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Can Next Israeli Government Be Even More Extremist Than Previous One?

bogie yaalon

Moshe Feiglin with Bogie Yaalon

The answer is, to paraphrase the old Obama slogan: “yes, it can.”  For starters, instead of appointing Yair Lapid to be foreign minister, which would project a message of calm and reassurance to the international community, Bibi appears to intend to save that portfolio for his old partner in crime (and current indictee) Avigdor Lieberman.  That will leave Lapid with the finance ministry, in which he will have little sway or input since Bibi is a former finance minister and takes a strong interest in economic policy.

But the appointment that really caught my eye is the defense portfolio.  That’s rumored to be headed to Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon.  He has the distinction of the being IDF chief of staff fired by Sharon when he refused to allow military forces to evacuate Gaza settlers.  Yaalon is not just right-wing.  He’s among the most ardent of the settler supporters.  In 2009, I wrote of a political evening at which he spoke after being introduced by Moshe Feiglin.  The RSVPs were collected by Meir Kahane’s daughter in law.  When a friend called to RSVP, the phone was answered by Meir Kahane’s grandson, also called Meir.  This is the same charming fellow arrested by the police under suspicion of perpetrating price tag attacks, including the burning of West Bank mosques.  Yaalon has clearly thrown his political lot with the worst of the settler thugs.

But don’t just believe this anecdote.  Read this account of a press briefing on Iran Yaalon gave earlier this year:

pam geller bogie yaalon

Bogie Yaalon with arch-Islamophobe Pam Geller

Bogie Yaalon isn’t delusional in the way that the Hilltop Youth are. He’s not even delusional in the way that Avigdor Lieberman or Newt Gingrich is. He’s delusional in a stone-cold sober, cold-blooded way that could lead to tens of thousands of dead, blood running down the streets of Israel, Iran and numerous other Arab cities, and missiles bristling from bunkers and launch sites throughout the region.

…If Yaalon’s strategic vision carries the day in Israeli policymaking circles, we could see a virtual repeat of the Crusades, in which competing religious forces battle for control of the region for decades, if not longer. The major difference being that Israel and the frontline states have massive amounts of firepower at their disposal.

The former Israeli general has a strategic vision that places Israel on a permanent war footing. It turns Israel not just into Sparta, but into Sparta in constant war with multiple neighboring states. Frankly, this is not a state of affairs that Israel can sustain over an extended period. There is no possible way Israel could fight an all-out war for eight years, suffering 1-million dead as Iran did against Iraq. That makes Yaalon’s vision deeply damaging, even pathological in terms of what Israel could actually sustain.

…The money quote of the entire briefing was this: “Iran should be given the choice to have a bomb or survive.” The west must present this in the most aggressive and intrusive way possible as a dilemma the Iranians must answer, a stark choice, basically of life without a bomb or death. It wasn’t clear whether Yaalon was speaking of the death of the Iranian regime or the death of the country itself. Even if he only meant the former, it was truly a spine-shivering articulation of the goal of Israeli policy.

…[He said Iran's goal is to] “achieve hegemony in the region, to impose revolution, their vision of Islam, political Islam, in the region and beyond. Further, they seek to bring the End of Days by imposing Islam wherever they can.”

Yaalon opposed an attack by Israel on Iran during the last government.  But that was at least in part out of resentment of Bibi’s alliance with Ehud Barak in favor of war.  The prime minister had originally promised Bogie the defense ministry in the last government.  But when Barak brought Labor into the coalition, the price was defense for Barak.  Ever since Yaalon has had it in for Barak.  So in the next government, with Barak out of the way, Yaalon may sing a different tune, especially if he knows his boss, the PM wants war.

The operative phrase for me in looking at the future is that old movie line: “be afraid, be very afraid.”

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • dror March 9, 2013, 2:02 PM

    it is impossible to Unsubscribe,and it is against the low.as I dont want to get your anti israeli propoganda,your mail will go
    directly to the trash bin.

    • Richard Silverstein March 9, 2013, 4:16 PM

      It’s certainly possible to unsubscribe. You happen to be too technically challenged to figure out how to do so, despite the fact that there is a link that you click in any e mail you receive that automaticaly will unsubscribe you.

      As for being “against the low,” I can’t understand whether you believe unsubscribing is against the law or subscribing is against the law. Either view is wrong of course. But if you are doing something against the law, you’d best go to your nearest police station and turn yourself in. I’m sure whatever crime you’ve committed is quite serious & deserves immediate attention from the authorities.

      I just checked, you’re not even subscribed. So either you’re a troll or a jackass (or both).

      On second thought, you probably subscribed to the comment thread. That’s a bit more complicated for me to figure out.

      But if you read the comment rules you’d see why your first comment was moderated. Instead of jumping to false conclusions as you have.

  • Miriam March 9, 2013, 8:01 PM

    What do you make of the super secret construction called 911 site that will suck up more than $100,000,000 US tax dollars and is being built with the help of the US Army corps of Eng…..this thing with the super anti blast door../single gate…..near Tel Aviv….multi level below ground structure…
    planned down to the mezzuzahs on ever door post! and architect’s interior designs.
    here: http://www.businessinsider.com/us-site-y-911-phase-ii-tel-aviv-israel-2013-3#ixzz2MmNxYki8
    Not to forget last October’s announcement of the construction of a special synagogue inside Dimona, including ritual Mikvah facility and
    plans for a special Torah. Junk bond billionaire will be financing this worship center in the midst of thermo nuclear and hydrogen bomb manufacturing place. chilling.

  • pabelmont March 10, 2013, 6:59 AM

    Of course successive Israeli governments can be more extreme. Why? Because Israel was built by a violent process which was formally contrary to UN norms (though entirely consistent with 19th Century Euro-colonialist norms) and has continued in an expansionist path based on the same world-view. From my perspective it started out bad and has gotten progressively worse. From its own world-view, it has progressed toward a brighter and brighter future. Peace, justice, legality and such were never its concerns. and — best of all — the world has let Israel get away with its expansion! Why should it (be expected to) stop?

    When a heavy object is flying along a trajectory unopposed by outside force, momentum keeps it going.

    The problem for anyone who wishes to roll back Israeli violence, water-theft, territorial expansion, etc., is that no nation wants to stand in its way. The very, very tiny “baby-steps” whereby Britain and Nederlands may be requiring goods “made in occupuied territories” to be so-labeled are a sign that things may be changing, but Israel has never cared much what others say and — so far — product labeling is mere words, bereft of adverse economic consequencese for Israel. Nations willing to fulfil their undertakings to “ensure resp[ect” for the Fourth Geneva Convention — under which all settlements and the wall are illegal — would be willing to do a lot more.

    I’d expect the nations to begin doing serious work to avert “anthropogenic climate change” and to begin doing serious work to end Israel’s illegal and horrendously anti-human-rights occupation at the same time, that is, in a “dead heat”.

  • dickerson3870 March 13, 2013, 12:21 AM

    RE: The operative phrase for me in looking at the future is that old movie line: “be afraid, be very afraid.” ~ R.S.

    FROM phrases.org.uk [Be afraid, be very afraid]:

    [EXCERPT] • Meaning
    Ostensibly, a warning that something dangerous is imminent. In reality, this is usually said with comic intent. The thing being warned of is more likely to be mildly unwelcome than actually dangerous; for example, “That fierce librarian was asking about your overdue books – be afraid, be very afraid.”

    Origin
    This phrase originated in the 1986 horror film The Fly, written by the Canadian David Cronenberg and starring Jeff Goldblum (as Seth Brundle) and Geena Davis (as Veronica Quaife). The shortened expression ‘be very afraid’ was already in use in the USA prior to 1986; for example, it was used in the television series All My Children in 1970. . .

    SOURCE –
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/be%20afraid,%20be%20very%20afraid.html

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