|The Developments in the Middle East and the Danger of War|
|Written by Issam Makhoul|
|Sunday, 07 October 2012 23:57|
A discourse of Issam Makhoul in Nicosia, Cyprus, 2.10.2012
Let me start by congratulating – on behalf of the Communist Party of Israel – our comrades in AKEL and the whole of the Cypriot people, on the occasion of Cyprus Independence Day. We wish you great success in your just struggle to peacefully restore the unity of Cyprus, and to advance the cause of Peace, Progress and Socialism.
I would also wish to thank our Comrades in AKEL for hosting this important meeting that takes place amid extraordinary regional and international circumstances.
The rightwing government in Israel, that until recently has bragged about its neo-liberal policies, and about how they supposedly helped Israel to secure itself from the effects of the world capitalist crisis, is the same government that admits in these very days the fact that Israel has also spiraled deep into the crisis, and is desperately trying to come up with new ways to make the Israeli working class and popular strata to pay for the price of the crisis, while bailing out the Israeli Capitalists.
The rightwing government in Israel does not have real economic solutions to the grave economic situation its policies has helped to create, in the same way that it does not have proper political solutions to the political crisis that the country had sunk into. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the militaristic phrase-mongering is on the rise, and that the drums of war are beating against Iran, Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. It is also not a coincidence that existential threats are being made towards the Palestinian leadership, as a part of the Israeli involvement in the imperialist plans to reorganize the political formation of the region in a new order, a "grand Middle East", under the hegemony of the US.
Another aspect of the Israeli strategy is its attempt to reverse the political agenda in the region, raising to the fore the Iranian question, at the expense of the Palestinian question and a peaceful solution. The rights of the Palestinian people, the continuing occupation, and the expansion of the settlements – all of these questions are pushed to the back.
The shocking Israeli statement from last week, about its refusal to participate in the UN Helsinki Conference on Nuclear-Free zone in the Middle East, is yet another challenge that Israel poses for the international community.
It is interesting to note that while Israel constantly repeats the mantra on the supposedly existential threat that hangs upon its head – if and when any of the countries in the region will attempt to come in possession of nuclear weapons – at the same time, it is the first to oppose the idea of a Nuclear-Free zone in the Middle East, and announces its boycott of the Helsinki Conference.
Fed by the fanatic, provocative statements of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi Najad, the government of Israel misleads the Israeli public and lies to the world when it is saying that the Iranian nuclear program poses a danger to the very survival of the State of Israel. Most strategists in Israel itself are convinced that even if Iran will possess a nuclear weapon – it will not pose a threat to the existence of Israel.
An Iranian bomb will serve as a counter-weight to the threat of the huge Israeli arsenal of nuclear weapons.
What is certain, is that a mad Israeli war initiative against Iran, will not be a war of survival for Israel as we were being told by prime minister Netanyahu from the podium of the General Assembly, but rather a war in defense of Israel's nuclear monopoly in the Middle East.
It is now clearer than ever, even to most Israelis, that no option exists for a one-sided monopoly in the ME over nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. If such weapons exist in the ME, they will not be in the exclusive possession of one party. Thus, the existence of huge amounts of nuclear weapons in Israel not only does not deter other states from developing these weapons, but actually motivates them to attempt to obtain them and other non-conventional weapons in response.
The repeated calls by Israeli politicians to terminate the Iranian nuclear program, coupled with the Israeli government's opposition to the Helsinki Conference, mark Israel as the country which is the biggest instigator of the war, that undermines regional and world peace, and leads the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
The Israeli strategy vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear program is based, in the last years, on the notion of teetering on the brink of war. Its aim is to convince both Iran and the world, that Israel's aggressive intentions towards Iran are credible. Such a strategy is aimed not only at deterring the Iranian leadership, but also to blackmail the international community, pressuring it to tighten its sanctions towards Iran and to draw red lines that can deteriorate the region towards a disastrous war.
The leaders of the United States and Israel are repeating, for many months now, their common mantra, saying: "Regarding Iran, all the options are on the table". By doing this, they have said one thing, but concealed the primary thing from the eyes of the public. Their primary message was that the military option is the ultimate option on the table. By maintaining this message, the US and Israel tried to distract the local and world public opinion from the fact, that both of these countries object to the option of a realistic diplomatic solution of the crisis with Iran, in the framework of a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East, under the auspices of the UN.
The US and Israel object to this option, and even work towards sabotaging it, by beating the drums of war, in the side of Israel, and increasing the sanctions on Iran on the one hand, while on the other hand turning a blind eye, and applying double standards towards the dangerous nuclear reality in Israel as president Barack Obama did in his speech in the General Assembly of the UN last week.
It is time that the truth be said in a loud and clear voice: Contrary to how it tries to portray itself, Israel is not the victim, nor the answer to the nuclear problem that exists in the Middle East, but rather – Israel is the core of this nuclear problem; it does not show the way out of the nuclear arms race, but rather – it is the reason for this nuclear arms race.
If the official Israel will not come to Helsinki, it remains the task of the peace and progressive forces, in Israel and abroad, to bring Helsinki to Israel.
In response to the government's decision to boycott the Helsinki Conference, the Haifa-based Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies – named after the prominent Communist leader and historian Dr. Emil Touma – took the initiative to organize an international conference in Israel in March 2013, calling for a Nuclear-Free zone in the Middle East. We invite you to be our strategic partners to promote this conference.
By this initiative
When the Israeli leadership is being pressured to join the initiative for making the Middle East a nuclear free zone, it responds with arguing that Israel will only agree to discuss this matter, once a comprehensive and stable peace will be achieved in the area. This misleading argument is grounded on the notion that the Israeli nuclear arsenal is actually a pre-condition for achieving peace in the region. It is an Israeli deception, another illusion we must thoroughly reject.
In fact ,The Israeli refusal to advance towards just peace and political solution, its constant threats of war and regional aggression, its denial of the national rights of the Palestinian people, its contempt towards UN resolutions and international law, its continued expansion of settlements and deepening of the occupation – all these would not have been possible, without Israel's reliance on its nuclear monopoly on the one hand, and the political backing that is provided by the US on the other hand. Therefore we say that the Israeli refusal on the nuclear question – consolidates its refusal on the political question.
The opposition to the insanity of an Israeli war against Iran – with or without the US, before or after the Presidential elections – must be accompanied by an increasing pressure on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to open its nuclear facilities for international inspection, and to join the initiative for making the Middle East a nuclear free zone.
We call on the Left and other progressive forces in the region, in Europe and in the world as a whole, to raise a strong voice of opposition to the war, to denounce the Israeli continuous instigation and beating the drums of war;
The danger of disastrous regional war is indeed terrible – but it is not predestined by fate. It is essential, and still possible, to prevent the war. Let us move together to reach this goal.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI)
Chairperson of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies,
Former member of Knesset
|Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2012 00:11|