Gabriel Ben Tasgal considers that the political division between conservatives and progressives in Israel may have empowered enemies and weakened the country’s defenses, and he harshly criticized the press for its role in exacerbating the conflict. Furthermore, he believes that there is a danger of an escalation in the conflict. “From now on we are going to see images from the Gaza Strip all the time, and I think that the international image is going to change,” said the Middle East specialist in Fontevecchia modeon Net TV, Radio Perfil (AM 1190) and Radio Amadeus (FM 91.1).
Is the shock produced by this Hamas attack in Israel comparable to the shock produced in the United States by the attack on the Twin Towers on September 11?
Yes, definitely, It is very comparablebecause the Israeli citizen lived with the security that he had one of the largest and most efficient intelligence services and security forces in the world.
So when you go to sleep at night knowing that you are well protected and you wake up with 1,100 dead, emotional shock is very important and, on the other hand, the increase in uncertainty and anger as well, which can translate into military actions, a need of the population to place Hamas instead in some way, but, on the other hand, the uncertainty of knowing that you are sending your son to join the army and that he will have to fight house to house within the Gaza Strip.
How can it be that such a sophisticated system cannot capture small motorcycles, paragliders or drones? At the same time, is it plausible, at least as a hypothesis, that there may have been some leak in the sale of Israel’s security services to Scandinavian countries?
You have to respond in two different ways. There are a number of reasons that may be technical or technological, such as those raised, is it possible? Yes, it may be possible.
Me I find it very difficult to believe that there has not been some type of technological intervention to neutralize sensors or defensive systems. Keep in mind that when there is a security fence that is capable of identifying a pigeon that landed on top of the fence, it is rare that it has not witnessed or seen the approach of what you just told, that is, that there is some kind of technological problem.
In that sense, what I can say is that the current position of the citizens is, when shots are fired, It is not investigated who was at fault. So, there are still hundreds of versions, including one denied, which said that Egypt had warned Israel that something especially big was being prepared and that Netanyahu did not pay attention to it, that has already been denied.
So, on the one hand you have a technological issue and on the other hand a conceptual issue, which in this case I think is more important. And the conceptual question is to see two examples; the first, a conception that, like Hamas It is much weaker than the Israeli army, he will not dare to do something so serious because he cannot sustain the response that is going to come. So, a rational entity should not do what it did.
The second issue is a whole concept that was based on the fact that if the Israelis allowed Palestinians to enter to work inside Israel, they were not going to attack. 20 thousand families began to benefit from the fact that Gazans work inside Israel and bring food to their homes, so it is not logical that they attack and carry out an attack like the one they did, it was thought. Well, this psychological premise of conception also failed. So, there you have technological aspects and strategic aspects.
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There are people who attribute this failure to the crack, to two years of fights between conservatives and progressives, starting with what would be the Supreme Court of Justice here, but regardless of this, it was the signifier of a process of rupture of the society that Hamas takes advantage of because societies are weaker when they are divided. Is it plausible that society divided by politics between conservatives and progressives could have empowered enemies and weakened defenses?
Totally, and I have several explanations. From the point of view, if you want to compare it with Argentina and the k – antik crack, the difference is that In the history of the Jewish people, ideological rifts often translate into physical violence. So, luckily, we have not seen similar things in Argentina, but we could review history.
When in the days of Jesus we had the Jewish schools that burned down the food warehouses of the other school so that in this way the others would die before the Romans first, there you see that the crack is not something sporadic and that only happens now. And on the other hand, the psychological point of view. You have to understand how an Islamic radical thinks, who considers that it is important that when you see your enemy weak, then you have to attack him, but if he is very strong, you can even make a truce with him until he is weak again.
In Arabic this is known as hudna. In other words, if you see that Israel is very strong, very powerful, you can declare a truce as, for example, Arafat did or as Egypt did when it declared a hudna against Israel which, if they copy Muhammad’s position, has to last. nine years, nine months and nine days. So strength brings peace and weakness promotes acts of violence.
That said, Hamas and Hezbollah see that Israel is fighting among themselves over an issue over the legal dispute.
In this framework of action I would like to highlight the disastrous role that the press has had in this aspect.
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I would like you to delve into how much the press has been the builder of that rift and what metaphor you find comparing it with Argentina.
I’ll give you an example, I study law in Argentina, so it’s not that legal issues are a foreign topic. When you have 15 judges of the Supreme Court of Justice, of which 12 and a half are Zaffaroni with steroids, and the elections are always won by the conservatives in the last year, it is evident that there is an imbalance there. Then the government comes and says, we have to make reforms for a lot of arguments.
But the moment the press makes a campaign saying that this small change is the end of democracy, and that Israel is going straight to be like Turkey and Hungary, it simply idiots people. Then you you see very serious people saying legal atrocities.
The person does not have to know or be a specialist in legal issues, but even if it is, give a moderate, balanced explanation, bring conservatives and universalists so that each one can express their opinion, let’s have an intelligent debate, because if what you do is exaggerating the debate, and adding social networks to that, makes the situation worse.
All Today we are journalistsintelligence is recognizing between a Fontevecchia who has years of prestige and a charlatan who tells you any outrageous thing, that is, we have access to all the information in the world, the differentiating question is what is reliable and what is not reliable.
Unfortunately The press has greatly enhanced extremization and the gap, and in the case of some countries it may not physically affect that, but in the case of Israel it does, because Hezbollah also reads the local press. And there I have given you the example of the press itself, of the irresponsibility of the way of communicating in order to perhaps gain some type of audience for an ideological issue, because the press also has a political stance.
Now, the press is one case, but we have a lot of cases. The irresponsibility of the prime minister to launch a reform abruptly, as if it were a tractor that tries to modify 30 years of changes in the Israeli judicial system and wants to modify it in three minutes. Things don’t change like that, you have to explain it, you have to do it slowly, with consensus. All this is not good in the eyes of an Islamic radical who sees Israel weakened.
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Do you see any possibility, in an international context where a few weeks ago we had Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that it escalates to the level of a conflict where it directly leads to a fight between Israel and Iran? And are we in a context of polycrisis and a number of simultaneous wars due to the lack of global leadership and a global weakening of the United States?
On the one hand I think that, within Israel, What is happening now has united and destroyed the entire image of separation because we have 100% enrollment, that is on the internal side of Israel.
On the international side we have to USA For now he has played, he has expressed himself in favor of Israel and it has also placed a warship to explain to Hezbollah that it is not convenient for them to enter. But Hezbollah so far in two days has fired mortars, trying to flirt with the idea of entering perhaps to please the Muslims of the world, to show that they are also doing something.
A direct confrontation with Iran? I don’t think I want it Iran, because one thing is a non-state group that pays a certain price and another thing is a State that blows up your Parliament with a missile against Iran. You have to pay a certain price for going crazy in the Middle East. But if I think there may be a confrontation with Hezbollah And what’s more, if we take into account that in the Middle East when a particularly radical leader, a leader of Hezbollah, of Al-Qaeda, of ISIS, announces something you have to believe him.
In Western culture, when we speak something in secret, that is what counts and then if you want, speak whatever you want in public. In the Middle East and its culture, what you declare in public is much more important and therefore if the leader of Hezbollahthe religious leader, Imam Fadlala, He just declared that if Israel enters the Gaza Strip by land, Hezbollah will be part of the war, I would believe him.
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Just as Al Qaeda finally ended the US invasion of Afghanistan, do you think there is potential for escalation in this case?
Yes, totally. There is a real danger of escalation, especially with the introduction of Hezbollah and perhaps Islamist forces that are also in the West Bank. There is a real danger.
The big question is whether Israel has the accumulated experience and the capacity to confront so many fronts at once, and to what extent it will have global sympathy. Because it is one thing that they murder 1,200 Israelis in one day, more or less, and that they kidnap 130 and everyone is in solidarity with Israel, except for some extreme left candidates in Argentina who say atrocities from a legal point of view. But overall, the solidarity of the world is realbut when Israel enters the Gaza Strip by land and increases the images of homeless children and the deaths of innocent civilians, this solidarity will not be maintained, and with a certain amount of reason.
So I would say that what we are hearing today in the media is going to last a few days. From now on we are going to see images from the Gaza Strip all the time, and I think the international image is going to change.