Think about 9/11, that moment that should have united the world and renewed American administered peace for the 21st century. Instead of American peace, we had a neoconservative project of American power pursued as the sole arbitrating force of world administration. From the moment America refused the offer to activate NATO Article 5 that an attack on one member state is an attack on them all, we should have known, the Bush Presidency was a doomed project. People the world over never likde America’s world administration, but they never had many suggestions for what could replace it.
The Iraq War was a sufficiently predictable disaster that it basically absolves everyone who predicted its catastrophe, even if they had stupid beliefs themselves. Nevertheless, it was not quite the apocalypse many leftists projected, particularly in Europe, who contended the Iraq invasion to be a risk of World War III. Iraq was about as big a disaster as it was ever going to be, and still: no World War III.
This is not going to be World War III, not for a while at least… but unless Netanyahu goes, it will be as big a catastrophe for Israel as the world knows. Watchers suddenly call Israel united now as though it were ‘the old Israel’ – ‘the old Israel’ hasn’t existed since Menachem Begin took over in 1977, it’s never coming back and nobody sane wanted ‘the old Israel’ at the time which dealt with apocalyptic threats to its citizen’s lives every day for thirty years. Even if Netanyahu stays Prime Minister for years hence, we owe Israel our support just as we owe the support of 100 dictatorships the world over who keep the forces of world chaos at bay; nevertheless, have no illusions what it is. This is ‘the new new Israel’, nearly as radicalized as Yassir Arafat, and similarly chaotic. Netanyahu’s project to eliminate Hamas is as doomed to failure as any project to remake Iraq.
And now we get reports that Netanyahu ignored Egyptian intelligence that an attack was imminent three days before it happened. At best, this is rank incompetence and the same arrogant trust in his own judgement for which Bibi’s been notorious for 30 years. At worst, Bibi ‘wagged the dog’ and willfully used this attack to save his power and prevent himself from going to jail for corruption.
Is Netanyahu capable of such evil?
Come on. Of course he is. We’ve known the evil of Bibi ever since he refused to disavow all those rabbis who called for Rabin’s assassination. He lusts for power and will do anything to get more. But if the latter is true, and let’s call it a 1% chance, I doubt Netanyahu thought the attack would be nearly as awful as it was. Either way, this is the incompetence of dictatorship, a paranoid authoritarian locked in his own mind with no advisors he trusts. States have to make alliances with dictators all the time, but we owe them no respect. This is the work of a third rate tin pot leader, determined to preserve his own power even if he drags one of the world’s most successful countries into mediocrity.
There is a chance to save Israel, but there is only one solution. Bibi. Must. Go. Forever, disgraced, distrusted, ignored. In a just world, Netanyahu’s incompetence would be investigated for treason. This is no just world, this is the world we have and for the moment it’s the best we’re going to do. This is ‘the big one’, an Israeli quagmire that ends with demoralization and isolation on a level even the new Israel never experienced. The tragedy is that, for the moment, it’s the option we’re stuck with. Netanyahu must go, and Netanyahu will go whenever Israel realizes his plans are delusions. Let’s just hope it takes four months rather than two years.