The Star of David and the Crescent Moon

Gavin Lynch-Frahill takes a look at the conflict.

In the night skies we look to the stars glittered around a half moon and feel inspired by their empowering beauty. Who would think that these two celestial images could be the sym- bols in what could become one of the most vicious wars the world has ever seen?

The world is in uproar. In the past months we have seen riot- ing in Greece and Spain, over financial crisis; attacks on em- bassies in Libya, Egypt and throughout the Middle East, over a video about the prophet Mohammad; and the civil war in Syria rages on without and end in sight. One news story that many networks did not show, around the world, was that of Is- raeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urgently requesting a meeting with President Obama, only to be turned down as Barack preferred to go on the Letterman Show in an attempt to boost his own image before the forthcoming elections. What is occurring that would make you worry about Israel over the other crisis? An Iranian nuclear program which, if lines are not drawn soon, could see the whole region plunged into war.

Israel is a nation forged from war, their victory over the British army led to the British withdrawal from Palestine, and since then their defence policy had been one of pre-emptive strikes on her enemies. Vastly outnumbered by her enemies in the Arab League, the Israeli policy of attacking her opponents before they have massed their armies has won them a whole host of victories against overwhelming odds. In fact, the one war where Israel did not launch a pre-emptive strike against her enemies was the Yom Kippur War in 1973, for which then Prime Minister Golda Meir was highly criticized, and, only for mass Soviet and American arms imports, would have resulted in a massive defeat for Israel. Even when Israel learned of a Nuclear Reactor being built in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, they quickly launched a surprise air attack destroying Osirak Reac- tor that France had supplied for them in Baghdad in a blatant violation of international law.

The situation has not changed much in the present. The Ira- nian government is enriching uranium for what it calls a civil power generating project, just as Saddam had, and the Israe- lis are worried about it. Many analysts believe that it is only a matter of time before the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) launch a raid into Iran to destroy facilities which threaten the exis- tence of their state. As a nation, they hold a force projection and military technological capacity that few, bar Saudi Arabia, in the Middle East possess. Iran, on the other hand, has been flexing her military muscles in a recent series of demonstra- tions and parades. Most notable are her investments in anti- aircraft defence systems and medium range missiles. The Ira- nians have also split a fourth force from the traditional armed forces of army, navy and air force to form an air defence wing of their armed forces to shoot down enemy aircraft and defend its cities. This is in direct challenge to Israel’s traditional air superiority strategy over the Arabs and her ability to defend her citizens.

In recent months the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) has announced to the world that it has warned the Israelis to call off planning over Iran. One can only speculate at why such a secret organisation would make a public state- ment over a contentious issue, but in this writer’s professional opinion it is clear that the Israelis were in an advanced stage of operations planning against Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s commander in chief, has also heightened tensions when he declared that the Holocaust never happened. In the past few weeks the United Nations warned Iran and Israel about making incendiary rhetoric before the annual sitting of the General As- sembly – to which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had replied that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and must be ‘eliminated.’

Both Israel and Iran have one thing in common. They are both nations who take the traditional strong Russian dictator role of ‘dare the world to stop us’; Israel with her frequent attacks, both covert and overt, into rival countries and Iran with her contin- ued disobedience of the Atomic Energy Agency (a strategy that led to Saddam Hussein’s eventual downfall). The only question worth asking is that if these two countries go to war, how will the West and the Arab League respond? The United States are bound by the Carter Doctrine to stabilise the region to avoid a repeat of the oil crisis in the 1970s which nearly destroyed her economy. The Arab League is already in disagreement over what to do in Syria and another conflict with a hated Semite state may unite or divide them. One fact is certain: too many nations in the world have economic interests in the Middle East to allow this conflict to occur. Could this be the first world con- flict post-war to coax the red stars from the east in China to intervene?