Red Countries> Israel

As the chief ally of the United States in the region, the long-suffering Israeli population once again finds itself in the front line of others proxy warfare. The Neo- Cons in the US have long wished to create an Israeli hegemony in the area in order to further their own interests in the region. They have managed to create strong links to the current ruling political parties in the area and have been able to get the Israeli defence force used for their own ends. This has further bloodied and confused an already long, drawn out conflict between the Israeli people and their Palestinian brothers. Since January they have once more been plunged into severe military conflict with the Palestinians, with death and mayhem unleashed on both sides.

They were even forced into a deadly conflict with the neighbouring nation state of Lebanon in July, 2006. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah group staged a cross border raid similar to that of Hamas' and managed to snatch two Israeli soldiers. Rather than following the usual course that has been done in the past, when similar border skirmishes have taken place and negotiating a settlement to the problem, they launched a full-scale invasion of Lebanon. There is much suspicion that this was a pre-planned operation given the speed with which the bombing campaign swung into action.

Throughout the month of July, 2006 the Israelis pursued their action in the face of much international pressure to end the war. However the US ensured that the war continued and there is a large body of evidence to suggest that Bush was pressuring them the whole time to use it as an excuse to attack Syria. This would have inflamed an already teetering region and would no doubt have been the pretext that Bush was desperately looking for to begin the assault on Iran. This was, of course, not the first time that Israel and Lebanon had had a conflict. But it was the first time that the US kept trying to link it to Syria and Iran using such terms that made it seem an attack on these states was imminent.

The sane elements within Israeli society were able to prevent such an attack taking place as they undoubtedly saw the severe danger that it would have placed Israel in. They were already bogged down in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. Engaging Syria would have taken a lot of their resources and Iran had already threatened to rain missiles down on them if they attacked Syria. Their fate would then be in the hands of the US military and how quickly it could knock out Iran. Given the United States’ current "success" in Iraq and Afghanistan it is not such a sure bet that Israel could have weathered the hurricane that it would have sparked.

Following the United Nations diplomatic solution to the Lebanon war, the Israelis have, for the most part, pulled their troops back within their borders. They are still engaging in the odd incursion into Gaza but they are completely out of Lebanon. However the Israeli Neo-Cons are again calling for war. There is a flurry of diplomatic sparring going on with Syria again. There are even messages being put out that a renewed attack on Hezbollah inside Lebanon could occur at any time.

But much more serious are the rumblings that the North Korean nuclear test has caused. There was already much speculation that it would be the Israelis who would launch the initial pre-emptive bombing runs against the Iranian nuclear facilities, much as they did against Iraq’s back in the 1980’s. Since the North Korean test the hawks are clamouring for this even more. They claim that if North Korea can build one, that means Iran will shortly have one too -- and they must be stopped before this can happen. So it may be an Israeli plane that drops the first bombs on Iran -- although it would undoubtedly be the United States who would then fight the ensuing counter-war. If they choose to do this soon they will probably wait for the US forces to finish deploying to the area at the end of this month (Oct, 2006) before engaging in this suicidal mission.