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Apocalypse Averted: The High-Stakes Showdown between Israel and Iran Could Spark Miracles?

Apocalypse Averted: The High-Stakes Showdown between Israel and Iran Could Spark Miracles?

30-06-2024
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Israel's alleged war of extermination against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has reached a new level. This ongoing conflict has spread across the Middle East, confirming experts' fears. At this stage of Israel's unilateral destruction of Gaza, the Iran-Israel war is going to take a new shape, making the situation even worse than before. The recent debates sparkled on the university campus as well. The student protests in every American and other European country get momentum when they ask questions about the atrocities of Israel and make a statement in support of Palestine. In many ways, this war in Gaza could affect the world. The tide could turn anywhere from a possible second Arab Spring in the Middle East to World War III. But its movements will depend on the domestic and geopolitical interests of the player behind the game.

Decoding the root causes

There is a common conception that the creation of the Israel state in 1948 under the supervision of the United States and the United Kingdom is the origin of this conflict in the Middle East. Later, the Americans supported Israel in three full-scale Arab-Israeli wars. Israel, with the great savior called America, has been evicting the Palestinians from their land for the past seven decades and settling the Jews. In response to the throwing of bricks and stones by Palestinian children, thousands of women and children are being killed by indiscriminate airstrikes in the West Bank and Gaza. Even the pulse of Palestinian life has repeatedly desecrated Masjid al-Aqsa. On the other hand, America is justifying these terrorist attacks by Israel as Israel's right to self-defense. In this way, when the position of the Palestinians moved to the edge of the wall on October 7, Hamas, the symbol of freedom and security for the Palestinians, launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing about 1200 of its military civilians and returning with thousands of people as hostages. In response, the Israeli armed forces launched an all-out attack on Palestine and have been indiscriminately attacking Gaza, the West Bank, and the Rafah area by air and ground for the past six months. In support of Israel and the honor of his ally, the US started providing full support and military cooperation. As a result, about 40,000 civilians were killed in the last six months of Palestinian killings, including 13,000 children and 12,000 women. Most of Gaza's schools, colleges, and hospitals have been reduced to dust. Meanwhile, Israel attacked the Iranian embassy in Syria, killing seven people, including two high-ranking Iranian military officers. As a result, there is a fear that the shadow war in the Middle East will soon take the form of an all-out war between Iran and Israel.

Resource strain: Implications of Israel’s surprising assault against Iran

Analysts have put forward various explanations and justifications as the reason for Israel's provocation. First, because of the Palestinian genocide, Benjamin Netanyahu has become terribly unpopular at home and abroad. He has been unnecessarily attacking Gaza and Rafah for six months, mainly to deal with the fragile situation of his power. Since almost 95 percent of the victims were civilian men, women, children, and the elderly, the entire world's public opinion is turning against Netanyahu. In this situation, he wanted to drag Iran into the war in order to protect his domestic career and hide the situation in Gaza from the eyes of the world. Second, Netanyahu wants Iran to be able to wage war on the Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Iranian fronts at the same time. Apart from that, Hezbollah, Houthis, and Syrian government forces are all running a proxy war on behalf of Iran around Israel. Iran's Al-Quds Force is coordinating this proxy war. As a result, Netanyahu wanted to become a hero in his own country by killing the head of the Quds Force, attacking the embassy, and trying to warn Iran. Many believe that testing Iran's response or capabilities was also an objective. It is also possible that the Americans have tried to update their data or information about Iran's capabilities through Iran's counterattacks. On the other hand, the US is also very concerned about Iran's proxy forces. So the 'Quds' force commanders are usually targeted by the Americans. At the same time, Israel's attack on the Iranian embassy in Syria was also to test the effectiveness of the US military strategy in the Middle East by building a defense roof in Israel.

Global tensions escalate: Iran strikes back

Under international law, an attack on the embassy of any country constitutes an attack on the sovereignty of the affected country. As a result, this attack hurt Iran's honor and glory. Earlier, the United States killed Iran's top military commander in a drone strike at Baghdad airport in Iraq. Although Iran was damaged and made a statement against America in that attack, America did not violate Iran's sovereignty. As a result, it was not possible to digest this Israeli attack. Apart from that, Iran decided to counterattack, keeping in mind the damage to the glory of Iran's power in the Middle East and strengthening the morale of Iran's proxy forces (Hezbollah, Houthi, Syrian government forces, etc.). But their retaliatory attack was very carefully calculated. They observe the attitude of the world powers without making a sudden counterattack. Iran follows the policy of ‘snake will kill, but stick will not break'. They give Israel enough time to prepare to avoid massive casualties. They even allowed the date and time of the attack to be published. They chose an Israeli intelligence facility as a target for the attack to minimize casualties but undermine Israel's intelligence capabilities. However, this is the first time in the history of the last 75 years that Iran has launched a bold attack on Israel using its own land. In this regard, Iran thinks that its national strategy has been completely successful. Israel was truly terrified of this attack. And while the Western world remained silent on the unprovoked attack on the Iranian embassy, the Western world stood by Israel on Iran's counter-attack. Although they want to prove themselves as worshippers of human rights, they are completely racist on the issue of Palestinian movement and sovereignty.

Swords of Iron: Israel’s swift response to Iran

Iran's retaliatory attack was too difficult for Israel to resist alone. According to the statement published in The New York Times, Israel could not have predicted that Iran would use so much force. As a result, several Middle Eastern countries, along with the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, joined the defense of Israel. The attack was a blow to Israel's pride. They leapfrogged for a counterattack on Iran, but the Americans, instead of being emotional, realized that an Israeli counterattack would destabilize the situation in the Middle East. Israel may face an existential crisis. Then the United States cannot be directly involved in the war, and the involvement of the United States in this war could destroy Biden's domestic politics and the sole authority of the United States in the world. Therefore, according to experts, the United States outwardly discourages Israel from counter-attacks but secretly coordinates with Iran to give Israel a chance to protect its face. As a result, the edge of Israel's attack is completely reduced, and Iran is also given the opportunity to resist that attack. Iran shot down several drones over its heavily armed military city of Isfahan and advertised that they were attempted drone strikes by infiltrators. Israel, on the other hand, refused to take a stand on either side of the drone strike. Therefore, it is assumed that the Iran-Israeli war has been temporarily calmed by American mediation.

The Middle East’s volatile role

Several Muslim countries in the Middle East have directly cooperated with Israel against Iran. Saudi Arabia provided Israel with information on Iran's attack. Jordan directly participates in Israel's air defense. The UAE shut down its airspace to Iran. Egypt took on the role of a silent spectator. Geopolitics, hegemony, etc.—for any reason, the unity of the Muslim countries against Iran and directly supporting Israel on the issue of Israel is not surprising but deeply painful!

The Fallout Chronicles

According to analysts, this ongoing tension may have short-term or far-reaching effects. Basically, the world's biggest player will depend on the will of the United States. What will be the movement of this tension? The upcoming US election process may determine the pace of this conflict. At the moment, the Americans do not want to see a major conflict in the Middle East. If a major war breaks out, they will have to engage, which will be quite challenging for Biden. His Muslim popularity is already at zero. Moreover, a large portion of American Jews have an anti-war stance. Meanwhile, the western world is slowly waking up against Israel's Gaza genocide. Students from forty universities, including Columbia, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harvard University in the United States, are demonstrating widely.

Apart from that, student protests have also started in France, Canada, and Sweden. President Biden has already endeared himself to much of the American Jewish community by selling US arms to Israel and directly supporting Israel. So at the moment, it seems that his big war is not desirable. Moreover, any major war in the Middle East could lead to a Russian victory in Ukraine, which would be a huge defeat for the US. However, even if a major war does not break out for now, analysts believe that a limited-scale, reciprocal attack may continue between the two countries. At the same time, Iran's proxy forces can increase the intensity of their attacks to keep Israel more distracted.

But many believe that Netanyahu may launch a major attack on Iran to sustain his political career. In that case, the question will be whether Iran will keep their mouth and action shut or if they will execute whatever they can against Israel. This is the question raised amidst these debates. If Iran comes down with its might, Israel's existence could be threatened, which would bring the US into direct war. If the US gets involved in this major war, Russia will take advantage. China will also try to weaken the US as much as possible by locking the US into the Middle East war. On the other hand, if the United States stands for Israel, Iran will also try to get direct cooperation from China and Russia. Recently, an Iran-Russia security agreement was signed. As a result, will such a situation ignite another world war? More time will have to wait to get the answer to this question. But before that, the world community should stop the state called Israel from their terrorized activities in Gaza and bring them to justice for their war crimes in Gaza. But it is quite impossible to think about the actions taken by Israel and expect this from Western governments. So Muslims should come forward. Not to attack Israel but to force it to the negotiating table. Shia-Sunni differences should be forgotten and come under the banner of one Muslim Ummah. Otherwise, the divided Muslims will continue to be beaten all over the world. This world is not ready to see another devastating war that brings people all over the world into a catastrophic situation. The people of this world want to live their lives peacefully without hampering the world’s order.

References:

Ferguson, Niall. (2024, February 11). If you think World War III is unimaginable, read this. The Business Standard. https://www.tbsnews.net/bloomberg-special/if-you-think-world-war-iii-unimaginable-read-791182

Klippenstein,Ken& Boguslaw, Daniel. (2024, April 20). Israel Attack on Iran Is What World War III Looks Like. The Intercept. https:// theintercept. com/ 2024/04/ 20/iran -israel- world-war-iii/

Srivastava, Aditi. (2024, April 14). Iran attack on Israel ‘a prelude to World War 3', Columbian President blames US: See world leaders reaction. The Hindustan Times. https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/iran-attack-on-israel-a-prelude-to-world-war-3-columbian-president-blames-us-see-world-leaders-reaction-101713072635261.html

Al-Shamahi, Abubakr. (2024, April 18). Iran, Israel and the potential for miscalculation. Aljazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/18/iran-israel-potential-miscalculation-analysis

Berg,Raffi; Spender, Tom & Beale, Jonathan. (2024, April 19). Why have Israel and Iran attacked each other? BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-68811276

GOLDENBERG, TIA. (2024, April 14). Iran’s attack on Israel raises fears of a wider war, but all sides have also scored gains. Associated Press. https://apnews.com/article/iran-israel-attack- hamas-biden-8ffb1a81e6769bb1d27c849e6108da36

Timsit, Annabelle &Westfall, Sammy. (2024, April 16).Iran and Israel’s shadow war has lasted years: Key moments before the attack. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/04/16/iran-israel-attack-shadow-war/

Bailey, Phillip M;  Ramirez, Marc&Trethan, Phaedra. (2024, April 17). Voters, fearful of World War III as Iran strikes Israel, will weigh foreign policy in 2024. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2024/04/17/voters-fear-world-war-3-for-2024/73320503007/

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Md Tareq Hasan
Md Tareq Hasan is an ‘Assistant Editor’ of “The Perspective”
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