The occupation of Palestine is always at the center of Middle East turmoil, and it would seem the name which is associated with conflicts in the region for over 23 years is Benjamin Netanyahu. It all began in 1996 with a paper prepared for him by Richard T. Perle, entitled “A Clean Break”.
The paper advocated regime change in Iraq, deposing Saddam Hussein, and aggressive action against Syria to break their ties with Hezbollah and Iran. This strategy was supposed to make “Israel” safer. It wasn’t until September 11, 2001, that the paper was dusted off and put into action. It should come as no surprise that Pres. George W. Bush would appoint Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, who had signed the 1996 paper for Netanyahu, and the paper’s author, Richard T. Perle, was made Chairman of the Defense Policy Board. Rumsfeld and Perle would be credited as the architects of the US attack and invasion of Iraq in 2003.
In the summer of 2006, “Israel” began a war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, which entailed the indiscriminate bombing of the entire nation by the “Israeli” Air Force. The goal was to wipe-out Hezbollah, which is a Lebanese resistance movement. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was in Tel Aviv and was the first to coin the term “New Middle East”. Her ideology of creative destruction justified death as the means to create new world orders. She said, “What we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East, not going back to the old one.”
In March of 2011, the US-NATO attack on Syria began, for regime change to fulfill the 1996 paper’s goal. The weapons and terrorists came flowing in from Jordan, who is an ally of Israel and the US. The only reason the ‘uprising’ began in Deraa was logistics: it sat on the border with Jordan. After 8 years of destruction, bloodshed, maiming, and mass migration the plan failed, thanks in part to the help of Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia.
The US, Europe, and Iran worked for many years to achieve a deal, which would prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “Israel” opposed the deal from the outset, as it would relieve the harsh economic sanctions on Iran, which in turn could strengthen their participation in the resistance movement with their allies. Netanyahu convinced the new US Pres. Trump to make tearing up of the deal a cornerstone of his administration, which was seen as the US-“Israeli” solidarity. After Trump followed through on his promise, and the European signatories refused to hold up their promises to do business with Iran, there was a tit-for-tat game in the Arab Gulf involving ship attacks, drone attacks, and the resulting blame-game.
Saudi Arabia, the richest nation in the Middle East, is waging war on Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East. The Saudi military is backed by the US and UAE, while the Houthis in Yemen are backed by Iran. The worst humanitarian crisis of the Middle East, which affects the poorest civilians, though well covered by western media has continued unabated. Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA officer, and expert on Saudi Arabia said, “It’s time for America to say he must go.” He referred to Mohammed bin Salman, the son of the King of Saudi Arabia, and the architect of the war on Yemen, which pits the US against Iran. Very recently, the Houthis attacked the main oil-producing facility in Saudi Arabia, which has affected global oil prices.
Netanyahu now faces what could be defeat in his last election and possible jail time from corruption charges. From 1996 to 2019 he has been chasing a dream: to break the resistance movement.
The 2003 invasion and decimation of Iraq, and the 2006 attack and destruction of Lebanon, and the 2011 attack and monumental destruction of Syria have all failed to make “Israel” safer or to diminish the resistance movement. “Israel” in 2019 has bombed Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Lebanon, with resulting destruction and loss of life; however, those actions only brought retaliation from the resistance which ended up with 2 “Israeli” soldiers dead in their vehicle, and Netanyahu being rushed into a bomb shelter while giving a campaign speech, after resistance missiles rained down on the area.
Perhaps the time has come to examine the root cause of the resistance movement: the brutal occupation of Palestine, and the denial of human rights to 5 million Palestinians. Could the “New Middle East” become peaceful through the end of all the need for resistance?
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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.
Steven Sahiounie is an investigative journalist.
Featured image is from IMEMC