Monday, June 04, 2018

Bibi has turned the volume up too loud.

Periodic jousting between Israeli defense forces (IDF) and Palestinian militias is normal. Every time around Israel tries to change the global perception of who controls Jerusalem, the world reacts and Hamas/PIJ/Hezbollah get money from the usual places to make trouble.

Over the last decade, IDF has managed to damp down the potential for adverse consequences. The tiniest action by Hamas/PIJ/Hezbollah etc... is met with overwhelming force. The resulting collateral damage of course strengthens the hands of Hamas/PIJ etc... because it makes the Palestinians even more depressed and suicidal.

The fond hope of some Israelis (of the Bibi variety) is that since Palestinians can't leave and they can't live in their "ghettos" (yeah that's pretty much what those places are) - they will simply die (preferably commit mass suicide like Jonestown). This is what other Israelis like Gen. Yair Golan* refer to as Judeo Nazism.

A lot of people in the Middle East often compare Zionism to Nazism. They usually hold out the Haavara Agreement that the Zionists and the Nazis entered into as exemplary behavior and they also point to the Nabka.  I think we can safely add Bibi's present conduct to this list**.

The biggest risk to Israel now is that this Nazi-Shit-Hill that Bibi seems intent on sliding around on is a lot more slippery than even he realizes.

Last week we saw the revelation by ex Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo that he had heard Bibi wanted to have Shin Bet monitor Mossad telephones.  Apparently Bibi was unhappy that Tamir Pardo had consulted Mossad's internal lawyers about the legality of Bibi's "Strike Iran" commands. Luckily for everyone - Yoram Cohen (then head of Shin Bet refused).

Unfortunately this points to a poorly captured dynamic that is at play in many near-authoritarian setups (i.e. with a political leadership that is intent on playing "grab ass" with the instruments of the state -i.e. military, civilian intel agencies etc...) . Once the attempt at "grabbing ass" fails - the wannabe autocrat (i.e. "idiot") is left with persistent misgivings about the loyalty and reliability of his own intelligence services. The idiot starts to get high on his own crack and it catches up with the rest of the nation.

For the most part this is just something the idiot thinks about when shaving in the morning - but in a crisis situation (such as the one Israel finds itself thrust into thanks to Bibi's own doing) - this can lead to several misinformed decisions being made. The situation paradoxically self-reinforces as with each miscegenation of non-vetted (by IC) strategy and military maneuver - the idiot ends up taking on more and more strategic debt as the military becomes over-extended.

A case study in this is Hitler in his last years. Having become convinced that the OkW was full of untrustworthy people and that his own intelligence services were giving bad information - he proceeded to undertake disastrous military operations that precipitated the collapse of the Nazi regime (and I thank God for that every day!).

Today the IDF is being operated at an extremely high level of alert. Bibi is worried that his own IC thinks (quite correctly) that is is a moron and is arranging a strategic humiliation for him. With that in mind he is stuck in a cycle of operating the IDF in crisis mode for extraordinarily long periods of time.

The IDF today has to be ready to simultaneously jump

a) in the direction of Gaza or West Bank for pacification operations,
b) at Damascus to slice Bashar down to size
c) at Iran's throat to disable any rush-to-the-bomb efforts they might attempt.
d) at RUNAV in the Med in case they decide to interfere in Israeli ONG supply chains

and so on.

This is an unsustainable level of alert. It is going to wear people down - the number of false alarms and mistakes are going to render the entire gamut of operations irrelevant.

This is very fucked up from the perspective of Israeli national security.

* No prizes for guessing that I completely agree with him.
** People like me who think highly of the efforts of Simon Wiesenthal and Efraim Zuroff at this point typically reach for our temples and slowly start massaging them. 

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