Looks like the Israeli leadership echelon is playing dice with Middle East again. The BBC and other news media are quoting an unnamed official in the US Department of Defense as saying Israel carried out a bombing raid in Syria. Whether or not this is true, the incursion of the IAF into Syrian territory is an unprovoked attack, and as such is in grave violation of international law. The fact that this comes after a series of Syrian calls for a peace process, and an explicit Syrian assent to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was re-launched this year, makes this aggression all the more odious.
Beside the grave consequences of this act on peace and stability in the region, this reflects the lack of a genuinely democratic culture in Israel. In a functional democracy, an action with such severe implications for the safety of its citizens would provoke a public outcry and (at the very, very least!) a demand for an explanation. Instead, the government has taken for granted its right to operate in total secrecy and keep mum about its goals and justifications. So far the Israeli public has accepted this with docility. There is no longer even a need for the government to give excuses for this secrecy -- it is understood that the government can undertake major political and military decisions without bothering to notify the public or opening the process of deliberation for public scrutiny. If the public gets too curious, there is a sophisticated mechanism of "leaks" to the press which will tell the public what the government thinks it needs to know. The right of the government to operate above international law and without public scrutiny is apparently universally accepted in Israel.
If ever there was a reason to assemble in Rabin Square in demand the resignation of the government, this is it. No people should sit quietly as their government drags them toward the abyss.
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