A Taste of the Future? Israel in a Strategic Dead End
by Jonathan Cook
They are extraordinary scenes. Film shot on mobile phones captured the
moment on Sunday when at least 1,000 Palestinian refugees marched across
no-man's land to one of the most heavily protected borders in the world, the
one separating Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Waving Palestinian flags, the marchers braved a minefield, then tore down a
series of fences, allowing more than 100 to run into Israeli-controlled
territory. As they embraced Druze villagers on the other side, voices could
be heard saying: "This is what liberation looks like."
Unlike previous years, this Nakba Day was not simply a commemoration of the
catastrophe that befell the Palestinians in 1948, when their homeland was
forcibly reinvented as the Jewish state. It briefly reminded Palestinians
that, despite their long-enforced dispersion, they still have the potential
to forge a common struggle against Israel.
As Israel violently cracked down on last Sunday's protests on many fronts --
in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and on the borders with Syria and Lebanon
-- it looked less like a military superpower and more like the proverbial
boy with his finger in the dam.
The Palestinian "Arab Spring" is arriving and Israel has no diplomatic or
political strategy to deal with it. Instead on Sunday, Israel used the only
weapon in its current arsenal -- brute force -- against unarmed
Along the northern borders, at least 14 protesters were killed and dozens
wounded, both at Majdal Shams in the Golan and near Maroun al-Ras in
In Gaza, a teenager was shot dead and more than 100 other demonstrators
wounded as they massed at crossing points. At Qalandiya, the main checkpoint
Israel created to bar West Bank Palestinians from reaching Jerusalem, at
least 40 protesters were badly injured. There were clashes in major West
Bank towns too.
And inside Israel, the country's Palestinian minority took their own Nakba
march for the first time into the heart of Israel, waving Palestinian flags
in Jaffa, the once-famous Palestinian city that has been transformed since
1948 into a minor suburb of Tel Aviv. . . .
[The Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday the party it formed to contest
elections has chosen a Christian intellectual as vice president and numbers
almost 100 Coptic Christians among its founding members.
"The number of founding members has reached 8,821 ..., including 978 women
and 93 Copts. Coptic thinker Rafiq Habib has been chosen as the party's vice
president," . . .
[The Palestinians are planning something thoroughly obnoxious: they
intend to apply to the UN for statehood.
. . . "But was the State of Israel not proclaimed unilaterally?" Our state,
it may be remembered, was declared by David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues on
Mai 14, 1948, without asking anyone.
But who would dare to compare?
Furthermore, these dastardly Palestinians are going to the UN General
Assembly, trying to circumvent the UN Security Council where the US can
block them with its veto. Dirty trick!
But just a moment! Was the State of Israel not proclaimed on the basis of a
resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly? To be precise: resolution 181
of November 29, 1947, on the partition of Palestine into an Arab and a
As a matter of fact, this resolution is still in force. It served as the
centerpiece of Israel's Declaration of Independence, and serves now as a
basis for the Palestinian demand that the State of Palestine be accepted as
a full-fledged member of the United Nations.--Uri Avnery, "Sacred Mantras:
Not Even Good Propaganda Anymore," counterpunch.org, June 28, 2011]
[Paid stooges in Washington talk about Israel's strategic importance to the
US. That's a dream, much as the strength of Israel's army is a dream.
There are two strategic allies in the Middle East, Egypt with their control
of the Suez Canal and Turkey with their control of the Bosporus, the only
gateway to the Black Sea, something of immense value to the US. Turkey is
also the gateway for oil from Central Asia and Northern Iraq. Another factor
is Kurdistan. Israel has controlled the PKK, the communist terror group
that has killed thousands in Turkey. Israel is threatening to unleash them
again. In meetings with leaders in Iraq, however, I was told that Turkish
military actions against the PKK, even inside Iraq were welcomed. Kurds in
Iraq hate the PKK and have long seen it as destructive.--Gordon Duff, "Israel and the Upcoming Nuclear War: The 'Unthinkable' is
Now Inevitable," veteranstoday.com, September 11, 2011]
[Erdogan repeatedly stressed, "Egypt and Turkey are hand-in-hand." But it's
the subtext that is even more incendiary. While Israel's former good friends
Egypt and Turkey are now hand-in-hand, Israel is left isolated facing a
wall. There could not be a more earth-shattering development in the Levant -
unheard of since the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt in
1978.--Pepe Escobar, "Turkey
takes over the Arab Spring," atimes.com, September 15, 2011]
[But if, for the sake of argument, one were to accept the view expressed by
President Obama - that unilateralism is a flawed political approach - then
one should survey the history of unilateral moves within the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and examine the US response towards them.--Neve
Gordon and Yinon Cohen, "Obama's
Roadblock at the UN: The One-Sided Veto," counterpunch.org,
September 20, 2011]
[By placing Iran in direct opposition to Western views and plans, Khamenei
skillfully exploits the rampant anxiety in Moscow and Beijing and increases
these countries' incentive to support Iran in its intensifying diplomatic,
political and potentially military conflict with the West.--Mahan Abedin,
throws the gauntlet at the West," atimes.com, September 21, 2011]
[While Obama publicly pressured Israel to make concessions to the
Palestinians over settlements, he secretly sold Jerusalem deep-penetrating
bombs--Eli Lake, "Obama
Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs," thedailybeast.com, September 23,