Hassan Haidar
Dar Al-Hayat (Opinion)
May 7, 2009 - 12:00am

Every time it finds itself cornered, Israel resorts to a balance-shattering violence that deflects attention away from the main problem at hand by depicting it as less important than reaching a ceasefire for example or ending the torture of civilians or the destruction of their economy - as has repeatedly happened with Lebanon and the Palestinians.

Today, there are a multitude of implicit and explicit indications of a conflict between the Hebrew State and its strategic broker, the United States, on the prioritization of the two main regional problems: the Palestinians and Iran. The Americans are adamant that finding a settlement to the Palestinian cause based on the two-state solution will help them deal with the Iranian issues - whether related to nuclear capacity or the regional role - with more ease and better cards. Israelis on the other hand consider that limiting the abilities of Iran and fending off its danger help in reaching a settlement with the Palestinians, one that the injured parties, including Tehran, cannot sabotage at a later stage. Yet they give no guarantees on what they will offer the Palestinians in case America commits to their agenda.

In addition to this conflict which the Obama administration insists on settling in its favor, there is another no less important conflict with the United Nations, which criticized harshly in a recent report the Israeli war on Gaza, accusing Israel of intentionally targeting civilians and striking its institutions. For the first time since Israel's creation, the United Nations demanded indemnities for the damages it caused. It is no secret that such a report would not have been released without an American - albeit implicit - green light.

Meanwhile, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) condemned Israel's use of a secret detention and interrogation center in an unspecified location that cannot be accessed by any representatives of international or private human rights organizations, ICRC, or lawyers and relatives of the detainees. The officers in charge of this center are suspected of practicing unbridled and unmonitored violations.

The Spanish National Court ruled a few days ago that investigation would continue in a lawsuit brought by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) against former and current Israeli military leaders for committing crimes against humanity in Gaza.

The final straw was the invitation addressed by the US Secretary of State to Israel, urging it to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in the first US public acknowledgement of the Hebrew State's nuclear arsenal.

These conflicts and condemnations incensed Israel, which almost finds itself in a confrontation with the world. This confirms the idea its leaders have incessantly instilled in their citizens' heads ever since its establishment - that their state's existence is permanently threatened; they must always be on the defense; they can rely on no one else but themselves; and peace is nothing but an illusion through which enemies wish to destroy the Zionist state. This idea has constituted the backbone of the various wars waged by Israel over sixty years with its Arab neighbors, and still represents the essence of its political and military creed.

The question is: Where and when will Israel respond to these challenges? It is certainly searching for a pretext and is getting ready for all possibilities, as indicate the series of huge military maneuvers it had made and intends to make.

But what matters most to us is that the advocates of "Divine Victory" - boasted by Ahmedinejad two days ago in Damascus -would not present it with the adequate opportunity to exit its quagmires.


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