Archive | August 30th, 2011

Video: Pro-Assad supporters attack U.S. envoy in Damascus


Incident broadcast on Syrian television shows Robert Ford being swathed in poster of Syrian leader; the broadcast accuses U.S. envoy of instigating protests.

The U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, was attacked in Damascus last week by a supporter of President Bashar Assad’s regime, according to a video broadcast on Syrian television.    

The American ambassador is seen on video being accosted by a group of  protesters, one of whom was attempting to swath him  with a poster of the Syrian president.    

Diplomatic security officers were quick to intervene and pull Ford away to his car.    

The video was initially broadcast on a Syrian television station owned by a close associate of Assad. The broadcast accused the American ambassador of trying to instigate anti-Assad demonstrations in Damascus.    

The incident apparently occurred after Ford returned from an unauthorized tour in the Jassem on August 23. The U.S. State Department said it could not verify the authenticity of the video, according to media reports.

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The international left should do this that and the next thing


Is there anything to say about Yossi Gurvitz’s temper tantrum other than to note the simple, irreducible, and brazen dishonesty of it? Gurvitz claims that the “international left” hasn’t “supported” the J14 protests. Save for later the question of “support,” as though the protesters are like little lapdogs waiting for their meat-treat from the international left. Actually most neither read nor speak English and have their energies directed where it matters most: within their society, in their own language. But take “support” to mean “see potential for change.” Let’s take some anti-Zionist leftists: Gabriel Ash? Yup.Tony Greenstein? Yup. Socialist WorkerYupMRZine/ZMag/Truthout? Yup – they’re the ones who published my article (something of which the +972 collective is aware). Ooh here’s a big one: theARAB run Jadaliyya? Yup, with brilliant interventions from all sides.

Gurvitz’s spasm doesn’t deserve an extended rebuttal of any kind, and I am sick of repeating myself. There is more potential in J14 that in any other protest in Israeli history. That may not be saying much, but it’s saying more than can be said about Israeli social protests in decades. Still. Us saps, stuck in our terrestrial fetters, have to wait for history to happen – in this case, cross our fingers that the evolution of the tent protests takes them to the point where they can do something to combat the dual levels of Israeli power, intra-communally on a class level with an internal intra-Jewish color bar and inter-communally on a national level: the apartheid system with which Israel controls and crushes the Palestinian future. Yes, some of us are so stupid as to hope, and even to continue to hope as the declining bourgeoisie Ashkenazi organizers on Rothschild refuse to raise the occupation even though the occupation will surely raise itself at some point.

In the interim, we do what we can to make history. Our agency lies in continuing to submit Israel to external pressure, aware that the Zionist left has a long history of reneging on its promises and that when it reneges on those promises, the cost of reneging is measured in Palestinian widows who are sad forever and Palestinian lives that are stunted in perpetuity and we do not consider that a price worth paying in exchange for the eidolon of change historically represented by the Zionist left. So while aware that the J14 protests represent a socio-political wormhole into a different world in which the Israeli lower-class mobilizes on a class basis against the stunting of their own lives that Israeli capitalism, the Israeli state, Israeli militarism, the occupation that is the spawn of all of them, and finally the Atlantic imperium that was the crucial crucible for Israeli mayhem and the destruction of Palestinian society, we do not know if they will enter that wormhole. It may close. And the price of popping out our pompoms and cheering for the Israeli left, Zionist and anti-Zionist alike, is that it could crucially weaken the BDS campaign and other forms of external pressure we are carefully building and cultivating. The anti-Zionist radicals understand our conflict and don’t complain. They work. And I’ll be sententious and thank them for their work.

But hello Yossi. We have work too. There are still European and American leftists – and not “leftists,” real leftists – who are confused about Israel and do not consider Zionism and the founding of Israel a crime, and frankly from time to time we have our hands full simply carrying out the education that can help the left shake off the residual Zionism that cripples and burdens it. That is work that needs to be done and that takes priority over the “solidarity” for which Gurvitz pleads.

So while many of us “support” J14 (whatever that means), we kind of expect you to make a revolution and then we will distribute treats and sweetmeats and whatever it is you would like. If this solidarity is found lacking, so be it. We find your revolution in certain ways lacking. Most relevantly, it hasn’t even happened yet.

PS: I have just been informed that Gurvitz was referring to Joseph Dana and Max Blumenthal especially. I wasn’t aware they were international leftists. Dana is Israeli and Blumenthal is in Israel consistently enough to muddle his position. Please address your criticisms to real targets in the future.

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Iran denies Revolutionary Guard helping Syria suppress protests


European Union claims Revolutionary Guard provided Syrian President Bashar Assad with technical help, equipment and other support.

Tehran on Monday rejected as baseless accusations by the European Union over the involvement of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in suppressing protests in Syria.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast described the EU allegations as lies lacking any evidence.

The EU last week said the Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Qods force provided Syrian President Bashar Assad with technical help, equipment and other support in violently suppressing the country’s unrest and announced sanctions against the guards.

Mehmanparast said the Syrian government and people were mature enough to handle their own affairs and settle their problems with no need for any interference from the EU.

Iran has backed several of the anti-government protests during the Arab Spring, saying the voice of the people “echoes the Islamic reawakening” and should be heard but has stayed silent over the uprisings in its regional ally Syria.

Iran has cautiously called on the Syrian government to accept the reforms demanded by its people but has warned against foreign interference in Syria and what it called the grave regional and international impact of trying to topple Assad.

“We recommend to the regional states to acknowledge their people’s will for freedom and justice,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last week. “… The Syrian government and people should be careful and implement the necessary reforms by themselves.”

Syria has historically supported Tehran’s anti-Israel stance, and this support could be weakened by a political change in Damascus.
Damascus has also supported the Shiite Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, a firm ally of Tehran and an equally firm enemy of Israel.

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Syrian activist say “revolution” to be armed soon




The Head of the Revolutionary Council of the Syrian Coordination Committees, Mohammad Rahhal, said in remarks published Sunday that the council took the decision to arm the Syrian revolution.

Since mid-March pro-democracy protests have engulfed most of Syria calling for political and economic reforms as well as for the ousting of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

‘We made our decision to arm the revolution which will turn violent very soon because what we are being subjected to today is a global conspiracy that can only be faced by an armed uprising,’ he told the London-based As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.

Circumstances no longer allow dealing peacefully with the regime’s ‘crimes,’ he added.

‘We will use whatever arms and rocks … We will respond to the people’s calls to arm the revolution,’ he said.

‘Confronting this monster (the Syrian regime).now requires arms, especially after it has become clear to everyone that the world only supports the Syrian uprising through speeches,’ he added.

Rahal lashed out some Arab regimes and described them as ‘cowards.’

Assad’s troops have harshly cracked down on protests against almost five decades of Baath Party rule, killing over 2,200 people and triggering a wide-scale international condemnation.

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Romney advisor advocating for terrorist group


Mitchell Reiss has helped lead a campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of anti-Iranian militants

By Justin Elliott,

A foreign policy advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been active in recent months in an advocacy campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of an underground organization in Iran known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq. The MEK has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a “terrorist” organization.

Mitchell Reiss, former director of policy planning at the State Department during the Bush administration, is now advising the former Massachusetts governor on foreign policy, the New Republic recently reported. Reiss also advised Romney’s 2008 campaign.

Currently president of Washington College in Maryland, Reiss has played a leading role in an ongoing campaign to get the MEK removed from the U.S. government’s official list of foreign organizations said to be involved in terrorism. Inclusion on the State Department list has far-reaching legal consequences — including making it illegal for U.S. citizens to support or even join the group.

“[T]he U.S. State Department needs to delist the MEK immediately,” Reiss said at a pro-MEK conference in Washington in April, where he was joined by a group of other luminaries, some of whom have acknowledged being paid to appear.

“Time is running out, lives are at stake,” he declared. “For the United States this is a case where American interests of opposing the regime in Tehran are entirely consistent with American values of freedom and democracy.”

In January he spoke at a conference organized by ExecutiveAction, a D.C.-based “problem solving company” that has spearheaded the campaign to delist the MEK. He also moderated a second, similar MEK event in April at the Capital Hilton in Washington and moderated yet another in July at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.

The MEK qualified for the State Department list because of its attacks on Iranian civilian targets beginning in the 1970s.

The Obama administration, which has engaged in complex negotiations with the Iranians over their nuclear aspirations, is being pressured to “delist” the MEK by those who say this would help undermine the Iranian regime, which is seen as a threat to Israel, a U.S. ally.

“With one simple signature, the Obama administration can help empower Iranians to seize control over their destiny — and perhaps end the mullahs’ mad nuclear dash,” wrote Daniel Pipes in National Review last month.

Romney has not taken a public position on the MEK, but he has previously spoken about Iran in aggressive terms.

“The Iranian regime is unalloyed evil, run by people who are at once ruthless and fanatical,” he told an American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) summit in San Diego in 2009. “Stop thinking that a charm offensive will talk the Iranians out of their pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

The MEK follows a philosophy that mixes Marxism and Islam, according to the State Department. The group, led by a husband-and-wife duo, Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, has been criticized for its “cult-like” qualities. It killed several Americans in Iran in the 1970s, including the deputy chief of the U.S. Military Mission in Tehran and two civilian employees of Rockwell International, a manufacturing conglomerate.

As recently as 2000, according to the State Department, the MEK launched attacks on Iranian government and civilian targets. The MEK says it renounced terrorism in 2001. (More on its tangled history here.)

In the past year or so, MEK supporters have mounted an intense public relations campaign fueled by millions of dollars of money, the sources of which are difficult to identify. A decision from the administration in an ongoing review of MEK’s terrorist designation is expected soon, according to State Department watchers.

The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, has not been moved by the MEK’s public relations efforts so far.

But Washington’s most agile gladhanders have noticed that the MEK is nothing if not generous. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat with little foreign policy experience outside the state of Pennsylvania, was paid $20,000 for a 10-minute speech in which he said, “This has been a terrific learning experience for me, someone who knew practically nothing about the issues.”

Gen. Anthony Zinni, retired, a liberal-minded general and an early Iraq war critic, was paid his “standard speaking fee” — $20,000 to $30,000 — for an eight-minute speech at an MEK-linked conference. “I am shocked and surprised that we still chase this illusion that there can be a meaningful dialogue with the regime,” Zinni said at the January event.

Other politicos advocating for the MEK include liberal Democrats Howard Dean and Bill Bradley. 

All of this raises the question of what, if anything, Reiss — an advisor to a major presidential candidate — has been paid for his MEK advocacy, and where that money is coming from. Funds for the pro-MEK campaign have come from “a fluid and enigmatic network of support groups based in the United States,” says the Huffington Post, citing an unnamed MEK leader. Reiss and the Romney campaign did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Reiss is a veteran policymaker. The author of “Negotiating With Evil: When to Talk to Terrorists” and two books about nuclear nonproliferation, he also served as George W. Bush’s special envoy for the Northern Ireland peace process.

Here is a video of Reiss at one of the pro-MEK conferences in April:

And here are his opening remarks at the July event:

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Slave! for IsraHell


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How Libya Was Won, by NATO and Special Forces


By Stephen Morgan

Digital Journal

Last week NATO shamelessly weighed-in on the side of the rebels with the help of special forces on the ground. Without it, the rebels would never have won. There is now talk that NATO has broken international law. So what role did they really play?

“Subka and his unit waited at the rebel frontline, known as Kilometre Sixty, aboard a column of battered, black pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and a few tanks recently captured from Gaddafi’s forces. “We are with the England team,” he told the Guardian “They advise us.”

Special forces from Britain and France are on the ground advising on strategy and tactics for the coming assault and pin pointing targets for NATO airstrikes, in order to clear the path for the rebel advance. Resistance from loyalists has been stiff, but Subka is confident. “We don’t worry about those units – they are Nato’s concern.”

However, on Friday NATO was quick to deny the crucial role it was playing. Al Arabiya reported a press conference at which its spokesperson Lungescu insisted that NATO was sticking to its United Nations mandate, limited to protecting civilians from any attacks. “There is no military coordination with the rebels,” she said.

When asked for his opinion on the statement Shashank Joshi, a Libyan war expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London, pulled no punches. The NATO denials are “absolute rubbish,” he said. “There’s overwhelming evidence that NATO was not only helping the rebels but that it was a decisive and critical partner to the rebels. It was really engaged in a close and intimate level of coordination and support, without which the rebels could not have won this conflict, so I don’t believe a single word NATO is saying,” he added.

More and more information is now coming to light on the decisive role played by NATO in the fall of Tripoli. Moreover, while kept secret until now, we are also learning more about how special forces from Britain, France, Qatar and Jordan helped pave the way for the victory. It is now clear that Gaddafi would probably still be in power without them. 
In an op-ed on Saturday Andrew Rawnsley said “ I asked a member of the National Security Council whether there was any chance that the rebellion could have overthrown Gaddafi without outside assistance. He responded bluntly: “None at all. There’s no chance they could have done it without us.”

Just two weeks ago the situation was entirely different. Everything seemed bogged down in a protracted stalemate on all fronts. The assassination of General Younes had cast doubts over the opposition’s ability to remain united enough to overthrow the regime and conversely, Gaddafi appeared to be more durable than anyone had expected. All eyes were fixed on political efforts to find a negotiated settlement, which seemed the only plausible solution to end the conflict.

What broke the stalemate in Libya was the West’s decision to make a radical change in its strategy of regime change and the character of its military intervention through NATO. With fears about splits in NATO and even doubts about its very existence if the mission floundered, together with the overhanging fear that the West would again be held responsible for another failed state, envoys bent over backwards in talks with the regime to find a way out of the conflict, even to the point of offering Gaddafi the possibility of staying in Libya, exempt from ICC prosecution.

But Gaddafi wouldn’t budge and he evidently had the support of his inner circle, who gave no indication that they were likely to cave in. Caught between a clicking clock and a closed door, the West decided it had no choice but to launch a major military offensive, in the hope that it would force Gaddafi to surrender.

NATO swung into action quickly. Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller from the Washington Post reported that NATO and U.S. military and intelligence officials had revealed that, ”an opposition strategy (was) put in place two weeks ago with the advice of British, French and Qatari special forces on the ground”

Preparations for a possible attack upon Tripoli had, in fact, been going on much longer. British, French, Qatari and Jordanian special forces had spent months training rebels from the Western Mountains for a future attack on Tripoli. Eventually, they succeeded in organizing the raggedy groups of rebels into a cohesive force, which was prepared to follow an organized battle plan, under a central command.

On the key Saturday, August 13, when the rebel forces advanced on coastal and southern towns and rebels in Misrata made a determined push on Zlitan, TIME reported that NATO flew 105 sorties “including 36 strike missions against targets near Tripoli, Brega, Gharyan, Sirte and Zlitan. The targets included military facilities, command and control nodes, and both surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missile sites.”

 A reporter with the rebels described the scene around Zlitan, “Testimony to the deadly effect of Nato’s bombing was evident along the highway leading out of the city. Concrete buildings used as bunkers by Gaddafi’s forces were flattened, while tanks were ripped apart, their turrets and tracks strewn across the road. Further south, all that remained of an ammunition truck was a blackened carpet of splinters.”

When asked if NATO was acting as the rebel’s air force a NATO official acknowledged in a typically oblique way that “the effect of what we were doing was not dissimilar.”

Such precision bombing wasn’t possible without the profession expertise of special forces troops on the ground spotting targets and advising on tactics. This was underlined by another report in the Guardian, which explained that “the information from the ground gave British commanders the confidence to order RAF pilots to release laser and GPS-guided bombs and missiles on buildings identified as being used by Gaddafi forces. (even including a Turkish restaurant!)

However, the Washington Post revealed that these special forces also involved undercover US intelligence units. “CIA operatives inside the country intercepted communications within the government” providing “a deeper understanding of just how badly Gaddafi’s command structure had crumbled.” The effect was devastating. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that NATO had destroyed Gaddafi’s military communications to such an extent that “he is forced to use the TV to send messages to his troops about where to attack and defend.”

Intelligence gathered was, in turn, passed onto the rebels on the ground to facilitate their advance. NATO “provided a lot of imagery on the locations of the Gaddafi forces, so, as the rebels were getting into their positions when they came around the south and up into the west side of Tripoli, (they) had a good sense of where (Gaddafi’s) forces were at.”

In this way, NATO obliterated Gaddafi’s defenses often in advance of rebels reaching each town and/or during key moments in the battles. The BBC reported that “Nato’s relentless pounding of armour and artillery east of Zawiya greatly softened up government units, breaking down much of the resistance that would otherwise have slowed the rebel path.”

Illustrating how effective the attacks were and how grateful the rebels were, the UK Independent printed an interview with a rebel soldier involved in the attack on Sabratha. “Mr Nato came and fired six missiles at seven o’clock in the morning. Boom, boom, boom and it was all over,” “Oh yes, we are all very grateful to Mr Nato here.” Asked why he thought they would win, another rebel replied “I believe in Allah – and Nato.”

However, the preferred policy of the West was still to try to negotiate a political settlement, by surrounding Tripoli and forcing Gaddafi back to the negotiating table on their terms. The Financial Times spelled out Western concerns on August 17, when it warned that “the rebels’ commanders must take care not to jeopardize the stability of the post-Gaddafi state by launching an all-out assault on Tripoli. Even if successful, such an attack would almost certainly result in a bloodbath among rebels, regime supporters and civilians. The seeds of vengeance and anarchy would be sown.”

But by now the situation was no longer in NATO’s hands. The rebels had the wind behind their sails and an unstoppable momentum had built up. Intoxicated with their successes, the rebels sights were fixed on one goal only- getting as quickly as possible to the center of Tripoli and hoisting the rebel flag on Martyrs’ Square. Once reports of uprisings in the capital came through, nothing was going to hold them back. neither NATO nor the NTC, nor even their own commanders.

Consequently NATO had no choice but to go the whole nine yards and hope for the best. As the rebels approached Tripoli, global intelligence agency STRATFOR described the scene “What is happening now is the movement of the forces into attack positions, logistical support being brought in, preliminary targeted artillery fire and air strikes with special operations teams already in place doing careful targeting, and psychological warfare against the defenders.”

Identifying the pivotal role of NATO should not take away from the incredible heroism and tenacity of the rebel fighters. In particular, the final word must go to the courageous people of Tripoli. Had they not risen up, the rebel fighters would probably have been stalled at the gates of the city. As the Guardian stated, “The secret of the uprising’s final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital, which did most of the hard work of throwing off the rule of secret police and military cliques. It succeeded so well that when revolutionary brigades entered the city from the west, many encountered little or no resistance, and they walked right into the center of the capital.”

Worrying pockets of resistance from Gaddafi forces remain, which suggest that the West is not quite won. Indeed, the Libyan “Wild West” will take a long time to be tamed. ‘Order first, then law will follow” was a motto of the earlier American frontier settlers. Bringing order to Libya’s “Wild West” is likely to be a difficult and bloody affair and, until such time as the multitude of different militias and tribes agree to lay down their arms, power and law may well continue to rest mainly in the hands of gunslingers.

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Zionist “could not stop” nuclear Iran with one strike


ed note–and the war chorus from the Jewish quarter continues with more demands that America go to war for the benefit of the Jewish state.



Israel would not be able to halt Iran’s reported quest for atomic weapons with a single strike, a senior Israeli defense official said on Sunday.

Israel and the West suspect Iran is trying to use its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons, a charge denied by Tehran which says it wants to generate electricity.

Both Israel and the United States have hinted they might consider taking military action as a last resort to stop Iran getting the bomb.

The defense official, who in line with Israeli army guidelines declined to be identified, mentioned Iran during a review of the security situation in the Middle East in a briefing to foreign reporters.

“We’re not talking about Iraq or Syria where one strike would derail a program,” the official said, referring to Israel’s 1981 air strike that destroyed Iraq’s atomic reactor and the bombing in 2007 of a Syrian site which the U.N. atomic agency said was very likely a nuclear reactor.

“With Iran it’s a different project. There is no one silver bullet you can hit and that’s over,” the official said.

Israeli leaders have urged the United States and other Western countries to present Tehran with a credible military threat to back up economic sanctions already in place.

The official said the United States stood a better chance of forcing Iran to change its mind over its nuclear program than Israel.

“With all respect to Israel … the greatest fear of the (Iranian) regime is the USA. There is no question about it.”

Some analysts say the likelihood of an imminent Israeli war with Iran has ebbed, thanks to the perceived success of political pressure on Tehran.

Recent Israeli estimates do not show Iran developing nuclear weapons before 2015.

Israel is widely believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, and Iran has accused it of hypocrisy over the issue.

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What I Learned About Libya


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The reason why the Egyptians hate us

The masses demonstrating against IsraHell now are the same masses who once welcomed the IsraHells; the hatred has sparked, but it does not have to be this way.

By Gideon Levy,


The Israeli flag that was taken down by a young Egyptian from the window of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo was faded and worn, flying from an old, nondescript office tower, invisible from the street to the naked eye. A great deal of murky water has flowed through the Nile since the flag was first unfurled; people who think that the hatred for Israel that is now boiling over is a divine edict, fate or the wrath of nature, should think back to the early days of peace between Israel and Egypt. Then, in the carefree 1980s, tens of thousands of Israelis streamed to Egypt and were welcomed with open joy. It was a pleasure to be an Israeli in Cairo in those days; sometimes even a great honor.

The masses demonstrating against Israel now are the same masses who once welcomed the Israelis. Even if Friday’s “million-man rally” against Israel only became a thousand-man march, the hatred has sparked. But it does not have to be this way.

The fact that it has not always been this way should be food for thought in Israel. But as usual, the question of why does not come up for discussion here. Why is there terror? Because. Why is there hatred? Because. It is much easier to think that Egypt hates us and that’s that, and divest ourselves of responsibility. Peace with Egypt, which is considered an asset only when it is at risk, was a peace that Israel toyed with and breached from the beginning.

It required recognizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and granting it autonomy within five years. Israel conducted ridiculous negotiations, headed by its interior minister (Yosef Burg ) with the intention of making the negotiations go away, and never met its obligations. The invasion of Lebanon the day after the treaty was completed in 1982 was dangerous and impertinent. Against all odds, Egypt withstood this baiting.

People who ask why Egyptians hate us should think back to these two pivotal actions by Israel. Public memory may be short-lived, but hatred is not. Its flames have been fanned since then. People who want to understand why the Egyptians hate us should recall the scenes of Operations Cast Lead and Defensive Shield, the bombing of Beirut and the shelling of Rafah. If Israelis were exposed to scenes in which some country acted in the same way toward Jews, such hatred would burn within us toward that country as well. The Arab masses saw terrible pictures and its hatred increased.

That hatred had fateful significance with the arrival of the Arab Spring. The rules of the game in the new Middle East changed. Peace and cease-fire agreements to which the tyrants in the old Egypt, Syria and Jordan held with much gnashing of teeth, could no longer be preserved in democratic or partially democratic regimes. From now on, the people are speaking; they will not stand for violent or colonialist behavior toward Arabs, and their leaders will have to take this into consideration. The occupation, and Israel’s exaggerated shows of force in response to terror attacks, are now being put to the test of the peoples, not just their rulers.

There is a positive side to this in that it may rein Israel in, as has already recently been seen with regard to Gaza: If not for the new Egypt, perhaps we would already be in the throes of Operation Cast Lead 2. But in the long-term, this will not be enough to hold back our forces and hold our fire.

It is becoming exhausting to reiterate this, but it is now truer than ever: Israel no longer has the option of living only by the sword. The dangers inherent in the new reality that is emerging before our very eyes are not of the type that military prowess alone can overcome for years. We cannot gird ourselves forever, no matter how protected and armed we are. The new Arab leaderships will not be able to ignore the desires of their peoples, and their peoples will not accept Israel as a violent occupier in the region. Not only does an Operation Cast Lead become almost impossible, the continued occupation endangers Israel – the longer it lasts, the stronger the resistance to Israel’s very existence.

It is not difficult to imagine how things could be different. It’s enough to recall the first days of peace with Egypt, or the early days of Oslo – until the Arabs recognized the fraud. It is not difficult to imagine peace agreements that would lead to the end of the occupation and a response to the Arab peace initiative. The only way is to create a new Israel in the eyes of the new Arab world. Only if this happens can we return to Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili market and be accepted there. Let us not waste words over the alternative; it does not exist for Israel.

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