Israel is busy creating as many options as possible which can be used as a casus belli to begin the final confrontation with Iran with the endgame being the creation of a Greater Israel and the destruction of its enemies.
Because Israel has created many enemies, it has, in turn, created many options with which it can begin the final confrontation that will lead to the destruction of all its enemies. Israel has now adopted a tactic whereby it is attempting to create an environment via the use of provocation that will unite its enemies so that when the appropriate moment to start the final confrontation arrives it can then deal with all of its enemies at once with the help of the US and some of its other Western allies.
It has become clear that Israel would rather deal with all of its enemies in one hit with the help of the US rather than deal with them on their own one at a time – a tactic that they have already tried and which failed miserably when they attacked Hezbollah in south Lebanon in 2006, Syria’s so-called ‘nuclear facility’ in 2007, and Hamas in the Gaza in 2008/09. In each of these scenarios it was clear that Israel wanted to escalate the war to include their other enemies and, in particular, to provoke Iran to overtly support any of them in order to provide an excuse for Israel and the US to attack Iran.
The rhetoric and propaganda about Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, despite the fact that this rhetoric and propaganda has been a repeat of the false rhetoric and propaganda used by the US and Israel in the lead up to the invasion and destruction of Iraq, seems to have been largely successful – at least with many of the Western governments that are the US and Israel’s allies. As in the case of Iraq, sanctions have been invoked against Iran and there has been a call to back the sanctions with the threat of military force if the Iranians do not do as the US and Israel demand. However, because the US and Israel know that Iran actually does not have a ‘nuclear weapons program’, they know that Iran will not comply with their demands thus providing the casus belli they require to strike Iran; indeed, the last thing the US and Israel want is for the Iranians to demonstratively stop enriching their uranium to any level since this would then deprive the US and Israel of the opportunity to attack Iran.
When considering the question of Iran in relation to Israel one cannot ignore the role of Iran’s allies in the equation.
Israel’s neighbours, the Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria, are also Israel’s enemies. The Gaza, the West Bank and south Lebanon are all destined, as far as the Zionists are concerned, to become part of a Greater Israel of the future. A part of Syria, the Golan Heights, has already been annexed as part of Greater Israel. Standing in the way of fulfilling the Greater Israel dream is Hamas in the Gaza and to a lesser extent in the West Bank, and Hezbollah in south Lebanon, all of whom are strongly supported by Iran and Syria.
In order to realise their dream of a Greater Israel, Israel must occupy the Gaza and south Lebanon which means destroying Israel’s convenient enemy, Hamas and Hezbollah; convenient enemy because without them Israel would have no excuse to occupy and eventually annex these places to Israel as they have the Golan Heights and Jerusalem in the West Bank.
With Israel’s enemies identified, any number of scenarios can be offered which could effectively provide Israel with a casus belli with which to launch an attack that would escalate into a final confrontation that would involve the US and Israel attacking all of its enemies in full-on war.
Over the last few years the US and Israel in its rhetoric has conjoined Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran as a single enemy. It has done this by continually referring in news, opinion and commentary, particularly in the mainstream and right-wing press, that Hamas and Hezbollah are both Iranian ‘proxies’ by virtue of being financed and supplied by Iran both directly and indirectly. In the Western imagination, or, at least, as the US and Israel would have us believe, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran have morphed into one enemy and, just to reinforce the notion that they are ‘terrorists’, they are occasionally linked via the rhetoric, at least the neoconservative rhetoric, with the ultimate bogeymen; al Qaeda.
These linkages provide Israel and the US with a whole range of scenario opportunities which Israel can use to kick off its final confrontation.
Currently, Israel sees Lebanon as the best possibility to start the final confrontation. Israel can see two possible casus belli situations emerging out of current events. First there is Israel’s claim that Syria has provided Scud missiles to Hezbollah, a claim that Israel has attempted to ‘prove’ by releasing photographic ‘evidence’ of the places where Hezbollah have hidden their weapons. This evidence turned out to be nothing more than oblique aerial shots of various villages in south Lebanon with Texta rings around a few buildings that were supposed to represent the places where Hezbollah have hidden their weapons and command posts. These places, Israel claims, have been ‘targeted’ in the event of a future war. In response Hezbollah has stated that it too has already predetermined specific targets in Israel. The fact that Hezbollah has stated that they have targets in Israel already identified, in itself, could even provide Israel with a casus belli to attack Hezbollah.
The other major ‘provocation’ that could provide Israel with a casus belli is the current dispute over the off-shore gas fields which both Israel and Lebanon claim. However, this scenario is more dangerous for the Israelis because, if Israel attacked Lebanon over the gas rights in the Mediterranean, it would unite all of Lebanon against Israel and not just Hezbollah, though Hezbollah, of course, would remain the main target.
Another scenario that may kick off the final confrontation is a conflict started with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The problem for the Israelis with this scenario is that conflict with Hamas tends to be isolated and it would be difficult for the Israelis to escalate it from a straightforward conflict with Hamas to an all-out final confrontation with all of Israel’s enemies without permanently damaging its standing with its allies because of the sheer brutality Israel would need to employ against the Gazans in order to escalate to an all-out confrontation. An attack against Hamas shortly after attacking Hezbollah would be a more likely scenario with Israel claiming that an attack against Hamas was pre-emptive in order to stop Hamas launching retaliatory strikes against Israel for attacking Hezbollah.
But by far the most likely, and from Israel’s point of view, most appealing scenario is simply a pre-emptive joint attack against Iran with the US doing most of the attacking while Israel initiates the attack by a strike against some of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US would then follow up with an all-out attack against Iran’s more difficult nuclear targets accompanied by massive strikes against Iran’s defence facilities and governmental institutions. Israel would simultaneously launch pre-emptive strikes against Hezbollah and Hamas followed up by invasion and occupation in the pretext that they are preventing retaliatory strikes against Israel.
Israel would like to think that it would have the upper hand by simple virtue of use of massive overwhelming air and tank force against its enemies coupled with threats of using ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons against targets in northern Lebanon or Syria or even Iran.
Defence-wise Israel has a big problem. It may hope to be able to neutralise Hezbollah’s weapons in the first and second waves of strikes against them. However, if they are unable to do so, Hezbollah needs only to unleash its arsenal of weapons against the tiny target of Israel. It is doubtful that the people of Israel would be able to tolerate a sustained Scud attack against Tel Aviv and Haifa and other centres for too long. A concentrated attack against these cities could devastate Israel which then, in the worst case scenario, may resort to using its nuclear weapons as a weapon of last resort.
Israel’s other problem is the stance of its other Arab neighbours. While the governments of most of them are currently on reasonably good terms with Israel, this situation could very quickly turn around especially if the peoples of those Arab nations begin to demonstrate against their own government for supporting Israel. Turkey, while not an Arab country, has shown recently just how quickly a nation can turn from being a close friend to being almost an enemy. The people of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are likely to at least support the Palestinians and the Lebanese are just as likely to demand that their respective governments support the Palestinian and Lebanese people.
While some Arab governments might welcome the demise of the Iranian regime and its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, they will not support the creation of a nuclear armed Greater Israel that has pushed the Palestinian and Arab peoples from their lands and destroyed the idea of a Palestinian state.
There are endless other permutations of scenarios that Israel might use to kick off its push for a final confrontation with Iran and its other enemies but one thing is for sure; it is quite apparent now that, whatever way such a confrontation starts, the US will be behind Israel all the way.