conflict zones, Israel, latest, Middle East, Syria

Israel’s Legislature Votes War Against Syria

Eric Zuesse

The key decision now will be made by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

On May 1st, Al Masdar News headlined “Netanyahu is granted the ability to wage war without the Knesset”, and reported that Israel’s Knesset or legislature had voted late on Monday night April 30th, to hand entirely to the far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to his extremely far-right Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman the decision as to whether or when to invade any country — the main actual target is Syria, but Iran and Lebanon are also in Israel’s gunsights.

Israel’s newspaper Haaretz reported about this on April 30th, while explaining that this legislation was “transferring responsibility for declaring war from the full cabinet to the smaller security cabinet. The joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee rejected his request but it was later voted for by the Knesset plenum.”

The real change that the new law introduces is to transfer Israel’s war-making decisions away from both the Knesset and the less-invasion-prone members of Israel’s Cabinet, to only the two most invasion-seeking officials: Netanyahu and Liberman — in other words, actually, to Netanyahu alone.

On April 17th, Zero Hedge bannered “Trump Is Assembling An Arab Army To Replace US Troops In Syria” and reported that U.S. President Donald Trump was trying to arrange a Sunni Arab army from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and UAE to invade Syria so that U.S. allies will take over the country — or at least the areas that now are controlled by U.S.-allied forces in Syria. Israel might participate in the invasion, but Trump’s team knows that for Syrians to be controlled by Jews would be a nonstarter, whereas a significant percentage (though still only a minority) of Syrians would be willing to be ruled by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led regimes. Trump then would withdraw American forces, because Syrians would be almost as opposed to an imposed Christian regime as to an imposed Jewish one. Placing Syria under the effective control by the Saud family would be still placing it effectively under the control of the U.S. regime, though only indirectly, via the Saudi-selected stand-ins.

Consequently, the Knesset vote on Monday, to place Israel’s invasion-decision totally under the control of Netanyahu and Liberman, without participation from the Knesset nor from other members of Netanyahu’s Cabinet, opens the door to an invasion anytime that Netanyahu, Trump, and whatever Sunni Arab leaders that Trump can muster, decide to do it. This is a gateway opened, to facilitate such an invasion. whenever those leaders might agree on the date to do it.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.


  1. Copy and paste, the Reverend Nasr’Allah’s statement on Israeli aggression against Iran. From Vineyard of the Saker:

    “Last week, two important events took place…..
    The first event is the Israeli blatant and manifest aggression against the T-4 base or airport on the outskirts of Homs, that targeted Iranian forces…. who were present there, hitting them with a large number of missiles…. This was a new, significant and important event. Maybe some people do not pay attention to its importance and magnitude.

    In this operation, Israel has deliberately killed Iranian soldiers. This is an unprecedented event. In the past, Israel has struck us [Hezbollah] for example in Quneitra, and it turned out that coincidentally ... Islamic Revolution] officers were with us. Israel declared hastily that they did not know it, and thought that all targeted soldiers were Hezbollah’s. ..., it is unprecedented ..., that Israel openly targets the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Syria, killing deliberately....

    …. But Hezbollah is present in the region and concerned with what happens here, so I want to declare this to Israel: …..I want to tell the Israelis that they must know….that they have committed a historic mistake. This is not a simple blunder. … by this aggression, they entered in a direct confrontation with Iran…. And Iran, O Zionists, is not a small country, it is not a weak country, and it is not a cowardly country. …

    …. I stress that it constitutes a turning point in the situation of the region. What follows will be very different from what preceded it. This is an incident that cannot be considered lightly, contrary to what happens with many incidents here. It is a turning point, a historic turning point. And when the Israelis committed this stupid act, they had some assessment of the situation, but I tell them that their evaluation is false. And even in the future, since you have opened a new path in the confrontation, you should ensure not to be wrong in your evaluations. In this new path you opened and initiated, don’t be wrong in your assessment when you are face to face and directly in conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Final point. That is all for my statement.

  2. I’m a pacifist, so I don’t want to see it happen …but the IDF have proved themselves amoral cowards hiding behind a fence and blowing off the limbs of Palestinians who pose no threat to them. In a real war they would shit themselves to death. This is true no matter how monstrously exaggerated Bibi’s ego becomes …no matter how many CD’s and box files it takes to contain his hubris. He can fantasise war, but he cannot fight it. Target practice against unarmed opponents is the limit of his ambition. Let’s hope he gets impeached and sectioned because he has lost the plot. What is that wailing wall of deafening silence? That would be the sound of the international communities collective guilt and complicit responsibility in his crimes.

    • hakishaki says

      Israel is surrounded by countries that want to wipe it off the map. Israel has a right to defend itself against these aggression. The neighbours will soon figure it out and start behaving. Slow learners.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        The familiar hasbara Gold Standard-the absolute opposite of the truth. The Zionist state has attacked its neighbours, ceaselessly, has a state ideology that sees its eventual extent as ‘..from the Nile to the Euphrates’, keeps the imprisoned Palestinians in an unending living Hell or racist cruelty and oppression, yet the PA Quislings recognised Israel 30 years ago (the Zionist still refuse to acknowledge the very existence of the Palestinians)and Israel has peace treaties with the stooge regimes of Egypt and Jordan. The only people being ‘wiped off the map’ are the Palestinians, by Zionists like you.

  3. Peter says

    I don’t agree with Zuesse’s statement that “a significant percentage (though still only a minority) of Syrians would be willing to be ruled by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led regimes”.

    From what I know of them, no “significant percentage” of Syrians would agree to be ruled by anyone other than other Syrians. The whole point of this war is that, whatever the pro and cons of Syria’s current political setup, it’s up to the Syrians to decide what to do about it.

    What I do agree with in Zuesse’s article is that the Knesset vote is a significant step towards war. Which is not good news.

    • Thank you for pointing out the unintentional ambiguity of that statement. I had meant: ruled by a Quisling for “Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led regimes.” I unfortunately omitted “a Quisling for” or equivalent modifier. Obviously, the vast majority in ANY country don’t want to be ruled by foreigners.

  4. Harry Law says

    Israel cannot afford a war with Iran, the postage stamp size state of Israel has most of its population and vital infrastructure within the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv including its only International airport Ben Gurion. Theoretically Hezbollah alone could turn Tel Aviv into rubble with a thousand missiles per square mile. Then add missiles from Syria and Iran. As for Israels gas rigs and warships, Hezbollah have the Chinese C-802 sea skimming missiles. Israel could disappear if they are not careful. Better for them to say, why don’t you [US] and him [Iran] fight and leave us out of it?

  5. The real taste of victory: sweet water and crops. From SyrPer BTL:


    I forgot to mention that the Rastan pocket controlled most of the water going to Salamiyah and surrounding, thru the Orontes river, this pocket once liberated will reshape the water supply to hundreds of thousands of Syrians, boosting agriculture from the center of Syria, one of the most important rivers of Syria. Rastan city holds a large damn for the Orontes.

    comment image

    [I noticed some historic names on this map, where the old world of the ME meets and blends into the new world of Europe; St.Paul’s first stamping ground: Tarsus, Antioch, Aleppo — and the inevitable Iskanderun (Alexandria, one of the many Alexandrias from Egypt to Afghanistan)]

  6. thom prentice says

    The whole point of instituting a parliament — the Barons’ Revolt which resulted in the Magna Carta — was to restrict the ability of a king to unilaterally levy war.

    Like Congress, the Knesset has literally ABDICATED its role as a parliament.

    Even worse, in England, the ability to unilaterally levy war has merely been passed from the monarch to the prime minister and NOT REQUIRING a parliamentary vote.

    So much for “parliamentary” democracy … eh?

    Alas, this follows an ancient practice where populations or ruling elites could cede authority in an “emergency” to a dictator and then take it back after a fixed time. Yet once power is ceded to a dictator, that power will not willingly be surrendered to a parliament. Or anybody.

    The most unstable, fragile and illegitimate “democratic” regimes in world history are poised to wage world war in order to DISTRACT their populations from economic police state immiseration: US empire (Trumpf); England (May); France (Macron); the entire EU / Nato; and Israel (Netanyahu). Add to that the Great Satan ISIS Wahabi Saudi Arabia and further add global HEATING leading to climate CATASTROPHE, and the human species Has Big Trouble.

    Plus the Russians seem to be drawing their own line in the land about what they will put up with and will not put up with from the EUSE: Exceptional US Empire.

  7. Jen says

    This new law surely must affect every Israeli citizen as Israel has compulsory military service. In particular the law affects every Israeli family that has teenage children and children in the primary school age years, as it is not likely to be changed or removed soon. It surely also affects the mission and the conduct of the Israeli Defense Forces, not that in practice the IDF ever behaved as its own mission and code of ethics commanded it to, in that the focus of the armed forces shifts from defence to aggression against not just its close neighbours but even to faraway nations that do not threaten Israel’s immediate self-interest.

    I expect that among other things, there’ll be a lot more Israeli citizens and families voting with their feet unless the Knesset can find some way of forcing them to stay.

    Unfortunately the Israeli public cannot rely on a Constitution (because Israel does not have one) to safeguard its rights or to demand that the power to invade Syria or any other country be subjected to a nation-wide public referendum.

    • thom prentice says

      I did not know this: RE “Unfortunately the Israeli public cannot rely on a Constitution”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Under the ‘Masada Procedure’ the zealots ie Bibi and the Talmudic/fascistic lunatics, go among the hostage population, slitting throats, before they commit suicide themselves, or die fighting.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Don’t you know the history? Look up Masada, zealots and the ‘sicarii’, for the details. But you are correct-I do loathe Nutty yahoo and all its type.

      • Jen says

        I know you must be called Mulga Mumblebrain for a reason but could you please keep the apocalyptic fantasies out of the discussion?

        I’m no fan of Satanyahu but these ravings make him look monstrous and terrifying when really, he deserves no more attention and justice than he himself would give a gnat.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          You appear not to have any idea what Nutty yahoo and his Jabotinsky/Talmudic pathopsychology represent. Masada was all about throat-slitting innocents, as the Romans approached, as was the Deir Yassin massacre by Begin’s terrorist gang, and the throat-slitting of Israel’s al-Nusra Front allies in Syria. I’m rather afraid that Nutty yahoo and his ilk ARE ‘monstrous and terrifying’. Just ask any Gazan.

  8. Well it’s a good thing we have the U.N., and NATO, and the International Criminal Court, and groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to monitor, collect evidence and appropriately punish war criminals like Netanyahu and the Israeli state. Errrh, ummm, oh yeah, right, I almost forgot, currently those organizations are only used to punish those nations and leaders who “defend themselves against” criminal Western aggression. Well surely we can expect the honest and humane Western media to properly cover and publicly document and condemn events in Gaza and Palestine so that Western populations will know of the criminal behavior that is taking place daily, so people can then demand that their representatives put an end to it. Oh, yeah, right, I almost forgot, the Western media is actually a howling pack of amoral sociopathic jackals who’s thirst for the blood of innocents seems quite unquenchable given the relationship of that blood to the size of Western stock portfolios. Well surely our oh so holy and devote Christian church leaders must be preaching daily about the non-stop war crimes of Israel and demanding action from their congregations and their governments. I mean they have centuries of morality and spiritual enlightenment as their guide. Oh, no, not so much, but hey, who can find the time with all the sex scandals and such? I mean legal fees aren’t cheap and there are scholarly theological questions that must be debated and answered such as – “how many pedophile priests can dance on the head of a legal brief?” Well that pretty much does it. Unless I’ve missed something there doesn’t appear to be a single moral or ethical institution left in the Western world – well, it’s a good thing we’ve at least still got our wonderful “democracy.” I can hardly wait for my next opportunity to “vote!”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Honestly-you get very close to Badthink, there, Inter. ANY criticism of ANY action by ANY Israeli, by ANY organisation, is the New Supreme Crime-‘antisemitism’. I caution you to take care.

  9. rilme says

    Why on Earth would Mileikowsky change his name to “netanyahu”?

    • bevin says

      Isn’t it the name, hebraized, of a village in Palestine?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Various Zionists were secularists, but others were quite Talmudic in their hatred of others. No doubt the monicker has some sort of religious significance. Netanyahu’s father was a true fascist, an acolyte of Jabotinsky, dedicated to his pithy doctrine, ‘We’ll kill anybody who gets in our way’.

    • Robbobbobin says

      If you mean Bibi, he didn’t, his father, a fanatical “Revisionist” Zionist, did. Because it means, variously, “given by God”, “released by Him (or ‘them’)”. Bibi’s father’s first name was “Benzion” (= ‘Son of Jerusalem’); his change of family name rendered the whole as “Son of Jerusalem, given by God’.

      The platform of the Revisionist Zionists had two primary planks, the determination that the state of Israel be primarily a Jewish, primarily political entity (rather than an interspersing of returning, co-existing Jewish settlements in that part of Palestine west of the Jordan river) and that its territory consisted of the lands — as eventually approved by a reluctant Moses, the original Zionist, who at first wanted to concentrate the wandering childrens’ God-given smoting power on Canaan, west of the River Jordan — on both sides of the river (Numbers 32).

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Most of the Zionists, including Ben-Gurion and Herzl, were quite clear that ‘Eretz Yisrael’ will extend ‘…from the Nile to the Euphrates’. Others, mostly religious fundamentalist loonies, also claim the Arabian Peninsula and other territories.

  10. Most of us who show interest in the region are familiar with the Yinon plan but actually watching it transpire in front of our eyes is still shocking. The threatened victims of Israeli aggression need to be very clear that there will be a price to pay for the rogue regime, including the kind of destruction they usually inflict on others, being inflicted on them. The ruthless violence imposed on Gaza, Lebanon and Syria must be returned with interest on these madmen and their civilian population.

    • wardropper says

      Absolutely not.
      Of course I understand the anger generated by current events in the Middle East, but what on earth is the point of being just as merciless and soulless as the target of your criticism?
      Psychologically isolating Nettie, just as he would like to isolate anyone in the West who possesses common sense and decency, is the only way to go.
      When he feels alone, he will stop, or go so over-the-top that his own mother would turn him in.

      • Because that’s the way they do things. Psychologically isolating the Israelis has merely created a nation of psychopaths. They know what they do to the Palestinians, they despise them from the first school text book they read. They learn to despise them even more in the army. They have no empathy for the Gazans and the Lebanese who they encase in broken concrete tombs. After the most recent attacks on Gaza, polls revealed that over 90% of Jewish Israelis supported the slaughters.
        The pain for the Palestinians has continued for decades, domination over Syria and Lebanon would be no different. Reasoning with them has proven impossible. Everything is loaded against the Arabs. They can be executed with impunity and get locked up for defending themselves. Any further attacks on Syria, Lebanon or Gaza should be met with the same brutality.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          What is more the Zionists in the Western slave states are furiously working to make their Talmudic hatred of the Palestinians, Arabs and Moslems mandatory among the populations of those captured states. First they spend billions on hate propaganda spreading Islamophobia through various front organisations. Then, along with their allies the USA and Sordid Arabia, and, increasingly, France and the UK, they foster, train, arm and promote as ‘moderate rebels’, the vilest Wahhabist (posing as Islamic) death-squad butcher armies, to traduce Islam and kill millions of Moslems. They also use Hollywood, their little bailiwick, to unceasingly portray Moslems, Arabs and Palestinians in particular, as sub-human monsters. And now they have decided that their political slaves in the West MUST outlaw ALL support for the Palestinians, the BDS movement, and ALL criticism of Israel, and, not incidentally, the behaviour of ANY Zionist, anywhere, as ‘antisemitism’, which obviously makes them unique in being the only group all of which members are incapable of any crime or even error. And, solely through money power and the cowardice or complicity of the likes of Corbyn, they are getting away with it, easily.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Wrong! Nutty Yahoo and his fellows do not give a toss over ‘global opinion’. They HATE all but their own tribe, ie, in Nutty’s case, Talmudo-fascist racists of the Jabotinsky tendency. They even hate their tribal fellows who refuse to go along with their self-destructive lunacy, reviling them as ‘self-hating’, or ‘kapos’ or even, bizarrely, ‘antisemites’. And that proportion of their collectivity is growing, which explains the increasingly psychopathic aggression of the true Zionist fanatics.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        I’m with you. As vile as the Israeli state is, as foully as many of its citizens behave, we cannot go around returning violence for violence and perpetuating an endless cycle of violence ad destructam. The Israel of the Likudnik fascists and the settler Talmudic madmen must be pacified, somehow, or it will destroy itself and, perhaps, the world. How to do so is quite baffling.

        • The options remaining, as we know already, are limited. Nelson Mandela, one of the most patient, forgiving souls that ever walked, was astonished at the wicked cruelty inflicted on the Palestinians.
          The daily grind of being under occupation and living in a place without room for expansion, having any hope of progress stifled, is impossible for us to comprehend. I have just received a hospital appointment. The distance to the hospital is 30km. If I lived in the West Bank, what are the difficulties I might be confronted with? What is it like to have a village under curfew because of a minor infringement by a single citizen? What is it like to be the subject of a night time raid? What is it like to have a home demolished?
          I could go on and on asking questions about things we will (hopefully) never be subjected to. Despite presenting itself as a civilised nation, Israel ignores its obligations with impunity, our governments have no intention of even slightly pressuring it to treat the Palestinians as equals. BDS is unfortunately having no significant success, trade with the UK for instance is increasing. The difficulty of educating others to what is going on, is drowned in a sea of media deceit that highlights anti semitism and ignores the catastrophic crimes of the IDF using bullets that have resulted in 17 people losing a leg. No condemnation from the West.
          Are we trying to say ‘We can’t do anything about your plight but neither should you!’ Any attack on Syria or Lebanon must be seen as a threat of more Israeli domination of Arab people. Israel will not be made accountable in any court of law and even if it did, they would ignore it.
          Militarily, Israel has a huge advantage and will not hold back on pulverising infrastructure, just like they have already done in Gaza and Lebanon, numerous times. There is no other way of stopping them from doing it again, except making them realise that the price for them will be too high. Sadly, the only way to alter the bigoted views of the Israeli Jews is to make them understand that their victims aren’t powerless.

          • Sadly, the only way to alter the bigoted views of the Israeli Jews is to make them understand that their victims aren’t powerless.

            I reckon Iran will be the one to do that.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      As well as aggression being a Supreme Crime under International Law, so to is the threat of aggression. I expect that the Zionist and Israeli elites have committed that Supreme Crime more often than any other groups in history, save the US elite, of course. However, the Talmudic doctrines that drive Israel reject International Law, explicitly, as mere ‘Christian morality’.

      • However, the Talmudic doctrines that drive Israel reject International Law, explicitly, as mere ‘Christian morality’.

        Yet there are many commentaries about the Decalogue in the Talmud. The Decalogue was Jewish morality long before it also became a part of Christian morality.

  11. MichaelK says

    So he’s become what amounts to Israel’s first King of the modern age, after a break lasting a couple of thousand years.

    • wardropper says

      I expect that is what he hopes will be his legacy…

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Nutty yahoo’s ‘legacy’ is the War of Terror on Islam, the ‘New Pearl Harbor’ of 9/11 and, so he hopes, a ‘New Purim’ in Iran, with the equivalent of the old Purim’s ‘75,000’ victims slaughtered by the Israelites. At a guess that would be about six million today, quite conceivable and Kabbalistically potent. Of course what he really will achieve is a ‘New Masada’, but in my opinion, Nutty’s psychopathy is basically self-destructive in its unyielding hatred and aggression. He is the ‘King of the Self-Hating Jews’, but whether he realises it is an open question.

  12. Harry Law says

    “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
    “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you,” Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.
    The technical gaffe is likely to cause great embarrassment to all three leaders as they look to work together to intensify international pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
    The conversation was not initially reported by the small group of journalists who overheard it because it was considered private and off-the-record. But the comments have since emerged on French websites and can be confirmed by Reuters.
    Some things never change.

  13. rtj1211 says

    Well then it is fair game to bomb the Knesset. Two can play at warmongering….

  14. It’s looking more likely that the consent was given in respect of Iran.
    Evil is both a loaded and amorphous adjective that I always hesitate to use. But Netanyahu is, IMHO, the most evil man alive.

    • mick Fletcher says

      couldn’t agree more candid…if there really IS an increase in anti semitism …which I doubt…the likes of this man and his protection from the Anglo American Zio controlled oligarchy are the reason.

    • @candid. While we are being so candid, I think our own Tony B.Liar beats the Yahoo by several fathoms in depth of pure evil. Yahoos are Darwinian cave men from our remote pre-chimpanzee past; like Hitler and his ilk, they believe in the Survival of the Fittest and Domination by our Gene Pool, the Law of Nature since time immemorial. They belong in the Lower Circles of Inferno for sure, in the River of Boiling Blood. But our Tony B is a cooler, deeper criminal, a smart practitioner of The Sins of Perverted Intellect. His soul is already trapped at the bottom of Hell, the Circle of the Treacherous, where Satan himself sits. The difference is: the Yahoo kills Goyim because he thinks they are a different species in this dog-eat-dog world; but our Tony kills Muslims, Jews and his fellow Christians indiscriminately because Tony wants them to share in Tony’s Love of Christ. Blasphemy compounded on top of hypocrisy, falsehood, robbery and murder. There can be no lower sin.

      Interesting, that our Lord Rothschild considers our Tony an asset valuable enough to be appointed Non-voting Director in House of Rothschild.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      One of the most Evil-it’s a very big field, after all.

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