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Published on June 23rd, 2012 | by Usman Butt
Image © [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="566"] © 2012 www.abodeofchaos.org[/caption]   I agree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli right, the Jewish state of Israel faces an existential crisis. The only difference between myself and Netanyahu is how we define this crisis. He calls it Iran, I call it international de-legitimisation; social; economic; and political disintegration. Would it be so radical to propose that the current stand of with Iran is not about Iran at all? As it stands, there is no evidence that Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons; on the contrary according to a 2007 leaked CIA report Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. The US and Israeli intelligence communities do not believe that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Despite this official discussions are now beginning to surround the ‘acceptable’ number of casualties which may result from an Iranian retaliation strike, this study, alongside other conflictual debates, have caused talks of war to grow ever louder in the Israeli media. As things stand the number of 'acceptable' number of Israeli dead after an Iranian retaliatory strike is more or less 5,000 according to the nations media. The reason for highlighting this aspect of the public debate in Israel is because it demonstrates that within the public sphere, war with Iran is viewed by many as a near certainty. The question is why? If there is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, why threaten war? Perhaps, its time to see the current stand off as having nothing to do with Iran; instead isn't it sensible to instead see that it’s about Israel. There is a national myth in Israel ‘ours is a country born in war (1948), we are surrounded by hostile Arab neighbours who want to push us into the sea. We want peace but there is no one to make peace with, thus we must live by the sword and fight to the end like Samson the Jewish hero’. This delusion is deeply grained into the national psyche of Israel, and is integral to everyday political life. It is because this myth is so deeply engrained into the nation's animus that Israelis accept talk of war, and even accept the necessity for war. Israel has always been a country designed for war, as it was seen by many in London and Washington as a western outpost in a hostile region. 64 years ago Israel became a recognised nation, and since that time it’s fought 8 wars, and two uprisings. In 1967, after fighting a war with Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, Israel sized East Jerusalem, the West Bank, The Golan Heights and the Sinai the UN passed resolution 242 calling on Israel to withdraw from territories taken during the conflict. To date Israel has failed to comply with resolution 242, and with the exception of the Sinai, is attempting to annexe these occupied territories. In doing so, they have subjected the Palestinian people – a people who have always lived in these territories - to a harsh military occupation. Since the 1993/94 Oslo accords, the West Bank has been divided up into three areas. Area A, which is under Palestinian rule, consists of major towns and cities in the West Bank; Area B, which consists of various Israeli military checkpoints, is under joint Israeli/Palestinian command, in reality it is solely under Israeli control; whereas Area C, which is under absolute Israeli control, consists of Settlements and roads between different West Bank towns and cities. After forty odd years of occupation, Israel’s international image is at an all time low. In Britain public opinion has swung against them, every year when the BBC conducts polls of countries which are both positive and negative forces in the world, Israel is often ranked alongside North Korea and Iran. There is additionally an academic boycott of Israeli lectures at British universities, and calls across the Western world for the boycott of Israeli products. Israel sees itself as under threat domestically and internationally, yet the real picture is not as they think. Population wise according to official figures conducted by the Israeli government Palestinian birth-rates are higher than Jewish birth-rates. Although Israeli citizens are officially the majority of the population, some citizens suspect that if you did an unofficial (non-governmental) population count from Gaza to the Jordan Valley, Palestinians constitute the majority. Although this can’t be proved it is a very real fear amongst the Israeli public that the growth of population in the Palestinian territories, is greater than those on the other side. On top of this, according to some economic indicators Israeli - more so than the United States - has been questioned to be socially and economically disintegrating the gap between rich and poor. This was symbolised in last summer’s protest in Tel Aviv over housing and living costs. Poverty in Israel is extremely high amongst the heights in the Western world. The dire economic situation is marred with social disintegration brought about by the explosion in the ultra-orthodox population, Russian immigration and high Palestinian birth-rates. Israel is in terminal crisis and one way to challenge this, unite the country, and the world, is a powerful external threat. Enter Iran.

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I agree with Mr Netanyahu: Questioning the Israeli Right.

© 2012 www.abodeofchaos.org

 

I agree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli right, the Jewish state of Israel faces an existential crisis. The only difference between myself and Netanyahu is how we define this crisis. He calls it Iran, I call it international de-legitimisation; social; economic; and political disintegration. Would it be so radical to propose that the current stand of with Iran is not about Iran at all? As it stands, there is no evidence that Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons; on the contrary according to a 2007 leaked CIA report Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. The US and Israeli intelligence communities do not believe that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. Despite this official discussions are now beginning to surround the ‘acceptable’ number of casualties which may result from an Iranian retaliation strike, this study, alongside other conflictual debates, have caused talks of war to grow ever louder in the Israeli media. As things stand the number of ‘acceptable’ number of Israeli dead after an Iranian retaliatory strike is more or less 5,000 according to the nations media. The reason for highlighting this aspect of the public debate in Israel is because it demonstrates that within the public sphere, war with Iran is viewed by many as a near certainty.

The question is why? If there is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons, why threaten war? Perhaps, its time to see the current stand off as having nothing to do with Iran; instead isn’t it sensible to instead see that it’s about Israel. There is a national myth in Israel ‘ours is a country born in war (1948), we are surrounded by hostile Arab neighbours who want to push us into the sea. We want peace but there is no one to make peace with, thus we must live by the sword and fight to the end like Samson the Jewish hero’. This delusion is deeply grained into the national psyche of Israel, and is integral to everyday political life. It is because this myth is so deeply engrained into the nation’s animus that Israelis accept talk of war, and even accept the necessity for war. Israel has always been a country designed for war, as it was seen by many in London and Washington as a western outpost in a hostile region. 64 years ago Israel became a recognised nation, and since that time it’s fought 8 wars, and two uprisings. In 1967, after fighting a war with Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, Israel sized East Jerusalem, the West Bank, The Golan Heights and the Sinai the UN passed resolution 242 calling on Israel to withdraw from territories taken during the conflict. To date Israel has failed to comply with resolution 242, and with the exception of the Sinai, is attempting to annexe these occupied territories.

In doing so, they have subjected the Palestinian people – a people who have always lived in these territories – to a harsh military occupation. Since the 1993/94 Oslo accords, the West Bank has been divided up into three areas. Area A, which is under Palestinian rule, consists of major towns and cities in the West Bank; Area B, which consists of various Israeli military checkpoints, is under joint Israeli/Palestinian command, in reality it is solely under Israeli control; whereas Area C, which is under absolute Israeli control, consists of Settlements and roads between different West Bank towns and cities. After forty odd years of occupation, Israel’s international image is at an all time low. In Britain public opinion has swung against them, every year when the BBC conducts polls of countries which are both positive and negative forces in the world, Israel is often ranked alongside North Korea and Iran. There is additionally an academic boycott of Israeli lectures at British universities, and calls across the Western world for the boycott of Israeli products.

Israel sees itself as under threat domestically and internationally, yet the real picture is not as they think. Population wise according to official figures conducted by the Israeli government Palestinian birth-rates are higher than Jewish birth-rates. Although Israeli citizens are officially the majority of the population, some citizens suspect that if you did an unofficial (non-governmental) population count from Gaza to the Jordan Valley, Palestinians constitute the majority. Although this can’t be proved it is a very real fear amongst the Israeli public that the growth of population in the Palestinian territories, is greater than those on the other side. On top of this, according to some economic indicators Israeli – more so than the United States – has been questioned to be socially and economically disintegrating the gap between rich and poor. This was symbolised in last summer’s protest in Tel Aviv over housing and living costs. Poverty in Israel is extremely high amongst the heights in the Western world. The dire economic situation is marred with social disintegration brought about by the explosion in the ultra-orthodox population, Russian immigration and high Palestinian birth-rates. Israel is in terminal crisis and one way to challenge this, unite the country, and the world, is a powerful external threat. Enter Iran.

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About the Author

Usman Butt

Usman graduated in 2012 with an MA in Palestine Studies from the University Of Exeter. Before that he read Arabic Language and International Relations at the University of Westminster. Amongst his proudest achievements include winning a muffin for public speaking, winning a Lego set at age 5 and helping Palestinian refugees learn English. Usually writes about genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, Israel/Palestinian politics, Iranian/Syrian/Lebanese politics, the Arab Spring, philosophy, religion, British politics, Foreign Policy, history and social issues. He enjoys writing as he sees it as an outlet to express his opinions about the public discourse on these issues. He believes writing is a good way of keeping productive and teaching yourself new things.



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