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August 23, 2006

Israel's Strategy of Provocation and War  

Feroze H. Mithiborwala

For all those who are convinced of the perennial threat to the existence of Israel, we must read the interview of General Moshe Dayan, (the legendary Israeli General and Defence Minister and the victor of the "Six Day War of 1967") which he gave to Yediot Aharonot in 1976 and which was only published in April 27, 1997.


On being asked to comment about Syria as a threat to Israel in the 1967 War, this is what Moshe Dayan had to say.


"This was bullshit, Syria was not a threat to Israel before 1967. Just drop it. I know how at least 80 percent of all the incidents with Syria started. We were sending a tractor to the demilitarized zone and we knew that the Syrians would shoot. If they did not shoot, we would instruct the tractor to go deeper, till the Syrians finally got upset and started shooting. Then we employed artillery and later also the air force …. I did that ….and Yitzhak Rabin did that, when he was there."


According to Dayan  the Israeli provocation for the war with Syria was greediness for the land. "to grab a piece of land and keep it until the enemy gets tired and gives it to us".


Also consider the following strategy statement by former PM Ehud Barak as reported by Amir Oren in the Haa'retz, January 8, 1999.


"At the moment," Barak admitted, "there is no consensus for an operation against the Syrians except where the terrorists are concerned – (an issue) which under certain circumstances, such as a multi-casualty terrorist strike, or a Katyusha rocket on the Galilee, might lead to consensus….."


With this in mind he recommended that "the necessary infrastructure and plans be prepared for a swift operation, 1967 style against Syria, (an operation) that will develop through a rapid chain of events – a terrorist strike, a strike on terrorists …….it might be possible in indirect ways to influence the forming of a chain of events leading to an anti-terrorist strike."


All we need to do is substitute Syria in the present context by Lebanon to understand the Israeli strategy of provoking war, which brings us to the current Lebanon - Israel conflict.

Israel and the US as well as the overwhelming section of the Western dominated media are projecting this conflict as a war that was provoked by the Hezbollah. They keep on reiterating the myth of the "kidnapping" of the Israeli soldiers from Israeli territory.


Now lets go to the facts that have also been reported in the independent media. Firstly the soldiers were not kidnapped but were "captured" as all soldiers the world over are. Secondly the Israeli soldiers were captured in an intrusion across the "Blue Line" in Lebanese territory as was reported by Forbes ( 12.07.06) who were informed by Israeli officials that "Hezbollah captured two soldiers during clashes, Wednesday, across the border in southern Lebanon, prompting a swift reaction by Israel." This fact has also been further confirmed and vindicated by reports from the London based Independent and Guardian (July 20, 2006).


The tension in the region was definitely being built up over the course of the period that led to the conflagration. Lets us consider a short factual chronology of the events as they unfolded on the Israel-Palestine-Lebanon occupied territories and borders.


1)   Since the year 2000, when Israel withdrew from Lebanon but continued to occupy the Shebaa farms, the UN observers have recorded more that 2400 violations by Israel of Lebanese land, sea and airspace.

2)   May 2006 : The Mossad assassinated two Palestinian freedom fighters in an operation in the Lebanese city of Saida. Israel also kidnapped a fisherman, Ahmad Karrami from Lebanese territorial waters. Later on they also aerially bombed Hezbollah strongholds which led to border clashes.

3)   Apart from the ongoing repression of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories consider the following incidents:

a)       June 9, 2006: Israeli missile attack on a Gazan family on the beach kills 7.

b)       June 13, 2006: An IDF missile attack in Gaza kills 9 Palestinians.

c)       June 24, 2006: Israel kidnaps a Palestinian doctor and his brother from Gaza.

d)       June 25, 2006: Hamas captures an Israeli soldier after an Israeli incursion      into the "Green Line" in Gaza.

e)       Israel starts aerially bombarding Gaza to which Hamas responds with Katyusha rockets.

f)         Hamas demands exchange of prisoners as has been the established precedent of the past. More than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, including a 1000 women and children continue to languish in Israeli jails.

g)       Israel further worsens the situation by kidnapping the Members of Parliament of Hamas while continuing to bomb civilian areas with impunity.

4)       July 11, 2006: In an Israeli operation in Lebanese territory, they clash with the Hezbollah in which two Israeli soldiers are captured. Similarly, the Hezbollah bargains for the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. Israel responds with aerial attacks on South Lebanon, Hezbollah responds with rocket attacks on Northern Israel which finally led to the Israeli invasion.



It is quiet clear to most observers and analysts of this region, that this aggression by Israel was a pre-planned war. Mid-way through the course of the war reports began to appear in the media regarding the Israel's agenda for war and its planning and consent of the US and UK. Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker ( 14.08.06) reported that Israeli officials visited the White House earlier this summer to get a "green light" for the attack on Lebanon. The Bush administration approved the attack to remove the Hezbollah as a deterrent to a potential US bombing of Iran. Even F.A.I.R. – Fairness & Accuracy In Media concluded that the Israeli action "was not a spontaneous reaction to aggression but a well planned operation that was years in the making".


PM Ehud Olmert recently made a statement saying that Israel would eventually declare its borders by 2010. Whilst Bush speaks of his "vision for a New Middle East" and after the massacres of Lebanese civilians, Rice announces that these are the "birth pangs of democracy". Of course the Lebanese government told Rice that they did not need a "mid-wife from hell".


So what are the Israeli-US strategies to impose their agenda for the imperial hegemony of the Middle East and West Asia.


My analysis is the following:


While they create an atmosphere of rising tension that gradually moves into the phase of border clashes then:


1)   Launch a full scale War on Lebanon to occupy and annexe the territory in south Lebanon till the Litani river. This has been the dream of Ben Gurion. In order to ensure the process of total ethnic cleansing, heavy bombing and destruction of civilian infrastructure is imperative.


The main objective would be to defeat and neutralize the Hezbollah and install a pliant and pro-US/Israeli regime in Beirut.     


2)   Within the Palestinian territories the repression and massacres would continue.


3)   Then under the pretext of the Nuclear issue they would attack Iran and launch a massive aerial bombardment. At the end of which they plan to install a new "moderate" regime in Tehran.


4)   During the course of this war campaign they would annexe Golan Heights from Syria and if Syria were to challenge, they would be similarly dealt with.


5)   During the course of this Regional War they will find the convenient pretext of cracking down upon the Palestinian population and will launch a major war of ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza and also possibly from within Israel itself and push them into Jordan. This is basically the Zionist vision (both within the political and military leadership and in any case they have always morphed) for the solution of the Palestinian problem and a New Middle East.



The above was the real game plan behind the war on Lebanon and it is safe to say that they have failed and miserably at that. The Military and Political invincibility of Israel has been utterly exposed.

The political strategy of the Israeli-US combine was founded on a very simple belief – every time Israel went to War, Israel had to Win. Now the odds against this strategy have definitely mounted.

This very fact gives the opening for the moderate camp within Israel, both within the political and military leadership as well as the civil society to come forward and stake their claim to a just and peaceful solution for   the people of Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The relevant UN resolutions and International Laws as well as a  framework and consensus to implement the same exists amongst the people,  all it now needs is political vision.

I will sign off with a statement from  Major General (retd) Shlomo Gazit who was the Head of Research at the directorate of Military Intelligence. In discussion with Alan Hart who is the author of a brilliant book "Zionism the Real Enemy of the Jews", one morning over a cup of coffee he said to Shlomo Gazit: "I've come to the conclusion that its all a myth. Israel's existence has never ever been in danger".

Through a sad smile Gazit replied, "The trouble with us Israeli's is that we've become victims of our own propaganda".