Israeli corruption might ignite the entire Middle East

About 20,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday against the corruption of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his administration.
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Today Trump announced plans to set off a regional war.

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.

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Comments

WoodsDweller's picture

This popped up today...

The day after Kushner was revealed as Flynn’s taskmaster, a team of researchers from the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge found that the presidential son-in-law had failed to disclose his role as a co-director of his family’s Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation during the years when his family’s charity funded the Israeli enterprise of illegal settlements. The embarrassing omission barely scratched the surface of Kushner’s decades long relationship with Israel’s Likud-led government.
During the 1990’s, a teenaged Jared Kushner was forced to vacate his own bedroom so Netanyahu had a place to stay when he was in New York City for business. Since at least 2006, the Kushners have donated at least $315,000 to the Friends of the IDF, the American fundraising arm of the Israeli military, and tens of thousands of dollars to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, from Beit El to Gush Etzion.

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24 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

@WoodsDweller From the article linked above, "The narrative must go on regardless of the facts."

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7 users have voted.

Nastarana

detroitmechworks's picture

because we would simultaneously be at war with the entire middle east and NONE of it at the same time.

It's the "Part Time Soldier" effect. The regime and organized military resistance will fall, except for a few holdouts who will be immediately either tried or put into power as the new order keepers... Meanwhile everybody who didn't feel like fighting suicidal odds goes back to their day job, except when they go out at night and mine a highway. Or ambush a group of contractors. Or any number of other activities which these folks do that our troops cannot go after them for without evidence.

So we end up bombing "Suspects"... who turn out to have done nothing, creating more folks who decide one night that that fifty bucks for laying a mine sounds awfully good in the shitty economy where you have to sell your soul to the Americans to make a buck...

Yes, we would win an immediate "Conventional" War, unless another nation butted in. But the the occupation would kill us, just like it's killing us now.

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15 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

Big Al's picture

@detroitmechworks

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detroitmechworks's picture

@Big Al is about all that any victory would get us. The money would go to American accounts, and that would be about it.

Seriously, apart from governmental robbery in the spirit of "Stabilizing" the region, nobody wins anything. Just the companies with buddies in the white house or the pentagon at the time.

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12 users have voted.

You can't expect to wield Supreme Military power, just cause some corporate tosser lobbed a contract at you!

Big Al's picture

@detroitmechworks "We" never win anything, that is not the objective.

"War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it."

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18 users have voted.

@Big Al Oil.
n/t

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8 users have voted.

with you and with the Intercept article that says Flynn reached out to the Russian government in order to "undermine the U.S. government peace efforts," as you say it.

Obama and his administration refused to vote with the UN to condemn the settlements. They abstained. Flynn was urging the Russians to agree with that position, but they refused. I guess what the Intercept is saying is that Obama wanted to support the settlements by abstaining, but somehow have that appear as part of a "peace process."

The Russians voted with the UN, against Flynn's urging, against Israeli policy, and against Obama's policy. Therefore Flynn's request was in support of Obama's policy, I think.

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@Linda Wood
Flynn wanted a Russian no vote in support of Trump's anticipated policy.

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@FuturePassed

I agree with you. But Trump's policy was not in opposition to Obama's, meaning the current U.S. government's, policy. Both Obama's and Trump's policies were in support of Israel. Therefore, Flynn didn't commit a crime of undermining our government's policy under the Logan Act.

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@Linda Wood
authorized the first US abstention allowing the motion to pass. If Russia or the US had voted no it would have failed. The outcome is entirely different.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Allow me to repeat what I said after the Night of the Saudi long knives:

The MbS roundup of Saudi Oligarchs is aimed at eliminating/neutering the Bush/Clinton backed elements in the Saudi hierarchy (see e.g., Bandar Bush) in order to give SA more independence from American influence/control.

Trump is more than happy to support the coup because it removes a key power/financial base of his domestic opposition and lets him profit from US-Saudi oil-arms deals instead. (See e.g., ARAMCO IPO)

MbS is willing to aid Israel's attack on Hezbollah/Iran as a way of shoring up Israeli support for his coup as well as reverse some of the losses from the Syrian misadventure (fat chance on the latter).

Jared Kushner is the middle man in all of this.

Rex Tillerson and a big part of the US defense establishment think an Israeli attack on Lebanon is a fool's errand that could boomerang bigly. (they're probably right)

Netanyahu needs a war to save himself from being removed from power over corruption charges. If that still doesn't save him, he's content to go down in a blaze of gory.

Notice also the recent efforts to bum's rush Tillerson and to tag McMaster as an Obama spy.

“[Maguire] said there were people inside the CIA who joined in the previous eight years [under Obama] and inside the government, and they were failing to give the president the intelligence he needed,” said a person who was pitched by Maguire and other Amyntor personnel. To support his claim, Maguire told at least two people that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, in coordination with a top official at the National Security Agency, authorized surveillance of Steven Bannon and Trump family members, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. Adding to these unsubstantiated claims, Maguire told the potential donors he also had evidence McMaster used a burner phone to send information gathered through the surveillance to a facility in Cyprus owned by George Soros.

The MbS/Kushner/Bibi triumvirate is standing on on very shaky quicksand, especially after botching the Saleh transition in Yemen. They need a bigger war and need it fast, which means anybody opposing escalation is now fair game for the neocon chum brigade.

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7 users have voted.

I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

dervish's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger This isn't the 80s, and Israel can't just waltz into Lebanon, they would have absolutely no support there if they did (not even Geagea), and I doubt that the IDF is prepared for the type of warfare that a ground conflict there would be. Israel can bomb the crap out of Lebanon, but by itself that really wouldn't accomplish anything.

I have an even harder time conceiving what a war with Iran would even look like. KSA can't handle Yemen, taking on Iran would be madness. Solomani would make kibbeh out of those clowns in no time flat.

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9 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@Not Henry Kissinger
about Tillerson being about to leave.

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3 users have voted.

Nastarana

Mark from Queens's picture

et al is not spirituality or religion, it is Fascism. And fascism alone.

I despise these fuckers so much.

And that is where the real global battle is: against these manipulative, fear-driven, authoritarian, greedy Fascists all over the world.

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11 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

ggersh's picture

@Mark from Queens corrupted to the hilt also, his rise to
fame sadly was because of his brother who was
the only "hero" killed in the rescue at Entebbe.

He's on par w/clintons/trumpkopf if not worse
in every way imaginable.

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8 users have voted.

“Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. Yet those who DO study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it.” Unknown.

orlbucfan's picture

they can barely read. That is part of what makes these universal megalomaniacs so dangerous. They are a constant curse on all of mankind. Greetings @Mark from Queens ! know you are very busy with family, but I sure miss your OTs. Rec'd!!

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1 user has voted.

Some yahoos make me want to change species!

Lookout's picture

https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/flynn-indictment-exposes-collu...

MB: Israel is central in this. And what we're looking at is actually Israel-gate. It was Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, whose family, Charles Kushner and the family foundation run by his father, has extensive ties to Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, when Jared Kushner was a boy, and Netanyahu was in town in New York, he would have to leave his bedroom so Benjamin Netanyahu, then the Israeli opposition leader could sleep in his bed. His family has made extensive donations to the Israeli settlement enterprise, something Kushner failed to acknowledge, which is part of the reason why he hasn't gotten a security clearance. And here's Jared Kushner ordering Michael Flynn on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu, on behalf of a foreign power to lobby the Russians, to use their veto power on the UN Security Council to stifle a resolution that was going to condemn Israel settlement activity. You're looking at actual collusion by the Netanyahu administration through their friend Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn. And that is just completely inconvenient. Because, as we've seen with Haim Saban, one of the largest donors to Hillary Clinton, actually thanking Jared Kushner for colluding with Israel. This is a bipartisan enterprise. This is how the sausage is made in Washington.

https://www.rt.com/usa/412150-trump-kushner-netanyahu-israel/

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12 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

"Are you willing to say no to AIPAC and JINSA?" If there is fear of retribution on an individual basis, maybe ask through some umbrella org?

I wonder what will happen when evangelical Zionists can no longer make their pilgrimages to Jerusalem? "Unrest" will of course be the excuse offered by Israeli authorities.

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5 users have voted.

Nastarana