This Israel-Hamas Conflict Isn’t Quite Like All the Others

This Israel-Hamas Conflict Isn’t Quite Like All the Others
Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepts rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza towards Israel, in Gaza City, May 10, 2021 (Photo by Mohammed Talatene for dpa via AP Images).

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When videos of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system swinging into action began flooding social media platforms earlier this week, it seemed like a case of déjà vu. But there was one major difference compared to other recent episodes of rocket fire from Palestinian militants in Gaza. This time, the novelty was not the Iron Dome system and its efficacy in intercepting incoming missiles, but rather the fact that Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza were sending over massive volleys of rockets in an attempt to breach the system’s saturation point and break through its defenses.

It was hard not to see that as a metaphor for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself, which over the past five years faded in importance in Washington under the Trump administration, as well as in Arab capitals around the Middle East, where officials were eager to partner with Israel in what they saw as a more urgent regional standoff with Iran. But despite assurances from former President Donald Trump, his son-in-law and principal Middle East adviser Jared Kushner, and others, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not go away just because one side’s grievances were downgraded and ignored.

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