In the wake of the Hamas attack, Netanyahu and his allies tried to convince the world that Israel had faced its own 9/11. They used this analogy to portray Israel as a victim of terrorism and a defender of democracy, while ignoring the fact that Hamas is an elected organization and the Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. They also used this analogy to justify their violent and oppressive actions against the Palestinians, and to reject any possibility of a peaceful and fair solution based on two states. But is this analogy valid? And what are the consequences of using it?
To understand the implications of Netanyahu’s analogy, we need to recall what happened after the original 9/11. On that fateful day, the US was attacked by Al-Qaeda, a stateless terrorist network that challenged the US’s global dominance and military prestige. The US responded by launching a war on terror that was not only aimed at Al-Qaeda, but at anyone who did not conform to the US’s narrow view of terrorism. This led to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, two sovereign nations that had nothing to do with 9/11. These wars resulted in the death and displacement of millions of civilians, and became a quagmire for the US and its allies. They also created the conditions for the rise of ISIS, a new and more brutal terrorist group that destabilized the region and threatened the world.
However, Hamas is not a stateless entity, but an organization that the people of Gaza elected in a democratic election in 2006. Hamas has a political and a military wing, and it controls the Gaza Strip, a small coastal enclave that is under a blockade by Israel and Egypt. Hamas is not a global threat, but a local resistance movement that fights for the rights and dignity of the Palestinians in Gaza, who suffer from poverty, unemployment, and lack of basic services. Hamas is also willing to accept a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, as long as it is approved by a referendum of the Palestinian people.
On the other hand, the Israeli settlements are not Israel’s land, but are recognized as occupied territories under international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its own population into the territory it occupies. The UN Security Council has repeatedly condemned the Israeli settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. The settlements also violate the human rights of the Palestinians, who are subjected to land confiscation, house demolition, settler violence, and discrimination. The settlements also undermine the viability and contiguity of a future Palestinian state, by creating facts on the ground that preclude the possibility of a negotiated solution.
Thus, Netanyahu’s comparison of Hamas with Al-Qaeda and Israel with the US is invalid and misleading. But what is his motive for making this comparison? Netanyahu has been the prime minister of Israel for almost 15 years, and during this time, he has pursued a single-minded agenda: to destroy the two-state solution. He has done this by expanding the settlements, annexing parts of the West Bank, and undermining the Palestinian Authority. He was on the verge of achieving his goal, until Hamas’s attack changed the situation. Now, the two-state solution is back on the table, and Netanyahu is desperate to prevent it. His strategy is to deny the existence of any legitimate Palestinian representation, and to label Hamas as a terrorist group that cannot be negotiated with. By doing this, he hopes to convince the world that there is no alternative to his vision of a Greater Israel. He also hopes to justify his use of excessive force and violence against the Palestinians, and to silence their voices and demands.
The 9/11 analogy is not only inaccurate, but also harmful and dangerous. It distorts the reality of the conflict, and prevents the possibility of a peaceful and just resolution. It also fuels the cycle of violence and hatred, and creates more suffering and misery for both sides. It is time to reject this analogy, and to embrace a new paradigm that recognizes the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians, and that seeks to end the occupation and the oppression, and to create a lasting peace and coexistence.
All in all, Netanyahu’s attempt to equate the Hamas attack with 9/11 is a false and dangerous analogy that serves to delegitimize the Palestinian cause and justify Israeli extremism. This analogy should not be accepted by the international community, especially the Western governments, who have a stake in the stability and security of the region. They should pressure Netanyahu to stop his aggression and violence against the Palestinians, and to respect the international law and the two-state solution, which is the only viable and fair option for both Israelis and Palestinians.