In talking on Dan Senor's podcast (also #344 on Sam Harris' 'Making Sense') Douglas Murray, usually an intelligent commentator whether or not you agree with him, made a claim which is at best flawed. He said international opinion does not allow Israel to win its wars.

Now, it seems clear enough that in the particular case of Gaza 'winning' or 'success' would be removing Hamas' military capability, including to fire into Israel. But what does winning mean for Israel in the wider context? Frankly, I doubt that annexation of the West Bank and then a 'Greater Israel' would afford security to the Jews, especially in the long term. If Murray does not mean that, what does he mean? There is very good reason to say a new - and moderate - Palestinian leadership is essential for any settlement, but that sounds like political progress rather than winning a war.

A further point in general. If I understood Murray correctly, he was assuming wars necessarily mean a clear winner and loser. That is not always the case; the Thirty Years War in the 17th century and the Korean War of 1950-3 ended by solidifying separate regional powers with neither winning over the other. 

Murray is on stronger ground when he condemns the Western intelligentsia - or marchers chanting 'from the river to the sea'. In any case, the prospects for 2024 suggest a common political theme between Ukraine and Gaza. That of European and Middle Eastern states deciding more for themselves and leaving (potentially isolationist) Americans in the background. 

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