MIDDLE EAST MADHOUSE


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Today, 17 September 2019 is the Israeli election for Prime Minister.

One was held in April, which was won by Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving Prime Minister.

Despite winning, he was unable to form a majority coalition.

Facing a pre-trial hearing in connection with three separate corruption cases: Bribery, fraud and breach of trust, he wanted coalition members to agree that as PM, his royalty was above the law and could not be brought up on charges.

Strongly supported by President Trump, campaign posters plastered throughout Israel, some several stories tall, show the PM and the President warmly smiling, shaking hands as the best of friends. 

Locked in a razor-tight race and fighting for his political survival, in an effort to assure key voters turn up at the polls, he vowed to annex the Palestinian West Bank.

“I intend to extend sovereignty on all the settlements and the (settlement) blocs,” including “sites that have security importance or are important to Israel’s heritage,” Netanyahu said.

“Settlements?”

No. “Land Grabs.”

Israel took control of the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. 

Israeli settlements (land grabs), are illegal under international law. They are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies and that this is occupied territory and Israeli settlements there are illegal.

However, Netanyahu stated that because of “my personal relationship with President Trump, I will be able to annex all the settlements in the heart of our homeland.”

A spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization made it clear that if Netanyahu pursues this strategy, “All bets are off. Dangerous aggression. Perpetual conflict.”   

TRENDS FORECAST: Despite who wins the election today, be it Netanyahu or his equally hardline rival Benny Gantz, former Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, there will be no peace or conciliation among Israel, Palestine and its neighbors.   

Moreover, as we had forecast as one of our Top Trends for 2018, “Market Shock, Mass Murder,” the Israel/U.S./Saudi coalition against Iran will intensify.

While there are personal differences among the various Israeli political factions, the vast majority of them are war hawkish. 

Whether the next conflict is with the PLO, Syria, Lebanon, or, most dangerously, Iran, the powder keg Middle Eastern environment remains the most likely place a wild card event could ignite, accelerating the arrival of the Greatest Depression.

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