Palestinian Resilience: 100 Days Defying Netanyahu

Law number one in the ‘law of holes’, is that “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Law number two, “if you are not digging, you are still in a hole”.

These adages sum up Israel’s ongoing political, military and strategic crises, 100 days following the start of the war on Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was faced by the unprecedented challenge of having to react to a major attack launched by Palestinian Resistance in southern Israel on October 7.
This single 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.

Netanyahu was already in a hole long before the Al-Aqsa Flood operation took place, and he has no one else to blame but himself. To stay in power and to avoid three major corruption cases and subsequent trials, Netanyahu labored to fortify his position at the helm of Israeli politics with the help of the most extreme government ever assembled, in a state whose very existence is an outcome of an extremist ideology.

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

He simply kept on digging.

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

According to the Global Firepower 2024 military strength ranking, Israel is number 17 in the world, mainly because of its military technology.

This advanced military capability meant that no surprise attacks should have been possible, because it is not humans, but sophisticated machines that scan, intercept and report on every perceived suspicious movement. In the Israeli case, the failure was profound and multi-layered.

Subsequently, following October 7, Netanyahu found himself in a much deeper hole. Instead of finding his way out by, for example, taking responsibility, unifying his people or, God forbid, acknowledging that war is never an 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 of ethnically cleansing 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 been a reality. All mainstream Israeli politicians, despite their ideological and political differences, unanimously outdid one another in their racist, violent, even genocidal language. While Defense Minister Yoav Gallant immediately announced that “there will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed” to the Gaza population, Avi Dichter called for “another Nakba”.

Meanwhile, Eliyahu suggested the ‘option’ of “dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza”. Instead of saving Israel from itself by reminding the Tel Aviv government that the genocidal war on Gaza would also bode badly for Tel Aviv, the US Biden Administration served the role of cheerleader and outright partner.

Aside from an additional $14 billion of emergency aid package, Washington has reportedly sent, as of December 25, 230 airplanes and 20 ships loaded with armaments and munitions.

According to a New York Times report on January 12, the CIA is also actively involved in collecting information from 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.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that 1.9 million out of Gaza’s entire population of 2.3 million people have been displaced. Israeli rights group B’tselem said that 2.2 million are starving. Save the Children reported that over 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 WWII.

Yet, none of this concerned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited the region five times in less than 100 days, with the same message of support for Israel. What is so astonishing, however, is that Gaza’s threshold of resilience continues to prove unequalled. This is how determined the Palestinians are to finally achieve their freedom.

Indeed, fathers, or mothers, in a scene repeated numerous times, would be carrying the bodies of their dead children while howling in pain, yet insisting that they would never leave their homeland.

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

South Africa’s efforts at the International Court of Justice soon galvanized other countries, mostly in the Global South.

But Netanyahu 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 illusions of grandeur and power.

100 days of war on Gaza has taught us that superior firepower no longer influences outcomes when a nation takes the collective decision of resisting.

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.

- Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is ‘Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out’. His other books include ‘My Father was a Freedom Fighter’ and ‘The Last Earth’. Baroud is a Non- resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is

Related Suggestions

The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.