Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks on Israel, Iraq and the Iranian Specter

[ I respect Juan Cole but disagree with him here on 2 points : 1) The US will NEVER withdraw from Iraq , the fact they are leaving 4-7 bases with thousands of troops and the Largest embassy every built is no indication of the end of occupation but a sign of its permanence.
2) The Destruction of Iraq took it out of the Arab/Israeli conflict. Iraq can never play a role it used to play before , even if Sadr is allied with Hezbollah]

a) that the Israeli leadership did not want the US to withdraw from Iraq and 
b) that Israeli politicians think that even if Iran never used a nuclear weapon, just for it to have one would doom Israel.
Since the US is in fact withdrawing from Iraq, and will be mostly out by next year this time, we may conclude that the Israeli leadership is very nervous about Tel Aviv – Baghdad relations. That the new government being formed by Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki depends deeply on the support of Muqtada al-Sadr and his Sadrist movement, the most anti-Israel political force in Shiite Iraq, must petrify Prime Minister Netanyahu and his security cabinet. The likelihood of the Sadrists further coordinating with Lebanon’s Hizbullah party-militia is high. So the fall of Saddam did not in fact take away the Iraq file from consideration in Israel’s future.
What is being implicitly referred to is the expectation that if the Middle East turns even more dangerous for Israelis, such that they lose their status as the sole nuclear regional superpower, then Israeli Jews may well simply emigrate in large numbers. Over time, this development would ensure that Palestinian-Israelis, now over 20% of the population, become a plurality and even a majority.
At some point the Palestinian-Israelis and those Jewish Israelis tired of the increasing boycotts and constant wars may just vote to give citizenship to the Palestinians outside the green zone, creating a binational state. This process, which is likely whether Iran gets a bomb or not, resembles what happened to the Maronite Catholics of Lebanon, who were a majority in the 1920s when the French created the country, but whose high rates of out-migration and low population growth rates reduced them to about 22% of the population (if you count the children) today. Israel will likely be Lebanonized over the next five decades, in any case.

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