible and the mental images of the meaning of victory and defeat, which offers both symbolic and psychological connotations!

Israel's goal is to inflict the maximum damage it can upon Hamas, both military and personnel, and the people of Gaza, in an attempt to hurt their will and morale, and force them to accept Israeli conditions for a truce. And through it, also, destroy the logistical and military potential of Hamas, with the elimination of military leaders, primarily, in the movement.

It is completely unlikely that Israel's invasion is aimed at the whole of Gaza, and this is not on the table, even within its stated objectives; such a scenario requires a deep insight of the "post-Hamas" era, which is not available in Israel, the other Palestinian side (President Abbas or even Mohammed Dahlan), nor the Arabs hostile to Hamas and political Islam in general!

On the other hand, Hamas is disillusioned with the results of direct military battle, but they also have the model presented by Hezbollah in the 2006 war with Israel; which, in spite of the size of the military losses, as well as the human and economic costs, increased the power of Hezbollah and did not weaken it, and allowed it to achieve a symbolic victory, by providing a model of military and political steadfastness on the one hand, and partial breakthroughs in the field of missiles, tunnels, and serious military training on the other hand!

The significant difference today is that the network of regional supporters of Hamas is disjointed. What is ironic is, however, is its relationship with Iran-Syria, who have provided an essential part of the arsenal of Hamas; Hamas is, indirectly, in conflict with them in Syria, while Hamas’s new allies – Turkey-Qatar, do not have the capacity nor the desire to provide any military support directly or indirectly to the movement, and are only providing diplomatic and economic support in many cases. Additionally, there is the geostrategic siege by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime that is greater than that which was during Mubarak’s days!

However, one of the most important results that can arise from this battle in the restoration of a Hamas relationship with the so-called "reluctance" camp. It is known that there is a line in the movement that still believes in this relationship, while the other line within the movement, led by Khaled Meshaal, are seeing improved relations with Iran, through declared and undeclared channels that are paving the way for an attempt to "neutralize" the Syrian and Iraqi issues.

It is not an easy process, but it serves the interest of Hamas on the one hand, and promotes, on the other hand, and is supported by the undeclared soft actions carried out by Iran, Turkey, and Qatar in order to bridge the large gap in their conflicting positions and interests towards the events in Syria and Iraq!

The outcome of the battle affects the image of the Arab regimes; they are one of the biggest losers of what is happening in Gaza, symbolically and strategically. The Arab regimes are negative spectators at best, as is usual, but the most obvious and blatant today are those voices from here and there, or media coverage that exposes the real stances of these regimes when it comes to Gaza, which collides with Arab public opinion, and entrenches a conviction a large segment of the Arab citizens has that their regimes are complicit with Israel — this is reflected, one way or another, through the growth of radical Islamist powers, and strengthening the conviction that these regimes are failing and corrupted.




This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.