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Israel’s ‘Dove’ and Hawk in its War against Iran

• Muhammad Sahimi via

It has been abundantly clear to those who closely follow the political developments in the Middle East that, for at least two decades, Israeli politics has been moving continuously toward extreme, reactionary right. The left, and the center-left represented by the Labor Party, have been marginalized, and the relatively moderate elements of the old Likud Party have left it. As a result, Israeli politics are now dominated by the extreme groups and figures, ranging from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the hawk of Israeli politics – and his like-minded supporters that are still with what remains of Likud, to Yisrael Beiteinu (the Jewish Home) and the ultranationalist religious groups. Such environment has allowed men like former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman – a “neo-fascist … a certified gangster … the Israeli equivalent of [Austria's racist politician] Jörg Haider” – who founded Yisrael Beiteinu to rise to power in Israel. Even Netanyahu’s electoral setback in the January did not present any significant break from the rightward movement of politics in Israel; it actually represented a left turn to the extreme right.

A constant feature of Israeli politics is that much of it is based on myths. The list of such myths is actually very long, but here is a sample. Anyone who opposes Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian lands and urges its people to resist it is opposed to the “peace process,” a mythical process that has not yielded any tangible benefits for the Palestinians and their dream of having their own independent state. Anyone that does not believe that Iran and its non-existent nuclear weapon program represent an “existential threat” to Israel is an “appeaser” of the Islamic Republic, even though many former high security officials in Israel have rejected such a notion of the threat..

But, one of the greatest myths is that the Israeli President Shimon Peres is a “moderate,” a “man of peace,” and a “dove,” presumably because he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 (together with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin), or that he has urged “peace” with the Palestinians. He received the Nobel Prize for the Oslo Accords, which are dead, but recall also that a war criminal like Henry Kissinger also received the same prize. As for Peres’ advocacy of peace with the Palestinians, he advocates peace on, of course, Israel’s terms, which is no peace at all. Never mind that Peres spent the lion share of the initial stages of his career in Israel’s ministry of defense; was Israel’s Prime Minister when the massacre of innocent people in Qana in southern Lebanon took place in April of 1996; was Israel’s Foreign Minister during the battle of Jenin in April 2002 in which Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians; played a fundamental role in the creation of Israel’s nuclear program and arsenal, and has been a member of too many Israeli governments that have continued to expand Jewish settlements on the Palestinian lands in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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