I am well aware that uttering simple, obvious truths regarding the state of Israel will bring down on my head a firestorm of calumny. So be it. There is nothing at all that I can do to affect in the slightest the events unfolding in the Middle East, but so long as I presume to run a blog, I have an obligation at least to speak. Accordingly, here are a few obvious truths:
1. Israel is currently the dominant military power in the Middle East as a consequence of being the only nuclear-armed state in the entire region. No state in the Middle East has the military power to destroy Israel; Isreal has the military power to destroy any state in the Middle East.
2. Iran seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. In so doing, it threatens Israel's military hegemony. If one sets aside Israel's carefully cultivated myth of victimhood, that is the real significance of Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons. Iran seeks nuclear weapons in order to increase its influence in the region. Israel is now threatening to launch a preemptive strike against Iran to degrade Iran's nuclear capability, thereby maintaining for a while longer its military hegemony in the region.
3. For complex domestic reasons that involve both the American Jewish Lobby and the end-times religious fantasies of evangelical Christians, The United States government is prepared to support Israel's aggressive military adventures, even though those adventures are contrary to the national self-interest of the United States.
4. Israel is an apartheid state. It is currently the only nation state in the world that rules a large occupied population. Israel is also a vibrant, lively, open democracy by any customary measure. These two propositions are not in the slightest contradictory. I can attest from personal observation that apartheid South Africa was far and away the liveliest, most open, most democratic society in Southern Africa -- for Whites. I use the term of opprobrium "apartheid" advisedly. The wall Israel has constructed, and the patchwork of territories into which it has forced the Palestinian people, is fully as oppressive, fully as dedicated to "separateness" [the meaning in Afrikaans of "apartheid"] as the South African system of pass control laws, influx control laws, townships, and bantustans.
5. Israel's existence is not threatened, by Iran or by any other Middle Eastern state. Israel's military hegemony in the region is threatened by Iran's attempt to develop nuclear weapons. The United States has no national interest in maintaining Israel's military hegemony in the Middle East.