THIS IS AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE APPEARING IN LESFRANCAISPRESS. Here is my translation of this article. For the original French version, click here.
Before the time of the coronavirus, the world was already, according to the collapsologists*, on the brink of disaster. A tweet or fatwa could trigger a war between Iran and the United States. That disaster did not happen, but the war did, discreetly. It should soon end with an Israeli victory, which could be less discreet.
*Collapsology is a new trending word in France which is the study of how the world will meet its doom.
In November 2019, with the words of Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, and Aviv Kokhavi, I was IDF Chief of Staff, I interpreted the code name of the new Israeli strategy “Momentum” Momentum with “Now is the Time”. Good translation: The war has been fought; it is (almost) finished.
Since November, the IDF, the Israeli army, has been conducting two to three air strikes a week against Iran. Its planes fly unashamedly over Lebanon and the Russian military base of Tartus. The Syrians are firing a few missiles as well, they have never managed to shoot down a plane, which speaks volumes about Russian technology sold to the Syrians. Just last week, two Israeli attacks, carried out by F35s, destroyed a headquarters and military warehouses of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Syria. The affected airport is only a few kilometres from Assad’s palace. If some wanted… It may not have only been General Suleimani. The leader of the Revolutionary Guards could have also disappeared. The Iranians, with the coronavirus crisis helping, should withdraw their forces from Syria. Only Hezbollah is holding them back. Nasrallah, its leader, acknowledges that Israel is attacking everything related to missile manufacturing in Syria, but disagrees that the Iranian presents is low presence, while at the same time recognizing that Iran will diminish its forces. Assad is pressing them because Syrians are also under Israeli attack. As for the Russians, they got tired
of everything, the Iranians, the Turks, and even Assad. Putin is feeling down. His popularity is plummeting. So are his resources.
Cutting off the highway from Tehran to Beirut
Adding to Israel’s military supremacy was the collapse in oil prices. Russia, Iran, Iraq, all are affected, almost sunk. Iran does not have the means to continue this battle, even by capturing the oil resources of the Iraqi vassal (Beautiful American success (wink wink) of having fought two wars to entrust Iraq to Iran). If the Israelis completely expelled Iran from Syria, the Shiite highway from Tehran to Beirut would be cut off. This would mean a new deal for bankrupt Lebanon, which is dying under the control of Hezbollah and its allies.
Mike Pompeo surprise visit to discuss the formation of a new Israeli government
The Israeli government, formed by a surprise alliance between yesterday’s two adversaries, a quasi-national unity of 71 out of 120 deputies, will conclude, the reason for this Gantz-Netanyahu coalition being not the Coronavirus crisis but rather the end of this war. The IDF led it alone, now there are decisions to be made. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, went on a whirlwind trip to Israel on 13 May. There, he met Netanyahu, Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi, the new foreign minister, a centrist, former IDF leader, like Gantz.
In Israel, as is often the case, the military are the moderates. Thus, the most vocal opponent of the plans to annex Trump and Netanyahu is deputy, Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy leader of Mossad, the secret services.
The U.S. Plan provides for the annexation of the Jordan Valley and 130 settlements in the West Bank. As with the transfer of embassies to Jerusalem, Trump and Netanyahu believe that after the outrageous statements will fade. Especially if this annexation is linked to an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, much to the relief of Arab countries and Europeans.
Destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities
The Israelis can destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Who would blame them? While Pompeo was in Jerusalem, the United States denounced Iran’s firing of a ballistic missile at the United Nations last April and called for an extension of the arms embargo against Iran in 2015. It is expected to be renewed in October, except that the Russians oppose it. A good reason to show that there is no other solution than to destroy these facilities and missile construction sites. The window of fire for Israel would be between July and October [The October surprise?], before the U.S. election, which would not displease Trump.
Arab states all threatened
Right now, most Arab states are all under pressure. In addition to conspiracies and revolts, bankruptcies are added. Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, the Shiite axis is fraying. Assad wins, but what? A cemetery. Prince Salman’s modernist plan, which had to declare a unilateral truce in Yemen, is evaporating. Trump had a battery of Patriot missiles removed to get him to more conciliation on oil. Egypt is hardening its regime. The War of Libya sets up a de facto score. All in the Arab world are sitting on powdered seats. A little water prevents the explosion, but dissolves. It takes the right dose, the right mix.
The Israelis have not quite won: a war is won only when the adversary accepts peace. Unilateral peace is not a peace. An Iranian defeat would be an opportunity for a new deal in the Middle East, and more generally in the Arab and Muslim world.
This is directly affecting France, who can, they say, talk to everyone. It’s time to propose something new, including to Israel. Not just ambiguous counter-terrorism, bartering of weapons for oil and human rights, against a background of mistrust and susceptibility. France’s interest is not to have a desperate and ruined Arab world.
France can use these crises to define a policy of peace – based on interests – in the Mediterranean. It is not the peace between The Palestinians and the Israelis that must be aimed at, nor peace in Syria, it is an alliance for peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean. Only the United States, the Russians, and the Chinese don’t care. It’s time. “Momentum” as the Israelis say.
 See “The Iran War Begins in Israel,” published in November 2019, in the French.press. This is a sign that this is an excellent digital weekly that speaks of the French in the world, and of the world in which the French live. This remarkable weekly is complemented by a daily letter, to which you have the right to subscribe, with a premium service, for 1.5 euros per month, the price of a coffee. Sometimes coffee is more expensive.