February 22, 2024

With the foresight of a prophet and a down-to-earth way of expressing ideas, George W. Bush, a former US President, foresaw the challenging diplomatic situation Israel would soon face after the October 7 attacks. “We need to support Israel unequivocally. This is an unprovoked attack by terrorist individuals who are willing to kill innocent people to achieve their objectives,” he stated. “Don’t be surprised if Israel does whatever it takes to defend itself, and it’s going to be a grim situation for a while.”

He further explained, “There is going to be fatigue. You watch, the world is going to say, ‘Alright, let’s negotiate. Israel must negotiate.’ They are not going to negotiate. These people [Hamas] have shown their true colors. They want to kill as many Israelis as they can, and engaging in negotiations with killers is not an option for the elected government of Israel. We need to remain resolute, but it won’t take long for people to start saying, ‘this has been going on for too long; there must be a way to resolve this through negotiations; both sides are to blame.’ My view is one side is responsible, and it’s not Israel.”

French President Emmanuel Macron initially seemed to share this clarity. However, his position appeared to change significantly in a recent BBC interview, where he shifted the blame to Israel, despite acknowledging Israel’s right to self-defense. Macron called for a ceasefire, arguing that it is impossible to fight terrorism by killing innocent civilians.

There are some inherent flaws in that statement. First, there is a contradiction between supporting Israel’s right to protect itself and calling for a ceasefire, which would allow Hamas to continue its attacks. Secondly, Macron seemed to imply that Israel was intentionally targeting civilians, overlooking the fact that Hamas uses civilians as shields.

This example reflects the challenges Israel is facing as some world leaders question the legitimacy of its actions against Hamas. While some have taken a critical stance, others have shown support for Israel. The UK Defense Minister, Grant Shapps, defended Israel’s actions and pointed out the difficulties in fighting terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties.

While some reports indicate a shift in Western attitudes towards Israel’s actions, there is still diversity in opinion within these nations. As the situation unfolds, the diplomatic space available for Israel seems to be narrowing, but some leaders maintain a supportive stance, acknowledging the complexity of the matter.