Thursday, June 17, 2010

Israeli leadership's Judeofascist tendencies: Rational, or suicidal?

Is Benjamin Netanyahu Rational?

( -- by Philip Giraldi--

Is Benjamin Netanyahu rational? The question has to be asked because Netanyahu, the leader of a country that is paranoid about its own security, controls a secret nuclear arsenal and has the capability to bomb just about anybody. Rational behavior in the context of a head of state is admittedly an elusive quality, but it generally means that occasional lying is okay, particularly if it is tenuously based on something that might be true. Lying with a straight face or completely evading critical questions might even be considered a perk of office. But when the chips are down and hard decisions have to be made, a head of government should at least behave like a mature adult employing some logical process. That would mean weighing up the plusses and minuses of various actions, risks versus gains, and coming up with a response that serves the country’s interests with the least collateral damage possible.

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has not made very good decisions. From Tel Aviv’s point of view, it is absolutely essential that Israel maintain the support of the United States and also very important that it be regarded positively by the Europeans and Russia. Yet Netanyahu has gone the opposite way, continuing to expand settlements even after the United States president has told him to stop, announcing new settlement growth to coincide with the arrival of the American vice president on a state visit, assassinating an Arab official using fake European passports, continuing the strangulation of Gaza for no good reason even when it is opposed by both the European Union and Washington, and engaging in an act of piracy on the high seas that resulted in the deaths of nine unarmed civilians, sticking his thumb in the eye of Israel’s closest Muslim friend, Turkey.

A keen observer of the Netanyahu behavior might well detect a suicidal tendency, perhaps tied in some way to the well known Israeli Masada complex. Masada was the first century A.D. site of the suicide of nearly one thousand Israelite zealots who refused to surrender to the Roman army. More recently, in 1991 investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported on the modern version of Masada called the Samson Option, in which Israel was planning to use nuclear weapons to destroy most of the Middle East if it were in danger of being overrun. Today hardliners have similarly warned that if Israel is threatened with destruction it will take the whole Mideast region down with it and possibly also nuke selected European capitals. So the idea of a mass national suicide leading to destruction of substantial parts of the world in one great conflagration is definitely floating out there in Israeli extremist circles. Christian supporters of Israel have also picked up on the end-of-days theme and are referred to as Armageddonists, signaling their embrace of a final world-ending battle preceding a rapture up to heaven and the second coming of Christ.

The neoconservatives frequently complain that Islam is not a "religion of peace," but the Old Testament is also a bloody book, including as it does many accounts of the Israelites massacring their enemies with God’s blessing. There are also elements of the Jewish religion that are dark and lend themselves to a mindset that accepts one standard for Jews and another for gentiles. The very concept of being one of a "chosen people" can be interpreted positively by observing that God had selected the Jewish people to be his witness and bear his message, but it can also be turned on its head to imply that those who are not chosen are somehow inferior. Being selected by God has also been used to support the Israeli claim to the land that they have stolen from the Palestinians, a line that has inevitably been parroted by the Christians United for Israel and other evangelical groups in the US.

The current Israeli government is the most hard-line and intransigent in the history of the country and it has a nasty, racist edge to it. Netanyahu has regularly played the race card, once praising the cutting of social benefits in Israel so the country’s Arab minority will be unable to have so many children. His Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is an out-and-out racist fearmonger who has openly advocated executing Arab members of the Knesset and drowning Palestinian prisoners in the Dead Sea. At one time he called for bombing the Aswan dam to punish Egypt for supporting the Palestinians. Lieberman demanded recently that Christian and Muslim Arab residents of Israel swear a loyalty oath to Israel as a Jewish state or face expulsion. The insistence that Israel is and should be a Jewish state means that it cannot be democratic as it is making full legal rights contingent on religion, not on a concept of citizenship. Lieberman’s proposal was widely seen as an attempt to ethnically cleanse Israel’s Arab minority, forcing them to leave the country completely. Ironically, while Lieberman works assiduously to remove Arabs born and raised in Israel and Palestine he himself was born in the Soviet Union and did not move to Israel until he was 20 years old...MORE...LINK

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