Monday, April 23, 2012

Is this Israel's last Independence Day?

“Hashem* Tamid” sounds like a proper Arabic name, yet it is not. It is Hebrew for “Always Guilty,” and was the name chosen many years ago by an Israeli comedian and musician for a character he impersonated. Hashem Tamid appeared on the Israeli television while rapping in Arabic-accented Hebrew; he described how he always got innocently involved in situations that led to his being defined as guilty by Israeli Jews. While he was rapping his story, the chorus interrupted him in perfect Hebrew, and made fun of his name: “Hashem Tamid is always guilty,” they kept singing. This parody correctly represents the Israeli reality, where Palestinians—despite being the builders of most of the state—are automatically blamed for everything bad that happens. A few days from now, on April 27, Israel will celebrate Independence Day, providing us with a golden opportunity to analyze where this “you are all guilty” attitude may soon lead the Zionist state to.

Burning of Israeli Flag-Australia
Burning of Israeli Flag-Australia
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Opening this article with Hashem Tamid was natural. After all, nowadays the entire world is watching a similar saga. Benjamin Netanyahu is singing "Mahmud Ahmadinejad is always guilty!" Most of the world listens to the music without understanding the words, and applauds. Yet, Iran is guilty of nothing. Unlike Israel it doesn't have nuclear weapons. Unlike Israel, it is a signatory country of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. As such, it is close to an international agreement on its nuclear program, as described in West and Iran Step Closer to Agreement; Israel Worried. Yet, Israel keeps shouting "Wolf!" while incessantly threatening with violent attacks-including nuclear ones-on Iran, and apparently is also extra-judicially assassinating Iranians along the way. For Israel, these winds of peace flowing between Iran and the leading Western powers are worrying.

Elections 2013

In 2013, Israel faces elections. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to be the next one as well; yet, Israel's inner problems may prevent him from achieving that. Minister of Defense Ehud Barak is fighting for a place in the next Knesset, and is in a bad situation.

Within his party-the Likud-Benjamin Netanyahu would probably prevail over any other candidate. Yet, when the entire electorate votes, things may turn out being less comfortable for him. By the end of June 2011, social protests began in Israel following a sharp rise in the price of cottage cheese, a key ingredient in the local cuisine. It was the first time such widespread protests had happened. No matter how trivial this looked, once the mental barrier of Israelis forbidding protests against the government was broken, nothing could stop the following events. Shortly after, a wave of mass protests began, this time on construction issues. In Israel, tiny apartments cost lifelong mortgages that transform their takers into state-slaves. The protests were spurred following a Knesset vote approving the National Housing Committees Law, which places the authority for approving building projects in the hands of regional committees. The committees would be in the hands of the state and the large construction companies. This means no houses for the poor. Roughly 80% of the people earn less than the average salary (this is possible due to the large difference between the highest and lowest salaries) and an average salary is not enough for paying an average mortgage while eating on a daily basis. In such a way, disguised slavery was introduced into the state through a back door. I reviewed the amazing protests in Monsters in Tel Aviv. The protests reached an unusual peak on August 10, when a guillotine – symbol of the French Revolution - was placed on Rothschild Boulevard. The last is near the Rabin Square, where the protests are centered, and has become the center of a tent city housing thousands of protesters. Considering its substantial size, it is hard to believe Prime Minister Netanyahu failed to notice the protesters message. Since then, the Israeli administration succeeded in dispersing the protesters' tent city, but the resentment of the population continues. A clear sign of this is the fact that a newcomer politician, Yair Lapid (a former Channel 2 anchor), may become the second largest party in the next Knesset and a main partner in any future coalition (see Torch Sets Israel Afire). Netanyahu wobbles.

Ehud Barak’s obsession with an attack on Iran has political reasons. He is in a desperate political situation. Despite the fact that being Minister of Defense transforms him into the second most important politician in Israel, Barak is fighting for his political life. And he is losing. After winning back the leadership of the Labor party, Barak was sworn in as Minister of Defense in June 2007, as part of Prime Minister Olmert’s cabinet reshuffle. During December 2008 through January 2009, Barak led (as defense minister) Operation Cast Lead, which led to Israel being defined as a terror state. In the 2009 elections, the Labor Party he led won just 13 out of the 120 Knesset seats, making it the fourth largest party. Barak reached an agreement with Netanyahu under which Labor joined the governing coalition, and he retained his position as Defense Minister. In January 2011, Labor threatened to force Barak to leave the government, following disagreements with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policies. In reply, Barak formed a breakaway party, Atzmaut (Independence), which enabled him to maintain his loyal Labor MK faction within Netanyahu’s government. Barak’s preemptive move against the Labor party was successful on a tactical scale. He stayed in the government and in the same position. However, it was a strategic disaster. His new party has little chance of entering the next Knesset. If he is lucky, he may get the minimum possible number of Knesset members. If he is unlucky, he will stay out. In any case, even if Netanyahu—his brother in arms—wins the next elections, Barak is unlikely to get again his beloved Minister of Defense position. A party of two or three Knesset members has no chance of getting that senior position in the subsequent government.

Unless—of course—he proves himself once again as a war hero, attracting votes from IDF soldiers, especially from the reservists. This effect is well known in Israeli politics. Many years ago, Lieutenant General Rafael “Raful” Eitan, who led the First Lebanese War, entered the Knesset with a newly formed party; his name was so attractive to the military-related electorate that he got eight seats in parliament. The new party was mockingly known afterwards as “Raful and the Seven Dwarves,” because nobody remembered the names of the other seven members. Barak needs a war for this strategy to succeed; Iran may provide the perfect excuse. However, the USA thwarted an Israeli attack on Iran. Thus, Barak is desperate.

Hence, Barak and Netanyahu are in an uncomfortable situation. Beyond the situation described above, they are also fighting against each other. Netanyahu recently tried a flank-attack on Barak using his Minister of Finances, also a member of the Likud, to request a restructuring of the Minister of Defense budget practices (see War Declared on Barak). Barak answered swiftly by evacuating what became known as "The House in Hebron" (see Settler Agent 007: Hebron House Hoax). In such a way, he is portraying Netanyahu as leading a government that works against right-wing parties' interests. Since they can't formally declare war on each other, a war with Iran will benefit both of them.

Independence Day | Israel Plays with Fire

Independence Day | Israel Plays with Fire

Israel's Last Independence Day

Unluckily for Barak and Netanyahu, the USA won't allow Israel to attack Iran before the American presidential elections of November. In March 2012, U.S. President Obama convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a summit in Washington to give diplomacy a chance. This change of American attitude was welcomed in Iran. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei greeted Obama’s words that diplomacy not war was on the agenda by saying they were “an exit from delusion.” Afterwards, a statement hinting at a possible solution was issued. The Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi, said Iran would cap uranium enrichment at 20 percent, enough to drive a reactor that makes medical isotopes, but not refined enough for nuclear weapons. This may be the agreement to be achieved next month in Baghdad. If next month an agreement between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain—plus Germany) and Iran is achieved, Israel would be in a tough position with all its policies plummeting into the deepest oceans. All its rhetoric would have been rendered as motivated by its will to begin a war no matter what. Losing legitimacy in the eyes of most of its electorate—as well as the entire world—is the worst thing that can happen to a regime. The Zionists are about to reach such a point, unless something dramatic happens.

Israel is running out of options. In January 2012, a thinly veiled assassination threat was issued against American President Obama (see Yitzhak Obama). Yet, despite the dislike of Obama by Israel and Washington's Jewish lobby, Mr. Obama is resilient. Such a step would be highly dangerous and may easily backfire on Israel, especially since it is already being advertised and analyzed. Another possible option is a desperate Israeli attack on Iran after the American elections but before the Nuclear Security Summit of December, a chapter of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that will deal mainly with Israel's nuclear program. Barak and Netanyahu are cold-blooded enough to attempt such a desperate gamble in order to save their careers. If that happens, enjoy the fireworks this year, because it is Israel's last Independence Day. Such an attack would lead to an obliteration of Israel in a subsequent missiles attack, and probably to the destruction of Iran's leadership by Israel's nuclear second strike, a capability it acquired with the unbelievable help of Germany. Yet, don't worry about Barak and Netanyahu; they'll be evacuated by the American Sixth Fleet, one of whose formal tasks is the evacuation of the israeli leadership. Afterwards, from America, they will attempt to create the exile government of the Third Diaspora. Will America's Jewry follow their leadership?

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