Friday, November 16, 2012

Biblical Dimension of New Israeli Campaign vs Gaza

At Moon of Alabama notes how Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF's current onslaught vs. Gaza, was initially named (in Hebrew) "Pillar of Cloud" - a Biblical term that indicates God's physical presence among the early Israelites during episodes of conflict.  The IDF evidently switched to Pillar of Defense to draw more secular observers' attention away from the ultra-religious-nationalist ideology that has begun to dominate Israeli security discourse.
That ideology hardly shines through, though, in these Instagram pictures recently posted by young IDF worthies as they muster for duty in Gaza.  War now becomes the equivalent of strutting down the runway.  These kids seem not to have a worry in the world.  Not surprising.  From a military standpoint, the IDF's war against Gaza is a turkey-shoot.  Pepe Escobar makes the same point at Asia Times.  And he also points out some of Bibi's more cynical motives here, to wit: if Obama is thinking about approaching Iran for direct talks, well then, I'll fix him! How 'bout a new war in Gaza to distract you?
Escobar correctly notes, though:

If Obama had any balls he would be fuming. Then he would smack down Bibi. Shouldn't even bet on it. We know he won't. 

But Obama needs to be climbing down Bibi's throat, pronto.  Sure, Bibi's ploy here may serve to back-burner Iran.  But as Escobar notes, it's not as if the Hamas government in Gaza is going to be left  hung out to dry:

Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi will have to do ... something; the Egpytian street, which is all in favor of scrapping the Camp David accords, will demand it. On top of that, Cairo itself broke the truce between Tel Aviv and Hamas - now totally sabotaged by Israel. Moreover, Hamas is supported by Turkey and, crucially, the Emir of Qatar and his petro-billions. Will they just shut up and watch the carnage? As for King Playstation in Jordan, he cannot play conciliator towards Israel because he may be booking a one-way flight to London sooner than he thinks.

If anything, a lesson emerging in all of this - not that it's anything new - is that Bibi could give a rat's ass when it comes to US hopes, relationships, and interests in the Arab/Turko/Iranian Middle East. Netanyahu will seek to advance whatever he considers to be Israel's interests, whatever the cost to the US.
And it may well happen that, if the Gaza onslaught ramps up, that cost will include more US embassies and consulates stormed and burned, and more American diplomats terrorized and killed.  
If that happens, of course, don't look to the Dos Amigos and their posse in Congress to point a finger at Bibi. 

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