RUSSIA OUTSMARTS ISRAEL IN SYRIA

RUSSIA OUTSMARTS ISRAEL IN SYRIA

Photo: AP By Joshua Tartakovsky, February 26, 2016 It seems that Israel is slowly shifting away from the West by and large and gradually and incrementally turning to Russia. It is not doing so because it wants to.  Israel has been spoiled by very generous US aid for decades. Traditionally, Israel has been tied to and subservient to the West, but enjoyed its constant support, while also having its ready ear when it comes to Iraq and Iran. But recently the US has been becoming less and less reliable. Not only have there been clashes between Obama and Netanyahu, but US ambassador to Israel spoke openly against the country, US has been decreasing its defense aid, Israeli F-16s now have trouble upgrading to their latest versions, and Russia is proving itself to be a power to be reckoned with in Syria.This is not to say that Israel’s dangerous policy of supporting jihadist groups in Syria is not continuing. It is. And Israel is also keen on weakening the Islamic Republic of Iran since it fears it more – despite the fact that Iran is not just a country but a great civilization – and therefore the former is supporting terrorists in Syria. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon put it in a crude way typical to his close-minded, narrow thinking, personality: ISIS is less dangerous than Iran.  Netanyahu made similar statements in the past. Only ignorant people fail to realize that ISIS is demolishing historical remnants of our common history while Iran is preserving them. But Ya’alon belongs to the old-school pro-US camp, did his time in Washington’s think-tanks, and is obsessed about Iran. Moreover, Israel’s liberal paper Haaretz said Israel should call for Western intervention in Syria in support of “moderate rebels.” That’s a call...
Israeli Strikes in Syria: An End to the Russian-Israeli Agreement?

Israeli Strikes in Syria: An End to the Russian-Israeli Agreement?

By Joshua Tartakovsky 3 November 2015 The recent Israeli air strikes in violation of Syria’s sovereignty raise the question of whether Russian-Israeli collaboration is coming to an end or whether it was part of a mutually accepted agreement.  On October 31, Israeli planes attacked two military facilities, which Haaretz claimed belonged to the Syrian Arab Army and to Hezbollah, in the two separate areas of Ras al-Ein and al-Qatifa in the Al-Qalamoun mountains. This was the first Israeli airstrike in Syria following the launching of Russia’s military operations against Western-backed terrorists in the country. In September 21, 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rushed to meet with Russian President Putin, with three senior defense figures after he realized that Russia will intervene in Syria. Initially, Netanyahu may have tried to dissuade Putin, but the latter explained that Syria does not pose a danger to Israel as it is currently fighting for its survival.  Some have argued that in the meeting Israel agreed to share intelligence with Russia on jihadist groups in Syria and that in return Russia agreed to turn the other way when Israel bombs arms which were may be transferred to Hezbollah.  And yet, several days ago, Israel struck bases of the Syrian Arab Army. Does this mean that the Israeli-Russian agreement collapsed or is Israel operating within the agreed parameters? The Middle East Monitor reported that Netanyahu and Putin agreed to “allow the Israeli air force to carry out operations freely in Syria, even in areas where the Russian army is stationed on the Syrian coast”.  But the problem is that in this case Israel attacked arms...
Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Following Netanyahu’s expected reelection by a large margin, here are a few questions to the Labour and Mertez parties and to the racist Ashkenazi Left in general:   Did you ever consider not mocking the Mizrahi Jews for their religious beliefs? No.   Did you ever consider forming a wide social party with Arabs and Mizrahi Jews at its core (along with all other discriminated minorities) that will challenge the neoliberal Zionist establishment? No.   Did you ever consider living with Palestinians as your neighbors in the same community? No.   Did you ever consider that the West which you try to emulate is entire hypocritical? No.   Would you have ever agreed to be in a party led by Ayman Odeh or Arye Deri? No.   Do you realize that you are not in Europe and that in some traditions it is common or people to have more than one wife?  No. So, enjoy Netanyahu.   As a side note, I must give a compliment to fellow Israeli citizens: They gave the finger to external forces, from the US to Scandinavian countries, who intervened in domestic elections and tried to topple Netanyahu. As I said in the past, what made me understand the Palestinians was not forcible arguments made by northern Europeans but real contacts with Palestinians and Muslims. Any additional headache for the Empire is a good thing. Secondly, I’m quite pleased that Netanyahu will continue, and will not be replaced by the Aryan boy-scout poster boy Herzog who probably is a closet-racist far more than Bibi but will never admit it. Thirdly, the Joint List as a third largest...
Israel’s Leaders Are Using a Kidnapping to Push a Sinister Agenda

Israel’s Leaders Are Using a Kidnapping to Push a Sinister Agenda

Photo by AFP/File Gali Tibbon AlterNet / By Joshua Tartakovsky The Israeli government is using the kidnapping of three youths to spread chaos and destroy Palestine’s unity government. June 24, 2014  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.   The disappearance of three Israeli youth in the Occupied West Bank on June 12, 2014 has expectedly reignited nascent Israeli fears and traumas. The Israeli public has for the most part readily adopted the position of Prime Minister Netanyahu who stated that he knows “for a fact” that Hamas kidnapped the teenagers even while offering no evidence. A massive Israeli campaign calling on the international community to “bring back our boys” did not acknowledge the nearly 200 Palestinian children who are imprisoned illegally by Israel. Since the kidnapping, Israel launched massive raids on various cities and villages throughout the West Bank and searched private homes recklessly. 500 Palestinians were arrested so far and 5 people killed, including a 14 year old boy, yet the Israeli government has failed to provide evidence that Hamas was behind the kidnapping or locate the missing youth. Although no credible Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the act, and while Hamas denied outright that it was involved, Netanyahu said that “those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas — the same Hamas that Abu Mazen made a unity government with,” referring to the recent unity government formed between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas on June 2. Kidnapping of soldiers and citizens tends to be seen as a form of psychological torture in Israel and in such times, passions run high, hateful incitement comes easy and difficult questions are often not asked. When Palestinian member of...