The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been around for many years. The conflict between the Jews and the Muslims went back way even longer. As a race and as a different religion, these 2 factions has been at war for the longest time. I will not go too deep into the history between the 2, but will talk about the recent war.
Palestine and Israel has perpetual conflicts in the current times. Skirmishes at the borders, rockets flying here and there are nothing but a common sight. People die at times, rockets from Hamas were taken down by the Iron Dome. However, in the daybreak of 07 October 2023, a Saturday morning when everyone is happily sleeping in for the weekend, Hamas launched a multi-front attack. Rockets rained down on different parts of Israel, and militant forces entered Israel by land, air and sea.
It is war.
The Failure Of The Iron Dome
War is different from armed conflicts. War is an all-out offensive with the whole country’s resources on the line, with citizens’ lives as sacrifices and everything else in the country at stake – territory, resources, reputation, future etc. War is also costly. Every tank, rocket, grenade, assault rifle, bullet, knife, first aid kit cost money. Unlike what we see on television, people do not make the decision to go to war easily, especially for a country like Palestine fighting a technologically and financially superior country like Israel.
The Iron Dome of Israel could usually defend against the offensive of Palestine. However, this time the sheer number of rockets exceeded the capacity of the Iron Dome. The Iron Dome is a ground-to-air defence system where it intercepts potential threats in the air, such as rockets. It is a technologically advance system which works well for them. There is however a critical issue – it can be cracked by brute force. This flaw was never really an issue because Palestine simply could not muster enough weaponry to exploit this particular flaw.
However on 07 October 2023, in a span of 20 minutes, more than 5000 rockets flew down on Israel, exceeding the capacity of the Iron Dome. The rockets fell into the soil of Israel. The Palestine militants stormed in. Question is: Where did Palestine suddenly get so much weapons and ammunition? The answer would be obviously Palestine has the backing to do so. Not only does the backer provides enough weaponry and ammunition, but it certainly also gave Palestine enough reason to risk the country in their attempt to take down Israel.
The next logical question would be to ask: Who benefits from all these the most?
First guess would be the US. Israel is the only non-Islamic country in the Middle East, surrounded by enemies. But Israel is also the ally of US in a region which hates the US with a passion. With the start of the war, the US President Joe Biden vowed ‘rock solid’ support for Israel. Many may think that aid comes free. It may be free on paper at times, but it definitely cost a lot to the receiving country in reality. Food aid to the African nations? Let me take your metals and minerals. Military aid to Ukraine? Their core resources are used to be offered in exchange.
Aid is not free. And the war could be used as a reason for US to enter the Middle East again after Trump withdrew from Afghanistan, effectively destroying the US’ efforts to control the region. Weapons sales, potential takeover of Israel core resources and re-entry into the Middle East again. These 3 seems like a good deal for the US, but a far-fetched one this time.
Because the US was trying hard to broker a normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel. With the deal made between the boss of the Muslim world in the Middle East and the oddball of the region, the US could score heavily on weapon sales, on the diplomatic front and on the control of Middle East. This time, US has opted for peace.
My conclusion for US this time is that US did not want the war, but will take the second best route and capitalise on it to further advance its objective while preventing others to achieve theirs.
Hamas is backed by Iran. Palestine itself is dying. It has no capability to fight on its own without backing. Iran has been fighting to be the top boss with Saudi Arabia for the longest time without success because Saudi Arabia was backed by US while Iran was struggling on its own due to the sanctions, much like North Korea. That is why Palestine has always only managed to be a disturbance to Israel, but nothing more. Iran could not afford Palestine to go for an all-out war with Israel – not on the weaponry required to commence the war, nor the consequences of it.
But this war has violently halted the progress of the Saudi-Israel normalization, which if succeeded is bad news for Iran.
But Iran itself as we know do not have the resources to go to war either. But Iran has recently got its own backing too – China.
Russia was the only other main player in the Middle East after the US for similar reasons. The Middle East is not only rich in oil, but also is a very good geographical location. Asia to the East, Europe to the North-West, Africa to the South-West. The value of establishing a strong presence there is huge. But Russia has been deeply impacted by its own war, and has been giving out concessions to China in order to get China’s support. One of the concessions it has given was in Middle East.
That is why you see in recent years China has made much progress in Middle East. For example, China is now an important friend of Iran. China brokered a peace talk between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China held a 3-way joint exercise with Iran and Russia. The Chinese RMB is gradually used as a currency for trade settlement in Iran.
China wants a piece of cake in the Middle East. If the US chooses Saudi Arabia at the cost of Iran, China will woo Iran over.
Bosses of triads seldom entered a physical fight, even though they are always involved in conflicts. Bosses ask their underlings to fight. Because it is ugly for a boss of a high status to enter the physical fight himself. In return for a victory, the mafia boss will reward the underling either with money or with territory. This is similar to international politics. The US is a special case because it always fight far away from its home, in other people’s lands. But the US also have its fair share of proxy wars.
China wants a piece of Middle East, but it also wants to be a good guy. It appears when there is peace talks and all, but if dirty things need to be done, it goes behind the scenes and control its puppets. China provides Iran with the resources, with which it gets transferred to Palestine. With this war, China is the biggest beneficiary. The US brokered deal will fall apart, and the chaos will mean that the smaller countries have no choice but to rely on their behind-the-scenes bosses for support.
China it seems, has begun to walk the path of the US. Human nature is always the same, and everything is a cycle. All of us eventually become the person we once despised.
World War 3
One thing we need to be careful of is World War 3. There is suppression when only 1 country is in absolute power. But when the second guy comes up and wishes to be number 1, conflict arises. When both number 1 and number 2 do not mind resorting to violence, smaller countries will first fight for them as their underlings, but gradually as the scale expands on different fronts, then the possibility of a world war begins to emerge.
Russia is already in a war. The US and China’s tensions have been escalating. Africa has been rising up against France. Europe is in a mess. The recent years have been a turmoil. What can we do? We cannot influence international politics. Naturally when a world war breaks out, all our efforts in life will most likely go to waste. Even my goals of financial freedom will be likely to burst like a bubble in an instant. We do not know what will happen, nor can we do much.
But there are 2 things we can do. The first is to buy some gold. In a world war, countries fall and currencies get replaced by new ones. But gold is the only standard which stands throughout time. Buy some physical gold, not for investment or profit purposes, but solely for asset preservation. If your country falls, whatever you have will be looted. But if your country did not fall, your gold will preserve your hard work of your past years.
The second thing to do is to diversify your assets. There is no need to keep all your money and assets in a single country. Diversify them in terms of asset type and location. For example, houses in some countries, cash savings in others. This of course only applies when you are nearing or have already achieved financial freedom, else your money will be too little to diversify using this method.
War is inevitable in the history and future of mankind. For 5000 years we have progressed as a civilisation and in technology, but human nature has always been the same. Mankind has always repeated history because man never change. I do not hope for war. I would rather hear children screaming at the playground on a peaceful Saturday morning than to hear bombs dropping in the middle of the night.
But no matter what we think, we cannot impact anything at all. All we can do is to take care of ourselves. Buy some gold as insurance. Better to be wrong and lose a little money on insurance, than to need it and not have it.