Nov 26, 2021, 3:00 PM
Dying from inside

TEHRAN, Nov. 26 (MNA) – So Israel is envious of the Iranians’ comfortable position at home, or that is what can be inferred from remarks by the Zionist PM about the current state of play between Tehran and Tel Aviv ahead of the Vienna talks.

Speaking at a conference hosted by Reichman University, Neftali Bennet said the Iranians have “encircled” Israel with missiles while “sitting safely” in Tehran. He further pointed out that “chasing” Iranian-allied forces in the region does not pay off anymore and that Israel should go for the Iranians themselves.

The remarks were celebrated by Israeli lobbyists as signifying Israel’s reuse of the “Octopus Doctrine,” a policy similar to what the Saudis have already tested but failed. The policy establishes that Iran is like an octopus whose limbs are tightly holding the region and that it’s no use targeting the limbs.

This is a total rehash of the head-of-snake policy coined by the Saudis vis-à-vis Iran. In 2010, leaked US diplomatic cables revealed that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly exhorted the United States to “cut off the head of the snake” by launching military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.

The Saudis failed to achieve their objective, and the Israeli are most likely to follow suit. And this is not just because the Israelis will fail to drag the US. into another quagmire in the West Asia region. But rather because Israel’s regime faces huge challenges both internally and externally. 

Internally, the Israeli society is edging closer to a societal collapse with Israeli Muslim and Christian “citizens” being alienated by the day by dint of Israeli repressive policies. A clear example of this collapse is what happened in Arab-populated cities in Israel during the recent Israeli aggression again the Gaza Strip. Israel began its aggression believing that Palestinian citizens of Israel, accounting for more than 20 percent of Israel’s population, have forgotten their roots and adopted Israeli identity despite Israeli racist policies. 

But as Israel began shelling Gaza, Israeli Arabs rose up in large numbers against the Israeli aggression, turning their streets into another front against suppression and racism. Israeli security forces responded by using lethal force and quashed the Arab protests. They restored order by launching massive arrests. But pent-up anger and resentment among Israeli Arabs linger on, making them a ticking bomb against Tel Aviv.

And this is not lost on Israeli leaders. Nir Barkat, a member of Knesset and former mayor of Jerusalem, has openly voiced concern about the possibility of eruption of unrest in Israel. Of course, he failed to address the root cause of this threat and put it in the broader context of perceived threats Israelis believe Iran poses to them.

These days, Bennet and other Israeli officials keep feeding world media with propaganda remarks about Iran edging closer to developing a nuclear weapon. And they even threaten Iran with military strikes against its nuclear facilities if it refused to bow to illogical Western demands. 

These threats come at a time when large swathes of the Israeli population face a snowballing identity crisis. Ironically, Israeli officials have let up on covering this crisis. The Israeli army’s plan to set up new land routes bypassing Arab cities for transporting ground forces during future wars is a case in point. 

Earlier this month, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israel will bypass some of its Arab towns in transporting ground forces to future war fronts. The change of route was seen as a result of sectarian violence that erupted in the country in May during clashes in the Gaza Strip.

This was another reminder that the biggest enemy of the Israeli regime is the very people it claims to represent. 

Israel faces a similar predicament abroad. Regionally, the Israeli regime is detested by many for its treatment of the Palestinians. Israeli officials may boast about a thaw in their relations with some Arab regimes but they will never be able to win over the hearts of millions of ordinary Muslims and Arabs. 

So, it’s not strange for Israel to describe the ordinary people as “terrorists” sent by Iran. At the end of the day, in the absence of Israel’s ability to quash grassroots movements in the region, just as they did with the people of Lod, name-calling remains the only option available to Israel.

First published in Tehran Times 

News Code 181095


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