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A Non-Exhaustive Bullet-Pointed List On The Situation In Israel
Pray for the lives lost in the attack
Side notes before today’s post: spent 24hrs in the ER last week and was unable to make some posts I was excited about. Hopefully we can make up for that this week!
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A few bullet point thoughts, high-level perspectives, and predictions
What we know so far:
Over 900 Israelis have been killed in a highly coordinated surprise attack by Hamas, mostly civilians including women and children, with some military casualties.
The attack came a day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur attack on Israel.
Over 100 civilians have been kidnapped by Hamas and taken back to Gaza. Many were foreign nationals from countries including the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Nepal, Thailand, and Britain.
At least 14 Americans have been killed by Hamas.
Some hostages have been killed, but it’s assumed at this time that the majority will be kept alive to complicate Israel’s military response, to trade prisoners, and to potentially draw other nations into the conflict.
Many Israeli soldiers have allegedly been kidnapped by Hamas, and dozens more have been killed.
Israel has declared war for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and has promised a ground invasion of Gaza. Air strikes against infrastructure in the Gaza Strip have been carried out over the last several days.
Israel’s ground invasion is expected to begin this week
U.S. aircraft carriers have entered the region.
It’s been noted that the United States recently freed $6 billion dollar’s worth of Iranian assets, and that this likely helped fund this month’s attack on Israel.
Rumors are circulating that Israel was warned about the possibility of an attack by Egypt but ignored the warnings.
It’s a significant point that Gaza, the most surveilled settlement on earth besides the Las Vegas strip, was able to organize a large-scale attack without anyone knowing in advance, and was able to execute the attack without drawing a full Israeli response until hours later. Many find this suspicious, rightfully invoking the Gulf of Tonkin and other false flag operations in the past used as Casus Belli when some state wanted war. But I’m not confident that Israel allowed an attack on itself because I don’t believe a ground operation against Hamas and (maybe) Hezbollah can be successful, and I’m sure Israeli military leadership knows this after the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and the 2014 assault on Gaza.
It’s very much the case that Elon’s purchase of Twitter has dramatically altered the narrative landscape that forms after political events. A neutral algorithm seems to be guiding the platform that doesn’t boost accounts from one side or the other, leaving judgments up to the viewer. It’s too soon to say which side of the war this situation will favor. Unfiltered footage of Hamas terror has whipped up support for Israel. But unfiltered footage of even greater Israeli retaliation may create tremendous international blowback.
Regime change in the Middle East and North Africa has been a mainstay of US foreign policy since the 80s. Iran and Syria have been major targets of this policy, and the current conflict between Israel and Hamas opens the door for Middle East hawks again.
Many have noted that the boldness of Hamas’ attack tells us that the United States is no longer feared as global Hegemon, and Iran may believe it has a good chance of undermining American power if we enter the conflict. I think this is all pretty reasonable, seeing the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine shifts my optimism of American power downward. Russian military might has been unable to overwhelm a much smaller nation as everyone expected, even with all the resources in the world and the latest military technology. A new age of warfare seems to be emerging, it’s not yet clear how any advanced nation can actually win. The recent conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh territory may offer some insight though, and it’s essential for us to understand how exactly Azerbaijan was able to win.
The promise of liberal democracy to dissolve old cultural enmities functions mainly through trade, and falls to materialize between states that don’t have complex industry because of low human capital or enormous natural resources like the large oil nations of the Middle East. Chinese cultural differences are mostly overlooked by the European and North American powers, for example, because of complex, mutually beneficial trade relationships. Liberal democracy and attendant peace will only ever take hold in the Middle East when the oil runs dry. Until then, war.
The invasion of Ukraine and now the attack on Israel are both the result of bad U.S. foreign policy. We had opportunities to meet Russian fears of Ukrainian entry into NATO half way, we didn’t, and now U.S. and European energy integrity has been hampered by Russian oil sanctions. We could have simply not given $6 billion to Iran, an action that must have made Netanyahu’s head spin, but we did it anyway. And now U.S. and European military readiness will likely be hampered by exhausting weapons stockpiles in support of another major war.
A significant and maybe irreversible political shift is happening in the wake of the attacks as many good liberal’s eyes are opening to the amount of abject Jewish hatred on their side. BLM chapters around the U.S., elite university student bodies, and even some celebrities are throwing their support behind Palestine. Taking a stand for the Jewish people now means parting ways with left-leaning institutions and people who’ve claimed to care about compassion but really don’t.
Jewish people around the world have had to avoid major areas where Palestinian marches were happening for fear of attacks. New York Police Department has bolstered security for synagogues to prevent attacks. One side of this conflict is not like the other. Rising anti-semitism presents a great risk to the global Jewish community.
It’s hard to predict anything in a war so these will be short.
I’m expecting a broader conflict to break out with Iran and Syria against Israel and the U.S., potentially with U.S. boots on the ground.
Oil markets make all time highs, gas prices make all time highs, all amounting to deepening U.S. and European inflation
Ground war in Gaza against Hamas and in Lebanon against Hezbollah ends in less than a year with some unfavorable agreement for Israel as a result of U.S. media and international blowback and limited war progress. Netanyahu resigns.
Hamas attempts some small scale attacks on the U.S.. I really hope this doesn’t happen but I’m taking Iranian warnings against U.S. intervention seriously.
Tensions rise between U.S. and Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. Unclear what this would amount to beyond worsening inflation.
Other nations begin to contest territory as U.S. power flags. China stops playing footsie with Taiwan.
There are a few other major predictions I’m sure I’m missing, but we’ll have to come back to this later.
For now, we wait and see which direction the wind blows. My high level opinion on all of this is that I’m pro-civilization and anti-barbarism. Random rape and murder and kidnapping are just not things I’ve ever been able to get into despite all my best efforts. My more gut-level opinion is that I would probably do anything to see the Jewish community prosper, and that there’s no other community I’d rather throw my hand in with.
I hope Israel succeeds. I hope nothing like the Hamas attack ever happens again. For now, we wait and see which direction the wind blows.
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