The Imposed Crisis

The LA Times has a rundown of Israeli preparations for September protests related to the Palestinian UN recognition bid:

As Palestinian leaders rally West Bank residents on Facebook and activists prepare campaigns against Jewish settlements and military checkpoints, Israel’s Defense Ministry has spent about $22 million on new riot gear and police have canceled September vacations.

[ . . . ]

To prepare, the military is stockpiling tear gas dispensers, rubber bullets, stun grenades and so-called skunk water cannons, which spray a foul-smelling liquid and have been used to disperse weekly Palestinian protests against the separation barrier in Bilin and other villages.

Yisrael Beiteinu FM Avigdor Lieberman is predictably agitated:

When you prepare a demonstration in which tens of thousands will storm the Kalandia checkpoint, everyone can just imagine what would happen if 30,000 or 40,000 people try to forcefully enter Israel. How are soldiers and officers supposed to react?

The article does suggest that Palestinian activists have been unable to achieve effective organization so far. However, the mere possibility of a major crisis, the mere possibility of massacres, riots, bombings, is all avoidable. The Iranian government referred to its war with Iraq as the Imposed War. If strife breaks out, IDF grunts might have a similar nickname for this conflict. Israeli PM Netanyahu’s fear of UN recognition is at odds with Israeli history and the facts on the ground, as I’ve discussed before. Misperception is extremely dangerous in politics. If cooler heads don’t prevail, this will be demonstrated–Netanyahu will give Israel a crisis it cannot profit from and could have avoided.

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