An Israeli-led war in the Middle East? Maybe, maybe not

IT SEEMS that the Israelis are agitating for war with Iran again. I’m tempted to write something sarcastic, but there’s nothing funny about the situation. A recent article from RT entitled, ‘Israeli Navy ready to block Iranian oil exports in transit – Netanyahu,’ raised the possibility of a hot war in the Middle East.

The article quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu saying, “Iran is trying to bypass the sanctions on it through the covert smuggling of petroleum via the sea. As these attempts expand, the navy will have a more important role in efforts to block these Iranian actions.”

Scary words indeed. The Persian Gulf is one of the most volatile regions in the planet, and if the Prime Minister of Israel is willing to saber rattle for conflict, then we can expect Iran and her allies to respond in kind. And the result won’t be pretty.

If Israel decides to start something, it will almost certainly drag the United States into war, despite growing opposition to such conflicts. There are too many powerful interests in America which are committed to protecting Israel, and I doubt that even America Firsters and non-interventionist Leftists will be able to stop them.

But is Israel really gearing up for a battle with Iran? They do. They’ve wanted it for decades, and so do their Arab allies. However, there is another dimension to Bibi’s recent comments, and that is the political situation within Israel itself. Benjamin Netanyahu is facing indictment from his own government, and not even his own Likud Party seems capable of protecting him.

Given the tense political situation in his country, Netanyahu’s saber rattling may be an attempt to shore up domestic support for himself, and to help drive away other potential political threats. It is also possible that Netanyahu hopes to delay his own indictment by providing the Israeli public something big to latch onto.

On the other hand, Israel, American Neocons and their allies have wanted war for a very long time. And it is entirely possible that Bibi is not bluffing when he says that he will block the Iranian ships passing through the Persian Gulf.

The really big factor here is American involvement. The Israeli navy is unlikely to take on the Iranians and their allies themselves. They will need the US to help them. So if Netanyahu does decide to block the Persian Gulf, it’s with the assumption that America will eventually step in.

However, US public support for Middle Eastern wars is at an all-time low and would be political suicide for Trump, especially with the 2020 elections looming in the horizon. Will Israel still push through with their threat knowing the precariousness of the situation? Only time will tell./PN


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