Israel’s 9/11


Since the terrorist attacks of October 7, 2023, Israel’s 9/11, things have changed drastically on the one hand, but on the other hand also remained the same.

What has remained the same is the threat the small country faces from all sides. Apart from Hamas in the south, against whom war is being waged and which has not yet been defeated at all, there has been the onslaught of the radical Islamic Hezbollah from Lebanon in the north for some time. Like Hamas, Hezbollah is supported by Iran, Israel’s sworn enemy.

In the northeast lies Syria, which has been a failed state for some time, but where the Iranian Revolutionary Guards move freely and operate against Israel. In the east sits Jordan, with whom peace has indeed been concluded, but from where Palestinian gangs and smugglers seep in and sometimes terrorists as well.

Further east sits Iran, which attacked Israel with a barrage of rockets last month. Israel was able to successfully repel it, but at great cost.

Further to the south, although without a border with Israel, the Iran-backed Huthis also operate from Yemen and hamper commercial shipping through the Red Sea in order to harm Israel. And that’s just the immediate neighbors. Then there are still a host of Muslim, African and even Western states that try to boycott, speak ill of, undermine and otherwise harm Israel in every conceivable way.

Even if Hamas is completely eradicated – which seems increasingly unlikely due to the strong international opposition to Israel’s campaign – there are still enemies on all sides, a situation that has never changed since Israel was founded in 1948.

What the attack by Hamas and the anti-terrorist war has managed to do is to unite Israelis as rarely before. The numerous divisions between right and left, strictly religious or secular, poor and rich have receded into the background and almost everyone now realizes that the country is doomed if we do not stand together now and everyone makes their contribution. Large numbers of volunteers signed up for service in the arms or with organizations supporting the military. Unlike in large parts of the world, there are practically no protests against the war in Israel itself. The awareness that everyone is responsible for their own safety has grown strongly and the carrying of weapons has increased.

Especially for the left in Israel, the attack was a shock in more ways than one. Not only were it particularly left-leaning kibbutzim towards Gaza that suffered the worst under the attack, also the left-wing beliefs of peace between different peoples and religions were severely shaken. The very people they reached out to and helped, the Palestinians across the border, participated in the barbaric murder and rape campaign of Hamas.

The hope that there could ever be peace with the Palestinians if they get their own state has been dashed. A renewed occupation of the Gaza Strip and no further withdrawals from other parts will be inevitable.