Earthquakes are human tragedies and geological surprises. They cause enormous human suffering and enormous material losses. They also reveal unprecedented information about the deepest places on Earth. For scientists, an earthquake opens new windows through which they can observe what is happening at the center of the Earth.
On October 7 last year, a massive human-made earthquake occurred in Israel which, in addition to causing immense pain, revealed a lot of information about what many think, but few say. We now know, for example, that anti-Semitism is more widespread and international than it seems. This has always existed, but after World War II and the widespread international recognition of the significance of the Holocaust, anti-Semitic expressions and behaviors were often repudiated or, as we know today, hidden or disguised. No more.
Shortly after the October 7 massacre, the streets of many cities around the world were filled with people protesting against Israel and, surprisingly, supporting Hamas.
Thus, the Israeli government, instead of enjoying the support of global public opinion, is also facing massive rejection from countries, organizations and groups that hate it. To a large extent this repulsion already existed, but the earthquake made it clearly visible. The earthquake also highlighted the failures of the military and intelligence services. Israeli soldiers and spies were commonly cited by allies and rivals as the best in the world. No more. They did not foresee what happened on October 7, they took time to mount a counter-offensive to save and protect their citizens and regain control of the territory invaded by Hamas or save the hostages kidnapped by the terrorists. The bombing of Gaza, with its immense human and material losses, obviously contributes to the deterioration of the international reputation of the Israeli army and government.
Smaller, but also telltale, tremors usually occur in the days following an earthquake. For example, the massacre exposed the workings of some of the world’s most prestigious universities. During questioning before the US Congress, the presidents of the universities of Harvard and Pennsylvania did their best not to answer whether their respective institutions were authorized to advocate the extermination of a certain people. Both refused to answer the question. And both leaders had to resign due to the reactions sparked by their statements. It is worth noting that the departure of Harvard President Claudine Gay is also due to her political enemies unraveling academic texts in which she appears as the author and which include paragraphs copied and used without giving credit to the original author.
But the earthquake not only disseminated new information about the poor process elite American universities follow to elect their leaders. Far more serious than the university authorities’ embarrassment was Bibi Netanyahu’s disastrous performance.
The Israeli Prime Minister has built a whole political image as a champion of Israel’s security: the most hawkish of the hawks. The earthquake of October 7 revealed the emptiness of this position. In reality, while Hamas was busy stealing every dollar or euro that came to it from the United Nations, the EU or Qatar and diverting them to arm and train its terrorists, Bibi Netanyahu was focused on something else: consolidation of its power and the weakening of the institutional counterweights which could undermine it. While Hamas was building an impressive network of hundreds of kilometers of tunnels under Gaza to house its militants and store their supplies, Bibi Netanyahu devoted his energies to expanding settlements in the West Bank, alongside the most extremist and chauvinistic voices in his party. coalition. . .
The most hawkish of hawks has turned a blind eye to the warnings of its security services. They alerted him to the fact that Hamas was actively training its troops in exercises that were not routine. Netanyahu’s indifference to this call was fueled by his desire to keep Gaza and the West Bank separate, each under different authority. To achieve this, he needed Gaza to remain under Hamas command. His political responsibility in the attack of October 7 is beyond doubt.
The old disguised anti-Semitism is then reinforced by the errors of an Israeli government which has lost its democratic character. And this is, ultimately, the deepest truth revealed by the earthquake of October 7: by placing itself under the command of a government that undermines institutions, Israel endangers not only its democracy, but also his safety.
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