Israel - The Next Target

By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

Also published by United Press International (UPI)

Malignant Self Love - Buy the Book - Click HERE!!!

Relationships with Abusive Narcissists - Buy the e-Books - Click HERE!!!

READ THIS: Scroll down to review a complete list of the articles –

Click on the blue-coloured text!
Bookmark this Page - and SHARE IT with Others!

Written March 24, 2003

Updated March 2005

Its leader seems more comfortable in battle fatigues than in civil suits. He has been long pursuing a policy of bloody oppression and annexation. The regime is often castigated due to rampant human rights violations. The country possesses weapons of mass destruction, though it repeatedly denies the allegations. It refuses to honor numerous Security Council resolutions. President Bush senior once subjected it to sanctions. The United States is already training its sights on this next target: Israel.

The chieftains of the New World Order have made it abundantly clear that Iraq's capitulation inexorably led to the official release of the much-leaked "road map" for peace in the Middle East propounded by the "Quartet" - the USA, UK, United Nations and Russia. A series of disclosures in the Israeli media made it equally evident that prime minister Ariel Sharon's crew still beg to differ from substantial portions of the foursome's vision. Instead, Sharon has come up with his Gaza Withdrawal First plan and his newfound amity with the post-Arafat Palestinian Authority.

Still, to demonstrate to skeptic and embittered Muslims everywhere that its motives in waging war on Iraq were more altruistic than ulterior, the Administration will impose an even-handed peace on a reluctant Israel. Should it resist, the Jewish state will find itself subjected to the kind of treatment hitherto reserved for the founding members of the axis of evil - economic sanctions to the fore.

Can it withstand such treatment?

Institutional Investor has downgraded Israel's 2002 country credit rating to 45th place - seven rungs lower than in early 2000. It is ranked behind Kuwait, Cyprus, Qatar, and Oman. Moody's, Fitch and Standard and Poor's (S&P) has refrained from a further rating action, following a series of demotions in 2001-2003.

The country's economy - especially its dynamic construction, tourism and agricultural segments - has been weakened by five years of civil strife both within the green line and throughout the occupied territories. This has been reflected in the shekel's and the stock exchange's precipitous declines, by one fifth each in 2001-2002. Profits in the banking sector slumped by more than three quarters in the same period due to augmented loan loss provisions.

A halting recovery from the effects of a global recession and the bursting of the hi-tech bubble have not helped. Gross domestic product growth in 2000 was a spectacular 7 percent. In the next two years, however, the economy has contracted. The calling up of reservists to active duty, the dwindling of immigration - from 78,400 in 1999 down to 31,491 three years later - and the disappearance of the Palestinian shopper depressed consumption, services and retail sales.

Uriel Lynn, chairman of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, told BBC News Online, that the country has lost about $2.5 billion "in terms of business product". Defense spending spiked at 10 percent of the budget, double the American ratio and triple the military outlays of the typical EU member.

Social solidarity is fraying. The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) - run by members of the shriveled opposition Labor party - often declares labor disputes, heralding general strikes. This in response to reforms promulgated by the Ministry of Finance, now headed by a hardliner, the former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The private sector accounts for 70 percent of GDP in Israel and is already stretched to the limit. Instead, the hard-pressed ministry wants to sack thousands in the bloated public services and cut the salaries and pension rights of the remaining civil servants by 8 percent. Government consumption amounts to one third of GDP and public debt exceeds it.

In a reversal of decades of tradition, collective wage agreements will be abolished. The finance ministry is trying to reduce the spiraling budget deficit - now pegged at more than 6 percent of GDP - by $2 billion to c. 3.5-4.5 percent of GDP, depending on one's propensity for optimism.

Netanyahu also pledged to trim down the top marginal tax rate from a whopping 60 to 49 percent and to aggressively privatize state holdings in companies such as El Al, Bezeq Telecommunications, Oil Refineries and Israel Electric Company. He told the Israeli daily Ha'aretz that the fate of an American package comprising $1 billion in extra military aid and $9 billion in loan guarantees depends on such "proper economics".

Trying to balance fiscal profligacy, David Klein, the former governor of the Bank of Israel, kept real interest rates high, cutting them by increments of 0.2 percent (to 8.7 percent in March 2003). Inflation in 2002, at 5.7 percent, was way above the 1998-2002 average of 3.7 percent.

Partly due to this contractionary bias, more than 50,000 small businesses closed their doors in 2002. According to the CNN, another 60,000 will follow suit by yearend. The number of tourists plunged by a staggering three fifths. Foreign investment crumbled from $11 billion in 2000 to $4 billion in 2002.

Unemployment is stubbornly stuck above 10 percent - and double this figure in the Arab street. The State of the Economy Index, published by the central bank, fell for the 30th consecutive month in February 2003. Of 1.6 million employees in the business sector, 61,000 were fired since January 2001.

It is the fifth year of recession: the economy contracted by 1 percent in 2002 and by 0.9 percent in 2001. Nor is it over yet. Business Data Israel (BDI), a forecasting consultancy, reckons that the damage to Israel's economy of the short war in Iraq amounts to $1 billion, or 1 percent of GDP.

One fifth of the population survives under the poverty line. Strains between well to do newcomers, mainly from the former Soviet republics, and impoverished veterans are growing - as do tensions between destitute immigrants and their adopted homeland. Many emigrate from Israel back to the Commonwealth of Independent States, to Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

American aid - some $2.7 billion a year - largely goes to repay past debts. Then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has announced in January 2003 the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative. Local groups will be encouraged to invest in the private sectors of their countries. But the Partnership is geared to tackle the needy Arab polities rather than the far-advanced and sated Israel.

Consider next door Palestine, now severed from its main market employer next door.

A World Bank report released in early March 2003 stated that half the 3.5 million denizens of the Palestinian Authority live under an impossibly depleted $2 a day poverty line. One in two employees in the private sector lost their jobs and GDP declined by two fifths in the first two years of the intifada.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned in September 2002 that the economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was drained of up to $2.4bn due to closures, mass unemployment, and damages to infrastructure. "The profound changes that have taken place in the functioning of the economy ... are unlikely to be easily reversed even if stability is attained", the report concluded gloomily.

Israel withholds more than $400 million in back taxes it had collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Business Week predicts that donor aid - more than $1 billion annually at current levels - will dry up in the wake of the Iraq conflict with resources diverted to reconstruct a nascent and oil-rich democracy on the Euphrates.

Hence Blair's sense of urgency (and the summit with Palestinian leaders that he convened in London at the beginning of 2005). With victory in Iraq, Israel faces a united "land-for-peace" front, encompassing ostensible adversaries such as France and the United States. Unity on the Palestinian question will salve the wounds self-inflicted on the Euro-Atlantic coalition on the road to Baghdad.

Few place bets on Israel's ability to resist such concerted action, led by the sole superpower. The Economist Intelligence Unit foresee the imminent collapse of Sharon's narrow right-wing government - this despite a modest economic revival and the coalition with his erstwhile foes, the Labor party, headed by Shimon Peres.

The current account deficit, prognosticated the EIU in 2003, should fall to 1.7 percent of a GDP growing, in real terms, by 3.1 percent in 2004 (compared to a rosy scenario of 0.3 percent in 2003). This proved to be unrealistic. Exports have sharply plunged to less than $28 billion in 2002, two fifths of it to the USA and a similar proportion to the European Union.

Still, with a GDP per head of about $16,000 (or $20,000 in purchasing power parity terms), Israel is one of the richest countries in the world - particularly if its thriving informal economy is considered and if the global hi-tech sector recovers which is widely tipped to happen. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, Israel is the third largest exporter of armaments, materiel and military services, ahead of Russia.

The country's foreign exchange reserves per capita, at $3500, are higher than Japan's. Its external debt - c. $27 billion - is puny and almost entirely guaranteed by the United States. Only one tenth of it is held by ordinary foreign investors. Israel can withstand years of economic sanctions unaffected - as it has done well into the 1970s. The Jewish state also enjoys the support of a virulently nationalistic diaspora, willing to dip into bulging pocketbook in times of need.

Another scenario, however unlikely, would see the European Union siding with Israel against a bullying United States and its sidekick, the United Kingdom. Two years ago, Italy's outspoken prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, normally a staunch supporter of president George Bush, floated the idea of further enlarging the EU to incorporate Russia, Turkey and Israel.

But visionaries like Stef Wertheimer, an Israeli industrial tycoon, talk wistfully of a regional "mini" Marshall Plan. It calls for massive infusions of aid and credit, overseen by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, into the eastern Mediterranean - Jordan, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Israel's minorities - at least until GDP per capita throughout the region surges fivefold, to $6,000 per year.

Such misguided development nostrums are alluring. They cater to the Western misconception that terrorism is born of poverty and ignorance. Removing these alleged causes of violence, goes the refrain, will end all aggression. Throwing money at problems is an inveterate American and European reflex. Prosperity and democracy are keys to stability and moderation, they preach.

But the unpalatable truth is that Israel is the haughty outpost of Western civilization in an area distinctly un-Western and anti-Western. Terrorism is about clashing values and opposing worldviews, not about the allocation of scarce jobs and the benefits of technology parks.

People like Osama bin-Laden are rich and well-educated. Muslim fundamentalists - in between atrocities - provide health, welfare benefits and schooling to millions of the poor and the deprived. They don't seem to think, like Wertheimer and his patronizing ilk,  that higher standards of living negate their mission to oppose American culture, ethos and hegemony by all means, fair or foul.

The USA, the Friendly Bully (Brussels Morning)

I. Introduction

It is common knowledge that, in international affairs, emotions defer to self-interest. As George Orwell noted in his masterpiece, "1984", the flux of circumstance may render yesterday's foe tomorrow's friend.

Thus, ever since the USA bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 and then proceeded to champion the cause of the restive Albanian minority in 2001 (amidst a bloodied insurgency), America was widely considered by many Macedonians as the enemy. A mere 7 years later, Bush's United States has become Macedonia's last hope and great supporter in its conflict with Greece over the "name issue".

But Macedonia would do well to learn from Israel's turbulent and bitter experience with the United States. Despite the fact that the Israeli lobby in Washington - AIPAC - is by far the mightiest and the best organized, backed as it is by millions of affluent and politically active Jews, Israel was often pressured by its "friend" and strategic ally into compromises that subverted its national interest and even endangered its very existence.

II. 1948-1967

During the 1950s and 1960s, the USA was essentially pro-Arab. It attempted to secure the oil fields of the Middle East (in the Gulf, Iraq, and Iran) from Soviet encroachment by nurturing friendly relations with the region's authoritarian regimes and by fostering a military alliance with Turkey (later, a part of an extended NATO).

Remarkably, Israel was forced to rely on the USSR for arms (supplied via the Czech Republic) and, later, on France and Britain, who were desperately trying to hang on to the smoldering remnants of their colonial empires

Thus, in 1956, Israel (in collusion with France and Britain) attempted to prise open the critical recently-nationalized waterway, the Suez Canal, by invading the Sinai Peninsula, then, as now, a part of Egypt. The USA forced Israel into a humiliating and public retreat and threatened the fledgling state with economic, military, and diplomatic sanctions if it did not comply with American demands without ado.

During the 1960s, even when America did (rarely) sell weapons systems to Israel, it made sure to make the same armaments available to Israel's avowed and vociferous enemies, Egypt and Jordan. By 1967, the USA has granted the Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan far larger sums of military and foreign aid than it did its neighbor to the west, Israel.

President Johnson was a staunch supporter of Israel. Yet, in the run-up to the Six Days War, the Johnson Administration summoned Israeli politicians and military leaders to Washington and publicly chastised and berated them for refusing to succumb to American pressure and yield to Arab demands (which amounted essentially to the dismantling of the Jewish State by economic and diplomatic means). Secretary of State Dean Rusk went as far as blaming Israel for the war. A diplomatic solution, he insisted, was possible, had Israel shown more flexibility.

The deliberate or mistaken Israeli attack, during the conflict, on the USS Liberty, an American intelligence-gathering ship, moored in international waters, did not help bilateral relations any.

III. 1967-Present

Still, Israel's decisive victory over the combined forces of numerous Arab states, many of which bore Soviet arms, changed perceptions in Washington and among the Jews: here was a military democracy that could serve as a bulwark against Soviet expansion in the Middle East; a regional cop; a testing ground for new weapons; a living breathing demonstration of the superiority of American arms; an intelligence gathering "front office"; and a frontline base in case of dire need.

Israel's standing was thus transformed from pariah to a major non-NATO ally overnight (a status officially granted it in 1987). Israel felt sufficiently secure in its newfound pivotal strategic role to reject a peace plan forwarded by then Secretary of State, Will Rogers in 1970.

Yet, even in the heyday of this "special relationship", Israel refrained from defying the USA and feared the repercussions of any disagreement, major or minor. This hesitancy and dread were not confined to the political echelons: the entire population were affected. People of all walks of life engaged in reading the tea leaves of "the mood in Washington" and what should Israel do to placate its fickle, thuggish, and overbearing "partner".

Thus, despite numerous warning signs that it is about to be attacked by superior Arab forces in 1973, the Israeli leadership gambled with the country's very existence and did not launch a pre-emptive strike, having been cautioned not to act by President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.

When Israel repelled and encircled the invading Egyptian Army, Kissinger called Israel's Ambassador in Washington, Simcha Dinitz and instructed him not to pursue a military victory. When Dinitz protested, Kissinger told him that disobeying the United States (and destroying the aggressor's remaining forces on the ground) was "an option that simply does not exist".

Kissinger then proceeded with shuttle diplomacy aimed at pressuring Israel into ceding most of the land it conquered in the last two wars in return for a mere ceasefire. Whenever Israel resisted any of his dictates, however inconsequential, Kissinger would publicly threaten Israel with abandonment and even sanctions. This modus operandi continued throughout President Carter's years in office.

Even in the early Reagan years, Israel was berated and threatened on a regular basis, owing to its invasion of Lebanon and its rejection of yet another American-imposed "peace" plan in 1982 and in 1988. The Reagan Administration also openly consorted with the PLO, at the time still an unrepentant, anti-Jewish terrorist organization.

Yet, throughout these very public and advertent humiliations, the USA remained Israel's main backer. Friendship and bullying appeared to be two inalienable facet of the same coin of American-Israeli relations.

The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 1981; formed a Joint Military Political Group in 1983; conducted joint air and naval exercises in 1984; stockpiled American weapons and materiel on Israeli soil; and signed a free trade agreement in 1985. Israel has also been the recipient of 3 billion USD annually (until 2004, one third of all American foreign aid) since the early 1980s.

At the very same time, Secretary of State, James Baker reprimanded Israel for its "expansionist" policies and his boss, President Bush (the father) insisted that east Jerusalem - the very soul and heart of the Jewish state - was an "occupied territory".

Blowing hot and cold on the "special" relationship strained them to the hilt. Disagreements and misunderstandings proliferated as the USA began to micromanage Israeli affairs, telling the country how to conduct its investigations into incidents and even how to hold elections (for the Palestinian delegation to a peace conference).

With the first Gulf War imminent in 1990, Bush affirmed the USA's commitment to Israel's existence and security. But, only a year later, when Iraq attacked Israel with Scud missiles and Israel heeded America's request not to retaliate did relations between the two asymmetric allies thaw. Israel was granted loans, albeit under the condition that it freezes all settlement activities in the West Bank.

Relations between Israel and the Administration of President Bush (the son) started off on the wrong foot, with recriminations and accusations, only to be rendered an intimate collaboration by the terrorist attacks of September 2001.

Currently, in the throes of an umpteenth honeymoon, Israel can do no wrong. But, history teaches us that such phases are invariably followed by discord. Israel has consistently jeopardized both its national security and its interests to placate American impetuous demands and to cater to its ally's geopolitical and -global economic interests.

Thus, at America's vehement and minacious behest, Israel has ignored Syrian offers to negotiate a peace accord. Similarly, Israel has cancelled the sale or maintenance of proprietary weapons systems to China, Venezuela and other countries the USA deemed "unfriendly".

When Israel dared to service and upgrade an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) it has previously sold to China, it was harshly penalized: joint development programs, shipments of military equipment, and regular communication between the departments of defense of the two allies were all suspended.

Acting as the latter-day equivalent of a colonial or imperial master, the USA demanded from Israel a detailed report about dozens of transactions with Mainland China; the right to supervise and inspect Israel's military equipment sales supervision system; and an effective veto power on all future arms sales.

On the Swedish Recognition of a Palestinian State (Interview granted to “Nova Makedonija”, November 8, 2014)

Q. What is the position of the Israeli government to the recent recognition of the State of Palestine by Sweden (which is the first EU state to do so)? Would this create a new wave of recognition by other member-states of EU and other non-EU states?

A. Sweden is not a very important partner of Israel, although both mutual trade and joint ventures in research and development have been growing briskly in the past few years. Israel is rightly worried that the Swedish move will precipitate similar action by far more crucial states, such as France, Germany, and the UK. These are countries with sizable and radicalized Muslim minorities (of which they are afraid) and whose politicians often score points with the general electorate by capitalizing on a wave of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiment. As the self-appointed guardian of Jews throughout the world, Israel is also concerned about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe that accompanies each such move.

More importantly, Israel is worried that European official recognition of a Palestinian polity will undermine its ability to dictate the parameters of a final settlement of the conflict: the borders of the entities comprising the two-states solution and their capacities. Israel is firmly convinced that any recognition of a Palestinian state now will only strengthens the bargaining position of the Palestinians and make them more intransigent and less willing to negotiate in good faith, preferring instead to rely on outsiders to apply pressure on Israel to compromise even further.

Additionally, international recognition will render Israeli military operations in the West Bank and possibly Gaza acts of aggression against a sovereign, internationally recognized state, in violation and contravention of the UN Charter and other applicable international law.

Q. Some experts claim that Sweden's recognition of State of Palestine is influenced by US. If that is the case, is US sending some kind of message to Israel and is it using Sweden to deliver it?

A. This conspiracy theory is utter nonsense. The last thing the US needs right now is a radicalized Israel. Sweden's Social Democrats have returned to power after 8 years in the political wilderness. They need to form a coalition and working relations with both the far right and the far left. The recognition of a Palestinian state is a part of the process of bargaining over important domestic issues such as housing, education, and defense spending. It is also intended to placate an increasingly more restive and extremist Muslim population in order to prevent homegrown terrorism and risks to or attacks on its nationals abroad.

Both the USA and the EU regard the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the core of the ominous instability in the Middle East and the derailment of what is left of the peace process. They expect Israel to offer more concessions because it is superior in every way to its interlocutor, the Palestinians. But, Israel is not monolithic: it is ruled by theocratic, nationalistic, and Messianic political parties who aim to take advantage of the fact the West is distracted by crises in Europe and Iraq to establish facts on the ground via land grabs and settlements. The Palestinians are equally divided with the suicidally irrational and extremist Hamas grudgingly collaborating with a Palestinian Authority which is a shadow of its corrupt former self. The partners to the moribund peace process, weakened as they are by internal strife and discord, are both unable and unwilling to negotiate a solution with its attendant sacrifices. Perhaps the Swedish declarative diplomatic action will rock the boat out of this stagnant water and will prove to be a blessing after all!

Hamas Attacks 2023 (interview in Nova Makedonija) (Brussels Morning)

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, a Jewish holy day, more than 1000 Palestinian fighters, affiliated with Hamas, penetrated the security wall (fence) from the Gaza Strip and entered the territory of the State of Israel. They also landed from the sea and a few paraglided into Israeli territory.


They took over several villages and towns, killed about 700 Israelis, most of them civilians, including women and children, and abducted more than 130 Israelis, both military personnel and civilians, including children. Another 2,400 are wounded, about 400 of them in critical condition.


At the time of writing, 48 hours later, some of the infiltrators are still within Israels’ territory and in control of several townships.


The whole campaign was accompanied by volleys of thousands of rockets that overwhelmed Israel’s defense system, Iron Dome and caused damage in multiple major cities, including Tel-Aviv, Ashkelon, and Jerusalem.


There was a massive failure of Israeli preemptive intelligence and of the military response once the incursion commenced.


The official reason given by Hamas for the “al-Aqsa Flood” military campaign, is the growing number of Jewish visitors to the al-Aqsa mosque, a Muslim holy site in Jerusalem.


The true reasons are:


1. The decline in the popularity of Hamas within Gaza and the West Bank owing to egregious failures of governance, growing internecine violence, and corruption of its officials; and


2. The imminent normalization of Israel’s relations with the rest of the Arab world - including, soon, with Saudi Arabia - at the expense of the overlooked interests of the Palestinians.


Hamas wants to burnish its credentials as an organization that is fighting for the liberation of Palestine from the Israeli much-hated occupation and, at the same time, restore the Palestinian problem as the main item on the agendas of Middle Eastern, Arab, Muslim, and US politics.


Similar to al-Qaeda and ISIS before it, Hamas deployed and depleted all its assets in one last desperate and self-destructive convulsive attempt. It will not be able to repeat this operation, even if it were to survive.


Hamas intends to use the hostages as human shields and then trade them for Palestinian militants held in Israeli prisons. Executions of hostages can also serve to sway public opinion and to score tactical goals in negotiations with Israel in the future.


Hizbullah in Lebanon has already rocketed targets in Northern Israel, but it was a limited and symbolic attack. Remarkably, there were also no major disturbances in the West Bank or inside Israel. Fatah, the main political movement in the West Bank, must be delighted with the self-immolation of its archenemy, Hamas.


If Israel were to maintain the proportionality of its reaction, the conflict will remain contained.


But, if Israel were to try to reconquer the Gaza Strip and eradicate Hamas, it will find itself at war with all the Palestinians, wherever they are - as well as with Iran and, possibly, Russia. Another outcome could be terrorist attacks in Europe on Jewish targets.


It all depends on Israel’s self-control and statesmanship now. The answer to terrorism should never be state terrorism.


Israel will cleanse the last remaining cells of Palestinians fighters within its territory and then invade the Gaza Strip after heavy aerial bombardments. This war is going to last weeks or months.


Israeli society has never been more divided and polarized: over the anti-democratic judicial reforms pushed by the criminally indicted Prime Minister Netanyahu and his corrupt and extremist allies; over the mushrooming political power of the ultra-Orthodox Jews; over the military; over income inequality and the unsustainable cost of living; over left vs. right; over the never-ending conflict with the Palestinians; and over many more issues of identity and values.


This war will unite the Israelis in the very short-term: a government of national unity is already in the works. But then it will serve to divide Israel and break it apart as the lessons of this surprise attack are learned. Israel is headed to a slow-motion internecine civil war. Its very survival is at risk.


In the process of this soul-searching and power play, Israel will become a way more authoritarian polity, militarized, and ostracized. This siege mentality will result in rogue actions by Israel throughout the oil-rich region. An era of extreme danger is upon us all, wherever we may be.


Israel is a Paper Tiger (Brussels Morning)


In the ocean of analyses of the current iteration of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict, harking back to 1882, we have been missing three crucial facts:


1.     Israel’s army and intelligence community have been rendered paper tigers by years of budget cuts and degraded by a lack of training.


Israel’s military is prepared and equipped for a conventional war rather than for asymmetrical warfare, and has been experiencing a precipitous decline in the quality of recruits ever since the 1990s.


Should Israel face a war or even mere unrest on 5 fronts, it will be defeated and will require the military intervention of the USA.


But will the USA sacrifice its global interests for the sake of preserving an Israel under the demented regime of an authoritarian criminal? Will it divert desperately needed resources from a Ukraine on the verge of defeat to an Israel on the verge of extinction? Will the USA alienate allies such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however precarious their loyalty is?


2.     The USA is supplying Israel only with precision and defensive munitions because it is terrified of what the harried Israeli government might do to civilians in the course of its collective punishment revenge rampage.


The US is also worried about the expansion of the war to include Egypt (who is coerced by Israel into accommodating a million Gazan refugees), Iran, and even Russian-backed Syria. 


Such a conflagration would force the more moderate Arab states - especially in the Gulf - to abandon their alliances with the West and to act against its interests. It will also scuttle the nascent reconciliation between Israel and Saudi Arabia as well as previous peace agreements;


And, finally:


3.     The settlers - not the Palestinians - are now Israel’s greatest internal threat. Armed to the teeth, organized in militias, defiant, contumacious, violent, delusional-Messianic, and hellbent on retribution, they might regard recent events as an opportunity to ethnically cleanse the West Bank of Palestinians. They could yet constitute the most difficult and ominous front for the thinly stretched IDF. 


Israel has been reacting disproportionately to undeniable but limited and largely symbolic provocations by Hizbullah, Syria, and by a smattering of Palestinians in the West Bank. This kind of macho reflex is nothing short of suicidal under the current circumstances.


It seems that Israel is far from humbled even by the egregious and abhorrent terror attack of October 7. To borrow a phrase from the self-help industry: Israel has not yet hit rock bottom and is not ready to modify its behaviors, to soul search, and to transform and heal itself.


Interview on, October 20, 2023 (Brussels Morning)


In general, how do you assess the current situation in the Middle East? What do you think is the best solution to the situation?


The only solution to the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis that has been going on since 1882 is ethnic cleansing by one of the peoples involved perpetrated against the other. Both parties maintain maximal positions and victimhood grievances. Both of them insist on possessing 100% of the territory of Palestine/Israel.


Currently, Israel is poised to exact revenge on Gazans for the October 7 atrocities and destroy the Hamas. But Hamas is the symptom, not the disease which is the Israeli occupation. If Israel is successful in eradicating it, another resistance terrorist organization will take its place. Same applies to Hizbullah.


Israel is a paper tiger. Its army is in bad shape, similar to the Russian army. Should Israel be confronted with aggression on several fronts – Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza – it will be defeated.


The Americans are aware of Israel’s frailty. This is why they are moving military assets into the region. Iran’s involvement may lead to an escalation of this local conflict to a regional one, akin to Vietnam.  


Do you see signs of war crimes on both sides as both sides blame each other?


Both parties commit war crimes against civilians regularly. Terrorism is indistinguishable from state terrorism.


Do you expect the conflict to expand, that is, other neighboring countries attack Israel?


There is a high chance of Hizbullah involvement owing to Israel’s disproportional reactions to its initial provocations. Syria may also support Hizbullah sporadically. But I doubt that this conflict will involve any other actors. The Palestinians have alienated literally all their supporters over the years. They are political, diplomatic, and military orphans, pawns in the hands of the likes of Qatar, Israel, and Iran.


Did the situation in Ukraine give wings to other "suffocated" conflicts, such as the one in Nagorno-Karabakh and Kosovo, to flare up in Israel as well?


With China’s acquiescence and then help, Russia transformed its invasion of Ukraine into a proxy war with the West. This led to escalation in conflicts along the fault lines between East and West all over the world, including in the Middle East and soon in Taiwan. We are in the throes of a global realignment of power, similar to the period of the 1950s and 1960s when the West tried to contain the USSR and Communist China.


Do you perhaps see weaknesses in America's allies with this, that is, the reduced support of these points of conflict from the West?


The United States is polarized and paralyzed. It has no budget. It can barely support with military aid more than 2 conflicts at a time. NATO is underfunded and under-trained. As Ukraine is going to find out very soon, the West is not a reliable or long-term ally.


Who is Defeated in Gaza: Israel or Hamas? (Brussels Morning)


Does Khamenei have a point? Has Israel been defeated in Gaza, or at least stymied there? Has the much vaunted offensive boggled down?


Hamas has had three strategic goals in its incursion into Israel on October 7: (1) To provoke a regional war, derail the peace process between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and reassert the Palestinian cause; (2) To capture hostages and trade them for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; and (3) To humiliate Israel, expose its army as a paper tiger, and do away with its deterrence.


Hamas failed in accomplishing the first goal. Iran’s bombast notwithstanding, it made sure that none of its many proxies declare an all-out war on Israel. Hamas found itself isolated. Many Arab regimes would love to see it go. Again, the Arab states have abandoned the Palestinians to their fate.


But Hamas did accomplish the second and third targets on its list. And it sucked Israel into a war that it cannot hope to win. No military guerilla group supported by the indigenous people has ever been defeated in battle, let alone eradicated - not even in Vietnam, Cuba, and Afghanistan.


Here we are, 6 weeks after the atrocities committed in south Israel by 3000 Gaza Palestinians. I am using the phrase “Gaza Palestinians” rather than the habitual Hamas because by now it has become clear that the mob who breached the fence in the wake of the 1000 or so Hamas fighters committed most of the heinous crimes.


Hamas terrorists were relatively disciplined throughout the 12-24 hours incident (it took the hallowed and hollowed IDF that long to reach the scene in any meaningful way).


Having promulgated delusional goals for its invasion, Israel dawdled for 3 unnecessary and costly weeks before it mustered the courage and determination to penetrate the aerially devastated Gaza Strip. A stream of triumphant messages followed the ground invasion.


But reality and self-congratulatory propaganda rarely meet. In actuality, only 20-30% of Hamas’s fighting force and tunnels have been destroyed. Hamas is even more present in the south, near Egypt, than it is in the much bombarded north.


Hamas is still firing rockets on Israel and is holding on to the hostages, negotiating brazenly for the release of the women and children among them in exchange for what amounts to a ceasefire.


In short: Hamas is far from capitulating. It is taunting Israel daily. International diplomatic support for Israel is being sorely tested by what is beginning to be widely perceived as its campaign of collective punishment, a war crime. Antisemitism is rife and public opinion is decidedly pro-Palestinian. Hamas’s own offenses and crimes are swept under the social media collective carpet.


So, what is Israel to do? Having backed itself into a corner, Israel must now declare victory and negotiate a cease fire replete with the release of all the civilian hostages held by various militant and Islamist groups in Gaza. Extending the war to the southern part of Gaza may net a few dead Hamas leaders, but this has been tried before, multiple times and it led nowhere.


Fat chance of cool heads prevailing. Israel is led by a kleptocracy of grandiose malignant narcissists and petty criminals immured in fantasies and led by Netanyahu whose only priority is and always has been Netanyahu. The political echelons are estranged from the people. Israel is in the throes of a slow-motion, simmering civil war.


The military arm of Hamas is a fanatical and tyrannical death cult, headed by arch psychopaths and serial killers who propagate their own brand of faux “Islam” (for example: Sinwar). The political leadership is saner, but equally trapped in fantasies of revenge and restoration.


Yet, unlike al-Qaida and ISIS and much like Hizbullah, Hamas is supported by 31-53% of the Palestinian population who have little left to lose. Its popularity skyrocketed during the Iron Swords and al-Aqsa Flood campaigns.


Additionally, both Hamas and Hizbullah are numerous (about 150,000 warriors combined) and both outfits are well-trained and well-equipped: a definite match to the IDF’s best.


It will, therefore, be impossible to exterminate Hamas the way the West had dealt with ISIS, for instance.


Many on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict now say that the only solution to the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis that has been going on since 1882 is ethnic cleansing by one of the peoples involved perpetrated against the other: the revived idea of transfer on the Israeli side and “Palestine from the river to the sea” to counter it.

Both parties maintain maximal positions and victimhood grievances. Both of them insist on possessing 100% of the territory of Palestine/Israel.


Currently, Israel is poised to exact revenge on Gazans for the October 7 atrocities and destroy the Hamas. But even if, implausibly, Israel were to succeed, Hamas is the symptom, not the disease which is the Israeli occupation. If Israel is successful in eradicating Hamas, another resistance or terrorist organization will take its place. Same applies to Hizbullah.


Israel is a paper tiger. Its army is in bad shape, similar to the Russian army. Should Israel be confronted with aggression on several fronts – Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza – it will be defeated.


The Americans are aware of Israel’s frailty. This is why they are moving military assets into the region. Iran’s potential involvement may lead to an escalation of this local conflict to a regional one, akin to Vietnam.  


Both parties commit war crimes against civilians habitually. Acts of terrorism is met with state terrorism.


There is a chance of Hizbullah involvement owing to Israel’s disproportionate reactions to Hizbullah’s initial provocations. Syria may also support Hizbullah sporadically as might the Iran-backed militias there and in Iraq.


But I doubt that this conflict will involve any other actors. The Palestinians have alienated literally all their supporters over the years. They are political, diplomatic, and military orphans, pawns in the hands of the likes of Qatar, Israel, and Iran.

But, luckily for Hamas, its conflict with Israel is just the latest piece in a much bigger geopolitical realignment.


With China’s acquiescence and then help, Russia has transformed its invasion of Ukraine into a proxy war with the West. This led to an escalation in conflicts along the fault lines between East and West all over the world, including in the Middle East and soon in Taiwan.


We are in the throes of a global reordering of power, similar to the period in the 1950s and 1960s when the West tried to contain both the USSR and Communist China.


But now, the United States is much diminished: it is polarized and paralyzed. Its democracy is threatened from within. It doesn’t even have a regular budget, only stopgap ones.


The USA can scarcely provide military aid to more than 2 allies or proxies at a time. NATO is underfunded and under-trained. As Ukraine and Israel are going to find out very soon, the West is not a reliable or long-term ally.


In any fight between a psychopath and a narcissist, the former wins. Narcissists are no match for psychopaths. 


Narcissists are cowardly and prosocial (play by some rules and externally regulated). They are driven by fantasy (impaired reality testing) and are cognitively distorted (grandiosity, paranoid ideation). Consequently, they are gullible. 


Psychopaths – Putin comes to mind - are callous, reckless, disinhibited, defiant, and, often, sadistic. They couldn’t care less about costs: they are goal-oriented. Their reality testing is intact.


This insight from clinical psychology does not bode well for Israel. As a state actor, it has already gone as rogue as it possibly could. The asymmetry in asymmetrical warfare weighs heavily in favor of terrorist organizations.


Nakba – or Independence War? Factchecking 1948 (Brussels Morning)


As with every protracted conflict, both the Israelis and the Palestinians spew out counterfactual propaganda regarding the events that led to the crisis of Palestinian refugee (more precisely: internally displaced people) in 1947-9.


Here are some of the more pertinent facts:


1.     The Jews owned 6% of the land of Palestine prior to 1947. Another 49% was owned by the state (the Ottoman authorities, succeeded by the British Mandate), 22% by small Arab landholders (and fellahin) and 23% by rich Arabs (effendis), mostly from outside Palestine.  The United Nations Partition Resolution 181 gave the Jews 55% of Palestine (most if it comprised of the Negev desert). The new Jewish state was supposed to incorporate 450,000 Arabs and 650,000 Jews within its borders. The Jews counted on future Jewish immigration to counter the imminent demographic threat of an Arab majority.

2.     The Jews constituted a majority in Jerusalem, Tiberias, and Haifa prior to 1948. Safad and Jaffa were almost entirely Arab. In 1881, at the beginning of the Jewish settlement of Palestine, its population consisted of 450,000 Arabs (including immigrants from Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa) and 20,000 Jews. 

3.     The idea of displacement or transfer (ethnic cleansing) of the indigenous Arab population to Transjordan or to other Arab countries was never an official policy of the Jewish Yishuv, nor was it a part of any overall military strategy. But it was widely thought by the Zionists to be a desirable, non-coercive, and just solution to the inter-ethnic conflict. Similar transfers have taken place all over the world and have resulted in amicable post-transfer relations (for example: between Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey as well as Czechoslovakia and post-Nazi Germany).

4.     The Jews have accepted the UN Partition Resolution and the Arabs – including volunteers from abroad – have rejected it and embarked on hostilities against the Jewish settlements and supply convoys. Later on, regular Arab armies invaded the territory of Palestine.

5.     Between November 1947 and April 1949, about 400-700,000 Palestinian Arabs left their homes and became internally displaced within the territory of Palestine. Only a small fraction returned to their abandoned, ruined, and looted villages. By mid-1949, the State of Israel ended up having 150,000 Arab citizens (to 700,000 Jews). A sizable minority of the upper middle class and the affluent Palestinian Arabs emigrated to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan.

6.     Most of these refugees – about 80% - were not expelled by force, though the Haganah’s Plan D called for the expulsion of Arabs from villages abutting important traffic arteries, the new state’s borders, and major Jewish majority cities. In some locales, such as Haifa, the nascent Jewish authorities actually tried to halt the Arabs from fleeing. Many other villages, though, were forcibly evacuated at the local initiative of Haganah commanders in the field.

7.     The exodus of the Palestinian Arabs was mostly voluntary and motivated by: (a) Rumors of and information about egregious atrocities – murders, massacres, and rapes - committed by extremist Jewish paramilitary organizations such IZL and LHI (for example in the friendly and peaceful hamlet of Deir Yassin) as well as persistent looting by all the various Jewish military formations; (b) The influx of marauding Arab “fighters”, mainly from Iraq. These “volunteers” resorted to blackmailing the peasants, looting, and summarily dispensing with their opponents, taking over abandoned property with alacrity and glee; (c) Recurrent calls by Arab leaders, local and foreign, to evacuate children, women, and the elderly from the battle zones (though rarely able-bodied men capable of fighting who were mostly urged and instructed to stay behind) until Arab victory had been secured. They regard the refugees as a propaganda tool; (d) The withdrawal of the British administration in May 1948 from the territory of the Mandate meant that many of the remaining Arabs would have needed to accede to Jewish rule or, possibly worse, the domination of the mufti Husseini’s murderous clan. The mass flight of the Arabs of Palestine caught everyone off-guard: Jews, British, and Arabs alike. There was no demonic masterplan – just a lot of confusion and improvisation on all sides as they tried to adapt to the incredible scene of a land emptied of its erstwhile denizens.

8.     Once Arab tenants and farmers have left, the State of Israel and the IDF never allowed them to return and reclaim their property. If they did infiltrate back, they were expelled at the point of a gun.

The Arab states were very reluctant to accommodate the influx of Palestinian refugees and committed only insignificant forces to the invasion of Palestine in May 1948. The militias (the local villagers called them “foreigners”) were riffraff, badly trained, and no match for the Jewish forces, 28,000 members of which served in the British Army during World War II. Arab society was fragmented and institutionally dysfunctional, with an abyss between town and country, rich and poor, landowners and impoverished tenants, Christians and Muslims, the educated and the illiterate, the pro-Husseinis and their enemies. There was no hint of central policy or guidance. The numbers of fighters on both sides was at all times during the war equal and the Arabs had tanks and an air forces, but quantity never translated to quality on the Arab side.


Israel-Palestine: Two-state Solution Pipedream (Brussels Morning)

The two states “solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now promoted aggressively by both the USA and the EU, is a counterfactual pipedream. It will never materialize.

But many actors have a vested interest in promoting this sideshow, thus diverting attention from the real issue at stake: the mutually exclusive claims of Israelis and Palestinians to the same piece of territory, from the River (Jordan) to the Sea (Mediterranean). History teaches us that such persistent entitlement usually results in genocidal ethnic cleansing of one sort or another.

Attempts to divide the indivisible among the parties to this intractable 140 years old conflict date back almost 100 years. A kaleidoscope of declarations, committees, plans, and resolution during this period led nowhere but to increasing bloodshed in a series of skirmishes and outright wars.

The Palestinians purposefully maintain the only leverage they possess: their partly self-inflicted victimhood, a refugee status, now in its 75th anniversary. Lacking a standing army, they resort to atrocious terrorism time and again.

Israel, in the meantime, has expanded its presence in the disputed territories and has devolved into committing war crimes habitually.

A cursory look at the map tells the story. The Palestinians are shoehorned into two non-contiguous land masses. Linking these hyper-dense enclaves above or under the ground would bisect Israel and render it a hostage to many returns of October 7.  It is a non-starter.

The Hamas, the most popular political faction among the Palestinians, is committed to the annihilation of Israel, pragmatic truces ad interim notwithstanding. It represents the surge of belligerent and anti-Western Islamism that gripped both Sunnis and Shia across the world. Israel is perceived as a colonial outpost of settlers, a replay of the Crusades in lands that by right and by might belong to Muslims.

Israel, with some justification, perceives an accommodation with the Palestinians as a lost cause, having witnessed their interlocutors rebuff and trample on the olive branches that it had extended multiple times since the Oslo Accords.

Both parties are now firmly entrenched in an all-or-nothing, zero-sum game mindset. This is not conducive to a deal.

But time is not on Israel’s side. Palestinian birth rates are far higher than Jewish ones. Ubiquitous age-old anti-Semitism has now transformed into anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism. Democratized weapons technologies have rendered terrorist organizations in asymmetrical warfare all but unbeatable.

Israelis argue among themselves whether the Jewishness of Israel should outweigh its democratic nature. But this is a delusional and solipsistic debate. Israel cannot remain Jewish for much longer, even if it were to sacrifice the rule of law and adopt apartheid and genocide as policies.

Moreover: Israel is a paper tiger. It is not self-sufficient and its army is comparable to the Russian one, not the American. The IDF is a mere glorified militia with an air force, one of many in a region overflowing with paramilitary formations. Israel’s doomsday show-off nuclear weapons are no more relevant than North Korea’s, Iran’s, or Pakistan’s.

In the wake of an armed insurgency, North Macedonia is now ruled by an Albanian Prime Minister with multiple government ministries in the hands of the hitherto much reviled minority. Its foreign minister, the polylogue MD, Bujar Osmani, is arguably the most eloquent and educated representative abroad the country has ever had. 

Israel is heading the same way: a one state solution. The day Israel has a Palestinian Prime Minster and a Palestinian Foreign Minister, Hamas and its ilk are doomed and much-needed peace will have been restored all over a prosperous and proud land.

Iran’s Miscalculation, Israel’s Opportunity (Brussels Morning)


Israel bombed a structure that served the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Though not strictly within the compound of the Embassy, it was widely known as an outpost of Iranian diplomacy in Syria.


The language of articles 21-25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) is clear: embassies and consulates are not sovereign territory and not extraterritorial. They just enjoy certain legal exemptions, that’s all.


So, why did Iran choose to escalate and retaliate by attacking Israel with a barrage of 300 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones) as well as cruise missiles and ballistic missiles?


Because of the growing threat to its out-of-control proxies everywhere: Hamas, the Houthis, and Hizballah, first and foremost. Iran needed to reassert its authority over these terrorist organizations by being seen to fearlessly conflict directly with the “Little Devil”, Israel.


But the attack misfired in every conceivable way.


More than 97% of the weapons launched were intercepted long before they had reached the borders of Israel, exposing the inefficacy of drones and even missiles as decisive factors in modern warfare, set as they are against hi-tech defenses.


The onslaught on Israel diverted attention at least momentarily from the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza and the much heralded Israeli invasion of Rafah. It is a distractive window of opportunity that Israel might use to push on with its offensive.


The United States, France, the United Kingdom and even Jordan sided with Israel against Iran. It is a reminder that Suni countries are actually quite elated with the damage that Israel is inflicting on Shia Iran and its proxies, both Suni and Shia.


Countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt regard Israel as a handy and welcome buffer against Iran’s expansionist dreams and in the face of the Iran-sponsored death cults that cloak themselves in Muslim Brotherhood religious-political ideology.


Finally, Iran’s buffoonish retribution is humiliating. It exposes the incompetence and corruption of the theocracy. Coupled with a tanking economy, it will lead to civil unrest within Iran and perhaps to the rise of a more reformist streak of political Islam.


All these positive outcomes depend on Israel’s next move.


Biden’s sage advice to Netanyahu was to “take the win” and gloat over Iran’s debacle. But far-right forces within Israel have been spoiling for a regional war with the arch-enemy Iran for many years now. Netanyahu himself may provoke a regional kerfuffle in order to divert attention from his legal woes and force the USA to commit to his agenda.


Such a course of action would amount to an unmitigated disaster for the Jewish state.


Israel cannot defeat Iran, especially when it is already fighting a war on multiple other fronts. The USA will not be dragged into Israeli adventurism. It will rather abandon Israel to its fate. Should it choose to confront Iran now, Israel will have completed its transformation into the second North Korea, a pariah state.


Divestment: From South Africa to Israel? (Brussels Morning)


Students in dozens of campuses in the USA are calling on their universities and colleges to divest from Israel and from Israeli companies owing to the “genocide” it is allegedly perpetrating in Gaza.


It is not the first time that Israel is subjected to such censure.

The Arab League boycott of Israel forced many multinationals to divest (disinvest) from it over the first few decades of its existence.


According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “in 2004 the General Assembly (governing body) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved selective divestment from corporations doing business with Israel out of objection to the country’s perceived violation of the human rights of Palestinians. In 2014 the General Assembly voted in favour of divesting from three major U.S. corporations that conducted business in Israel.”


Countries such as South Africa, Myanmar (Burma), and Sudan have also felt the brunt of divestment. So did certain sectors, most notably the tobacco and fossil fuels industries.


But times are different now, two or three decades later. While there is an increased awareness of the social and ethical responsibility of businesses and institutions as well as a proliferation of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment funds – several other transformations have rendered divestment practically impossible.


First: endowment managers have a fiduciary duty to maximize returns. They have no other obligation under the law. ROI trumps values, ethics, morality, and politics. It is a criminal offense to behave otherwise.


Second: most higher education endowments are invested in mutual funds, index funds, and other investment vehicles that make it impossible to opt out of specific securities on whatever grounds.


Third: there is no consensus on values. People are polarized and radicalized. Someone’s beliefs and convictions are always offensive to others or at best, arguable and relative. To expect universities or corporations to serve as axiological arbiters is impractical.


Divestment is a potent form of geopolitical virtue signaling against pariah states. It has minimal economic effects. But, the mere demand to impose it on a rogue polity bears grave implications.


So, even if the students were to fail in their mission, the harm has been done to Israel’s reputation, capacity to conduct business, to engage in academic and scientific exchanges, and to participate in international events and affairs.


The Danse Macabre of Israel-Hamas Hostage Deal (Brussels Morning)


Rafah sits on the borders of both Israel and Egypt. It is the main traffic corridor for both humanitarian aid and military materiel for Hamas. About 50% of the fighting force of Hamas have relocated to Rafah. The city sits atop a hypercomplex network of tunnels of all kinds. Only a few days ago, Hamas launched a rocket attack from Rafah on Israeli armed forces who were guarding the truck terminal there.


Israel is committed to the unrealistic goal of eradicating Hamas and assassinating its top military leaders who are hiding in Rafah, surrounded by live hostages as human shields.


Israel is likely to take Rafah one neighborhood at a time, making it easier to move the civilian population out of harm’s way. About 700,000 of the Palestinians currently in the city are refugees from north and central Gaza and Israel will probably allow them to return to what is left of their homes.


Even so, the logistical challenge of providing hundreds of thousands of civilians with protection, food, and shelter is unlikely to be tackled successfully. Many civilians are bound to end up as collateral damage.


But Israel is unlikely to pay heed to the exhortations of the EU, or even to the threats and pressures of the Biden administration, for two reasons:


First, Hamas have threatened to repeat the October 7 atrocities, slaughter, and rapes of Israeli civilians. Israel now regards Hamas and Iran as existential threats. The US and the EU have only fought distant enemies, they have never faced an existential threat. Israel is right to ignore them both.


The second reason is Netanyahu’s political survival and his personal freedom (he faces severe criminal charges in multiple cases). Both depend on accomplishing the goals of the war or on dragging it out. Also, the longer the war, the more likely people are to recover from the traumatic shock of the Hamas massacres and vote for Netanyahu. He is now a hostage of Israel’s far right political parties.


The United States, the Arab world, and the international community want to secure a permanent ceasefire, each for their own reasons. So do Hamas who wish to regroup, rearm, regain governance of Gaza, and live to attack Israel another time. Israel wants to continue the fighting, punctuated as it is by weeks of truce and swaps of Israeli hostages versus Palestinian prisoners.


These goals are incompatible and, therefore, even if such a truce is agreed on, it is very likely to be breached and lead to renewed fighting.


Hamas Won This War Decisively (Brussels Morning)

Hamas has decisively and unambiguously won the Iron Swords or al-Aqsa Flood war (the epithet depends on whose side you are).


1. It killed well over 2000 Israelis (of a population of 10 million), about half of them soldiers.


2. It stopped dead in its tracks emigration to Israel (Aliyah) and encouraged immigration by those who can from Israel, amounting to a debilitating brain drain. Close to 100,000 Israelis are internally displaced in both the north and the south of the country, under attack from Hizbullah and from Hamas and PIJ, respectively.


3. It halted foreign direct investments in Israel (especially in the burgeoning hi-tech sector).


4. It decimated the Israeli economy, plunging it into a massive contraction as defense-related spending climbs past the 5% of GDP mark. Israel’s credit rating has already been downgraded and more is to come. The costs of the war hitherto are in the billions, with almost a billion USD spent in a single night to fend off an Iranian aerial attack with drones, cruise and ballistic missiles.


5. The issue of Palestine and the Palestinians has now become by far the most pressing item on the geopolitical agenda. A Palestinian State is just a question of time. It could serve as a launchpad for attacks on Israel which would ultimately lead to its demise as the sole Jewish state.


6. The war and Hamas conclusively turned ill-informed, Jew-hating, and virtue signaling public opinion against Israel and the Jews on both the woke left and the alt right, but also among the denizens of the mainstream. Governed by a far-right, intransigent and dumb political leadership, Israel’s blatant war crimes in the Gaza campaign have rendered it an overnight a pariah state whose image in the West and even in the USA is far worse than China’s, North Korea’s, and Russia’s.


7. The conduct of the war drove a wedge between Israel and its only ally, the mission critical USA. Consequently, Israelis have begun to seriously contemplate the end of Israel as a reality.


8. The prolonged operation in Gaza exposed Israel’s army and much hyped military prowess as propaganda paper tigers. Over the past few decades, the IDF has become a glorified militia with an Air Force. The younger generations are hedonistic and not keen on sacrifice. Budgets have been cut to the quick. Seven months in, the war is at a stalemate, with crucial capabilities of Hamas still intact and half the hostages either dead or in captivity.


9. Israel’s internal cohesion has crumbled: no solidarity and no consensus are anywhere to be found. The glue that held the improbable concoction that is the State of Israel has all but evaporated, exposing the irreconcilable fault lines in Israeli society.


10. Israel and its leaders have ended up in the dock in multiple international courts, accused of a variety of crimes against humanity and war crimes.


Even Hamas could not have hoped for a better outcome of its incursion into Israeli territory on October 7, 2023.


Israel: Jewish Ghetto in a Roiled World (Brussels Morning)


The southern and northern parts of Israel have been rendered as uninhabitable as Chernobyl. The Jewish state has been reduced to a ghetto on the Mediterranean coast and in and around west Jerusalem.


Both Hizbullah and Hamas are largely intact, though bruised. There is no need for a repeat of October 7. A few cross-border raids or rockets would do the trick and maintain the Israeli borderlands Judenrein.


Israel has always been an impossible proposition: an island of non-indigenous Jews (“settler colonialists”) in a sea of angry and resentful largely native Arabs.


The only thing that stood between the Zionist enterprise and extinction was its deterrence. On October 7 and even moreso with Iran’s brazen attack, Israel lost its mythical aura. The war in Gaza exposed it and its military as the paper tigers that they are. 


Moreover: Israel is now as much of a pariah state as North Korea. No Arab - or any other - country will normalize relations with a country labeled “genocidal” and whose leaders face prosecution in the ICC. 


Everyone knows that the two-state solution is an interim step towards a one state solution with a Palestinian majority.


Western and international leaders advocate it because, rightly or wrongly, they have come to regard Israel as an illegitimate usurper of Arab lands and an egregious repeat aggressor. 


Israel is no longer just a guilt-tripping victimhood-based nuisance - but a global threat. There are simply too many Arabs and Muslims and too few Jews to justify recurrent massive disruptions to global trade and world order. 


Israel’s days are numbered. Educated, skilled Israelis have been voting with their feet in the mother of all brain drains.


The population of the Jewish state is now comprised - with few notable exceptions - of low-quality leftovers, the remainders of the erstwhile thriving experiment in statehood.


The country’s institutions - from its government to its judiciary to its militia-like military - reflect this inexorable decline in social capital. 

Worse yet: looming domestic and international crises are likely to consume the resources and attention of a depleted West.


In an act of mind-boggling brinkmanship, Ukraine has just been granted permission by the UK, Germany, and the USA to use their weapons on targets inside Russian territory. This is one step removed from a declaration of war.


Russia and its allies (including China) will not let this precedent stand. They will not take it lying down. A global conflagration is just a matter of time.


Closer to home, the USA in on a path to its second civil war (as I have been warning for almost 2 decades). If Trump were to win the elections, he will establish a dynastic dictatorship and face fierce, armed resistance. If he were to lose at the ballot box, he will re-embark on a “Steal the Vote” campaign and this time replete with overt violence and a countrywide insurrection.


Against this background of anarchic tumult and self-preoccupation with existential threats, Israel’s predicament is likely to be treated as mere background noise most easily resolved by dismantling the Jewish failed attempt at self-determination.




Also Read:

Israel's Hi, Tech - Bye, Tech

Israel's Economic Intifada

God's Diplomacy and Human Conflicts

The Economies of the Middle East

Turkey's Jewish Friend

Copyright Notice

This material is copyrighted. Free, unrestricted use is allowed on a non commercial basis.
The author's name and a link to this Website must be incorporated in any reproduction of the material for any use and by any means.

Go Back to Home Page!

Other Current Affairs Briefs

Download Free Anthologies

Internet: A Medium or a Message?

Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited

Frequently Asked Questions about Narcissism

The Narcissism List Home

Philosophical Musings

Write to me:  or narcissisticabuse-owner