Stephen Lendman, rinf.com |
American crimes of war and against humanity perhaps exceed all other rogue states in history combined.
Pound-for-pound, however, Israeli lawlessness matches the world’s worst. Long ago, it graduated from a regional menace to a global one.
It enforces barbaric occupation harshness. Its war machine threatens and attacks neighbors. It gets away with murder because world powers don’t intervene to stop it.
It wages intermittent war on Gaza. It murders innocent civilians. It uses illegal depleted uranium, chemical and other weapons. Nuclear missiles and bombs are stockpiled. It plans more war now.
Gazans know they’re vulnerable to Cast Lead 2.0. Iran long ago prepared to defend itself if attacked. Rogue Israeli coalition partner unity makes it more likely. Netanyahu and Lieberman represent Israel’s worst. They’re out-of-control warmongers.
Netanyahu heads Israel’s most extremist ever government. He exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous hardline leaders. He’s unfit to serve. He spurns democratic values. He deplores peace. He menacingly threatens war.
Lieberman is an ultranationalist extremist. He represents the worst of Israel’s lunatic fringe. Critics call him an embarrassment to legitimate government.
He’s a modern-day Kananist. Kahane headed Israel’s racist Kach Party. In 1988, Israel banned it. It was too extreme to tolerate. In his youth, Lieberman was a Kach Party member. He remains true to its ideological roots.
Israel under Netanyahu/Lieberman assures institutionalized racism in its worst form. Arab hatred is promoted. Rule of law principles and other democratic values are spurned. War for regional dominance is prioritized.
As long as these rogues govern Israel, Palestinians face horrific persecution short of total expulsion or outright extermination. But those possibilities can’t be ruled out.
Other regional states must brace for war. Even if not attacked directly, it may spill across their borders destructively.
On October 25, Haaretz headlined “Netanyahu, Lieberman to unify parties ahead of upcoming Israeli elections,” saying:
“The planned unification could have a far-reaching influence on the makeup of Israel’s next government….” Perhaps other like-minded parties will join them.
Netanyahu may have a “super-party” in mind too strong to unseat. He’ll have more latitude to further his destructive, hardline agenda. Lieberman will be his second in command. Together they menace Arabs, Jews, and others alike.
Netanyahu heads Likud. It’s hardline, anti-democratic, racist and militant. Founded in 1973, it united the right wing revisionist Herut party with Gahal and centrist Zionist parties. Its former prime ministers included Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, Netanyahu during his 1996 – 1999 tenure), and Ariel Sharon.
In 1999, Lieberman founded Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home). It’s ultranationalist and revisionist Zionist. It represents the worst of Israel’s hardline right wing.
Uniting these two parties burnishes Israel’s credentials as an out-of-control menacing rogue state. Not all Likudniks are pleased. Haaretz quoted an unnamed senior party official saying:
“What does Netanyahu think? That he can dictate to us who we run with? We’re repulsed by this partnership with Lieberman. I don’t want to run with a person like (him), with the kind of values he stands for.”
Partnered with Lieberman, Likud will be “committed to advancing such controversial issues as the loyalty-citizenship bills….Why is Netanyahu going for this….It’s a very problematic move.”
Most Likudniks are hardline. They welcome the move or at least don’t object. Perhaps they see it as a way for super-party rule. Their own electoral chances may improve. At least they hope so.
On October 26, Haaretz headlined “With Lieberman at his side, Netanyahu’s war cabinet is on a one-way track to Iran,” saying:
Uniting these rogues “obligates the left-wing and centrist parties to offer an ideological and practical alternative….”
Both men don’t hide their intentions. They prioritize preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even though they know Tehran has no program to obtain them.
Admitting it would undermine their plan to remove their main regional rival. Bogusly calling Iran an existential threat is red herring cover to enlist support for war.
Likud/Yisrael Beiteinu unity may “dissolve any domestic opposition to war, since after the election, Netanyahu will be able to argue that he received a mandate from the people to act as he sees fit.”
Once US elections decide who’ll be president, and which side of America’s duopoly will be strongest, getting America on board will be prioritized.
“In announcing the merger Thursday, Netanyahu has finally renounced his attempt to portray himself as a centrist….” With Lieberman as number two and potential heir, Likud will be more radicalized and aggressive than ever.
Expect like-minded extremists to fill top cabinet posts. Anti-war officials will be spurned. Domestic policy will also be hardened. Tougher neoliberal measures may follow.
Remaining checks and balances may disappear. Crackdowns will target resisters. Expect the worst. It’s likely coming. October US/Israeli war games may or may not signal war.
They’re allegedly intended to counter potential Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah, and/or Hamas attacks even though none would occur except defensively in response to Israeli and/or US aggression.
Washington often holds joint exercises. Doing so doesn’t automatically signal war. Nonetheless, the possibility against Iran is real. Plans are longstanding. Updates are made strategically. Israel readies its own. It also prepared for homeland emergencies.
Perhaps it won’t be long before it’s known whether something imminent is planned. Regime change plans are longstanding. Israel wants a regional rival removed. Washington wants unchallenged dominance.
Virtually everything short of war was thrown at Iran unsuccessfully. War is the final option.
Stepped up Israeli attacks on Gaza, bombing a Khartoum weapons plant allegedly producing Shehab missiles for Iran, and very likely killing intelligence head of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces, General Wissam al-Hasan, aren’t good signs.
Regional war games combined with domestic emergency preparations increase tensions. They weren’t eased by Netanyahu’s comments about attacking Gaza, saying:
“Today we engaged in exchanges against terrorist aggression that comes from our southern border in Gaza, but it actually comes from Iran and a whole terror network that is supporting these attacks.”
He’s itching for war. He wants Washington and Israel acting jointly. Let America lead, and he’ll ride shotgun. Perhaps post-November 6, he’ll get what he wants.
It depends on whether Obama or Romney feel the same way. Nothing’s known for sure, but signs look ominous. Brace for the worst.
A Final Comment
On October 25, Reuters headlined “Iran filling nuclear bunker with centrifuges – diplomats,” saying:
“Enrichment takes Iran closer to potential bomb material.” Western officials claim it’s “potentially boosting its capacity to make weapons-grade uranium if it chooses to do so.”
Activities are concentrated at its fortified Fordo plant. One unnamed diplomat said “I understand that they have installed all the centrifuges there.” Another said piping and other preparations must be completed to operate them.
Reuters cited nuclear experts Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson saying “Iran may be able to accumulate up to four ‘significant quantities’ of weapons-grade uranium – each sufficient for one bomb – in as little as nine months from now.”
Even though it’s well-known that Iran has no ongoing nuclear weapons program, these, similar comments, and inflammatory headlines irresponsibly heighten tensions for war.
Separately, Ship to Gaza Sweden (Estelle) activists arrived home safely. Israeli commandos lawlessly interdicted their humanitarian mission in international waters.
Participants and crew were tasered multiple times. Some suffered burns and bruises. Others reported being handcuffed and dragged. Everyone was treated harshly.
They were imprisoned for several days. Their vessel, humanitarian cargo, and personal possessions were confiscated. Three Israeli citizens on board potentially may be charged with attempting to breach Gaza’s siege or violating Israel’s 1954 infiltration law.
Home in Canada, former parliamentarian and retired United Church Minister Jim Manly spoke publicly for the first time.
He’s glad to be back home, he said. He thanked everyone who expressed support. He called it “a privilege to be on the Finnish sailing ship, Estelle, as the representative of the Canadian Boat to Gaza and Gaza’s Ark movement and it was good to know that the members of that movement were working night and day to make our voyage a success.”
He explained Israel’s attack and violent treatment of activists on board. He called what happened an “act of piracy.” Israeli commandos “celebrated (it) by taking down the flag of Finland and running up the Israeli flag.”
He said it “replaced the skull and cross bones” for these type Israeli missions. “This pirate action dishonours the Israeli flag.”
It “must make many humanitarian Israelis deeply ashamed of their country. We were taken prisoner, brought into Ashdod, interrogated and taken to prison for three days before being deported for ‘having entered Israel illegally.’ ”
In prison, we “were subjected to indignities,” he added. “We need to put things in perspective. The real story is not our arrest, not even the hijacking of the Estelle in international waters. The real story concerns the death dealing chokehold that Israel holds over the people of Gaza.”
“The voyage of the Estelle and my participation in it was our attempt to rouse the peoples of the world to take action against this evil and to send a message of hope and solidarity to the Palestinian peoples of Gaza letting them know that they are not forgotten.”
“The blockade of Gaza has not yet been lifted, but be assured that we will continue our efforts until it has been and the Palestinian peoples can once again live with freedom and dignity.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.