Monday, February 06, 2012

Israel: strikes, Palestinians, and Iranians

More Israel news.

We're not just sitting around and waiting for Bibi to decide to bomb the Iranians.

We're also waiting around to see if there will be a general strike on Wednesday. The Histadrut is negotiating with the Treasury about improving the working conditions of contract workers (for example, people who clean buildings but are not employed by the building owners, or the businesses in it, but by a cleaning contractor, or security guards who work for a contractor and not for the place they're guarding). If the strike happens on Wednesday, then all government offices will close, hospitals will run on a Shabbat schedule, administrative staff at all the universities will strike, the airport will be closed from 6:00 a.m. to noon, the ports will strike, the water authority will strike, museums will close, the banks will be closed, plus the post office, the Tel Aviv stock exchange, the national lottery - you get the idea. The buses will run on the usual schedule, however.

It would be interesting to experience a general strike in the US, the bastion of capitalism.

And what's happening with the Palestinians? The PA and Hamas have ostensibly come to a unity agreement, in which Abu Mazen will be the caretaker prime minister. Let's see - the last time they announced it, nothing happened. I don't see this as making it any more likely that Israel will negotiate with the Palestinians - but then, Bibi doesn't want to negotiate with them anyway, so this will just provide him an easy excuse.

Oh, and back to the Iranians. Niall Ferguson, who is a professor of history at Harvard, is leading the cheerleading for an Israeli attack on Iran. He writes:
It probably felt a bit like this in the months before the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel launched its hugely successful preemptive strike against Egypt and its allies. Forty-five years later, the little country that is the most easterly outpost of Western civilization has Iran in its sights.
Really? You mean after Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran, and built up its army in Sinai near the Israeli border, and it didn't seem like anyone else was interested in saving Israel from its enemies?

He seems to think that the US would immediately jump up (upon news of an Israeli strike on Iran) and join in with its bunker busters.

What is the most disgusting part of the essay is the last sentence: "It feels like the eve of some creative destruction." How can he rejoice in what would almost certainly be the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Iranians? He's living a comfortable life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which will not be bombed if Israel attacks Iran. He won't have to suffer the consequences. My friends here in Israel will have to dodge Iranian, Hezbollah, and Hamas rockets and missiles, on the other hand.

Oh, enough gloom and doom. Time to go watch Eretz Nehederet, the Israeli political satire TV show.

UPDATE: Religion Dispatches has a good article on Ferguson's  immoral proposal, by Haroon Moghul. He talks about the possible results for Iranians (for example, if the current government collapses in the face of an attack and nothing replaces it) and for the Middle East as a whole.


  1. I don't know how familiar you are with Ferguson, but this is typical of him. He longs for the British Empire, and has long argued that America needs to get out there and be the new worldwide military empire.

    He may have met a war proposal he doesn't like, but I don't recall ever seeing him write about one.

  2. I have read Ferguson before but I didn't realize how much of a warmonger he is. He's so cavalier with the lives of others - including Israelis.