Israeli corruption might ignite the entire Middle East
President Donald Trump plans to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and he is expected to announce on Wednesday that the US will recognize the city as the capital of Israel, multiple news outlets have quoted senior administration officials as saying.
... The Palestinians' chief representative to the UK also said Wednesday that Trump's announcement would be a "a kiss of death to the two-state solution."
"He is declaring war in the Middle East, he is declaring war against 1.5 billion Muslims (and) hundreds of millions of Christians that are not going to accept the holy shrines to be totally under the hegemony of Israel," Manuel Hassassian told the BBC.
What do these two events have in common? Corruption.
First there is corruption in the Trump Administration.
U.S. businessman Erik Prince – who has just been accused of trying to set up a back-channel for communications between the Trump administration and Russia – has deep Israeli connections as well, including business dealings with Ari Harow, the disgraced former bureau chief to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Prince is the founder of Blackwater, and is an advisor to the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. His sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Together with former Iran-Contra felon Oliver North, Prince has pitched a plan to develop a private spy network to members of the Trump administration.
Key Trump advisers Kushner and Flynn, reached out to the Russian government last December in order to undermine the U.S. government peace efforts because the Israeli government asked them to.
Then there is the corruption on the Israeli side, which is even scarier.
Bradley Burston, a respected columnist in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, also could not have been more clear the other day. His opinion piece was entitled, “Netanyahu Needs a War. He Needs It to Be With Iran. And He Needs It Soon.” Burston argues that Netanyahu has several selfish reasons for wanting a conflict:
1) The Israeli political reality is turning against him. “He’s desperate now because he’s losing ground fast in the latest opinion polls.”
2) He sees he may be out of power soon, and he’s “obsessed by his place in history.” Burston writes, “Netanyahu still has no legacy beyond the number of all those many years in power.”
3) Netanyahu may also provoke war to distract from the ongoing probes into his corruption: “He’s desperate because police detectives and investigative journalists are closing in on him.”
Burston’s allegations are astonishing, especially the last one.
That's an extraordinary claim, but then we are talking about Netanyahu here, the most Machiavellian of Israeli politicians.
It isn't just Netanyahu and it isn't just Jerusalem (although that's more than enough to get ugly). The real threat is the coalition forming against Hezbollah in Lebanon, and by extension, Iran.
Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, warned Monday that the threat of conflict between his country and Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon is increasing by the week.
Dermer said in an interview with Politico that as long as the Iranian-backed threat from Syria was not countered, war between Israel and those proxies was drawing ever closer.
“If Iran is not rolled back in Syria, then the chances of military confrontation are growing. I don’t want to tell you by the year or by the month. I’d say even by the week,” the Israeli ambassador warned.
Let's be clear here: If Hezbollah and Iran didn't go into Syria to defend the Assad government, ISIS and al-Qaeda would control Syria right now, and the slaughter would have been biblical.
Israel is obviously the strongest player here, but are they prepared to go all in?
Hezbollah fought Israel to a stalemate in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, and Hezbollah is far more battle-hardened now.
The same can be said of Iran's Quds.
The wild-card here is Saudi Arabia.
The head of Israel’s armed forces revealed Thursday he’s willing to work with fellow Middle Eastern U.S. ally Saudi Arabia to thwart the interests of their common foe, Iran, which has been vying for influence in the region.
The thing is that Saudi Arabia and Israel don't have diplomatic relations, and they can hardly work together in the open.
However, both nations have a close friend in the corrupt Trump Administration.
Béchir Ben Yahmed, at age 89, is probably the most experienced journalist in the world today. He is warning that he has inside information that an alliance of Saudi Arabia and Benjamin Netanyahu, urged on privately by the Trump administration, is deliberately moving toward starting a much wider “New War in the Mideast.”
...He argues that a wider war may be imminent partly because the Saudi crown prince and his father know they must act quickly, while Trump and Netanyahu are still in power.
I really hope that Yahmed is wrong, but his logic is sound.
This sort of regional war is certain to suck in the United States, and we can't win it.