Credit where it’s due: The Israelis are great sloganeers, though they do have a weakness for melodramatic word-choice. The latest catch-phrase, it seems, is ‘keeping the castle‘(*):
Netanyahu and other leaders continue to see Shiite Iran and its nuclear program as the primary threat to Israel, and Hezbollah as the most likely to draw it into direct battle. Still, the mounting strength of extremist Sunni cells in Syria, Iraq and beyond that are pledging to bring jihad to Jerusalem can hardly be ignored.
As the chaos escalates, Israeli officials insist they have no inclination to intervene. Instead, they have embraced a castle mentality, hoping the moat they have dug — in the form of high-tech border fences, intensified military deployments and sophisticated intelligence — is broad enough at least to buy time.
Translation: They prodded Obie into trying a Syria intervention, as part of the strategy to encircle Iran; the American public and even the English House Of Commons didn’t buy it; the ‘realists’ now have the upper hand in the White House, at least for the moment, and the Empire is talking to Iran as any reasonable, realistic empire would talk to a smaller, though not negligible independent state, too considerable to conquer outright. Meanwhile Israel still owns Congress — and hasn’t given up on getting back in the driver’s seat as regards the US’ Middle East policy.
But of course, even within the castle, counsel seems to be divided. The real hard-line Likudniks will never give up their own variety of anti-Iran jihad, but the less ideological local experts — who no doubt have a few US ‘realist’ phone numbers on speed-dial — are inclined to back off, at least for the moment. Hence the ludicrous battle of the frogs and mice over who was responsible for this appalling atrocity:
Was it Hezbollah, as the True Believers say, or the semi-mythical Al Qaeda, as the experts say?
Whoever did it, I’m with ’em, and only wish it had done a good deal more damage.
(*) Prior to this one, my favorite swords-and-sorcerers slogan from the Promised Land was ‘securing the realm‘.