Radical and progressive international political analysts are certain that Israel is losing the ongoing war. Israel’s military strategies are boomeranging. In times of war it is not daily counts that offer an approximation of how it is progressing, or regressing. In the final analysis, it is all about the political endgame, and who wins or loses that.

Israel is killing people in thousands, but has still not achieved a single political goal. For that matter. Israel may have not even figured what the ultimate political targets of this war are.

Not a single Palestinian has moved to The Sinai as Israel had announced as its intention. Neither will the Palestinians oblige by leaving their homes and areas of Gaza; nor will Egypt allow Israel to actualise that political design.

Egypt has its own political and demographic reasoning for disallowing Israel’s intentions. It is, therefore, obvious that Israel had miscalculated its military end goals, or made arbitrary guesses assuming its military power and political clout with its paymaster, the United States, would make their intentions workable. Egypt has its political agenda to protect.

Israel is arrogant to the point where it is convinced that it is the boss of the region. Their perception that the Arab world is an inferior lot is a total miscalculation. Israel overlooks the Arab street as well the justice seekers in the international community who have burgeoned since the October 7 assault by Hamas.

Reports suggest that Hamas had actually hatched its plan a year or more ago. It was always in the public domain. Israeli intelligence obviously knew what the plan was, but in its audaciousness, ignored the threat assuming that Hamas’ claim to its capacities to attack Israel precisely as planned was not feasible.

Hamas is massively smaller in numbers, and weaker in military capacity than Israel. Hamas fighters, however, have a weighty asset. They carry convictions which guns, drones, bombers and military superiority do not. To win a war, fighters need fervour and passion which Hamas transmit through its militants. Superior weaponry is no substitute for political values.

This is why more and more strategic analysts are convinced that Israel is clueless. At best it has a swarm of armed fighters who have hardly trained, and only know hate.

So they engage in war games and find cynical pleasure and the thrill of sharp shooting from high buildings at innocent people, notably children who are playing out on the streets, women who might be out to buy household needs, or young men. Around 25,000 of them were recently recruited. What could their motivation be other than reckless killing?

Young citizens of Israel have disobeyed orders to join the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the grounds of pacifism, antimilitarism, religious philosophy, or political disagreement with Israeli policy such as its colonisation of the West Bank. Their numbers are climbing.

Add to that there is a not-so-large, but a confident and growing peace movement that is confronting the government with a heightening degree of militancy. Even those who lost loved ones in the Hamas attack know their people are cared for better than the Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

Civil society in Israel is also a mystified lot. In just the last two years, Israel had to hold five elections until it finally elected a totally fascist alliance. That itself is grounds enough for a boycott.

No country can build a nation with policies rooted in racist-colonial-apartheid-land-grab practices. History taught the world this lesson, most recently in South Africa. The US has learned those lessons in Vietnam and elsewhere.

For 70 years or more, under the struggles against colonialism, colonists fled countries that they had occupied after seeming to be in firm control of their colonies for decades, even centuries. Only a year or so ago, the US fled Afghanistan after being unable to dislodge the Taliban which returned to rule the country. For want of moral legs, the world has always seen colonial rule around the world collapse and the coloniser scoot.

Israel has used some of the worst blackmail tactics on the Western world, notably the US, to extract colossal sums of money as aid. Through this it managed to create a competitive armament industry.

Weapons tested in each war Israel wages, see a spike in global demand for their military hardware. One of Israel’s grimy surreptitious political tactics is to market weapons certified as ‘tested-in-battle’, referring to the Palestinians’. The voracious military-industrial-complex everywhere wants guaranteed weaponry and Israel offers these in plenty.

Hamas’ ‘success’ with its attack on October 7, was something of a shock to Israel. Its Generals wonder how Hamas made that kind of military impact. Over 1,200 Israelis were killed, hundreds injured, and a few hundred taken hostage. Israel knows it goofed up big time.

The Western media preferred a tapered narrative, namely that a new war was launched by Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas appear to be resetting the terms of their political contest not to the pre-October 7 status quo, but to the 1948 one. The rundown and meagre tactics of Israel has seen Hamas realising many of its own political objectives.

To use an American phrase from the Iraq war, it was a hit of ‘shock and awe’. Israeli lethargy based on its complex of military supremacy was palpable. It brings to mind the late January, 1968, during the lunar New Year (or “Tet”) holiday, when North Vietnamese and communist Viet Cong forces launched a coordinated attack against a number of targets in South Vietnam.

Israel has to cope with a people unanimously opposing an occupation, a cruel siege, and the equivalent of a concentration camp that has housed 2.3 million people for at least 18 years. Hamas’s fighters may not be a formal army traditionally speaking. They are militant insurgent fighters drawn from among citizens and prompted by the challenges of Gaza’s everyday perils.

Henry Kissinger’s 1969 mourning over America’s defeat in Vietnam describes this idea: “We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one. We sought physical attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion. In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: The guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.”

Israel will not win this war, and this is imminent. Hamas has the edge. The people will not betray the struggle. It is finally a struggle for justice, liberation and self-esteem.

A Hamas military victory has to do with achieving long-term political outcomes. Hamas can trust in a besieged population in Gaza around it and enable its anger to even collapse the Palestinian Authority government by ensuring Palestinians see it as a feckless adjunct to Israeli military authority.

Meanwhile, Arab states are already moving firmly away from normalisation, and the Global South aligns strongly with the Palestinian cause, Europe recoils at the Israeli army’s excesses, and an American debate erupts over Israel, destroying the bipartisan support Israel has enjoyed here since the early 1970s.

Global security and geostrategy expert, Jon B Alterman, writes, “Israel’s strength allows the country to kill Palestinian civilians, destroy Palestinian infrastructure, and defy global calls for restraint. All those things advance Hamas’s war aims.”

Israel’s failure to anticipate October 7 was a political failure to understand the consequences of a violent system of oppression that leading international and Israeli human rights organisations have branded as apartheid.

Twenty years ago, former Knesset Speaker Avrum Burg warned of the inevitability of violent backlash. “It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers who are deaf both to their citizens and to their enemies. A state lacking justice cannot survive.

“A structure built on human callousness will inevitably collapse in on itself. Israel should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centres of Israeli escapism”.

By killing thousands each day, Israel is inadvertently investing in replenishing Hamas’ ranks. Hamas has even tried to nudge the ruling party in the West Bank to end Palestinian Authority (PA) security collaboration with Israel and directly confront the occupation.

For a movement dedicated to liberating entire Palestinian lands, governing Gaza seems too limited a goal. Politically, Hamas has inaugurated an agenda of ‘no return to what existed before’.

Israel has undermined Fatah among the population and pushed it in the direction of Hamas. For years, settlers protected by the IDF have attacked Palestinian villages with the aim of forcing their residents to leave and tightening Israel’s illegal grip on the occupied territory. Settlers are far from individual rogue actors; they are armed by the state and aggressively protected by the IDF and the Israeli legal system, because they are implementing state policy. Even Biden makes clear that Israel is at odds with his administration.

Israel is conscious of the potential for escalation in the West Bank. In that sense, the Israeli response has only brought the people of the West Bank and Gaza closer. The Hamas-led raid on October 7 punctured myths of Israeli invincibility and its citizens’ expectation of tranquillity even as the state seeks to choke Palestinians.

Just weeks earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was boasting that Israel had successfully “managed” the conflict to the point that Palestine no longer featured on his map of a “new Middle East.” With the Abrahamic Accords and other alliances, some Arab leaders were being enticed to embrace Israel.

October 7 served up a brutal reminder that this was untenable, and Palestinians resistance is the equivalent of its version of veto power over the efforts of others to determine their fate.

October 7 has befuddled Israeli domestic politics. Israelis are more hawkish and also distrustful of their national leadership after the colossal failure of intelligence and response. It took significant mass mobilisation against the government by the families of Israelis held captive in Gaza to achieve a pause in military action and secure a hostage-release deal.

Then there’s the war’s impact on Israel’s economy, whose growth model is based on attracting high levels of foreign direct investment to its tech sector and other export industries.

Last year’s social protest and uncertainty over the constitutional fracas was already being cited as a reason for the 68 percent year-on-year drop in FDI reported over the summer. Israel’s war, for which 360,000 reservists have been mobilised, adds a new level of shock.

Several countries in Latin America and Africa have symbolically cut ties with Israel, and the deliberate bombing of a civilian population and preventing access to shelter, food, water, and medical care has left even many of Israel’s allies aghast.

The extent of violence the West is willing to countenance against captive people in Gaza offers the Global South a stark reminder of accounts unsettled with the imperial West. And when French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly call Israel to stop “bombing babies,” Israel is in danger of losing sympathy and support even from parts of the West.

European streets are filled with tens and thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters. Israel looks like it is in self-collapse mode.

Hamas is, in fact, a multifaceted political movement which has a substantive social agenda but also subscribes to armed resistance following failures of the Oslo process and the obdurate aggression of its adversary is growing in might and cadres.

What next? Israel will keep fighting and killing until it can do no more. Right thinking people do not ask for a cease-fire from Israel as a favour. They demand an end to the illegal occupation, to racist-colonialism, to apartheid, and to a shared land which never belonged to Israel in the first place. If one were to examine National Geographic maps until 1948, they would find no mention of Israel. Just Palestine.

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy says: “Peace will not come from Israeli society. Israelis will not wake up one morning and say 'occupation is too cruel, apartheid is illegal, let's put an end to this’.”

He avers that “it will only happen if Israelis start to pay for the occupation, to be punished for the occupation. The Israeli army has been committing war crimes routinely in the occupied Palestinian territories for 55 years, not only during times of war, and the only way for the occupation to end is for the Tel Aviv government to start paying the price…

“Israel would be delighted to cleanse Gaza of the Palestinian people. The problem is that it is not ethical, not legal, and not practical at the same time. Israel has no right to do a second Nakba."

“There is no Jewish majority; there are currently about 7.5 million Jews and 7.5 million Palestinians between the river and the sea. You can't be a Jewish state when two people live under your government, under your occupation, under your regime.”

Eventually, the principle of self-determination will compel Israel to dialogue with international intervention. A military victory can bring misery to both sides. Hamas has shown that it can mobilise the region and punish Israel beyond its capacity to bear the counter-repression.

With the contagious speed with which the BDS Movement is growing, surely Israel will falter. If resistance movements in the region grow in militancy, Israel will have to repeat what happened in South Lebanon in 2001. Run before its surrender time.

Israel is losing the war. Creating Havoc is not victory. Decolonisation, Vietnam, the end of apartheid in South, the Vietnam War, and the recent exit of the US from Afghanistan are proof of this incontrovertible fact and military concept.

The oppressor will one day tire in tactics and vigour. You cannot kill Hamas and the Gazans. Hamas is an ideology, not some random programme to oppose occupation, colonisation, and racism.

Israel will never capture Palestine in the form they want it. They will lose and have, in fact, already lost it.

Ranjan Solomon is a political commentator, human rights activist, and sports enthusiast. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.