For fear of the promised land
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, this week began to sound like a raving mad man. His ranting that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad is a new Hitler on Earth and his warnings of an impending ‘Jewish Genocide’ are hysterical.
Some might say that he is simply attempting to drum up support for an increasingly likely strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, before they obtain a level of immunity. But, these paranoid claims may be a bit closer to Netanyahu’s heart than some people think.
Following his victory into office in 1996, he claimed “Germany is Iran and it is 1938”, presumably meaning the eve of a large confrontation, likely to bring in the interests of Russia and China. He has repeated calls to resist the Iranians up to now, before it is too late. But, he is certain that the Iranian president would commit acts of atrocity and his drawing on the Holocaust has been somewhat cringe worthy.
His hysteria over Iran is not surprising, considering he has had to cope with it ever since he came into office. But more importantly, its existence has been fiercely contested since its inception.
It is surprising that Israel seems to be fairly quiet in its rhetoric with its hostile neighbours. Such a siege mentality over Iran, seems not to be a problem with the enemies they have on all sides. Publically, Israel is either not too concerned or hiding close to their chests the fact that it has and always has been surrounded by existential threats.
While it has raved on about Iran’s nuclear programmes, it seems to have remained silent when the Muslim Brotherhood gained a majority in the new Egyptian parliament. One ex-Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood was quoted in 2011 as saying “Zionism is a gang, not a country. So we will resist them until they don’t have a country”.
Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood has not launched itself into a barrage of insults aimed at Israel, presumably because it wishes to preserve itself until the new parliament comes into play.
With Egypt to the south, you have Lebanon to the north. Certainly, the 2006 Lebanon-Israeli war left much hostility and enmity.
But, the enemies of Israel were not the state. Rather, they were Hezbollah, both a militant group and political party. Their inception was a direct response to the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, while their manifesto made it painfully clear that the removal of Israel was a “prelude to its final obliteration”. This certainly cannot sit well with the Israelis.
If we then realise that Hezbollah is a Shi’a Muslim group, which receives political support from Iran and Syria, it may not be surprising to find out that Hezbollah may strike Israel from the north, if they intended any assault on Iran or even Syria right now. Even more worrying for Israel is the fact that Hezbollah is now part of the Lebanese Government, much as the Brotherhood is in Egypt now. A threatening development, indeed.
Yet, Israel seems wrapped up with Iran, a country that is increasingly being fenced off and isolated with sanctions and external hostility.
Israel is not being constructive considering the Palestinian question either. Its continued air strikes into Palestinian territories and the collateral damage it reaps as a result, is certainly not improving relations with Palestinians. It simply further damages relations with those states or non-state groups that support the plight of their Muslim brothers and sisters. The 2006 Lebanon-Israeli war is characteristic of Lebanese efforts to broadcast Israeli actions to Israeli citizens. This was damaging to the image of Israeli involvement in the war. The immorality of these assaults on innocent civilians may again attract the sympathy of ordinary Israelis over the Palestinian issue.
Israel seems to be preparing for the worst with Iran. But, it either fails to realise or is not doing enough about the fire that seems to be growing on its many borders.