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The Specter of Global War

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Photo: Hamas attacks Israel: hundreds killed, thousands wounded, hundreds of hostages. Source: Collage The Gaze.
Photo: Hamas attacks Israel: hundreds killed, thousands wounded, hundreds of hostages. Source: Collage The Gaze.

Hamas attacks Israel. Hundreds killed, thousands wounded, hundreds of hostages. Horrific images of rocket attacks and cars shot up on the roads. This is exactly what Ukraine had to face during the war with Russia. Last spring, footage of Ukrainians' cars being shot by the Russian military on the evacuation routes of civilians from Kyiv and its suburbs spread around the world. And Russian missile strikes on Ukrainian cities are still much more powerful than Hamas attacks. Heavy analogies also arise when watching footage of Hamas using drones: Ukrainians have already learned to distinguish this deadly weapon by its sound. They are only launched by Russian military personnel on the instructions of Iranian instructors.

The UN Security Council has not made any decision on the situation in Israel.

The point is not that Russia and/or China vetoed the US resolution, but that the US does not yet have a draft of the resolution itself. And there are reasons for this.

The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has been going on for decades. 

The Gaza Strip is a strip of land 40 kilometers long and up to 16 kilometers wide, which is bounded by barbed wire and a mesh with turreted towers on the Israeli side. And a concrete wall on the Egyptian side. One of the ways the residents of the Strip communicate with the outside world is through numerous burrows and tunnels underground. This piece of semi-desert is home to 3 million people who are experiencing a huge shortage of drinking water, not to mention an economic crisis. 95% of the wells are filled with undrinkable water, and the construction of a seawater desalination plant is hampered by a lack of funds. In the sector, 40% are young people under the age of 30. Unemployment is over 30%, and those who are employed have extremely low labor income. At the same time, the birth rate is breaking records at 28.6 per 1000 people. And the mortality rate is 3 per 1000. Fertility: 3.64 children per 1 woman. 3/4 of the population are either refugees expelled from their homes during the Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1949 or their descendants. 

This information is necessary to understand the psychological state of the population, which is closed in the desert as a reservation, without water and any prospects. 

Of course, the world condemns Hamas's terrorist methods and considers their methods of struggle unacceptable. 

At the same time, the international community cannot ignore the humanitarian problems in the Gaza Strip. Significant funds are being allocated by donor countries, including the EU (for the Palestinian Authority as a whole), to overcome them.

Difficult scenarios

Given the purely military prospects, the scenarios for further events are quite clear. 

Israel, which has mobilized 300,000 reservists, is blockading the Gaza Strip. But paradoxically, Israel itself has no simple scenarios. 

A weak reaction will cause a political crisis in the country. 

A strong reaction will destroy the model of relations with Arab countries along the border. 

On the one hand, Hamas has desacralized the myth of the Israeli defense sector. It turned out that Israel was neither technically, technologically, nor humanely prepared for such an invasion. This desacralization will have negative consequences for Israel in the coming years. The neighboring countries that surround it saw a weakness. 

One of the reasons for this weakness is that in the 21st century, the consumer and information society is not ready for total war. Instead, poor and ideologized societies are ready for it. Over the past 40 years, Israel has evolved from a relatively poor and ideologized country to a participant in the global market, where people want to earn money and, therefore, live, not die. The days of puritanical, leftist political elites who wanted to build a kibbutz state and create a solidaristic society are gone, along with the dominance of the Socialist Avodah and Golda Meir. 

Anthony Giddens, a prominent English sociologist and developer of the concept of "radical modernism," put forward a key idea for building a Western society: a sense of "ontological security." 

The essence of his theory is that self-identification and development of an individual can only take place if there is a sense of external security, which is ensured by all state institutions and social values. A person only needs to fulfill his or her potential, but he or she will be protected from internal and external threats. The individual can no longer do this and does not want to. Such a person is completely defenseless in a situation where this isolated capsule cracks. When the settlers grab the car keys instead of weapons. 

As Giddens himself wrote: "everyday life - to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the peculiarities of the context and the specifics of the individual personality - presupposes the existence of a system of ontological security that expresses the independence (autonomy) of control over human actions within the predictable course of events." 

All concepts of collective defense such as NATO are based on the principle of "ontological security." Any crisis like war creates a sense of loss of "ontological security".

Let's take Russia as an example. 

In recent years, the United States has used the entire arsenal of struggle against it, which does not go beyond the contour of ontological security. We are talking about sanctions in the coordinates and rules of the world that is shaped and controlled by the West. Very quickly, this arsenal was exhausted, allowing Putin to come close to the ontological security contour of the West, which was not yet ready to shoot the "bear" even with a blank cartridge. 

It was not even the threat itself, but only a hint of a threat, that caused existential fear in the West. 

Putin has relied on maximizing the convergence of ontological security contours between Russia and the West, while the West still hopes that the situation will be limited to the use of sanctions tools that do not affect this contour. 

Moreover, Putin has found this pain point of the West and is pressing on it, building his strategy during the current war against Ukraine. 

It is symptomatic that Biden, with his vast experience in politics and historical memory of the Cold War, was the first to realize this risk. 

It is precisely the violation of the ontological security of members of a postmodern society that radical groups aim at. 

Let us recall Putin's words: "We will become martyrs, and they will just die."

Members of Hamas and other radical groups are also ready to die at any moment as "martyrs," as if to ask a question to the consumer society: "We are ready to die, are you?" 

It Will Be a New War

Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said that the Hamas attack is an attempt to disrupt a deal between Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US, in which the Saudis normalize relations with the Israelis, increase oil production and in return receive a security guarantee from the US, including a nuclear umbrella. 

In this context, the maximum, inhuman cruelty of Hamas militants is aimed at only one thing - to reignite the conflict. To make Israel use its maximum power to destroy the Gaza Strip. This, according to Hamas, will turn the conflict into a long-term format and involve the surrounding Arab countries. 

The world can expect a real energy crisis, and the axiom "expensive dollar - cheap oil" will finally lose any practical meaning. 

The cycle of tight monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve at the peak of rates may drag on, plunging the economy into recession and social crisis. 

High global energy prices will intensify the EU's destructive processes. 

What is happening now in the Middle East is a very dangerous attempt to create an Arab-Iranian consensus on Israel, when irreconcilable contradictions between Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Persians, Arabs and Turks will be put on hold. All of the above is not a dogma, but only a dotted line of geopolitical risks. 

And this is against the backdrop of another phase transition in the United States, which is always accompanied by a temporary weakening (remember Vietnam on the eve of the next "phase" in the late 70s and early 80s). In general, the geopolitical plates have begun to move, and a mortal danger threatens all those who find themselves "at the junction."

In this context, Ukraine and Israel's cooperation in minimizing the level of threats from Iran and Russia may become a prototype of the future global security concept from the Middle East to the Atlantic.


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