It appears that the limits of stupidity and carelessness are historically-concretely determined. Meaning that, in normal conditions, any organism which rushed blindly, stupidly and carelessly into one catastrophe after another would simply disappear as the result of its folly. It is a tough world out there and the stern lessons of history are that most s mortals have to pay dearly for their mistakes.
The Neyanyahu-Barak leadership is apparently not subject to this norm. Its political stupidity, infantile grasp of reality and its criminal negligence will in no way endanger or even impair its status where it counts for them. The Israeli military-political cabal has an unlimited insurance policy issued by the United States. It can perform with impunity risky, outlandish operations, e.g., the assassination in Dubai, which would cause any almost any government to suffer clear international condemnation and sanctions. The secret of Netanayahu-Barak not having to pay for the consequences of their actions either internationally or domestically is that the United States will cover for them and prevent them from facing up to the consequences of their policies and decisions. It is not that they can do no wrong. It is simply that they do not have to pay for their mistakes.
The siege of Gaza is a USA project conceived and fine tuned by the Israeli leadership as part of the campaign to destabilize Hamas rule in the strip. Hamas, instead of acting in accord with the type-cast terrorist has proven its ability to maintain a semblance of normality in horrific conditions and is doing a credible job of trying to maintain quiet on the border, thus confounding the cheap Israeli and US propaganda regarding its innate terrorist nature. The Hamas leadership even insists on periodical statements to the effect that they would be ready to participate in a Palestinian coalition government moving in the direction of a two-state solution.
A Government of Extremists with No Opposition
Israel has become more and more indispensable in maintaining the tattered US hegemony in the region. Iran refuses to buckle under, Iraq is still occupied and working on the results of the election four months ago, Syria is doing exceedingly well on the diplomatic front and has even improved its relations with Lebanon which seems to be doing just fine with a national unity government centered on…Hezballah. And the bulwark of the Northern tier, Turkey, is discovering the possibilities of life outside of NATO, including independent diplomacy. The practical alignment of (Sunni) Hamas with other independent forces in the region is of added significance in that it disproves the idea that opposition to the US is a Shi’ite affair.
By any objective analysis, Israel’s attack on Turkish sovereignty in international waters involved dangers for Israel that were obvious to any serious or responsible leader. The Israeli leadership committed almost every cardinal sin in the book and this includes disregard for the potential of serious damage to its own interests. The elite in this country are painfully aware that the leadership made very conceivable mistake possible and would like to erect some kind of barriers against the Netanyahu-Barak proclivity to employ indiscriminate force in regional security problems. To counter waves of internal criticism, the government exploited use of the local media to whip the citizenry into a state of boiling hysteria. But it could not obscure the obvious fact that mismanagement, gross negligence and adventurist psycho-neurosis had plunged Israel into a serious political crisis. The elites in Israel have traditionally attempted to purge the bureaucracy of its natural desire to cover up its shlumeil-like lack of any semblance of responsibility for its glaring inefficiency and serious malfunctions even in terms of its own declared policies by the institution of high level blue ribbon investigations.
But the government, seeking to prevent any serious investigation into the flotilla disaster headed off anything serious like a judicial investigation by conveying the message that it still had undiminished US confidence and that the Obama and friends were working with Israel on urgent management control regarding the danger of a genuine international investigation. Though the punditry had long insisted that the US could soften Israel on the settlement issue and push Israel towards serious negotiation with the Palestinians when and if the ruling coalition was transformed with the cooption of Livneh’s Kadima Party, Washington ignored the opportunity to bring about a more congenial and rational coalition. Instead they backed Netanyahu and Barak and the existing extreme right wing government to the hilt. Israel’s blunders are quicky forgiven in Washington. Thus, DC saves Israel from international censure and saves the ruling coalition by cutting the ground out from any local opposition as if Netanyahu-Barak are the last two main pillars of Washington’s influence and clout in the region. One concludes that the Israeli government can get away with any level of stupidity and malfeasance as long as it keeps Obama in its corner. Obama can understand that Israel has its own “oil leaks” and this is no reason to turn your back on allies…
Liars Fear the Truth Like the Devil Fears the Cross
Israel does not hesitate to use all available footage and information – its own and that stolen from the 600 passengers on board the Marmara to concoct its own version of events. By so doing, Israel launched a futile propaganda war. Would any reasonable observer be impressed by tainted materials arbitrarily selected and edited by the Israeli side after the illegal confiscation of all the material that was in the hands of the passengers on the ship. One is intrigued by the constant Israeli refrain that 1) we do not have anything to hide and 2) that Israel will not allow under any circumstances whatsoever any investigation of the Israeli soldiers. No Israeli soldier was killed. Ten passengers were killed and scores more wounded and Israel claims that it almost an act of blatant anti-Semitism to investigate how this happened.
All we want is the truth. NATO has joined its voice to that of the UN and the European Council with its deep regrets regarding loss of lives and casualties. But more important all these august international bodies are demanding “a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation into the incident.”
Israel is busy establishing its own partial, credibility-lacking and opaque investigation. The Israeli leadership is busy pretending that the US has a formula for Israel whereby a toothless low level local investigation can be presented as one meeting the above objective internationally established criteria. It is no wonder that Washington is trying to dodge the issue. It is almost inconceivable that Obama and company will try and pass off an Israeli panel as an impartial investigation. Even a genius like Joe Biden will have a difficulty squaring this circle: an impartial Israeli investigation. But really.
In the midst of all this there is a steady, considerable increase of activity on the left. There is more Jewish-Arab cooperation. The connection between the occupation and US policy in the region was never clearer. We all need and deserve something better than Obama wandering around a minefield of mines laid by the United States.