Antony Loewenstein, blogger, journalist
and author of the forthcoming

My Israel Question, writes:

Israel’s war against Hamas and Hezbollah is the latest sign of a US-backed
client state that is truly out of control. The abduction of three Israeli
soldiers in the last weeks was the supposed catalyst for the latest upsurge in
violence, but we should be under no illusion as to the real agenda. The Jewish
state aims to redesign the Middle East through the barrel of a gun, imposing its will through the killing
of civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure. The result will be the
strengthening of both Hamas and Hezbollah, and rising stature of Syria and

Haaretz writer Gideon Levy despaired
yesterday that Israel had undertaken a “war of choice”. “The IDF [Israel Defence Force]
absorbed two painful blows, which were particularly humiliating”, he wrote,
“and in their wake went into a war that is all about restoring its lost
dignity, which on our side is called ‘restoring deterrent capabilities.’”

Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese civilians
are the victims of an Israeli defence establishment that still believes,
despite decades of policy failure, that “terrorists” must be liquidated in
every corner of the region, whatever the political cost. Isi Leibler, former
head of Australia’s Zionist lobby, recently argued in the Jerusalem Post
that, “the responsibility for casualties, even innocent bystanders, will rest
entirely with the terrorists and the Palestinian leaders who enable them to
carry out their barbaric acts. And if by doing so we will create a new
wave of international anti-Israeli condemnation, so be it.”

This arrogance can
only breed because of seemingly open-ended US
support, a situation that is unsustainable due to the growing political strength
of the US Arab and Muslim populations. The clock is ticking on the blank cheque
offered to every Israeli manoeuvre, no matter how provocative or illegal.

Australia, not unlike many other Western nations, still sees Israel as
the plucky, defenceless nation in the heart of a dangerous Middle East. It is an illusion
that holds no credibility. A negotiated settlement to the current crisis should
be a priority, the release of untold number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli
jails – many of whom are arrested and never even face court – and cessation of
cross-border, state terrorism.

The uncontrolled policies of the Israeli
government should now be seen as a danger to enlightened citizens and
governments across the globe.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey