Israel finds itself back “at square one”, before failed Western-backed diplomacy struggled to confect coexistence with Hamas, and that is “good news for Israelis and Palestinians alike”.
That’s the view of acclaimed Israeli analyst Haviv Rettig Gur. The Times of Israel political correspondent spoke to The AJN before his visit to Australia next week for ZDVO Beit Halochem Australia.
“For 30 years, we’ve been relying on diplomatic processes that make sense in Western bureaucracies. But they don’t make sense on the ground,” he said.
The adjacency of Israelis and Palestinians means there needs to be more than a formal peace as with Egypt. There has to be a cultural change in Palestinian society from the mindset “that dignity is to be found on the other side of our removal, our destruction. That narrative has to be defeated by us convincing them that we are irremovable”.
Rettig Gur said Israelis dislike long wars, while Hamas thrives on drawn-out attritional warfare. But Israelis now have “a grim determination to get the job done” in the war to remove Hamas that will continue for as long as two years, even if US support were to erode.
Iran “is the great nemesis” but with its penchant for “ideology over good policy”, and with only 20 per cent of Iranians supporting the regime, he predicted the Islamic Republic’s eventual demise without a direct war.
Rettig Gur laid much of the blame for October 7 on Benjamin Netanyahu and predicted his government cannot secure another term. But he said any other Israeli government would not act differently in fighting the present war.
He lauded ZDVO, saying “no other country has a rehabilitation system like Israel’s”, focusing on physical and psychological rehabilitation to the extent that it is practised in Israel.
Rettig Gur will take part in podium conversations with The Australian columnist Gemma Tognini. “These are the important conversations we need to be having … There is no other way to confront lies than with truth,” she said.
Since October 7, ZDVO Australia has dedicated itself to supporting the care and rehabilitation of Israel’s 50,000 injured soldiers, victims of terror and their families by raising awareness and much-needed funds.
ZDVO’s Hear, Help, Honour fundraising event is on Wednesday, February 14, 7pm. To book: trybooking.com/COHTT