|March 2000 - Current Index Complete Index This Month MiddleEast.Org 3/30|
To receive MER regularly email to INFOMER@MiddleEast.Org
MER EDITORIAL - 3/30:
ISRAELI REPARATIONS FOR LEBANON?
Once again, the Americans keep fronting for the Israelis. Bill Clinton might as well be a paid lobbyist for the Israelis the way he conducts U.S. policies in the Middle East.
Now the Americans are joining the Israelis more than ever in pretending that it is the Syrians who are holding things up. Indeed, the Americans are already letting it be known that they will back the Israelis in attacks on Lebanon and even on Syria unless everyone plays ball and lets the Israelis leave their occupation zone in Lebanon as if nothing has happened these past 20 years. And let's not forget Iran....the Israelis still have it in mind to take down Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs if they can just find an excuse and a way.
The fact that the Syrians are simply insisting, as they always consistently have, on fulfillment of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242; and the fact that the U.S. deceived the Syrians back in 1967 which lead to Israel's capture of the Golan Heights in the first place; and that fact that today's Israeli Prime Minster secretly pushed for war to destroy Syria back in the 80s -- well it seems nobody is too eager to discuss these matters. It's a lot easier to just blame it all on Hafez Assad for not being "flexible" -- which translated from the diplomatese means for not caving in, so far, to American/Israeli pressures and threats.
PITY THE ARABS
Of course the Arabs have themselves to blame for so much. Their public relations efforts remain primitive. They remain divided from each other and infiltrated by their enemies. They are everywhere led by corrupt, repressive, dictatorial and barely competent regimes, many of which have been Western client-regimes on the take for decades -- especially the Saudis and the Jordanians. And at the end of the day the Arabs collectively are as bad at political manueverings as they are at warfare -- the very situation that has made it possible for the small Israeli nation to come to dominate an entire Arab world and to now have eight times the military might of all the Arab armies combined!
And most of all, it's the Arab themselves that have allowed long life to this rather ridiculous charade that has gone on for so long now that the US is a fair and to-be-trusted intermediary, when in fact all along the Arabs could have and should have kept these matters at the very least under the auspices of the U.N. or of their own Arab League, however pitiful it too has become.
As a result, just in recent years Lebanon has been battered, Iraq destroyed, Algeria traumatized, Palestine chopped to pieces, and Saudi Arabia with Kuwait occupied. And that's all before going into details about client-regimes in the pay of Western intelligence agencies, gross corruption, legendary ineptitude, and secret police repression.
BACK TO THE ISRAELIS
Getting back to the Israelis though, they've now got the chutzpah to tell the Lebanese they're leaving their little "security zone" and going back to their 1948 border -- thank you...it's been nice knowing you. Trouble is it seems the Israelis want everyone, most especially the Lebanese, to simply forget everything they have done these past 25 years -- which includes upwards of tens of thousands of civilian deaths, a list of horrendous massacres stretching from Sabra and Shatilla in 1982 to Qana in 1996, a whole lot of bombing, many assassinations, creation of a client army, and billions of dollars of property damage.
It seems the Israelis expect everybody else in the world to pay them reparations, but never do think they owe anyone anything. Meanwhile, even if one turns to U.N. resolutions for the contours of a acceptable peace -- an institution itself dominated by the U.S. and the West and which itself carved Israel out of the Arab world against Arab wishes and rights in the first place -- its hardly the Arabs that are holding things up. Indeed most of the Arab regimes have pleaded with Israel since the Gulf War (greatly prodded by the U.S. of course) that they are desperate to accept any peace terms that can at least be somewhat disguised from what is really going on -- capitulation on Israeli/American terms and acquiescence to the "new world order".
Meanwhile, getting down to bottom lines, the Israelis continue to occupy part of Syria, their apartheid approach to the Palestinians is a historical travesty, the 3+ million Palestinian refugees whom nobody wants to talk about continue to languish in squalid camps throughout the region, Iraq has been subjected to genocide, and war clouds are gathering on the horizon.
The following article from the British paper THE GUARDIAN tells a little
part of the current campaign that is building -- and the Anglo/American
spin that is being put on it all -- as the Israelis keep manuevering to
get Western countries to cover up for them in Lebanon and to threaten Syria,
and also Iran, with war if they too don't bow and accept the "new world
ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST: SPECIAL REPORT:
ALL AT SEA OVER GALILEE
SYRIAN FAILURE HEIGHTS REGIONAL TENSION
THE GUARDIAN - Wednesday March 29, 2000
A small strip of land on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee is
Middle East's new diplomatic killing ground. Held by Syria before Israel's
1967 seizure of the Golan Heights, Damascus adamantly demands its return.
Whatever Yitzhak Rabin may once have said, Israel now offers only a
withdrawal to the 1923 international boundary. These eight square miles
unhinged last winter's Israeli-Syrian dialogue. That breakdown was followed
by vicious recrimination. At Sunday's Geneva summit with the US, Syria's
Hafez Assad could have revived the process. Instead, his grim inflexibility
on Galilee dealt a possibly fatal blow to compromise. Israel's Ehud Barak,
weakened since last July by coalition divisions, the Knesset's Golan
referendum bill, and rising anti-Syrian sentiment, found he had no leeway
left. As he trailed home, Bill Clinton's dream of a presidency-capping
triumph looked mortally wounded. Fig-leaves flutter: the Syrian "track" is
not derailed; Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is coming to the White House! As if that
will make much difference. Thus do long-nurtured, much-trumpeted hopes of a
peace of the brave abruptly wither and die.
Is all then lost on the Syrian front? Not quite, not yet. But it is
moment, for now the focus switches away from diplomacy towards the
movement of armies.
Committed to quit Lebanon by July, Mr Barak may well accelerate the
despite the lack of a deal. The UN is already being asked to fill the vacuum.
Syria meanwhile is being left in no doubt that it will be held directly responsible
for any post-withdrawal attacks, by Hizbullah or others, on Israel proper.
This means military retaliation against Syria proper. US officials tell
newspaper that America
will fully support Israeli action in such circumstances, once UN resolution
425 on Lebanon is fulfilled. They will squeeze Arab moderates, promote the
Palestinian "track" and, we can assume, jointly do anything else they can to
force Syria's hand.
This is the black harvest of Mr Assad's intransigence and, to a lesser
degree, of Mr Barak's overreaching and US miscalculation. Perhaps something
worthwhile can be salvaged. But various clocks are ticking in Tehran and
Baghdad as well as Tel Aviv. For this evolving, post-Geneva US-Israeli
strategy raises the stakes very significantly. In the name of an elusive
peace, they prepare to run the risk of a regional war. The reason why is
blowing in the wind, off Galilee.
Copyright © Mid-East Realities
& The Committee On The Middle East.