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Possibilites of war ....... [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-3-20 04:15:53 |Display all floors
Azmi Bishara  is a Palestinian Christian politician. He was a member of the Israeli Knesset representing the Balad party from 1996 until resigning in April 2007, Bishara is still the leader of that party. Bishara holds an Israeli citizenship. I believe he is presently living in El Cairo. Upon return to Israel, he would have to face charges.


Possibilities of war: the Levant

Could a regional war erupt on fronts other than Iran, such as Lebanon or Gaza? Azmi Bishara weighs the evidence

It has been demonstrated that the war on Gaza, as waged within the framework of the Egyptian and Israeli borders with the Strip, is unlikely to develop into a full-scale war since there is no tangible manifestation whatsoever of a concept of collective Arab national security that would regard aggression against Gaza as a threat. Arab national security exists virtually, in pan-Arab ideology, but not on the ground where it should be. Perhaps one day it did and I will grant this possibility so as not to digress into a tangential discussion. But today it does not. Some Arab nationalists left over from the era of Arab nationalist regimes are forever lecturing the current Egyptian regime that it is in its interests to regard Israel as an enemy (ignoring the fact that Egypt is bound by a peace agreement with Israel, if not more, and that the regime has a clearer idea than they do of who its enemies are). Their attempts to base their case on collective Arab security, as though there were concrete practical arrangements for such a thing, are pathetic. Apart from betraying an intellectual deficiency, they reflect an inability to stand in opposition. For otherwise why would they be offering the regime advice and guidance in order to open its eyes as to where its 搕rue?interests lie?

Israel is relying on a steel wall to stop the tunnels and tighten the blockade in the hope of undermining the regime in Gaza or forcing it to accept Egypt抯 conditions in exchange for reopening the taps to the essentials for life. Alternatively, the wall could drive Gaza to erupt on its own accord in order to prevent the stranglehold from becoming a protracted routine that it could not tolerate. After all, subjecting an entire people to a starvation campaign, which is the purpose of the 揳rchitectural installations? is a kind of act of war. If its strategy fails, Israel may attempt to invade Gaza again. For the time being, however, Israel wants to revive what is falsely and fraudulently called the 損eace process? It has become crucial to the Israeli economy, so much so that, according to the governor of the Bank of Israel, three per cent of the Israeli gross national income is contingent upon the mere continuation of the process. It is directly correlated to the increase in rates of domestic and foreign investment in Israel. However, the 損eace process?also forms the environment most conducive to rallying the international community against Iran, the resistance, and the 揳xis of extremism?in general.

Simultaneously, Israel is continuing its siege against Palestinian resistance by means of assassinations in the West Bank and Gaza. Since the end of the war on Gaza, Israel has killed more than 170 Palestinians among who were several resistance fighters in Gaza as well as key resistance figures in the West Bank. The assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai was consciously intended to convey three messages: that Israel does not forget those on its wanted list, even after decades; that the fight against the smuggling of arms into Gaza is war; and that Israel does not feel obliged to respect the sovereignty of Dubai. The latter fits into the scheme of pressures against Dubai which, as a major commercial and financial outlet for Iran, makes it possible to tighten the economic noose around Tehran. Israel once violated the sovereignty of Jordan, with which it has strategic relations. Although the late king Hussein made Tel Aviv pay the price, this has not taught Israel to respect the sovereignty of other nations. I suspect the brazenness of the Al-Mabhouh assassination was intended, rather than the consequence of 搇ogistic glitches? which compounds one抯 astonishment at the total silence of Arab officialdom on that crude and aggressive abuse of the sovereignty of another Arab country. The statements issuing out of Europe were another matter entirely. Political officials there were in the awkward position of being confronted with the pictures and passport identities that were so quickly unearthed by the Dubai police, even though it is hardly a secret that European security agencies sympathise completely with Israel in the 搘ar on terror?

Under the current state of no war, Israel will persist in its assassination policy and the blockade against Gaza with the aim of sapping the Palestinian resistance. The aim might also be to support the Ramallah authority. If so, that model shows no signs of success. In fact, the news from there is grim, to say the least. Conditions in the West Bank are such that it is difficult to see how it can possibly go on under the continued occupation combined with the Netanyahu approach of solving things through economic policies.

LEBANON AND SYRIA: For some time it has been customary to regard the Israeli desire to resuscitate the deterrent power of the Israeli army as a possible cause for the next war on Lebanon. So it may be. But on its own it is not sufficient to justify a war to the world or to Israeli society. The Israeli government would have to come up with another reason to launch a war so that it could then justify using the war to revive the Israeli army抯 deterrent power. However, the more important question is if Hizbullah is not just a tactical adversary but also a strategic one, as it proved during the last Israeli invasion of Lebanon, will Israel wait until that adversary acquires an even more powerful arsenal? The answer here is to be found, in part, in the behaviour of Hizbullah since that war and in how it is analysed by political and military officials in Israel. If Hizbullah, as its latest political platform and in its behaviour since the war suggest, has shifted from a programme for the liberation of Palestine to an ideology for the liberation of Palestine, which only means the refusal to recognise and make peace with Israel, and if it has reduced its military options from missile assaults at and across the Israeli border to a strategy of defending Lebanon only when it is attacked, why should Israel attack? Hizbullah has effectively fallen in with UN Resolution 1701 with respect to the part pertaining to a ceasefire. In other words, the July 2006 war effectively accomplished its objective of bringing a halt to Lebanese resistance operations (albeit at an exorbitant cost that proved very humiliating to Israel) even though it failed to eliminate the resistance as an armed political entity. Now Hizbullah claims that it had halted resistance operations before the July 2006 war, apart from those intended to initiate prisoner exchange deals. In fact, there had been several border skirmishes as well as threats of resistance in Shebaa, but that is another matter. What is important here is that in its interactions with other Lebanese parties Hizbullah has made it clear that it intends to avoid giving Israel an excuse to go to war (not that Israel ever needed excuses, it adds by way of an aside). So, again, why should Israel attack? Evidently, the Lebanese front is becoming more like the Syrian front, which is to say in a state of mutual deterrence. The margin of manoeuvrability for the resistance in Lebanon has narrowed, just as it has on the Syrian-Israeli front: either there is war or there is not; there is no room for resistance activities in between.



.continued
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Post time 2010-3-20 09:20:18 |Display all floors
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Not that the matter has been settled in Israel yet. There they are still wavering between accepting the new balance of deterrence and refusing to allow the other side to further develop its deterrent power by launching another offensive. Israel believes it could win another round with Lebanon or with Syria; however, at the same time it knows that the other side is constantly raising the price of victory. The question, then, is not can Israel sustain the cost, but why should it? Damascus has long since declared its decision to opt for the strategy of peace (although it has recently said that it can find no peace partners on the other side). In Lebanon there is a national consensus, inclusive of Hizbullah, over avoiding war with Israel and over converting what was an effective if sporadic resistance into part of the Lebanese defence force. From the Israeli perspective, this change would require Israel to change its policy towards Lebanon and, specifically, to reconsider the freedom it has given itself to abuse Lebanese sovereignty through air raids, incursions and the like. The Israeli dilemma is that Hizbullah does not recognise Israel, still regards it as an enemy and, unlike Syria, has no intention of entering peace negotiations with it. Yet it does not perform actions aimed at the liberation of Palestine or even resistance operations in the occupied Shebaa region.

Certainly, the recent rhetorical escalation is important, but only in the context of the transition to a new phase. Hizbullah is stepping up its rhetorical vehemence in order to camouflage its transition from active resistance against the existence of Israel ?or against the continued occupation of Lebanese territory ?to a strategy confined to the defence of Lebanon. This is the price that Hizbullah had to pay for approval to keep its arms. However, just because it is rhetoric does not mean it should not be taken seriously. Hizbullah is serious about its threat to respond to any Israeli attack. It also knows that its adamant stand on this point, with the stress on defence, appeals to a broad segment of Lebanese public opinion. Public opinion matters more to Hizbullah than ever before. Remember that Hizbullah is no longer talking about managing an ongoing war against Israel interspersed by resistance operations and truces. This is not so much a retreat from Israel as it is a couple of steps towards the other political forces in Lebanon. What made this possible were the new international circumstances shaped by the fall of the neoconservatives and Washington抯 talks with Syria, which encouraged the other political forces in Lebanon to approach Hizbullah. Foremost among these forces were those that opposed it during the war and that had called for stripping Hizbullah of its arms before the war.

With regard to Syria, when Ehud Barak called for a resumption of peace talks with Damascus he was cautioning the Israeli right that stagnation on that track front could degenerate into war. Avigdor Lieberman抯 response was addressed to Barak but it was loud enough for Syria to hear. He said that there were no horizons for talks or a settlement outside of the framework of Israeli conditions. He added that anyone who did not like this position should not threaten Israel with war because in such a war 搕he Al-Assad family would fall from power? So here is the position of Lieberman and the Israeli ultra right in a nutshell: a state of no war where no settlement is possible, but Israel is ready for war should anyone dare. Lieberman抯 loutishness offends all Arab countries, regardless of whether they support the peace process, and Europe finds it particularly irksome. That is one reason why it is easy to hate Lieberman. He does not even respect the Arabs who support a settlement.

In all events, that exchange over whether or not to resume negotiations with Syria between a weak minister of defence and a foreign minister who is threatening to dredge up the dirt that could land the minister of defence in prison sounded to some like a threat of war. The Syrian response would have come as a surprise to those who have yet to understand the change that has come over the Syrian rhetoric. The firmness was edifying to Arab and international circles and even at the domestic level in Israel. Damascus has learned from experience that backing down and pleading only opens it to tougher pressures and that only firmness works. This lesson was driven home by Colin Powell抯 attempts to dictate conditions after the war on Iraq in 2003 and by the withdrawal from Lebanon under the shadow of the assassination of Rafik Al-Hariri. And it applies today as much as ever. Without a doubt a stern warning of reprisals in the event of an Israeli offensive counters Israel抯 perpetual attempts to intimidate and blackmail others with its military might. It forms a basis for rejecting Israeli pressures on the Arabs to accept an unjust political settlement. However, the rhetoric is nothing like the old Arab rhetoric that was inspired by the rejection of Israel抯 existence and the readiness (poor, unfortunately) to fight it. The situation today has since taken a 180-degree turn: forestalling war now requires tough talk, resolute behaviour and good preparation. The rhetorical escalation on the part of both Damascus and Hizbullah falls under the heading of averting war, not courting war. However, it is not averting war by placating Israel or agreeing to settle, but rather by cautioning Israel of their determination to retaliate in the event of aggression. The best way of preventing war is to be prepared for war. It is a policy that strengthens the ability to hold out against prejudicial conditions, but it is not a policy for confronting Israel. It may forestall an unjust settlement but it will not impose a fair solution.

Take for example that threat one hears from time to time to eradicate Israel if it starts a war. If 搕he elimination of the Zionist entity?is a tenet of the political ideology of the one who threatens and if the same has the capacity to carry out the threat, then why wait for Israel to attack first? Why not just get on with it and eradicate the Zionist entity? Such threats make one doubt either the ability of those issuing threats or their resolve. Of course, there is no reason to question Hizbullah抯 ideological desire to eliminate Israel. However, its political resolve must inevitably be affected by its actual capabilities together with the attendant circumstances and an assessment of the possible consequences. And the fact is that Hizbullah cannot eradicate Israel at present, and not for a long time to come. Its reorientation domestically may signal an acknowledgement of this reality. The shift may have enabled it to remain armed, but it also places restrictions on it, changes it, and changes people抯 expectations of it. (Bear in mind that, from another perspective, the duty to liberate Palestine does not fall solely on Hizbullah, Hamas or other resistance organisations but on the whole of the Arab nation).

Hizbullah has adopted a defensive policy. Its threat to respond seriously to an Israeli offensive against Lebanon and its claim that it has the power to back this threat up confirm this. If Israel does go to war again against Lebanon, it will not be doing so for fun or even to revive the prestige of its deterrent power, but rather to make up for its failure two years ago to eliminate Hizbullah, and this time it will be bent on doing so completely. A comprehensive aim of this sort requires a war against the whole of Lebanon, which means that Hizbullah抯 response will be equally comprehensive. Would Syria accept the prospect of the annihilation of the Lebanese resistance and not just a punitive raid against Hizbullah? That would be highly unlikely, even from the sole perspective of the interests of the ruling regime and its ability to withstand US and Israeli pressures. So Israel抯 next war to the north would turn out to be war on both Lebanon and Syria. It would be a comprehensive war. This is the new deterrent equation, the new balance of terror. Within a short time its parameters will be tested. Would they, for example, permit for revenge for the assassination of Hizbullah leader Imad Mughniyeh or other such retaliatory measures? Israel, of course, will be continuously testing its parameters by means of its assassination attempts against resistance leaders and fighters.
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Post time 2010-3-20 09:25:19 |Display all floors

The continuation is clearing Customs

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Bishara is kind of heavy to read.......
I respect him because he has determination and a clear target (which I do not share)
He is a controversial figure ....... even among the Palestinians.
I consider that his rethorics are worth reading......
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Post time 2010-3-20 09:30:54 |Display all floors
<YAWN>
It's Saturday, why ain't you in the synagogue?
Why wasting time posting your claptraps here instead?
Are you barred from Abraham's church Jew because of your racist warmongering hatreds?

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Post time 2010-3-20 09:39:28 |Display all floors

You didn't like Bishara ........ or you can't understand him ?

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Now, .........To address your talent exposing question .......

Saturdays, the Mossad pays 50% more.
Today I go home with three dollars. They pay in dollars, because dollars is what they get from the Pentagon or CIA or both.

Not ..................... nice meeting you, Pal


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Post time 2010-3-20 09:44:42 |Display all floors
Originally posted by packapaca at 2010-3-20 09:39
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Now, .........To address your talent exposing question .......

Saturdays, the Mossad pays 50% more.
Today I go home with three dollars. They pay in dollars, because dollars is what they  ...




Your so dumb, Mossad won't employ you to wipe their arse!

Do Jews wipe their arse?

I know Musslims don't.
They hygienically wash clean instead.
So civilised!

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Post time 2010-3-20 10:42:35 |Display all floors

Do Jews wipe their arse?

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Nope.
We solved this problem a few hundreds years ago.
We did away with our azzes.
We no longer have azzes.

But ...... but, then  ................. what did you do with all your azzes (asked Thankopan)
Weellll ............. we collect them and when we have enough, we make another azz hole like yourself .................. (answered Packapaca)

BTW ..... dumb was your father for not having used a rubber ..... and your mother for not insisting that he used one.


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