Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What exactly is "Israel"?

"Israel will not tolerate the possibility of a nuclear Iran"

Ehud Olmert, AIPAC 2008 Conference

These are amazing words indeed. Ten words which speak volumes and who say more about the nature of the state of Israel then many books.

The key words here are, of course, Israel, tolerate and possibility.

What exactly does Olmert mean by "Israel will "? We know for sure what he does *not* mean. He does not mean anything multilateral since he clearly says that Israel will not tolerate. He does not say "the world", or "the United Nations", or "the IAEA", or the "UNSC" or the NTP Treaty signatory countries. One can hadly blame him for that since Israel is in violation of more UN resolutions than all other countries taken together, since Israel is not even a member of the NTP and since it does not allow for IAEA inspections in Israel. Nor is Israel a member of NATO or of any other formal treaty with either Europe or the USA. Olmert, therefore, logically indicates that Israel intends to act alone.

Ok. Then what does he mean by "not tolerate"? Well, clearly this means "will not accept". But it goes beyond that. It does not just mean "will not condone" or "will never approve of". It means "will do whatever it takes to prevent" and that can only mean one thing: the use of force.

But here we are faced with a puzzle, a seeming contradiction. Israel can choose to tolerate or not tolerate, but the fact is that Israel does simply not have the means to prevent Iran from working on its nuclear program, whether civilian or a putative nuclear one. For all the sabre rattling from Israel and for all the illiterate references to the 1997 bombing of the Osirak reactor in Iraq, the truth is that Israel does not have the reach and the resources to meaningfully attack the Iranian nuclear program infrastructure. Bombing one reactor near Baghdad is one thing, destroying the large, well protected and dispersed Iranian nuclear facilities in Iran is quite another. Sure, the Israelis might use a combination of airstrikes and cruise missiles to damage some facilities, but that is not anywhere near enough to actually damage the Iranian program.

So how can Israel "not tolerate"? The answer is obvious: it will use US military forces to accomplish this mission. But notice that Olmert does not say "we", or "the USA and Israel". He just says "Israel". What does that tell us about the real owners and commanders of the US military machine?

And now we can turn to the most telling, if bizarre, word used by Olmert. "Possibility".

A nuclear Iran is already a possibility. As is a nuclear Bulgaria, a nuclear Argentina or a nuclear Nepal. Unless somebody can come up with a reason why such nuclear countries are impossible (thereby proving a negative) one has to accept that they are possible, if unlikely. This, in turn, begs an obvious question: how could Iran prove that it is not nuclear? Well, the only internationally recognized way to do this is to sign the NPT and to allow IAEA inspections. The problem here is that IRAN HAS ALREADY DONE BOTH THESE THINGS.

Iran is a member in good standing of the NPT and it allows IAEA inspections. Not only that, but the NPT specifically guarantees the right of NPT member states to a civilian nuclear program. As I said, Israel is not a member of the NPT and one could argue that it it not bound by NPT obligations. But since Iran is a member of the NPT and since the NPT guarantees the right for a nuclear program which is, by definition, assumed to be civilian as long as the IAEA can inspect it, using force against Iran for "possibly" being nuclear would not only be in violation of the UN Charter, but even of the NPT itself!

So let us now re-phrase Olmert's words and give them their true sense:

"Israel will use US forces to attack Iran in violation of the UN Charter and the NTP and it will do so regardless of the fact that Iran never had a military nuclear program".

Olmert's words are nothing short of an official declaration of war; a war which will be waged by US forces on Israel's behalf and which will be launched without any debate about that inside the USA, whether in Congress or elsewhere.

What does that tell us about the nature of Israel?

First and most obviously, that this is a pariah state, a rogue state, a state which has absolutely no respect for any aspects of international law. Israel is, literally, a "thug state" whose default mode of operation is the unrestrained use of force. It will use force against Iran just because Iran dares to defy its authority.

Second, Israel is a colonial state. Not only because it occupies Palestine, but because it has turned the USA into a colony. Think about it: what is a colony? Here are two definitions from the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (v.0.48):

A company of people transplanted from their mother country to a remote province or country, and remaining subject to the jurisdiction of the parent state

A territory subject to the ruling governmental authority of another country and not a part of the ruling country.

Although in the case of Israel the transplantation happened in an unusual direction (from the "parent state" into the "mother country") the way the Israel Lobby and the Neocons rule the USA is fully consistent with the "subject to jurisdiction" part of the first definition. As for the second part, it aptly describes the colonial servitude in which Israel clearly holds the USA and its political system. I really can't imagine that any local political leaders in, say, colonized India had to humiliate themselves in front of their British masters as much as American politicians do each year at the AIPAC conference. Make no mistake: the USA has become an Israeli colony and Olmert's boundless arrogance towards the USA is just another proof of this reality.

As any other colony, the USA provides Israel with resources, mostly money (at the very least 108 BILLION dollars so far) and troops (US soldiers are now something like Israel's Gurkhas). What does it get in return? Nothing, really.

No wonder Olmert can with confidence say "Israel will not tolerate the possibility of a nuclear Iran": he speaks not only as the Prime Minister of Israel, but also as the Viceroy of the USA.