Since the first day of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, there have been multiple wars, not far from military operations in Gaza and the West Bank. These wars are about narratives and the demonization of the opponent. In light of this, there was a declared war between those who made the conflict part of a global conflict, whether related to ideas or geography, and others who believed that what was happening was a local bilateral related to the occupation and its inhumane policies.
This article seeks to deconstruct the two main discourses in the context of which the conflict was presented: the discourse of internationalization, and the discourse of dualism, which focuses on the occupier’s resistance to those who occupy his land and impose his will on the occupied people.
The war on Gaza between two speeches
The occupying state began a discourse focusing on presenting what happened to it as a global war and a continuation of the war on terrorism, which has continued for decades according to the Western perspective.
This discourse was constructed through fabricated words, terminology, and propaganda materials. The evocation of the September 2001 attacks, as well as the use of the Islamic State called ISIS, were a cornerstone of this internationalization discourse.
Confronting these trends was within the framework of a global war led by the United States. The discourse on the universality of the war on Gaza was formulated within six contexts:
The first context: The occupation government was keen – from the first moments of the October 7 attack – to present a narrative that what happened that day was not targeting the occupying state, but rather the entire Western world.
The occupying state relied on focusing on October 7th as the beginning of its war on the Palestinian people and their resistance movements, ignoring with will and determination that the occupation is more than 75 years old, and that Gaza has been occupied for more than 56 years.
The second context: The terms and ideas were brought to mind – what could frighten this West and push it to support the occupying state, so the events of September 2001, and what happened in them and after them, were brought to mind, then the war on terrorism and what the West sees as its extensions, represented by the Islamic State (ISIS). .
Perhaps the invocation of ISIS was in the context of the Israeli deception narrative about killing civilians, beheading and burning children, and other such stories that the West and others have promoted before, about what groups affiliated with Islam are doing.
It turned out that the occupying state was providing film material to its guests or sharing it with those who did not visit the occupying state in the first week after October 7. The Prime Minister of the occupation, Benjamin Netanyahu, was keen not to fight his battle with the Hamas movement alone. International cover had been for him for more than 16 years a necessity that he was keen on in his confrontation with Iran and the resistance.
The third context: It was represented in talking about what happened on October 7th being planned and supported by a state, and the reference here to Iran, and evoking Iran is its importance in attracting Western support, which carries excessively negative ideas about Iran and its role in the Middle East.
Hence, sending aircraft carriers, such as the Gerald Ford and others, was a clear message that reflects dealing with the narrative of the occupying state. All the details of these two phases were promoted during the ten days that followed October 8, which followed the decision of the occupation prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to declare a state of war against Gaza, in accordance with Article (40) of the Basic Law of the Government.
The fourth context: It is represented in considering the announcement by the Houthi group in Yemen of their intention to target ships heading to or coming from the occupying state, in order to allow the entry of basic needs of food, water and medicine into Gaza.
The government of the occupying state – along with Washington – considered this a threat to maritime navigation, and began efforts to establish an international coalition to confront the Houthis. This is a repetition of what was done in the period 2000-2017. To confront pirates in the Arabian Sea.
Despite the efforts made and the American announcement of the establishment of the “Guardians of Prosperity” coalition, European countries – such as Spain and France – did not join, and the fate of the coalition remained unknown.
Fifth context: This context was represented by the occupying state’s threat to return to the policy of assassinating Hamas leaders abroad, despite the infringement on the sovereignty of those countries. Turkey, for example, sent a clear message to the occupying state that it would respond strongly if any Hamas leaders were targeted on Turkish territory.
The occupying state did not stop in its efforts to internationalize its war on Gaza. On January 2, 2024, it assassinated Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, and head of the movement’s political bureau in the West Bank, along with two of the movement’s leaders in the southern suburb of Beirut, where the main stronghold is. For Hezbollah.
Such an assassination came after two important developments facing the occupation government: the first; It is the withdrawal of the United States aircraft carrier Gerald Ford from the Mediterranean Sea, and the other is the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to abolish the law of reasonableness, which gives the government power over the judicial authority.
Targeting Sheikh Al-Arouri is an attempt by the Prime Minister of the occupation government to continue to internationalize his war on Gaza on the one hand, and on the other hand to resist the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision, which would weaken the right-wing government coalition that he leads.
Sixth context: The effects of the internationalization discourse extended to the countries that support the occupying state, as it came to control the internal policy scene in those countries, and freedoms became restricted simply for criticizing the occupying state or its supporters. All kinds of slogans used by demonstrators objecting to the occupation state were traced. The occupation state's war on Gaza.
The war of treason, accusations, and targeting – which has targeted figures and academics in Western societies such as the United States in the context of anti-Semitism simply for criticizing the occupying state – is nothing but a reflection of the attempt to internationalize the conflict, which the Prime Minister of the occupying state has been trying to impose since October 7th.
In contrast to all this, the definition of the other party to the confrontation – here the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas and the rest of the resistance movements – remains limited to the fact that the war on Gaza is the war of the occupying government against an occupied people who resist and reject the occupation. And that there is no practical support provided to them, and that the war against them is global, spearheaded by the occupying state, and with it are active countries, led by the United States of America.
The assassination of Saleh Al-Arouri and the new phase
While the war on Gaza continues in the shadows of the previous contexts, influenced by and influencing them, what is certain is that the war on Gaza enters a new chapter after January 2, 2024, and the targeting of Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, a stage that leads to three possible scenarios:
The first: The scenario of escalation and expansion of Hezbollah’s response, such that the party’s operations increase and become more focused and continuous, and this makes the conflict turn into a regional conflict with high levels of complexity. This scenario is almost preferred by the prime minister of the occupying state in light of the internal situation he faces.
The second: a delayed escalation scenario, whereby it reaches a level of response that is chosen at specific times according to the options of the attacking party, and it is an option of security and political exhaustion.
Third: The scenario of pushing strongly towards a ceasefire, and this requires an internal Israeli movement that limits the capabilities of Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as American pressure that supports this Israeli movement.