Israel's future

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By BERNARD HORSTMANN*

The division of power in Israeli society and the Al-Aqsa war

What is the reason for the “Al-Aqsa Flood”, as Hamas named its terrorist operation against the Zionists? On October 8, Alastair Crooke, one of the most experienced experts on the Middle East, wrote on AlMahadeen: “Israel has divided into two factions of equal weight that defend two irreconcilable visions of Israel's future; two mutually opposing readings of history and what it means to be Jewish. The fissure could not be more complete. Except it actually is. One of the factions, which holds the majority in parliament, is mostly mizrah – an ancient underclass of Israeli society – and the other is mostly ashkenazi, liberal and wealthy.”

Os mizrah are, for the most part, indigenous Jews from the Middle East and, often, from the religious extreme right, while the ashkenazi They are, for the most part, liberal Europeans. Netanyahu's current government is the first to include ministers mizrah far right.

Most Mizrahi follow Sephardic religious rites. They want a religious state based on Jewish law. They are as radical as ISIS.

Israel's Supreme Court has 14 Ashkenazi judges and one Mizrahi judge. This is one of the reasons why Netanyahu's government wants parliament to vote against the high court's rulings. There were large protests in Israel, sponsored by the US, against this regime change. Leaders of the military and security services, mostly Ashkenazi, also opposed the government's action against the court.

Therefore, I believe that it is very likely that there was information that pointed to the Hamas attack, but that it was hidden so that Benjamin Netanyahu would fall into a trap. However, we have no evidence that there were any reasonably accurate warnings from the intelligence services, or that they were withheld.

The departure of Benjamin Netanyahu is already being demanded. If only because he has long sponsored Hamas as a counterweight to the more secular Palestinians of Fatah. If Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer prime minister, the courts will try him for the three bribery cases that are currently pending. In this case, his most likely fate is prison.

Another reason for Hamas' success was the fact that three of the four infantry battalions, with 800 soldiers each, that normally guard the Gaza Strip, were deployed to the West Bank to protect right-wing Zionist settlers during a religious holiday. This data allowed Hamas to easily pass the isolation barrier.

Returning to Alastair Crooke on the real reason for the Al-Aqsa flood: “The right wing in Benjamin Netanyahu's government has two long-standing commitments. One is to rebuild the (Jewish) Temple on the 'Temple Mount' (Haram al-Shariff). To be clear, this would entail the demolition of Al-Aqsa. The second primary commitment is the founding of Israel, in the 'Land of Israel'.

And, again, to be clear, this (in their opinion) would entail the expulsion of the Palestinians from the West Bank. In fact, settlers have been expelling Palestinians from vast areas of the West Bank over the last year (notably between Ramallah and Jericho).

On Thursday [5/10/23] morning (two days before the Al-Aqsa Flood), more than 800 settlers stormed the mosque, under the full protection of Israeli forces. The pace of these provocations has increased.

There is nothing new. The First Intifada was sparked by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who made a provocative visit to the mosque. I was part of Senator George Mitchell's Presidential Committee that investigated this incident. Already at that time, it was clear that Ariel Sharon intended the visit to fuel the fire of religious nationalism. At that time, the Temple Mount Movement was a small group; today he has ministers in the government and in key security positions – and has promised his followers to build the 'Third Temple'.

Therefore, the threat to Al-Aqsa has been growing for two decades and today is reaching its peak. And yet, the American and Israeli intelligence services did not foresee the resistance or the violence of the settlers in the West Bank? What happened on Saturday was widely expected and was clearly extensively planned.”

It is important to say, there is no archaeological proof, none, that there was a Jewish “Temple” in Jerusalem. If it existed, it is most likely that it was not on the Al-Aqsa hill, but on one of the other six.

Al-Aqsa is sacred to all Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis. Its destruction would inevitably lead to war. The West is clearly underestimating the forces that appeals like the tweet below can raise:

“Khalid Aljabri, MD د.خالد الجبري @JabriMD – 11:52 UTC – Oct 13, 2023

The Friday sermon from the Grand Mosque in Mecca prays for the “liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem.”

This is significant for two reasons: (i) audience of two billion Muslims; (ii) These sermons have been significantly censored during the MBS [Mohammed bin Salman] regime. Today's sermon [13/10/23] was likely pre-approved. ADIEX

Israel used white phosphorus on the population of Gaza, another war crime. Israel gave all the inhabitants of northern Gaza, 1,1 million human beings, 24 hours to move to southern Gaza. This is impossible and will not happen. This is an attempt at ethnic cleansing.

“Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz – 10:52 UTC – Oct 13, 2023

If there were two million Jews rounded up by Christians in a giant open-air prison and placed under total siege, being told that half of them had 24 hours to move to the other half or be killed, no one would have any trouble understanding what I was testifying.”

If Israel carries out, as announced, a ground attack on Gaza, it is likely that Lebanon's Hezbollah will attack Israel. The US has informed Syria (through France) that Damascus, and President Hafez Assad personally, will be attacked if this happens. This is a calculation error. It is far from certain that Hafez Assad, or even Iran, has the means to contain Hezbollah.

A US attack on the Syrian government would bring Russia into the war. Iran would also respond, which is exactly what some neoconservatives want. The war could easily escalate further from there.

*Bernhard Horstmann is editor of the independent North American media Moon of Alabama.

Translation: Ricardo Kobayaski.

Originally published on author's blog.


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