Writes Israeli left-wing commentator Uri Avnery in a Feb. 19 piece for Media Monitors Network, "Beware of the Dog!":
It is not very flattering to be paraded like a Rottweiler on a leash, whose master threatens to let him loose on his enemies. But this is our situation now.
Vice President Dick Cheney threatened a few weeks ago that if Iran continues to develop its nuclear capabilities, Israel might attack her.
This week, President George Bush repeated this threat. If he were the leader of Israel, he declared, he would have been feeling threatened by Iran. He reminded those who are a little slow that the United States has undertaken to defend Israel if there is a threat to its security.
All this adds up to a clear warning: if Iran does not submit to the orders of the US (and, perhaps, even if it does) Israel will attack it with American help, much as it attacked the Iraqi nuclear reactor [at Osirak] some 24 years ago.
The same week, something quite unexpected happened: Ariel Sharon sent the Chief-of-Staff, Moshe Ya’alon, packing. His successor will most probably be General Dan Halutz.
Halutz is, of course, a pilot, and one who played his part in the 1981 attack on the Iraqi reactor. If he succeeds Ya’alon, it will be the first time in the annals of the Israel Defense Forces that an airman is appointed Chief-of-Staff. That is rather curious. In the coming year, the army will be called upon to carry out a very difficult operation on land: the evacuation of the Gaza Strip settlements. The appointment of an Air Force general as Chief-of-Staff may hint that the IDF is planning something even more important in the air.
Is Israel going to take the bait? Will the Israeli leadership ever realize that playing attack dog for US imperialism is utterly counter-productive to the longterm survival and security of their own state?