War in Gaza -
Little prospect of peace
Foreign Policy Lunch with Middle East expert Dr. Peter Lintl
Text: Sebastian Thomas | Head of Communication and Marketing VBKI
The war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has been going on for more than 100 days and there is no end in sight. The terrible images and news from the region are increasingly turning into a "sad routine", as Dr. Christoph von Marschall remarked at the beginning of the Foreign Policy Lunch. Together with Dr. Peter Lintl, the Chairman of the VBKI International Policy and Economics Committee took an analytical look at the situation in Gaza.
Dr. Lintl, Middle East expert at the Berlin-based Stiftung Politik und Wissenschaft (SWP), began with a description of the origins, structure and goals of Hamas before moving on to the war situation in Gaza. It is incredibly difficult to get to the facts in the "fog of war"; the information policy on both sides of the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas hinders access to the truth.
However, it is clear that the Israeli government is under massive pressure. In terms of foreign policy, because of the many civilian casualties that the war claims on the Palestinian side every day. Domestically, because it is becoming increasingly clear that the declared war aims are hardly compatible with each other: On the one hand the declared will to crush Hamas, on the other the promise to free the more than 100 hostages remaining in Hamas' control. And: the longer the war lasts, the more dead and injured there are on both sides - the more Hamas benefits. Both Israeli losses and deaths on its own side could be declared strategic victories - in the latter case, according to the cynical logic, as proof of its own role as a victim.
The Netanyahu government's rejection of the repeatedly discussed two-state solution is also weakening Israel's position in the world - the strong shift to the right in Israel is blocking the path to compromise. Most recently, the Saudi peace plan was rejected by Israel. The Middle East expert believes that a multi-ethnic state similar to Switzerland is not a viable option - if only because of the glaring economic disparity. Israel's economic power exceeds the economic capacity of the Palestinian territories by a factor of 15.
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