retiring and the designated Israeli Chiefs-of-Staff sound like
twins: both Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Yaalon insist that the next
war is inevitable. Yet another war? Yes: the re-occupation
of the West Bank has not satiated the junta's desires at all.
In fact, the on-going war on the Palestinians, with its clear
genocidal features, is no real challenge for the Generals. Using
one of the world's strongest armies to chase amateurish combatants
armed with outdated revolvers and home-made explosives is a General's
shame, not fame.
what is Israel up to? Although incitement against Iran, Iraq and even
Egypt never ceases (Hebrew Ha'aretz says [2.7] "Recent reports about Egyptian intentions
to develop nuclear weaponry WERE APPARENTLY THE RESULT OF ISRAELI
PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE and do not match intelligence information
in Jerusalem, according to a senior Israeli official"; typically,
the capitalised words were omitted in the English edition), Israel's most immediate target is undoubtedly Syria.
It All Started
1967, Israel has been holding the Syrian Golan Heights. As revealed
in a posthumous interview by Moshe Dayan,
Israel's celebrated Defence Minister of the 1967 War, this occupation
was an unprovoked act of aggression:
least 80% of the skirmishes there [prior to the War] started by
us sending a tractor to plough inside the demilitarised
zone, knowing in advance the Syrians would start shooting. If
they did not, we would tell the tractor to go on until the Syrians got nervous and did start shooting. Then we would use
cannons and later even air force.' Dayan added that the decision to occupy the Golan was taken
by PM Levi Eshkol, among other reasons, under pressure of a delegation
from the Kibbutzim [...], whose true motivation was the desire
for more land" (Yedioth Achronot, 17.12.1999).
occupied Golan has formally been annexed, settled by Israelis,
and, contrary to international legislation, Israel has been extensively exploiting its nature resources: "Mey
Eden", an Israeli-based mineral water producer, is pumping
in the occupied Golan. Typically, even the Yizchak Rabin Monument in Tel-Aviv is made of black basalt from the Syrian Heights.
polls repeatedly show that "in a referendum, 60% of Israeli
Jews would support returning the entire Golan Heights and evacuating
all the settlements there for full peace with Syria" (Yedioth
Achronot, 10.3.2000). But contrary to the prevailing myth,
there is no evidence that any Israeli PM, including Barak, was
ever ready to return the Golan to Syria. In the Shepherdstown
Protocol leaked from the latest peace talks under President Clinton,
the Syrian proposal –
"The location of the border has been agreed upon by the
parties, based upon the line of June 4th, 1967. The State of Israel will withdraw all its military forces and civilians
behind this border"
– was met by the following Israeli version:
"The location of the border has been agreed upon by the
parties, taking into account security considerations and other
considerations essential to the parties, as well as legal considerations
of both parties. The State of Israel will re-deploy all its military forces behind this border."
Barak's "generous offer" to Syria offered no withdrawal but just "redeployment"; no eviction
of Israeli civilians; and did not even mention the 1967 border.
(Document published in Ha'aretz, 13.1.2000).
with Syria – Why?
the Israeli-Syrian cease-fire line has been Israel's most quiet
border since the 1973 war: not a single shot in almost thirty
years. Since Israel withdrew from Lebanon two years ago, the Lebanese
border has been fairly quiet too. There is limited fighting in
a disputed small piece of land that Israel holds, probably just
to keep the border warm (how else can one explain Israel's insistence
to keep this disputed area, on the absurd grounds that it wasn't
occupied from Lebanon but from Syria?), and the flak fired by
the Hezbollah – often portrayed as a potential casus belli – is
provoked by repeated Israeli military flights in Lebanese air
drop the "terrorism" demagoguery. Sure, Hezbollah
is "a terrorist group". It holds one Israeli civilian and several
soldiers hostage, and it used to bomb Israeli civilians
and civil infrastructure. But Israel too has been holding several
Lebanese citizens hostage for years, it has terrorised south Lebanon for decades, bombed Lebanese civilians,
turned up to half a million of them into refugees, repeatedly
destroyed Lebanon's civil infrastructure, and breaches Lebanese
sovereignty on a regular basis.)
in the present quiet atmosphere, why go to war? The answer seems
to be part of the logic of the New World Order. In the Cold War period, conflicts were contained by balance
of power and mutual deterrence. The ABM Treaty between the US and the Soviet Union was a good example.
You didn't have to destroy your enemy: it was enough to make sure
he had no interest to attack you. With the collapse of the Eastern
Block and the emergence of the US as the sole super-power, the rules have changed. The
New World Order rejects the idea of balance of power: every threat
should be physically eliminated, and reducing whole nations to
dust is not too high a price. Only military forces that serve
as proxies of the US are allowed to exist. All other forces should be destroyed.
Not negotiations, but dictates are the means; not hegemony, but
absolute control is the end. Thus, power-intoxicated governments
gamble away public money in the lubricated roulette of the booming
is following the example of its American patron. Even though Hezbollah
has been a reliable partner for agreements based on mutual deterrence,
the mere fact that it possesses missiles that can reach strategic
targets in northern Israel is intolerable for Israel. Yes: for
the very Israel that now boasts
a "capability to launch, by means of a missile, a payload to
any location on the face of the earth" (Ha'aretz, 26.6).
Obviously, the existence of a rather strong Syrian army cannot
be tolerated as well, no matter how unlikely it is to attack Israel.
If Syria does not act as an Israeli proxy and dismantle the Hezbollah,
it should be destroyed.
with Syria – When?
Aronson, writing for the Los Angeles Times (21.6), warns: "For the first
time since then-Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, under a benevolent
American eye, led Israel's star-crossed invasion of Lebanon in
1982, there are growing indications that a US president has given
Israel a green light to attack targets on Syrian soil if the on-again-off-again
battle between Israel and Hezbollah intensifies."
Alex Fishman of Yedioth Achronot (28.6) believes that "the political echelon does
not want to open the northern file as long as the Palestinian
file has not been closed [...] When the Americans
launch part II of their war on terror – against the Iraqi regime
– Israel will pay its share."
am not sure Israel will wait that long. As Geoffrey Aronson
says: "Prime Minister Sharon's government did, indeed, contemplate
such a strike this year. According to Eyal
Zisser, an Israeli analyst, hostilities between
Israel and Hezbollah failed to trigger war
in April not because of American opposition but because Sharon has learned that precipitous military action without
a broad public consensus is a recipe for defeat."
War with Syria – How?
it is difficult to predict what exactly the junta has in mind,
there are some hints.
"This week, the Head of the Military Intelligence Agency
held an obscure speech in the Knesset's Committee for Security
and Foreign Affairs, saying Israel was going to give Syria a hit of a totally different kind." (Ofer Shelach,
"The days in which Israel was confining itself to hitting power generators in
Beirut and a few Syrian radar stations are over. In coping
with the threat, only a massive punitive operation will do." Alex Fishman, Yedioth Achronot,
New World Order now enables the US and its allies to reduce peoples
to dust. For the richest nation on earth, even cutting food supply
is not out of range. Noam Chomsky, in his 911,
quotes the New York Times of September 16th:
"Washington has also demanded [from Pakistan] a cutoff of fuel
supplies [...] and the elimination of truck convoys that provide
much of the food and other supplies to Afghanistan's civilian
World War II, one of the plans considered by the Allies was to
send Germany after the war, as a punitive measure, back to the
Middle Ages. It was ruled out for fear that it might push Germany
to the Soviets. There is no such danger nowadays. In the New World
Order, Sharon is reported to have told Colin Powell
that Israel might act "in a way that would send Syria
back to the Stone Age". (Shimon Shiffer, Yedioth Achronot,
7.6) And it might happen very soon.