FINKELSTEIN/MONDOWEISS: Lebanon, the endgame [disturbing] November 23, 2010

by Norman Finkelstein  -  MONDOWEISS -  22 November 2010

Several recent news items have focused on Israel’s desire to confront Iran in Lebanon by taking on Iranian ally, Hizbollah. Yesterday Norman Finkelstein sent along this clip from the Asia Times, “Israel moves to counter Hezbollah,” which begins, “In the past few months, Israel has gone out of its way to cast itself as a victim of aggression in case a war with Hezbollah breaks out.”

Finkelstein wrote, “Setting aside the obvious propaganda and lies, it’s accurate: we’re approaching the endgame.” I asked him to elaborate.

The US, UK and French will first use the UN to soften the target:

(1) Israel is withdrawing from northern Ghajar to put it in compliance with UNSC Res 1701. Pressure will now be exerted on Lebanon to comply with 1701 by disarming Hezbollah;

(2) The Special Tribunal on Lebanon (STL) will indict members of Hezbollah for Hariri’s assassination, sparking sectarian Shia-Sunni discord;

(3) The threat of a devastating Israeli attack will foment domestic pressure supporting Hezbollah’s disarmament to preempt such an attack;

(4) The UNSC will then start passing resolutions (reminiscent of 1990-1991 against Iraq) putting sanctions on Lebanon. Once the ground has been prepared Israel will move in for the kill. Of course, the Palestinian “Authority” will be told that once the Hezbollah threat is removed, Israel will be prepared to make real concessions for peace.

As to what will happen in the likely event of war, see the section titled “1967 REDUX/THE WAR TO END ALL WARS” in the attached afterword to the forthcoming paperback edition of the Gaza book, This Time We Went Too Far. [excerpt:]

Feeling trapped and cornered, desperate to restore its deterrence but appearing yet more inept after each successive attempt, emancipated from the constraints of public opinion and legal repercussion, and after repeatedly threatening to attack Iran and Hezbollah, making it ever harder to back down and not lose credibility, an unhinged Israeli leadership just might go for broke. It is not being a Cassandra to prognosticate an impending doomsday, and it is far from premature to sound the alarm that at bare minimum Israel must be compelled to join the regional consensus supporting a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. Indeed, it deserves underscoring that Israel’s refusal to fully withdraw from the territories it conquered in 1967 has blocked a diplomatic settlement with the Palestinians and Syria that would drastically reduce the likelihood of regional war.

Of course, Obama’s promise to veto any “anti-Israel” resolutions in the next year will enable Israel to massacre Lebanon with complete impunity.

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