The trials of Jewish-American political scientist Norman Finkelstein.
fearing an imminent war, Netanyahu seeks more stable government
Predicting future news is a risky business; yet, this time I am walking on thick ice: Israel will announce in the next weeks early elections to the Knesset. Israel being a parliamentary regime, means that a new government will probably run the country by the end of this year. The announcement is not official yet, but Reuven Rivlin (the Knesset Speaker, see Rivlin: On a Good Pope, a Bad Politician and an Evil General) said yesterday during the inauguration of the Knesset’s summer 2012 sitting: “It seems this is the Knesset’s last session, since the entire country—coalition and opposition—agree that early elections are good, so that the next Knesset will be able to take harsh decisions for the life of our people,” he said. Almost formalizing this informal statement, Netanyahu added that the issue of early elections “would be clarified soon.”
The regular elections process was scheduled to take place in late 2013, but that timing was not good for Netanyahu’s government. The time slot being considered for the early elections runs from the end of August to the beginning of November, which is when the United States will be holding presidential elections. In the Israeli reality, the best timing would be before the three-week fall holidays, which begins with Rosh Hashanah on September 17, and ends with Simhat Torah on October 8. The holidays will allow extra-time in the coalitional talks that would precede the establishment of the next government. If everything goes as apparently planned, the day of the presidential elections in the USA will be witnessed by a newly installed government in Israel. The correlation with the American presidential elections is not a coincidence; Israel will be in a tough situation after them—no matter who the winner is—and Netanyahu prefers to reach that point with a stable government which is not shadowed by coming elections.
War in December?
Obama is not popular in Israel. Two main issues contribute to that. One is the controversial American attitude towards the Israeli nuclear program in recent years. Beyond limitations on workers of Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona and the center itself, President Obama has postponed a Middle East conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, while Israel was expecting its complete cancellation (see Hiroshima, Tel Aviv: The December 2012 NPT Conference for a review of the issue). Moreover, President Obama thwarted Israel’s war on Iran, at least until the November 2012 presidential elections. Israel got in exchange generous funding for its Iron Dome offensive anti-missiles system, but that is not good enough. For the Zionists, “no war” means “no money.” Ehud Barak is unlikely to forgive Obama this brutish intervention on his personal profits (see USA Thwarts Israeli Attack on Iran).
This attitude is clear; Obama was never portrayed favorably in the state-backed Hebrew media. The Israeli administration wants the USA to change its position on at least two key issues regarding Israel’s nuclear program. On the other hand, Romney is a personal friend of Israel’s Prime Minister, and has already promised “he would not make any significant policy decisions about Israel without consulting Mr. Netanyahu.” Game is over. Israel supports Romney (see Obama’s End? Israel Supports Romney). Yet, no matter who wins in America, after the elections Israel will be forced to take decisions regarding Iran.
When the main talk in Israel’s media is an imminent aggressive attack on Iran, the upcoming Nuclear Security Summit of December is not a comfortable option for the Zionist regime, especially since its main topic will be Israel’s aggressive nuclear program. The Israeli efforts to defer the conference were opened in the talks with the representative of the Finnish government, and are likely to intensify in the coming months. Israel claims that the conference should not be held until regimes in the region, particularly in Egypt and Syria, stabilize. This is highly ironic, considering Israel had a key role in destabilizing Syria (see Slicing Syria). Israel’s chances to cancel the summit are slim. The decision to proceed with the conference was incorporated in an agreement document issued by the 2010 conference. The U.S. State Department expressed “deep regret” about it, and Israel protested its inclusion; but the document was not repealed. Israel is still repeating its mantra, claiming that it would not sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons until a comprehensive Arab-Israel peace deal is in place.
If 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 in their Baghdad meeting of May 2012, Israel will 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 (see West and Iran Step Closer to Agreement; Israel Worried. In this situation, the Knesset’s early elections are a reorganizational step attempting to assure better capabilities to answer what would probably be a harsh period.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu | Peace as an Hoax
Kissinger was right!
A few readers approached me with a similar complaint. According to them, several of my analyses on Israel emphasize inner Jewish Wars, while barely mentioning international players. “What is David Cameron’s position on this,” they would ask, eager to know what the UK is about to do about Israel’s eternal transgressions. Henry Kissinger probably is not among my readers; but if he were, he would agree with me. Many years ago he said that Israeli politics are almost exclusively internal. Everything must be analyzed through the magnifying lenses of the Jewish Wars, other issues are secondary. One of the most dramatic instances of this principle was the Altalena Affair. In the 1940s, Ben Gurion and Begin fought over arms and ammunition smuggled by the Irgun aboard the Altalena. Ben Gurion feared the creation of a Fifth Column within the IDF, loyal to Begin rather than to the chain of command leading to Ben Gurion. Thus, he issued an ultimatum to the ship. The taunt was refused, and the subsequent armed conflict between the two forces led to the Altalena’s sinking and the death of sixteen Irgun and three IDF men. Nothing else mattered to all involved; neither the ongoing war with Arab countries nor the shaky international position of Ben Gurion’s fiefdom. The only thing that counted was the Ben Gurion-Begin war. Even now, mentioning the event in Israeli circles is considered bad taste.
Kissinger was right. Regardless of the international political situation faced by Netanyahu’s government, his concern is mainly internal. After all, he has a government capable of making decisions, especially if he declares an emergency situation and calls for a “unity government” encompassing all Zionist parties. This has been done in the past. Benjamin Netanyahu is a political predator and he smells blood in the air. There is a real opportunity for him to destroy two political enemies and to almost double his party’s strength at once. For the first time since Ariel Sharon founded Kadima—the Knesset’s largest party—the Knesset may feature after the upcoming elections a main party which is large enough to run a stable government.
In Upheaval in Ariel Sharon’s Party I reported on the recent change in the leadership of Kadima. Tzipi Livni’s defeat was so great that today, May 1, she quit the Knesset. Shaul Mofaz—who leads the party—already announced that his party is not ready for the elections. Kadima may lose not only its position as the largest party. Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman—leader of Yisrael Beiteinu—already announced his party will be the second largest after the Likud following the next elections.
Despite the fact that being Minister of Defense transforms him into the second most important politician in Israel, Ehud 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. Barak retained his position as Defense Minister. In January 2011, Labor Party leader Barak formed a breakaway party, Atzmaut (Independence), which enabled him to maintain his loyal Labor’s MK faction within Netanyahu’s government after Labor threatened to force Barak to leave the government. After Barak’s move, Netanyahu was able to maintain a majority 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. As of now, both parties—Labor and Atzmaut—face tragedy. The Labor admitted yesterday not having funds even for conducting polls. The main party of the Zionist movement for many years may become one of the smallish parties in the next Knesset. Ehud Barak’s party is in an ever worsening situation, it may not pass the votes’ threshold needed to enter the Knesset.
Not only the Likud is expected to come out as a winner of the next elections. Avigdor Lieberman may get stronger. So is Shas, a Mizrahi-Haredi party that became a pillar of the Zionist-Haredi alliance enabling the State of Israel (see Netanyahu’s Mule: On an Unholy Alliance). Every time they managed to create controversy, they augmented their strength; these days the return of Aryeh Deri—a former leader of the party—is succeeding to stir the party’s voters. Traditionally, Shas supports right wing extremists, as long as it gets control of the state’s religious institutions; the Likud will gladly pay this price as it has always done. Then, Yair Lapid—a former Chanel 2 anchor—is running as head of a new party and may win enough votes to become a member of the next coalition to govern Israel (see Torch Sets Israel Afire). Israel is turning so strongly rightwards, that—beyond all logic—its right hand may soon be at its left side.
In one sleek move, Netanyahu is about to get rid of his main political opponents. After the elections in Israel and America, he would be able to fulfill his dream of an attack on Iran with no significant opposition at home and with no political rival capable of stealing the show. The winds of war are about to become a tornado.
Hasan Afzal of “British Muslims for Israel” seems to have found a (possibly lucrative) new career working with the Zionists. Here is a recent initiative to promote Buy Israeli Goods.
The Quran has many refererences to the hypocrites, the people who during the Prophethood of Mohammed p.b.u.h. professed to be Muslims but worked against the Muslims to undermine Islam. People like Hasan Afzal are described exactly here in this Quranic explanation. Indeed, Allah s.w.t. created humans with all of our weaknesses, so who better to know what is in the hearts? Hasan Afzal and his ilk are described here in this verse of the Quran
“And when it is said to them: ‘Do not make mischief on earth’, they say ‘We are only peacemakers’” (2:11) “Verily, they are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive it not” (2:12).
One of the top priorities for the pro Israel lobby groups at this time is to control which speakers are allowed to address University I.S.O.C.s (University Islamic Societies). Hasan Afzal on his website Stand for Peace attempts to compile a list of extremist groups and individuals which, from the start loses any semblance of credibility by including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. As deLiberation readers know the P.S.C. has been given the Kosher stamp of approval by Harry’s Place and the Jewish Chronicle, read here. Afzal tries typical Zionist tactics to smear Sheik Haitham using “guilt by association” linking him to Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab because he attended a course taught by Sheik Haitham.
Hasan Afzal has written for New Labour’s Progress group claiming that Universities are failing Muslim Students (this is not in reference to his own failure as a student) by allowing Muslims to listen to talks by Sheik Haitham al Haddad. Sheik Haitham is a member of the Shariah council and a highly educated Scholar of Islam, he speaks the truth about Islam based on the Quran and classical books, a speaker from pure sources.
Of course, if Muslims were to return to the teachings of Islam and become a strong and cohesive group, we would be able to do so much to change the Neo-Con/Zionist agenda of endless wars, lies, distortion and slavery to the world banking system. Islam has solutions to poverty and the world debt crisis. Islam is the target of the Neo-Cons and Zionists in the so called “War on Terror” and they believe that the best way to fight what they perceive as the main threat to their income from the war industry, is to separate Muslims from the Quranic or classical teachings of Islam.
The results of this agenda are seen in mosques, where certain teachings of the Quran are not mentioned or when mentioned are pushed aside as not apppropriate for the times we live in, or not appropriate for our present situation. Most Imams are afraid to remind Muslims of the obligations we all have towards our brothers and sisters who are being killed and oppressed by the Zio/NeoCon agenda.
Mr Afzal has a proposal to counter the teachings of such classic scholars as Sheik Haitham al Haddad. Universities must be told that such speakers are only allowed if a progressive liberal Muslim is allowed to speak alongside them. This seems to be the new tactic of the pro-Israel movement, where they have been failing to convince people that pro-Israel Jews have a right to dictate who speaks to audiences, who plays music and who would burn books written by those they do not like, they are now having to pursue an agenda of so called balance.
Progressive Liberal Muslims try to mix some aspects of Islam with things which go completely against Islam. One such example from the U.S.A. was called “The Progressive Muslim Union” – an organisation which is now disbanded but was apparently set up with the intention of pleasing the Bush administration. Such scholars who endorse them are known to Muslims as $cholars for Dollars. The P.M.U. group created its own downfall when it appointed a woman to lead the prayers as Imam. A woman cannot lead men in prayers and why would she want to with hundreds of men lined up behind her probably looking at her bum?
It seems that there is an agenda to separate Muslims from Quranic teachings similar to how the Jews who followed the Liberal or Reform movement were taken out of Jewish Orthodoxy. I remember a female Rabbi who came to our mosque as part of an interfaith initiative who sat and chatted to me about how she believes that the Bible is a book of legends. If a follower of a faith doesn’t believe in their own Scripture as divine revelation or divinely inspired, what is left? Muslim leaders should look at how that movement happened and learn how to avoid it happening to us.
Now in these troubled times it is the time to return to and stand firm by the classical teachings of Islam and not to be led astray by those with an agenda to undermine it.
In a recent Haaretz article, leading Israeli columnist Gideon Levy affirms that Zionism is pretty irrelevant as far as Israelis are concerned. Similar to the line I myself develop in The Wandering Who, Levy contends that Israelis do not understand what Zionism stands for. For them it is an archaic notion.
The meaning of it is simple. That which seems as a vivid ‘Zionist’ / ‘anti Zionist’ debate is in practice an internal Jewish Diaspora quarrel with no significant practical meaning.
Levy writes, “In 2012, the 64th year of the (Jewish) state, no one even knows for certain what remains of it (Zionism), what the role of Zionism is and how it is defined.”
“Who is a Zionist?” asks Levy. “The truth is that there is no answer. Not because Zionism was not a just cause – it was, even if it was tainted by unnecessary injustices, and not because it didn’t succeed. It was the greatest national success story of the 20th century. But that century is over and its greatest success story has been established. The national home arose, and now it is a regional power. Anyone who wanted to – about one-third of the Jewish people have – join it, and the door remains open to the rest.”
Zionism was clearly a Judeo-centric revolutionary idea, but as it seems, it achieved its goal in 1948. Hence, it isn’t surprising that contemporary Israelis fail to grasp the meaning of Zionism. If early Zionists promised to transform the Diaspora Jew into an civilised being, the Israelis, for some reason, see themselves as ‘civilised subjects’. They at least in their eyes, are the post revolutionary products.
Hence, Levy argues that “Zionism is no longer relevant, and its place is in the history books alone.” He suggests that “Zionism’s way has been lost to us (the Israelis). That was inevitable, because it has completed its task.”
Similar to the line of thought I develop in The Wandering Who, Levy also differentiates between Israeli patriotism and Zionism. “Anyone who contributes to the state is a worthy citizen and a decent patriot. Anyone who contributes to its institutions is a philanthropist – this has no connection to Zionism. Anyone who is required to serve in its army, exactly like anyone who is supposed to pay taxes to it, is fulfilling his legal obligations. This has no connection to Zionism or its values.”
However, as much as Levy is correct in his reading of the Israeli and the Israeli society, it may be possible that, being an Israeli, he misses the role of Zionism as a Jewish Diaspora collective symbolic identifier. The Jewish State has a clear and significant function within the contemporary Jewish Diaspora discourse. The vast majority of Diaspora Jews and Jewish institutions identify or affiliate with Israel and support its cause. It is also true that some Jews, are critical of Israel and its policies. A few of these Jews identify themselves as ‘anti Zionists.’ Yet, bearing Levy observation in mind , the meaning of it all is that the debate between the Zionists and their Jewish opponents (i.e anti Zionists) has very little political significance for Israelis, Israeli politics and even Palestinians. This debate is there to help Diaspora Jews to identify themselves politically, spiritually and socially. It has very limited practical or pragmatic meaning if any at all.
But it also seems as if Levy ignores the huge impact of Zionist and Lobbies within Western politics. In the USA, it is AIPAC that dominates the country foreign policy. Here in Britain, 80% of the leading party’s MPs are CFI members (Conservative Friends of Israel). The situation in France and Canada is similar. So as much as Zionism is foreign to Israelis, it is pretty relevant for Diaspora Jews.
With AIPAC pushing in the open for an American attack on Iran, Zionism seems to be a serious threat to world peace. And yet, somehow, it is the so-called Jewish Anti Zionists who go out of their way to silence any criticism of Zionist lobbies and Jewish power within Western politics.
As much as Levy is correct in suggesting that Zionism may be dead for Israel, it is certainly alive and kicking in the West. It is probably the most influential and dangerous political school of thought. Especially because it has managed to drift away from the relatively modest notion of a ‘promised land’ into a globally belligerent expansionist ideology aiming at a ‘promised planet.’