Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has put his country on a firm war footing and has recently completed a 5-day military drill, ominously named “Turning Point Three”, in which ‘Israeli forces and civilians prepared themselves for a simultaneous war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran and practiced counterinsurgency tactics against Israeli Arabs’. At the end of the drill Barak was quoted as saying last Tuesday: “The IDF's future operations will be broader and more demanding in terms of their scope and pace, with more risks than Operation Cast Lead”.
While Middle Eastern media headline space has been taken up with the impasse between Netanyahu and Obama over settlements in the West Bank, the exercise quietly went ahead with little fanfare in the Western mainstream media. However, the impasse over the issue of settlements and Israel’s massive war footing exercise are intrinsically linked.
The Israeli Zionists will not give up their claims to the settlements nor, indeed, their claims for the entire West Bank which they call Judea and Samaria. For hard core Zionists, Judea and Samaria are at the very core of Zionist and Likud party ideology as is the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and south Lebanon up to the Litani River, all of which for the Zionists, will become part of Greater Israel. Standing between the Zionists and their dream of a Greater Israel is Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and the Israeli Arabs; hence the simulated simultaneous war against them.
As always, the Israelis will wait until some casus belli presents itself for them to justify such a war, and, no doubt, if no casus belli materialises from their enemies, then the Israelis will invent one. Since of late the political atmosphere between Iran and the US has eased while the atmosphere between Israel and the US have become strained over the settlements issue, it seems likely that any casus belli that does arise that leads to Israel attacking any of its enemies will be as a result of some manipulated incident or straight out false flag attack against Israel or the US where the finger will be pointed to any one of Israel’s enemies and, of course, Iran.
Much will hinge on tomorrows Presidential elections in Iran and how Ahmadinejad will fare in those elections but the world should not be lulled into a false sense of security if a more moderate candidate gets up and defeats Ahmadinejad. No matter who wins the Presidency in Iran it will still be the Mullahs that will be pulling the strings and they are unlikely to relinquish their support of Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas no matter who wins. In other words, the basic status quo between Israel and Iran will stay the same. Iran will continue to support the Arabs and Palestinians against Israel and Israel will continue to dream of their Greater Israel and continue to see Iran as a hindrance to that dream.
Little will change. Israel will still seek its final confrontation with its enemies.
And when the final confrontation does come, Obama will side with Israel.
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