by Paul Larudee 

The future always surprises us to some degree. But we make plans, anyway, based on our projections, and we adjust them when our predictions are at least partially wrong, which they always are, because they make assumptions based upon things that we take for granted, such as our health and that meteors and tsunamis will not disrupt those plans. Bearing that in mind, I will make some predictions for the immediate future of Gaza and Israel, and their relationships with the rest of the world. I’m sorry if it is not a happy picture.

First, I predict with sadness and disgust that the remaining Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza will be killed or expelled, mostly the former, despite all our efforts. The main reason is that, Joe Biden, as recently described by Aaron David Miller (Washington Post, March 14, 2024), sees no compelling alternative for Israel that doesn’t include doing grievous harm to Palestinian civilians. Properly translated, this means the greatest genocide since WWII. If this is an accurate picture of the thinking of the Biden administration, there can be little doubt that the US will continue to supply Israel with the means to make the population of Gaza disappear. The option of denying those means to Israel is simply unthinkable to Joe and his government. It might mean giving up their comfortable and prestigious retirement, future presidential libraries and all.

Joe Biden is not Dwight D. Eisenhower, nor John Kennedy, nor even Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter. We no longer have a president with the guts or the acumen to defy anyone, least of all the Zionist Lobby, and we have no prospect of ever having such a person in the White House in the foreseeable future. Donald Trump? He needs the Israel Lobby even more than Biden, and if they weren’t comfortable with him, they would have sabotaged his candidacy a long time ago. Both of them have the same morals as Netanyahu. I rest my case.

A ceasefire? I cannot imagine it. The week-long November pause worked because neither side gave up too much strategically and both benefited politically. There is no similar bargain on the horizon. If Hamas gives up all its captives, it has nothing left to trade. That’s why the Hamas proposal is in three stages, with the final stage being an independent Palestinian state with the right to defend itself, and with multilateral guarantees for its security and independence.

That is, of course, totally unacceptable to Israel, and they said so. For them, the “occupied territories” are more accurately called “greater Israel”, which has not yet been sufficiently settled by Zionist Jews to justify extending the official borders to encompass it. Too many non-Jews. They will address that problem in its turn, but for now the priority is to empty Gaza. So much for the two-state solution, which Israel embraced as long as all they had to do was sit at a negotiations table, keep the deal just out of reach and blame the Palestinians for its failure. Now they’re having none of it.

When will Israel’s genocide end, and what will the result look like? First, the Palestinian population in Gaza will have fallen by at least 2 million – as close as possible to zero, the result of both murder and expulsion, as noted earlier. The orphaned children will be far fewer than the dead ones, but those who survive will be shipped to western countries for adoption, so that they will lose their names and their cultural heritage. But I’m sure they will have loving parents and become well-adjusted western citizens.

As for Israel, its world has been changing since October 7th. First, it is losing – and will continue to lose – its liberal population. It began years ago, but Israel’s population has declined by roughly 10 percent since October 7th, 2023, in parallel with the decline in the population of Gaza, but by choice instead of genocide. The fanatics with genocidal intentions are not the ones leaving, mostly the ones who are more in keeping with traditional Jewish values of being a light unto the nations – or at least not a source of darkness. The emigrants are mainly those who are giving up on the Zionist project. They are not the only ones. American and other western Jews are losing their appetite for the Zionist menu, which allows us to maintain our respect for integrity.

This, of course, means that Israel will be far more isolated than previously, both from the Jewish diaspora and from the non-Jewish communities that previously supported Israel. It’s amazing how a little thing like genocide can cause your friends to turn on you. I suspect that Israeli products, institutions, and culture will be shunned by much of the world. No more trips to Israel as prizes on television game shows.

I have no doubt that Gaza will be annexed to Israel, and I imagine that developers will create Zionist dream communities along the coast, on top of the graves and rubble of their victims. But there might be fewer new immigrants than they might have hoped for. Israel’s future, if it has one, will be as a violent fortress for Zionist exclusivism, supported by a slowly shrinking world Zionist network and their allies, using the resources of other countries in much the same way that Israel is using  the United States today, and enriching those individuals and interests that cooperate with them.

I leave it to you to decide if this sounds like a strategy for success.

Paul Larudee is a retired academic and current administrator of a nonprofit human rights and humanitarian aid organization. Read other articles by Paul.