Friday, July 18, 2014

Israel's "extreme right" now the mainstream

If you have any doubts, have a gander at Mowing the grass in Gaza - and beyond by David Weinberg, on view at The Jerusalem Post website.

In an op-ed that drips with Chosen People exceptionalism, Weinberg clues us in to Netanyahu's "updated strategic thinking", which I suspect is not so much updated as just being spoken aloud in public in a way it wasn't even a few months ago.

The Two State Solution is dead, the West Bank is now a "security envelope" under permanent Israeli occupation, and "Israel will act to mow the grass as frequently as necessary to degrade enemy military capabilities and keep Israel's rivals off balance".

"Mowing the grass", in case you don't know, refers to cutting those rivals, be they in Gaza, Lebanon, or anywhere else in the region down to size. The "grass" allusion is illuminating; grass keeps on growing, as does resistance to Israeli hegemony, and therefore both need to be trimmed back on a regular basis.

The IDF is busy cutting the grass in Gaza at this very moment.

Weinberg explains that Israel "will be lashing out frequently to quash nearby insurgencies and their armories, especially when the weapons are actually fired at Israel". This too is a telling statement. It tells us that going forward any neighbour state not sufficiently deferential to Israel is a candidate for a grass-cutting, whether or not they have ever fired a shot in Israel's direction.

And who will determine when it's time for Gaza or Lebanon to get the next trim? Why, the paranoid cynics in the Knesset, of course! The "by itself" reference is intended to signal that no international norms or laws need be considered. It's a turn of phrase that's been cropping up in recent comments by Canada's rabidly pro-Zionist Foreign Minister as well, and not by accident.

Twenty years ago these sentiments would have been considered hate-mongering, and would only have been voiced in fringe publications of the extreme right, or behind closed doors... today they are in The Jerusalem Post.

My question to Weinberg is this; how does regular violence against any potential rival inside or near Israel contribute to the long-term peace and security of the country?

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