Fascist Netanyahu Meets Cheney for
The Next Round of War Planning
by Dean Andromidas
Is history repeating itself after only four months?
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, chairman of the Israeli Likud party, met in Washington with Vice President Dick Cheney Sept. 5, and although neither has revealed what transpired between them, there is little doubt that Iran, and preparation for "another round" against Hezbollah in Lebanon were high on the agenda. This was not the duo's first meeting this year: On June 17, Netanyahu and Cheney, along with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, met semi-secretly at an American Enterprise Institute conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado (see "Cheney and Netanyahu Conspiring for War?" EIR June 30, 2006). It was only a few weeks later, that the brutal Israeli offensive against Lebanon began.
Two days after his latest meeting with Cheney, Netanyahu addressed a luncheon organized by the Hudson Institute in New York City, where he promised that "when Prime Minister"—only then to laugh and wink as he corrected himself to "if Prime Minister"—he would ensure that Israel breaks with the policies of Oslo, and returns to the "Iron Wall" doctrine of the late Vladimir Jabotinsky, the Zionist fascist leader who once pleaded with Adolf Hitler to accept him as an ally. Jabotinsky asserted that Arabs would only accept Israel when they met the "Iron Wall" of Israeli military might, the New York Sun reported in its adulatory coverage on Sept. 8. Netanyahu said that when Israel abandoned that strategy by signing the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians responded with terrorism, just as Jabotinsky had warned.
In a meeting with 15 U.S. Senators during his visit, Netanyahu lobbied for Cheney's policy of threatening Iran with military force if it does not halt its nuclear program. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, he told reporters that the military option against Iran should be "layered into" a tough set of sanctions. Bibi claimed to see cracks within the Iranian leadership, and that economic sanctions and the threat of military force might convince Iran to end its nuclear program. He warned that Israel would be the first target of Iran's nuclear weapons—but not the last.
According to the New York Sun, at his New York luncheon Netanyahu assured his audience that President Bush is preparing to ditch the United Nations to take on Iran alone. "Netanyahu told his audience more than once" that not enough attention has been paid to President Bush's statement in his Tuesday war on terror speech, that "the world's free nations will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon." Not that the "United Nations won't allow," Netanyahu said, but that the "free nations" of the world won't allow. "Netanyahu called it a sign that on the Iranian problem, the president was preparing to stop working through the United Nations and instead work with whoever would join him," the Sun reported.
The avowed fascist also praised globalization as a "God-send" for Israel and "for everyone," while hallucinating over the economic growth which he asserted his reforms as Finance Minister had brought to Israel.
New War on Lebanon
Ever since the implementation of the United Nations-brokered cease-fire agreement in Lebanon went into effect last month, Bibi has been talking about preparing for the "next round" against Hezbollah which could see the war spread to Syria and Iran. In an interview Aug. 15, with a group of U.S. right-wing, pro-Israeli web blogs, organized by Rick Richman of Jewish Current News, just hours after the cease-fire went into effect, Netanyahu clearly stated his strategic intentions.
Bibi called the Lebanon-Israeli war the "first salvo in the Free World's battle against Sunni, or rather Shi'ite fundamentalism," in which Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons in order to build an "Islamic empire ... and that's why President Bush's commitment to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons is the most important decision of our time."
For Bibi, the recent war was only the "first round. More will come, and we'll have to prepare," he threatened. Calling for a joint U.S.-Israel campaign, he said, "There ought to be a division of labor. Israel should dismantle the Hezbollah military machine and destroy the missile arsenal. That has not yet been achieved, but it will have to be achieved down the line, and equally, the United States should lead its own, or an international effort, to disarm Iran of nuclear weapons." Admitting that the "first round" was a joint Cheney-Israel operation, Bibi said, "This was the agenda before this war began, and it is still the agenda after this war has ended, or after this round of this war has ended."
Make no mistake: The drive for the next war is not coming from Israel, but from the synarchist financial interests who stand behind Cheney and Netanyahu, best represented by their patron, George Pratt Shultz.
Netanyahu also appeared at a seminar at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, where he was the guest speaker on terrorism, alongside former CIA Director James Woolsey, who has been one of the top neo-cons pushing the military option against Iran. The event was organized by top U.S. Likudnik and Likud fundraiser Steven L. Friedman, an old schoolmate of Bibi's from his early years in Pennsylvania. Friedman's role as a bagman between the Likud party and the synarchist financial interests that support Netanyahu and the Likud has been detailed in EIR ("A Bigger Scandal: Illegal U.S. Funding of Sharon's Likud," June 23, 2002).
Shortly before Netanyahu's arrival in Washington, former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon returned to Israel after spending a year at the pro-Israel think-tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It is widely believed Ya'alon intends to join the Likud, where he is expected to be named Minister of Defense in a new Netanyahu government. While in Washington, Ya'alon, who sees Iran as posing an existential threat to Israel, made the circuit of the many neo-conservative think-tanks. Last March, he spoke on "Confronting Iran," at the right-wing Hudson Institute.
Giving his endorsement to the military option, Ya'alon said, "A military option has the potential to significantly damage the Iranian nuclear project.... I believe that Western air forces—including the U.S. Air Force, the air forces of the European Union, and the Israeli Air Force—can effectively execute such a mission." He concluded his presentation by quoting Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): "There is only one thing worse than ... a military option, and that is a nuclear Iran."
The Next Israeli Prime Minister?
The disastrous Lebanon war, which left almost 150 Israelis dead, a third of whom were civilians, and cost Israel no less than $5 billion, has left Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert fighting for his political life. The shift to the right in the population has made Netanyahu the top beneficiary. Netanyahu has already rejected overtures by associates of Olmert inviting him to join a national unity government. He has reportedly told his associates, "I am going to replace Olmert—not save him."
This is not just bluster. Omert's government and his Kadima party could become history in less than two months. The manifest failures of the war have led to calls for a State Commission of Inquiry. Just such an inquiry during the 1982 Lebanon war forced Ariel Sharon to resign as Defense Minister. Olmert could suffer the same fate if a Commission of Inquiry were formed. Furthermore, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss has just completed an investigation alleging that Olmert, while Trade and Industry Minister in the last Sharon government, illegally handed out jobs to his political cronies. Lindenstrauss has already handed over the results of his probe to State Attorney Menachem Mazuz with the recommendation that a criminal investigation be opened against Olmert. Although Mazuz has yet to make a decision on the case, Lindenstrauss is conducting two additional investigations of Olmert alleging fraud, bribe-taking, and ocorruption.
But the most pressing problem for Olmert will be getting the 2007 budget passed in the Knesset without collapsing his coalition. A guns-not-butter budget, it calls for massive cuts in social programs in order to finance a huge increase in defense spending. Already, his coalition partners, including the Labor Party, the Shas Party, and the Pensioners Party, have announced they will oppose the budget if key social programs are cut.
Netanyahu is banking on two likely scenarios. The first, is the fact that Knesset Members themselves would be loath to hold new elections after only four months, elections that would mean the end for many of their political careers. The second, is the crack-up of the recently formed Kadima party, in which a sizable faction will run "home" to the Likud. Netanyahu believes that at that point, where Likud would become the largest party, he would be given the mandate to form a new government. He could then form a fascist government that would include the Likud, the ethnic Russian Yisrael Beitenau, led by the fascist Avigdor Lieberman, and other right-wing parties. It would be a government that would go to war. It could very well be Israel's last.
Only a Madrid II Could Save Israel
The only policy that could save Israel, and possibly Olmert's own political neck, is a Madrid II peace conference, as proposed by Meretz Party chairman Yossi Beilin, and endorsed by Lyndon LaRouche. Only such a conference could resolve all the conflicts in the region, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iraq War, and the threat of war against Iran. But, this would have to be preceded by a dramatic shift in Washington, with the ouster of the synarchist cabal in the Bush Administration, led by Vice President Cheney.
Olmert has made clear that he will not deviate one inch from the Bush Administration's dictates. He has rejected calls by his own ministers for opening talks with Syria and the Palestinians. Such calls have already been made by Defense Minister Amir Peretz, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, but have been all rejected.
Moreover, Olmert has continued the military offensive against the Palestinians. While the guns are silent in the north, following the United Nations cease-fire agreement, Israel continues to kill Palestinians. Since Israel launched "Operation Summer Rains" on June 27, over 250 Palestinians have been killed, mostly non-combatants, including woman and children. While the world community mobilized to send troops to the expanded United Nations force in southern Lebanon, nothing has been done to stop the killing in the Occupied Territories. This is all the more dangerous, considering that the capture of the Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah last July, which served as a trigger for the recent war, was, in part, a reaction to the Israeli offensive in Gaza. On Aug. 28, the UN World Food Program warned that Gaza was facing an escalating economic and food crisis, in which no less than 70% of the population is suffering from a severe shortage of food. This situation has been made far worse by the international economic blockade against the Hamas government, which has made it impossible to pay the Palestinian National Authority's 165,000 employees, whose dependents number almost a million people.
Arab diplomatic sources told EIR that the continued offensive against the Palestinians serves only to undermine any attempts to promote a peace process such as a Madrid II. The operations are destabilizing attempts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) to form a unity government between Hamas and his own Fatah movement as a means of breaking the financial blockade against the government. The Israeli military has targetted both Hamas and Fatah operatives. Furthermore, the week of Aug. 28, an Israeli military court indicted 15 Hamas Parliamentarians who were illegally arrested in June.
Linking the continued attacks on the Palestinians to the Lebanon war, Danny Rubinstein, the leading commentator for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, called on Sept. 4 for a state commission to investigate the occupation. "For all its importance, and all the shock in Israel over what happened in the Lebanon war, this war cannot be compared to what has been happening for almost 40 years in the territories occupied by Israel during the Six Day War. Such a commission would probably discover that there is a strong connection between the wars in Lebanon and what occurred between us and the Palestinians during those years, and that our control over the West Bank and Gaza contributed quite a bit to the continuing deterioration in the north."
And, there are other sane voices which continue to be heard within Israel. Former Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, in a commentary appearing in Ha'aretz Sept. 7, warned that only an international peace conference could forestall the "doomsday" outcome facing the region because of the belligerent policy toward Iran of the Bush Administration and its supporters in Israel, combined with Israel's refusal to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians. Ben-Ami wrote that only "an international peace conference, which would renew the momentum for ending the Israeli-Arab conflict, would remove the basis for Iran's belligerency. Neither sanctions nor even military action can disperse the doomsday cloud hanging over the region. Only divesting Iran of nuclear arms as part of a comprehensive Israeli-Arab settlement could do so."