Everything Led Gaza to the Inevitable Insurrection

Q: How did you see the Middle East on the eve of October 7, 2023?

We are dealing with an Arab world whose peoples have experienced devastation, even if the circumstances of that devastation differ. There are peoples whose democratic and social revolutions were destroyed, and military rule came to administer the counter-revolution, such as in the case of Egypt, and to a lesser degree, Tunisia. They are peoples who are being exterminated, while reconciliation and normalization are taking place in parallel with their extermination and exile, as is the case with the Syrian catastrophe.

There are other peoples in the region whose unifying ties are disintegrating, and the conflicts of internal factions are intensifying, returning them to the situation of political nothingness that preceded the national state form, such as in Yemen, Libya, and Sudan, leaving only the continuation of conflict without an end in sight.

The most dangerous thing is that, because of all of this, and in parallel, there are other Arab elements that possess financial abundance and liquid investment capabilities, which have enabled them to penetrate the Western financial and economic world and the globalized capitalist structure. This capitalist structure seeks to find a foothold and control within this miserable Arab scene, and sometimes even invests in its ruin, exploits its shabbiness and political and rhetorical collapse. We see this well in the impulsive United Arab Emirates, the evasive Qatar, and the caution of Saudi Arabia due to the weight and centrality of its role.

This takes different and varied forms, but it penetrates all levels. For example, controlling the Arab digital sphere, dominating the entire media and cultural scene, leading to being present in the reconstruction plans for destroyed Syria over the corpses of its people, strangling Lebanon economically, seeking to buy Egyptian public assets, and financing wars in Sudan, Libya, and Yemen. These are just random examples of the different effects.

I see a region in a much worse situation than simply an outbreak of war causing it to regress, or God forbid, disrupting its renaissance. Israel’s wars against us in the past were some of the reasons for obstructing the progress and growth of certain countries in the region, including my country, Egypt. I believe that Israel today has no Arab progress to obstruct. In fact, it is [Israel’s] plans that are being obstructed now, specifically its strategic partnership with the Emirates and perhaps Saudi Arabia.

In Egypt, a percentage of the middle and lower classes have actually begun to approach the brink of starvation, and in Iran, Iranians are sweeping the streets of cities large and small in protest. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them, have been killed in the last five years. Lebanon’s economic condition is far beyond horrific. And the Syrians know what happened to them after they became a means of clarification for how to abuse and devalue the human soul of the residents of this region.

This is the situation. It is a situation sufficient to tempt Israel to reduce the value of Palestinian existence to the nadir, the depths of the abyss. And this is what it was previously restricted from doing. But what the Israelis do not realize is that they will also pay a heavy price. They, too, will become a statistic and a number. They are not an exception, even if they think themselves so.

Also, it is not possible to look at the current situation without looking at the international situation as a whole, where it has become appealing and easy to launch a war in Europe itself, the price of which is about half a million people killed and injured between Russia and Ukraine up to this moment. We are in a world that no longer fears wars and their outbreaks. The world has become accustomed to war, and the United States launches wars in the world, or helps to ignite and continue them. Russia finds no objection to committing genocidal practices on the grounds that they are existentially threatened.

Beside this, there has been an unmistakable crisis afflicting international capitalism since 2008. This crisis is not growing, but it has not been remedied and it has not stopped. The COVID pandemic arrived to announce the possible resumption of this crisis anew. The catastrophe is in the attempts to remedy this crisis through the same old-new stupid solution, by igniting political crises and using weapons to impose its decree, for the military component of the capitalist empire to restore its health. I mean here the American army in particular. And to do this in a way that helps American capitalism, which represents by itself a quarter of the world economy – to impose its economic conditions on its partners and then its enemies. That is what is happening right now. The United States militarizes the world anew, meanwhile holding a thousand reasons for nuclear annihilation.

Therefore we cannot deny or avoid the fact that the global scene is unruly, in a word. And that the weakest links in it, and Israel is one of these, will be extremely explosive when they explode. I cannot see October 7 in isolation from this escalating chaos. Suddenly, a month ago, it was announced that a trade line would be established beginning in India and ending with us in the region, in Tel Aviv, passing through the Emirates and through Saudi Arabia and Jordan by railroad line. This was announced by the Americans as good news for all of humankind.

Thus suddenly the flow of trade in the region and the world is being reshaped to the exclusion of the Palestinians and countries like Egypt and Iran and Turkey. By definition, it is the commercial axes that create the political axes. Meanwhile, they suddenly announce a project on the order of importance of discovering the route to the Cape of Good Hope or the construction of the Suez Canal!

Along with that, they announce that the issue of Palestine has finished, as if there was no one there! What’s so strange about it, then, when the prison of Gaza tries to blow itself up!

Q: So then, this combined situation explains the decision of Hamas to play all its cards and strike?

The Palestinians have no cards to play other than returning to the forefront of events once again, even if by a suicidal act. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has become nothing more than an Israeli police force that is dependent, miserable, to such an extent that it is difficult to grasp the limits of its misery. At the same time, Hamas, despite its possession of military power that has demonstrated itself on more than one stage, is without a comprehensive political agenda that would enable it to lead the Palestinian political scene. [It can only operate] at the level of the situation, it is unable to be part of a broader Palestinian framework that represents a wide spectrum of Palestinian national and social liberation movement.

Rather, it must be made clear that Hamas’ military leadership in the Gaza Strip, represented by Yahya Sinwar and Mohamed Deif, has neutralized, and marginalized the capabilities of the movement’s civilian leadership in the last seven years and almost exiled it abroad.

So the basis for this moment of explosion is that the Palestinian political situation is in a deep crisis, organizationally and rhetorically, and requires efforts and political leadership that go beyond the hapless stooge of Abu Mazen (1) and the demagoguism of Ismail Haniyeh (2). And in the end, Mohamed Deif (3) and his suicidal heroism will not be enough to lead on the Palestinian issue, either underground or above ground.

Palestinian [political] action in recent years has been directed at the Palestinians inside Israel, and has consisted of confronting it on the basis of their demand as indigenous people for equality within an apartheid state that declares its Judaism and does not care at all. This is happening while Israeli plans are far more catastrophic (nakbawiyya) than the limits of a civil liberal discourse betting on the conscience of the “civilized world”.

The Palestinian [political] scene, then, is a confused scene, and from within this confusion, fragmentation, and lack of a clear vision for engagement with the Israeli situation, Hamas pushed the question forward by creating a major crisis, by declaring a suicidal Insurrection at a moment when Israel had already reached a position of complete neurotic solipsism that made it an unlivable country.

Israel Will Be Like a Large Maniac Settlement

Q: [What was Israel like on the eve of October 7th?]

I have been good at following [the situation in] Israel, but as an Egyptian political actor, I was completely immersed in the Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring from 2009-2010 to 2014-2015. In fact, after I went back to contemplating Israel again, it seemed to me another country in decline, as if it took advantage of the failure of the Arab Spring to unleash what was in its right-wing to become more right-wing, to [push the] limits of religious Zionism, military-religious security, and anything else that can be imagined, to the limits of disintegrating. In the past months, we have seen with our own eyes, street fighting in which the more extreme right accuses the less extreme right of receiving foreign funding from the United States and from suspicious global civil society organizations!

It has become a country whose rising political stars are people like Itamar Ben Gvir, a Kahanist. A major part of the ruling core in Israel today are affiliated with the authority of the Kach movement, which was classified as a right-wing terrorist movement in Israel itself in the days of Yitzhak Shamir (4) in the 1980s.

It seems to me that [Israel] has become a place on the verge of exploding in favor of some crazy behavior, revolving around a genocidal act that expels the Palestinians from within the Green Line. which is the actual manifestation of “From the River to the Sea”.

Q: But was its army ready to enter a war that might expand to include several fronts?

The foundation of the Israeli army is that it is professional and organized. But what I know well is that if the State of Israel wants to win a war, it must determine the goal, place, scope, timing, and duration beforehand. The absence of even one of these factors reduces its chances of victory.

Despite Israel’s unlimited fire superiority over the Al-Qassam Brigades, it lacks at the present moment the ability to determine the factors of scope, duration, and purpose. It always needs a short-term, quick, rapid war that achieves all its goals within the specified period of time. The only and optimal formula for Israel’s victory is the 1967 War formula, meaning that it obtains a large area of territory within a few days while the other side, completely crushed, announces its withdrawal from battle. With this in mind, I do not know exactly what the Israeli army is prepared for.

But I am certain that its own ideology, which has been stable for a long time, deals with human cost with extreme caution, to the point of investing in self-propelled automatic defense systems. They are now at a new threshold, facing suicidal Palestinian fighters. what is the goal after crushing them? Therefore, it seems to be [either] that the Israeli goal of the war is very confusing and unimplementable in light of the factors that meet the recognized criteria for Israeli victory, or that they are at a new turning point that is reshaping them.

Q: What impact does the chronological extension of the war have on the cohesion of [Israel]?

We are still at the beginning of the war, but I do not see Israel in the future as anything but a dysfunctional entity unfit for normal living. Militarized status, alert, its hand on the trigger.

I believe this will empty [Israel] of certain components: the intelligentsia, the intellectuals, the left, and the non-ideological in general. This leaves those who are forced to remain by birth and not holding another nationality, the religiously obsessed, and the Mizrahim who are originally from the Middle East. It is a mixture suitable for mobilization in which religion is mixed with national obsession and salvationist preparedness and is dominated by the Middle Eastern regional climate at the same time.

It will be a more ferocious, authoritarian, militarized, and unlivable state by Western European standards. Israel will be similar to the settlements it established in the West Bank, and they are likely to all be in a state of solitude and simultaneously ready for destruction and salvation. This is my imagination if the war lasts for a long time, or for what comes after it in the coming years.

But I believe this will consequently require an increase in the influence of American decision-making in Israel, as an official sponsor of the Jewish question around the world. In the final analysis, the vast majority of the world’s Jews are distributed between Israel and the United States. I believe, and this is just a belief at this moment, that to the extent that the face and image of the armed settler become the face and image of Israel itself, American influence there will increase to control the resulting chaos. Unlawfulness may express itself in the form of internal conflicts, or through attempts to expel the Palestinians from within, or in all forms of delinquency. And it may be a joke, but the clock may turn back and the British mandate over Palestine will become the American mandate.


1) Abu Mazen is the president of the Palestinian National Authority

2) Ismail Haniyeh is the chairman of Hamas’s political bureau.

3) Mohamed Deif is the Military Commander of Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

4) Yitzhak Shamir was the seventh prime minister of Israel and leader of Likud Party

The interview was conducted by Mahmoud Marrwa and originally published in Al-Morasel is a Leftist online magazine in Lebanon. It is slightly edited by Naeem for the English translation by Jessica Martin