Deluded Netanyahu’s 100 Days Of Digging – OpEd


Rule No. 1 in the “law of holes” is that, “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Law No. 2 is, “once you stop digging, you are still in a hole.” These adages sum up Israel’s ongoing political, military and strategic crises 100 days on from the start of its war on Gaza. 

On Oct. 7, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was faced with the unprecedented challenge of having to react to a major attack launched by the Palestinian resistance in southern Israel. This event is already proving to be a game-changer in the relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Its impact will be felt for many years, if not generations, to come.

But Netanyahu was already in a hole long before the Al-Aqsa Flood operation took place — and he has no one to blame but himself. 

In order to stay in power and avoid three major corruption cases, Netanyahu labored to fortify his position at the helm of Israeli politics with the help of the most extreme government ever assembled and in a state whose very existence is the outcome of an extremist ideology.

Even the mass anti-Netanyahu protests held throughout Israel, which took place for months prior to the war, did not alert the Israeli leader that the hole he was digging was getting deeper or that the Palestinians, living under perpetual military occupation and siege, might find an opportunity in Israel’s political and military crises.

He simply kept on digging. 

Oct. 7 should not be perceived as a surprise attack, since the entire Gaza Division — the massive Israeli military buildup in the Gaza envelope — exists for the very purpose of ensuring that Gaza’s subjugation and siege are perfected according to state-of-the-art military technology. 

According to the Global Firepower 2024 military strength ranking system, Israel is No. 17 in the world, mainly because of its military technology. This advanced military capability means that surprise attacks should not be possible because it is not humans but rather sophisticated machines that scan, intercept and report on every perceived suspicious movement. In the Israeli case, the failure was profound and multilayered.

Following Oct. 7, Netanyahu found himself in a much deeper hole. However, instead of finding his way out — by, for example, taking responsibility, unifying his people or, God forbid, acknowledging that war is never the answer in the face of a resisting, oppressed population — he kept on digging.

The Israeli leader, flanked by far-right ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir, Bezalel Smotrich and Amichai Eliyahu, worsened matters by using the war on Gaza as an opportunity to implement long-dormant plans to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians, not only from the Gaza Strip but also the West Bank.

Were it not for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and strong rejection by Egypt and Jordan, the second Nakba would have become a reality. 

All mainstream Israeli politicians, despite their ideological and political differences, unanimously sought to outdo one another with their racist, violent and even genocidal language. While Defense Minister Yoav Gallant immediately announced that, in Gaza, “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter called for “the Gaza Nakba.” Meanwhile, Eliyahu suggested the option of dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza.

Instead of saving Israel from itself by reminding its government that the genocidal war on Gaza would also bode badly for Tel Aviv, the Biden administration in the US has played the role of cheerleader and outright partner. 

Aside from the additional $14 billion emergency aid package that is currently before Congress, Washington reportedly sent, as of Dec. 25, 230 airplanes and 20 ships loaded with armaments and munitions.  According to a New York Times report published last week, the CIA is also actively involved in collecting information on Gaza and providing that intelligence to Israel.

US support for Israel, in all its forms, has been maintained despite the shocking reports issued by every respected international charity that operates in Palestine and the Middle East.

For example, the UN Relief and Works Agency said last week that 1.9 million of Gaza’s entire population of 2.3 million have been displaced. Save the Children reported that an average of 100 Palestinian children are killed daily. Gaza’s government media office has said that about 70 percent of the Strip has been destroyed. Even The Wall Street Journal concluded that the destruction of Gaza is greater than that of Dresden in the Second World War. 

Yet, none of this seems to concern US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has visited the region five times in less than 100 days with the same message of support for Israel. 

What is astonishing, however, is that Gaza’s threshold of resilience continues to prove unequaled. This is how determined the Palestinians are to finally achieve their freedom. Indeed, fathers and mothers, in a scene repeated numerous times, would be carrying the bodies of their dead children, howling in pain, while insisting that they will never leave their homeland. 

This dignified pain has moved the world. Even though Washington has ensured that no meaningful action will be taken at the UN Security Council, South Africa has sought the help of the world’s highest court and demanded an immediate end to the war, along with recognition of Israel’s atrocities as an act of genocide.

South Africa’s efforts at the International Court of Justice have galvanized other countries, mostly in the Global South. But Netanyahu has kept on digging, unmoved, or possibly unaware that the world around him is finally beginning to truly understand the generational suffering of the Palestinians. 

The Israeli leader still speaks of “voluntary migration,” of wanting to manage Gaza and Palestine and of reshaping the Middle East in ways consistent with his own delusions of grandeur and power.

One hundred days of war on Gaza has taught us that superior firepower no longer influences outcomes when a nation takes the collective decision to resist. It has also taught us that the US is no longer able to reorder the Middle East to fit Israeli priorities and that relatively small countries in the Global South, when united, can alter the course of history.

Netanyahu may continue digging, but history has already been written: the spirit of the Palestinian people has won over Israel’s death machine.

Ramzy Baroud

Ramzy Baroud ( is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of His book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story (Pluto Press, London), now available on

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