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Jan 23, 2013, Israel: Year Zero

Netanyahu and King Abdullah II Met During Christmas



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On December 26, 2012, Israel's largest newspaper—Yedioth Aharonot—followed the usual script while reporting a secret event. It cannot be considered a secret after being published, but at least it remains unacknowledged by the Israeli government. The technique is simple, the item is leaked to someone abroad; in this case Al Quds Al Arabi, a respected newspaper owned by Palestinians exiled in London. Then, the Israeli newspaper can freely quote the item. Today, the scoop was that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Amman, Jordan, with King Abdullah II during Christmas. The main topic dealt with was an Israeli attack on Syria.

Less than a month before the elections in Israel, Netanyahu is leading comfortably. He won't endanger his victory. However, the day after the elections—Jan 23, 2013—the situation will be different. Israel's Year Zero may start on that day.

Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah

Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah
Image from a previous encounter
War of Nerves

Bibi I, King of Israel

Israeli polls are infamous for their inexactitude since denizens purposely tamper with the results according to their political targets. "Let's weaken Likud in polls, so that people will pity Netanyahu and vote for him," is the typical attitude. Yet, in the last days of 2012, all the polls show that Netanyahu leads, though the Netanyahu-Lieberman list (Likud Beiteinu) will gain less votes than what they have now. It doesn't matter; it will emerge as the largest party in the next Knesset with Labor second. Ehud Barak is out. Kadima—Ariel Sharon's party—is about to crash thanks to the sabotage of Tzipi Livni, who is about to lead a medium sized party (see Israel Former FM Hands Victory to Netanyahu). The polls reproduced below show that Benjamin Netanyahu will be almost for sure Israel's next Prime Minister. Avigdor Lieberman—who just resigned as Minister of Foreign Affairs—is likely to become the next Minister of Defense. Their coalition will include the Haredi parties—Shas and United Torah Judaism—and the settler party HaBayit Hayehudi. According to the polls, this will be enough to give Netanyahu a stable majority. However, other parties may join. As of now it looks as if Netanyahu will have no problem in strengthening his next government in comparison with the current one.

Channel 2 Poll Haaretz Poll
Walla! Poll

Election Polls | Likud Leads


In the days following the elections, Netanyahu is likely to present a new government which will be more stable than the current one, with a Minister of Defense who is more extremist than Netanyahu himself. For the first time in years, Netanyahu will be able to follow Likud policies without any substantial domestic opposition. Knowing this, Netanyahu took a break from his campaign, took a 40 minutes flight to Amman, and over a cup of coffee, discussed war with King Abdullah II.

Yisrael Katz

Chemical Weapons Sites in Syria according to Israel
Top 4 are production sites, other 2 are warehouses

War of Nerves

The details attributed by the Israeli newspaper to the Palestinian one are so explicit that they leave no room for doubt. The Israeli government was interested in leaking this item; one of the reasons for that was to discredit a bit more the rule of King Abdullah (see Jordan: Arab Spring Key Battle). Jordan refused to be part of the attack proposed by Netanyahu. However, the meeting and the consideration of the offer are enough to provide Jordanian protesters with new propagandistic weapons against the struggling regime. Since Israel will benefit from a change of regime in Jordan, Netanyahu won despite the refusal.

The Israeli newspaper went as far as publishing a map of the proposed war; it is reproduced above. Netanyahu proposed a Blitzkrieg-style attack on Syria, targeting sites producing and storing chemical weapons. Such an operation would be complicated. The storage conditions imply massive and continued attacks capable of destroying outer defenses and inner bunkers. The attacks will lead to the spillage of dangerous chemicals and almost for sure the death of thousands living in the immediate vicinity. This is the reason why Netanyahu wanted the cooperation of King Abdullah; two of the sites are next to the Jordanian border and may cause massive damage and deaths within Jordan.

Netanyahu proposed two scenarios. The first was an air attack, which will lead to massive damage that cannot be predicted exactly. The second one was the deployment of an IDF division within Syria; the unit will attempt to take control of the sites. Considering that the sites are spread out in several locations, this mean that the chosen unit must be airborne; in other words, Netanyahu wants to deploy the IDF Vertical Bypass division in Syria. Considering the specific methods of action of this unit it is safe to assume that such an event will deteriorate immediately into a full war between the countries.

Reading this delusional plan, I remembered Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, violently took control of the country, declaring Year Zero. All culture and traditions were rejected; a new revolutionary culture was to replace the past, starting from scratch. This is pretty much what Israel has done; in the kibbutz where I grew up, the dogma was the creation of a new Jewish man. Israel is close to achieve the point Cambodia was in back then. Nobody in the world cared about Pol Pot's mass assassinations as nobody cares now about the Israeli crimes. Israel was defined as "inflicting terror" by the UN Human Rights Council in 2009; since then no country has taken practical steps to stop this terror. Pol Pot could have continued his reign of terror; however, he made a critical mistake. He attacked Vietnam, a country that shortly before had the defeated what was considered the mightiest empire on earth, the USA. By Year Four, the ruthless "Year Zero" regime was defeated. On January 23, 2013, Israel may begin its own version of Year Zero.

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