OPINION by Iqbal Jassat
“Israel is technically defenseless and humiliated” claims Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today. Duff, a US Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War, writes that it is not conjecture and while not a positive prospect for peace, is entirely the result of Netanyahu’s scheming.
He also blames Israel’s rightwing leader for “game playing” which he believes has led to serious escalations across the region. To illustrate his point, Duff asserts that an Israeli drone was shot down by a Syrian air defense missile of a type Israel was unaware had been deployed. The drone was directing fire from the Yarmouk Camp in South Damascus, Grad rockets and heavy mortars, that are hitting civilian areas across the city. According to him, a captured ISIS fighter described the Israeli fire control officers who are helping target key infrastructure systems, water and electricity.
These incidents are as recent as a few days and on the heels of two days of Israeli air assaults. Duff insists that the attacks are drones and artillery on Syrian army positions across the UNTSO [United Nations Treaty Supervision Organization] lines.
Is this the behavior of a “defenseless” nuclear-armed regime? Or is Duff playing a game of his own to confuse and conflate a highly toxic situation in the Middle East, which has caused untold misery for its inhabitants? Given that credible analysis of the complexities that surround the Syrian rebellion, Libya, Lebanon, ISIS etc., is wanting, Duff’s take as an intelligence “guru” is astonishing but interesting nevertheless.
The case he makes in support of his “Israel is defenseless” claim reveals a great deal more of Duff’s insights:
• “In 2014, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, a man with little good will for Israel, repositioned two AEGIS ships to the Black Sea, in violation of treaties. On April 10, 2014, Russia responded by using advanced jamming equipment, disabling one of these ships, the USS Donald Cook. These ships were the backbone of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system…
• “President Obama ordered the disabling of the Iron Dome in response to Netanyahu’s interference in American domestic politics, not just related to Iran…
• “On May 2, 2013 at 2.30AM, Syria sank an Israeli Dolphin submarine using advanced Russian systems…”
There certainly is no doubt that the success of Iran’s Nuclear Agreement or “#IranDeal” as it has become the lingua of social media, is in effect a commentary of Israel’s impotency. Overnight, the outcome of years of tense negotiations, has reconfigured Iran’s strategic power in the region whilst concurrently, Israel’s aura of invincibility has been severely dented, if not shattered beyond repair.
It is known too that Operation Protective Edge which once again saw the world recoil in horror as it witnessed the savagery unleashed in Gaza, result in massive uncomplimentary coverage despite Israel’s best efforts to showcase its own victimhood. Instead of arousing sympathy, which Netanyahu’s Hasbara campaign of deception sought, the barbarity of 51 days of intense bombings gave rise to unprecedented global outrage and anger.
Instead of defeating and eliminating Hamas, [which had been Israel’s main goal], an embarrassing situation facing Israel a year later, is that former Quartet envoy and ex-Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair has been shuttling to Qatar meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. This remarkable twist not only signifies Israel’s humiliating reversal of military prestige, it also underlines the moral strength of “people power” in resisting Occupation and demanding the unconditional lifting of the siege on Gaza.
While Duff’s prognosis is correct about Israel’s vulnerability and being defenseless, its left to be seen to what extent former allies will go to nurse its bruised ego.
Iqbal Jassat is an executive member of the Media Review Network, a think-tank based in Johannesburg. For more information, visit www.mediareviewnet.com.