EN | BA

Israel risking catastrophic war by its irresponsible actions: activist

An American writer and peace activist says Israel is risking a wide and catastrophic war by its irresponsible actions in the Middle East.

Speaking with the Balkans Post in an interview, Robert Fantina also said, “It should be emphasized here that by no objective measure can Israel in any way be considered a democracy.”

The full transcript of the interview is presented below.

Balkans Post: Israel has recently targeted positions in Syria, claiming that it had hit Iranian positions near the Syrian capital city of Damascus. What’s your take on this?

Robert Fantina: Israel has been greatly emboldened to spread its terror throughout the region because of its support by the United States. Israel considers Iran to be its enemy, because Iran is a powerful, influential nation in the Middle East, and Israel wants to have that distinction for itself alone. Iran has been assisting the Syrian government and the Syrian people in their fight against foreign-backed terrorists. Iran, allied with Syria, has every right to have a military presence in that nation. Israel has no right to bomb any site in Syria. Israel is risking a wide and catastrophic war by its irresponsible actions.

BP: According to the New York Time, Israel has carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in Iraq. Meanwhile, Jamal Jaafar Al-Ibrahim, the deputy chief of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), has blamed “American and Israeli aircraft” for carrying out “repeated attacks” on the groups’ local headquarters. Assuming that the reports are true, what are Israel’s goals in Iraq?

Robert Fantina: Iraq and Iran have increasingly friendly ties, and Israel wants Iraq to be isolated and impoverished, like the United States has caused so many nations in the Middle East to be. Again, Israeli hegemony in that part of the world is challenged by any nation that is democratic, respects the will of its people, and adheres to international law, all of which Israel holds in complete contempt.

BP: Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki has warned of a “strong response” if it is proven that the Israeli regime was behind the airstrikes against the PMU. Would this lead to tensions between Israel and Iraq?

Robert Fantina: Israel’s irresponsible and destructive behavior has already caused tensions, and confirmation that Israel was behind the airstrikes would only increase them. This will assist Israel in its mythical narrative that it is the only democracy in the Middle East, threatened by all its neighbors, and requiring more support from the U.S. It should be emphasized here that by no objective measure can Israel in any way be considered a democracy.

BP: Israel has also launched airstrikes against the Gaza Strip and a region in Lebanon near the Syrian border, using its warplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles, respectively. What’s your response to this?

Robert Fantina: Israel is preparing to annex all of Palestine, and the air strikes against the Gaza Strip are designed to further demoralize the oppressed and occupied people there.

The Zionist entity is playing with fire by bombing Lebanon; that is a country well-prepared to defend itself and bring about the destruction of any nation that attacks it. The Israeli government, led by the brutal, racist, irrational Benjamin Netanyahu, with the complete support of the equally brutal, racist and irrational U.S. president, Donald Trump, had come to believe it has complete immunity not only from its constant violations of international law, but also from the consequences of its own actions. Although much of the international community stands idly by and watches, Lebanon will act when it is in its interests to do so.

BP: After two Israeli drones crashed in a southern neighborhood of Beirut, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah, said fighters from the movement will counter any further violation of the Lebanese airspace by Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles, warning the Tel Aviv regime to immediately cease such breaches. What’s your take?

Robert Fantina: The two madmen, Trump and Netanyahu, believe in their own invincibility, and by doing so they put the entire world in jeopardy. Israeli drones in Lebanese airspace is a violation of international law, and Lebanon has the right and responsibility to defend itself from such incursions. Hezbollah will not hesitate to act, and Israel will pay the consequences. The tragedy is that any new war in the Middle East is likely to engulf the entire region, and could easily impact the world. 

 ----

Robert Fantina is an author and activist for peace and international human rights. A U.S. citizen, he moved to Canada following the 2004 presidential election. His books include ‘Desertion and the American Soldier – 1776 – 2006’; Empire, Racism and Genocide: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy’; and ‘Essays on Palestine’, a collection of his writing on the oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel. He has also written about the impact that war has on individuals, in his novel, Look Not Unto the Morrow, a Vietnam-era, anti-war story.