by Raffaele Crocco

These 182 days have been marked by a massacre, not a war, in the skies and on the ground of the Gaza Strip. World indignation grows, hand in hand with the inability of governments to stop Israel, despite the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire. Netanyahu has not abandoned the idea of a “final solution”, but there is now a real risk of Israel’s isolation. What shook public opinion was the senseless murder of seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen organisation. They were distributing meals to Palestinians. The Israeli army targeted them “systematically, bombing all their cars one by one”. This was denounced by the founder of the NGO, Jose Andres, who rejected the apology of Tel Aviv’s military and did not accept Netanyahu’s cold justification: “A mistake”, he said, “it happens in war”. The US government was outraged by the death of the operators, as was Australia.

Within the framework of the world’s risk alliances, Israel is in danger of becoming an “uncontrollable splinter”, capable of widening the scope of the confrontation. This is demonstrated by the decision of the cynical head of the Israeli government to launch an air strike on Damascus, Syria, again carefully avoiding any respect for the sovereignty of others. Iran has promised a tough military response and tensions in the region are running high. Meanwhile, the Israeli army’s actions continue, and the pressure on the fleeing population is constant. Under these conditions, it is difficult to imagine an end to the carnage. Something new could come from Israeli domestic politics. The head of government seems to be in trouble. The war minister, Benny Gantz, has officially called for early elections in September. Likud, Netanyahu’s party’s response was lapidary: “We will continue with this government until the military objectives are achieved.”

Not too far away, we can read other chapters of this planetary clash between “pro-Americans” and “antagonists”. In the days leading up to its seventy-fifth birthday, NATO gathered to discuss the growing difficulties of the Ukrainian army in the face of the Russian war machine. Observers claim that Kyiv’s defences could collapse at any moment.  That would be the end of any hope of victory that the Atlantic alliance itself has nurtured in recent months. A new start is being attempted. The outgoing secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, explained this by proposing, among other things, a “long-term programmable support facility for Ukraine”. This is a $100 billion fund to speed up arms procurement. “It is not for their security, but for ours,” Stoltenberg added. No final decisions have been taken, but the Alliance is constantly preparing for a possible and imagined European war against Moscow. In Romania, for example, work has begun on a new NATO base. It will be built near Constanta and will be the largest in Europe. Covering some 2,800 hectares, it will house up to 10,000 military personnel, their families and essential support staff. It will cost at least €2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, there is also confrontation at sea. During the week, Russian ships were sighted in the Sicilian Channel off Pantelleria. They were the Ivan Gren, an amphibious warship, the Alexander Otrakovsky and the tanker Kola. It was a normal and planned cruise, bound for Russian bases in Syria. But the alarm was immediately raised. Further out in the Pacific, political-military alliances are being strengthened. The UK and Australia have signed an agreement to share and exchange bases, vehicles and troops. In the Red Sea, meanwhile, chaos reigns. The Yemeni Houthis attacked the Chinese cargo ship Huang Pu last week, despite always saying they would not attack Beijing’s ships. In fact, there was supposed to be an agreement between the Houthis, Russia and China for the safety of the ships. Somehow it fell through. The economic damage of the Houthi action is becoming significant. According to analysts, for example, 84% of the automotive industry has suffered direct damage as a result of the naval blockade of the Red Sea. And the situation is set to worsen in the coming weeks.