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Israel has already lost the battle in Gaza

December 21, 2023 at 10:37 am

The Israeli army evacuates its soldiers who were wounded in battles in Gaza via a helicopter for medical treatment at Beilinson Hospital near Tel Aviv, Israel on December 18, 2023 [Nir Keidar/Anadolu Agency]

Former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who died recently at the age of 100, said in an interview about America’s defeat in Vietnam in 1969 that while the Americans were fighting a military war, the Vietnamese were fighting a political war. The war criminal also repeated that, “While the US army sought the physical wear and tear of the enemy, the adversaries aimed at our psychological exhaustion.” He concluded by stating that the US had lost sight of one of the fundamental maxims of guerrilla warfare:

The fighter wins if he does not lose; the conventional army loses if it doesn’t win.

After more than 70 days of fighting between the Palestinian resistance and the ironically-named Israel “Defence” Forces, this comment by someone with experience in many wars of occupation and rapine fits perfectly into the reality of the fighting in the Gaza Strip and the defeat of the occupation forces.

Zionist Prime Minister and war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel would use all of its military force and soon destroy Hamas. Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip has seen the apartheid state use every type of weapon and ammunition at its disposal short of the nuclear option as it bombs indiscriminately schools and hospitals protected by international humanitarian law, and other civilian infrastructure. Nevertheless, it has failed to achieve its objectives, especially the annihilation of Palestinian resistance.

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All of this and much more is happening with the support of the US, the UK and some European countries, before the eyes of the world. It is exposing the inability of the international community and the UN to do anything to stop this genocide due to the arrogance of the US and its brazen use of the veto in the UN Security Council.

The Palestinian resistance continues to stand, hitting hard and inflicting significant losses on the Zionist enemy. The military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad — Al-Qassam Brigades and Al-Quds Brigades, respectively — are well-trained to operate within Gaza, the kind of terrain wherein Israeli air support and artillery lose their effectiveness because they are not able to attack without endangering their own soldiers on the ground.

Kissinger referred to the US fighting a military war in Vietnam, while the Vietnamese fought a political war. In the case of Gaza’s fighters, there is also a strong Islamic component that many in the West do not pay much heed to: martyrdom.

This is one of the important concepts of Islam, and it concerns not only the sacrifice and the surrender of one’s life for the benefit of the collective, the Islamic Ummah. According to Islam, a martyr (Shaheed) is someone who suffers and dies for a just and legitimate cause. In the case of Gaza, they are those who die in the struggle to save their brothers and sisters from Israeli oppression and liberate Palestine from its brutal military occupation.

In this context, the martyr is, above all, a mujahideen or fedayeen, a Palestinian resistance fighter, a Muslim willing to sacrifice his or her life for a cause based on justice and the fight against oppression. In the Qur’an, it is said: “And do not believe that those who have succumbed for the sake of Allah [God] are dead; on the contrary, they live gracefully by the side of their Lord.” (Qur’an 3:169)

Over the centuries, the Palestinian people have given thousands of martyrs to the cause of liberation, in battles against Crusaders, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, the British and, over the past 75 years, Zionist Jews who arrived from Europe to impose a colonial project in Palestine based on Jewish supremacy.

The historic leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the late Yasser Arafat, was killed by Polonium-210 poisoning on 11 November, 2004, in Paris. He claimed to be a Palestinian soldier willing to seek martyrdom, who would use his gun to defend not only himself but also all Palestinian children, women and men. Arafat always asked his companions: “Is there anyone in Palestine who does not dream of martyrdom?”

Other martyrs are revered by Palestinians, such as Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, one of the founders of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), who was martyred in a targeted assassination by Israel in Gaza on 22 March, 2004. An Israeli attack helicopter fired a missile at him as he left the mosque in his wheelchair. Nine other Palestinians were martyred with him.

The achievements of the Palestinian resistance groups since 7 October have surprised Israel and the world, not least the military and technological advances of their forces. Above all else, though, their fighters continue to maintain their courage and willingness to die for the cause, to be martyrs. This gives them an edge in this war, this jihad against oppression. The Zionist soldiers, on the other hand, are not only fearful and morally corrupt, but also incapable of facing the Palestinian fighters at close range.

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Israel has already lost the battle for public opinion around the world; the Zionist occupation state’s unpopularity grows daily. The rising number of casualties among Israeli soldiers demonstrate that Hamas is not a defeated enemy, but a resilient adversary dictating the terms in negotiations with those who have vowed to destroy the movement.

The only achievements Israel can boast of are more war crimes, genocide, the mass murder of children and women, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and the crushing of all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Palestinian people display the most exceptional examples of patience, resilience, patriotism, attachment to their land, and unconditional support for the resistance. And absolute trust and faith in The Almighty. It is perhaps the latter which scares their enemies the most.

Palestine will be victorious because, as Kissinger said, “The fighter wins if he does not lose; the conventional army loses if it does not win.”

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.