Israel, the Neocons, and their Bloody, Blundering ‘Art’ of War

by Dan Sanchez
October 06, 2015
Antiwar.com


Israel lacks a national motto. If its leaders are looking for a Latin one, “carpe chaos” would be an apt and honest choice.

“Seize the chaos” is half of Israeli foreign policy in a nutshell (the other half being the instigation of that chaos in the first place). Indeed, even its friends in the media cannot help but put it in such terms. For example, The New York Times recently reported about the:

“…many Israeli leaders and thinkers seizing on the chaos in Syria to solidify Israel’s hold on Golan.”

This refers to the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since. Even the Israel-enabling United Nations considers that occupation and subsequent annexation to be unjust and illegal. Returning Golan to Syria has long been advanced as part of a potential peace deal.

But now, Israel is using the civil war in Syria as an excuse to expand settlements in the Golan Heights; a senior minister wants 100,000 new residents in the next five years. Its potential uses are manifold:

This is Israel’s usual M.O. in the Palestinian West Bank as well: forging ahead with illicit settlements to establish “realities on the ground” that will be too intractable to reverse, thereby fixing the occupation permanently in place.

Advocates of the new Golan settlements defend them by citing the chaos in Syria:

“With Syria ‘disintegrating’ after years of civil war, they argue, it is hard to imagine a stable state to which the territory could be returned.”

The Times quotes Israeli MP Michael Oren who adds a blatant lebensraum argument to the case for good measure:

“We need places to build, and the world doesn’t want us to build in the West Bank. I don’t think anyone in the world can come at us and say we’re building on land that’s going to be part of a peace deal if we build on the Golan Heights.”

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