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Baying for Blood

The Netanyahu Lunacy on Iran

by HAIM BARAM

Jerusalem.

In rare moments of lucidity, even the mythological “average Israeli” feels that our less than splendid isolation is intolerable. We are constantly brainwashed by our establishment, and the endless bombardments combining biblical rhetoric, alarmist prophesies and demagogic evocations of the holocaust confuse even the elitist circles, despite their liberal self-image and professed Western outlook. This increasingly pervasive syndrome can partially account for our sheepish acquiesce with the rampant rumours and speculations about the forthcoming Israeli attack on Iran. The consequences of such aggression are abundantly clear for most educated Israelis, even right-wingers. Yet, the current mood dictates certain apathy, very untypical in saner epochs. What has happened to our judgement, critical faculties and rebellious propensities? How can one reconcile the complete loss of faith with our institutions including the IDF with the fatalistic acceptance of our fate? There is no clear cut explanation, only pessimistic theories and general air of resignation, unprecedented in our country’s history.

In every political discussion one hears well-connected politicians and commentators list the most likely scenarios and the conclusions are normally somber. The prevalent assessments fail to grasp the logic behind the almost inevitable aggression. The nuclear capabilities of Iran are likely to remain intact; the retaliation by the Iranians is bound to be harsh; the attack on Iranian territory will unite the entire Moslem world against Israel; there will be no international sympathy towards Israel even in the terrible case of death to thousands of people here; most Americans will interpret, and not without reason, the Israeli operation as an attempt by Binyamin Netanyahu to subvert the relatively liberal regime in Washington and to help the reactionary Republican party in its election campaign.

The Israeli Prime-Minister is regarded here, almost universally, as a Republican hack, with vested interests in the victory of the hard-core right-wingers in the US. Actually, he has built his entire career as an Israeli politician on the premise, that White House policies, which do not fully concur with the interest of Israel’s right-wing government, can be subverted and finally even eradicated by the US congress, supposedly under the influence of the pro-Likud lobby in Washington. There is an element of conceit here that has turned Netanyahu into the scourge of American liberals, a foe of the Democrats and a staunch ally of the worst war-mongers and neo-liberals in the American political arena. The South-American leftist, arguably forming a very potent ideological, social and political powerbase in Latin-America, brand official Israel as an enemy, and not without cause. Millions in Brazil, Argentina and the entire spectrum of opinion in Central America will castigate Israel as an aggressor if the Netanyahu regime attack Iran. But even their reaction will be dwarfed but the gathering storm in the Moslem world. The wealthy and conservative sector of the US Jewry and their allies in Alabama and Texas are unlikely to shield the Israelis from the popular international wrath.

The left in Israel, our allies the Arab citizens and the entire peace camp here need the world to save the region from the planned, senseless attack on Iran which could well deteriorate into a future nuclear war. As we cannot rely on our cabinet ministers, some of them baying for blood, we must call upon governments, NGOs and political movements worldwide to help us to prevent the Netanyahu lunacy before the PM unleashes his fury on the denizens of the Middle-East, including us, the Israelis.

Haim Baram is a journalist based in Jerusalem.