May 6, 2018
The pace of the shift to the right in Israeli politics is beyond belief. Some of my best friends would have to drive much faster around the bend in order to stay in the moderate centre, all the more so to keep up with the political right. The Law of “Hitgabrut” is coming to the Knesset right now, which literally means the “law of overcoming”, and specifies that the Knesset can overrule the Supreme Court with just sixty-one MKs, rather than seventy or eighty or whatever. The implication is that the Supreme Court could no longer declare that this or that law is unconstitutional, as the Knesset could easily overrule it. The Supreme Court hardly ever strikes off a newly enacted law, but then the MKs take it into consideration that it might.
The other insane “development” is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to enact a law that, in “unusual cases” or “extreme cases” (a separate argument), the PM and the Minister of Defence could declare war without waiting for the rest of cabinet to join in, all the more so to the entire government. Thus, Bibi and Mr Lieberman could declare war against Iran or Hizbollah. Bibi is right to enact this law because nobody but Mr Lieberman will support him in this madness! The question is whether any of the Generals will support him.
The Israeli-Iranian poker game is most interesting. The bets are that Bibi-Lieberman would like to kick out all Iranian forces from Syria with President Trump’s help. Put simply, Bibi’s days are numbered and the risk of failure in Syria is roughly the same as the risk of being indicted. Alternatively, one could argue that the odds of having a pair like Trump-Bibi in the next century are pretty slim. Iran doesn’t want a war now as the Mullahs are still building up their forces in Syria. And obviously Russia is very much against such a war as it has just annexed Syria with the help of Iran.
The odds are that nothing will happen, but if there is a war in Lebanon or Syria, and things go bad for the United States, everybody is going to blame Israel. So Israel might as well strike while President Trump, Mr Pompeo and John Bolton control American foreign policy. President Trump is very cautious. But the appointment of John Bolton may bring about a bolder US stand against Iran.
Success for Israel means greatly weakening the Iranian presence in Syria and in the Lebanon, which might just necessitate World War Three. It would have been so much easier to stop Iran from taking over Lebanon and Syria some twenty to thirty years ago. Unfortunately, both the United States and Israel have done nothing at all over the years to stop Iran’s takeover of Syria and Lebanon. Today, President Putin is determined to maintain Syria as his puppet. In my opinion, it is quite likely that Israel will end up fighting a regional war. I fear, however, that the United States, under President Trump, will keep a safe distance away from this conflict, thus making Israel vulnerable in the face of Hizbollah terrorists and nuclear Mullahs.
Don’t get me wrong. I am no advocate of lying down and letting the Muslim jihadis invade Israel or subject us an Islamic missile apocalypse without fighting back. We may have to strike first, as in 1967. I have been waiting for this moment all my life. We are fast approaching Israel’s 1940. When we are left alone by the European nations and the United States to defend the West from an Islamic tidal wave which threatens to drown the Eastern Hemisphere in Muslim bloodshed.
Unlike Britain in 1940, we do, however, have the ultimate weapon at our disposal, the weapon which could annihilate our enemies. But do want really want to use it? Of course not. Yet we cannot allow Iran or the Arabs to unleash another Holocaust. We must therefore, faced with potential annihilation, defeat our enemies ruthlessly. And unconditionally. They have unlimited lands across Asia and Africa. We only have tiny little Israel and nowhere else to go.
Benjamin Netanyahu is right in one important point; there will never ever be another such allignment in international politics as Bibi and Trump. Therefore, it’s now or never!
Israel will have to face up to Russia regionally, with Bibi phoning Putin to say, “sorry, mate, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do”. Iran will not bomb Israel over intervention in Lebanon and Syria precisely because Israel is not bombing Iran directly; only its proxy. Until Israel wins that war, which is inevitable. Bib should say openly to Putin and Iran, “we have no war with Iran, we love the Iranian people and we know they understand our need to defend ourselves next to our borders”.
Most people in Israel have moved to the political right. The politics of Bibi Netanyahu is now the new normal. For your correspondent this poses a problem. We can’t fight the eighty odd thousand Iranians in Syria without, in the long term, fighting Iran itself. Nobody here has got the faintest clue regarding the end game, the middle game or even the beginning game.
At any rate, we can’t do anything in Syria unless the United States is fully behind us. When we bombed the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 we did have the implicit support of President George W Bush. Today, we may get that support from President Trump. This however means playing chicken as well as Russian Roulette with Putin. And I wouldn’t put my money on that scenario.
We live in dangerous times. And a major international war seems more inevitable than at any time since 9/11. Not down to the Trump Presidency. Rather, the weakness of Putin’s Russia and the opportunism of Communist China has enpowered an Islamic maelstrom which is now going completely out of control. And Israel lies in the eye of this storm.
Focus is Watching Committee’s roving correspondent in Israel