World
Dmitriy Sedov
March 25, 2011
© Photo: Public domain

Israel has not seen terrorist attacks for quite a long time. It seemed that after 2004 Israeli people and Palestinians have learnt how to walk a narrow path between Scylla and Charybdis and not let the worst happen. Nevertheless shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israel and Israel’s responsive attacks of the Gaza Strip never stopped. But these small combats have not had such an intimidating effect as blasts in public places. The blast at the central bus station in Jerusalem has changed the situation. So far no one has claimed the responsibility for the terrorist attack and in this case it looks like new factors have begun to work. During the “terrorist vendetta” between Israel and Palestine the explosions never were anonymous. In most of the cases Palestine used suicide bombers and Israel used direct state terror. Now we are dealing with something new – the blast in Jerusalem on March 23 can not be regarded out of the context of the recent events in the entire region. We can assume that this blast is not only the consequence of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. The remote detonation of the bomb and the silence of the organizers point at the work of professional terrorist networks.

The first thing we can think about is the new round of Israel’s campaign against Iran, which contributes to the continuing destabilization on the Middle East. According to many experts the recent seizure of the Victoria ship with the Iranian weapons for Palestinians on board (at least as it was claimed) looked very much like a provocation. It looked very suspicious how easily the Israeli security agents could find the caches onboard of the ship. The arms found onboard did not look convincing either – the six “land-sea” missiles with the range of 35 km are not in a bid demand in the Gaza Strip. It seems that if Israel had Iranian man-portable air defense systems they would be “found” onboard of the Victoria ship. But they had to use the arms they had in their disposal. A terrorist attack in response on such a provocation is quite possible. The Iranian security forces did not use to forgive anyone for such things and they do not even need any orders from Teheran for it. The stakes are high and the goal of Iran is obvious – Tel-Aviv should read “the message” and stop the escalation of tension around Iran (the fact that Israel won’t miss an opportunity to use the terrorist attack for making stronger pressure on Palestinians is seen as “collateral losses”). Iran and its regional allies are tensely waiting for the launch of the military campaign against Libya. The fears that the Islamic republic is next on the list are wide spread not only in Teheran. That is why Iranian react and even overreact on any signs of preparation of aggression against them.

What raises fears is that Israel has taken the “Jerusalem message” exactly that way. On March 24, next day after the explosion in Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added fuel to the “fire” of the anti-Iranian campaign. For this purpose he chose Moscow and the meeting with the heads of the Russian mass media. Without any diplomatic formalities and making the highly explosive situation even worse, Netanyahu said that the global community should not let Iran own nuclear weapons because the Iranian regime (the official authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran) means “problems”. According to Netanyahu, Iran may kill itself to kill others. He urged to take “the Iranian nuclear problem” (attention!) as “the most urgent issue on the global agenda for the coming two years ". That means that the most important issue of the international agenda has been announced before the presidential term of Barack Obama expires (and the presidential term of Medvedev too – Netanyahu was saying all this in Moscow).

What will happen next? NATO’s member-states, which entered the war against Libya, are unlikely to ignore the nature of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem, which looks like the work of international terrorists networks. NATO’s security forces have the information that such networks are quite efficient and far-reaching. Western security forces fail to control them while the holders of these networks are able to mastermind bloodsheds once the relevant decision is made in the headquarters. The countries, which agreed to take part in the Libya intervention, have all the grounds to be afraid of the repetition of such terrorist attacks in an attempt to stop the aggression. This is very likely first of all in the Muslim countries where the positions of terrorist organizations are especially strong and where the presence of Western people is quite numerous to enable terrorists to reach their goals.

For many people the blast at the central bus station in Jerusalem has becomes the sign of a new disaster. The most important question now: will the repetition follow and where?

 

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Blast in Jerusalem

Israel has not seen terrorist attacks for quite a long time. It seemed that after 2004 Israeli people and Palestinians have learnt how to walk a narrow path between Scylla and Charybdis and not let the worst happen. Nevertheless shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israel and Israel’s responsive attacks of the Gaza Strip never stopped. But these small combats have not had such an intimidating effect as blasts in public places. The blast at the central bus station in Jerusalem has changed the situation. So far no one has claimed the responsibility for the terrorist attack and in this case it looks like new factors have begun to work. During the “terrorist vendetta” between Israel and Palestine the explosions never were anonymous. In most of the cases Palestine used suicide bombers and Israel used direct state terror. Now we are dealing with something new – the blast in Jerusalem on March 23 can not be regarded out of the context of the recent events in the entire region. We can assume that this blast is not only the consequence of the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. The remote detonation of the bomb and the silence of the organizers point at the work of professional terrorist networks.

The first thing we can think about is the new round of Israel’s campaign against Iran, which contributes to the continuing destabilization on the Middle East. According to many experts the recent seizure of the Victoria ship with the Iranian weapons for Palestinians on board (at least as it was claimed) looked very much like a provocation. It looked very suspicious how easily the Israeli security agents could find the caches onboard of the ship. The arms found onboard did not look convincing either – the six “land-sea” missiles with the range of 35 km are not in a bid demand in the Gaza Strip. It seems that if Israel had Iranian man-portable air defense systems they would be “found” onboard of the Victoria ship. But they had to use the arms they had in their disposal. A terrorist attack in response on such a provocation is quite possible. The Iranian security forces did not use to forgive anyone for such things and they do not even need any orders from Teheran for it. The stakes are high and the goal of Iran is obvious – Tel-Aviv should read “the message” and stop the escalation of tension around Iran (the fact that Israel won’t miss an opportunity to use the terrorist attack for making stronger pressure on Palestinians is seen as “collateral losses”). Iran and its regional allies are tensely waiting for the launch of the military campaign against Libya. The fears that the Islamic republic is next on the list are wide spread not only in Teheran. That is why Iranian react and even overreact on any signs of preparation of aggression against them.

What raises fears is that Israel has taken the “Jerusalem message” exactly that way. On March 24, next day after the explosion in Jerusalem, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added fuel to the “fire” of the anti-Iranian campaign. For this purpose he chose Moscow and the meeting with the heads of the Russian mass media. Without any diplomatic formalities and making the highly explosive situation even worse, Netanyahu said that the global community should not let Iran own nuclear weapons because the Iranian regime (the official authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran) means “problems”. According to Netanyahu, Iran may kill itself to kill others. He urged to take “the Iranian nuclear problem” (attention!) as “the most urgent issue on the global agenda for the coming two years ". That means that the most important issue of the international agenda has been announced before the presidential term of Barack Obama expires (and the presidential term of Medvedev too – Netanyahu was saying all this in Moscow).

What will happen next? NATO’s member-states, which entered the war against Libya, are unlikely to ignore the nature of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem, which looks like the work of international terrorists networks. NATO’s security forces have the information that such networks are quite efficient and far-reaching. Western security forces fail to control them while the holders of these networks are able to mastermind bloodsheds once the relevant decision is made in the headquarters. The countries, which agreed to take part in the Libya intervention, have all the grounds to be afraid of the repetition of such terrorist attacks in an attempt to stop the aggression. This is very likely first of all in the Muslim countries where the positions of terrorist organizations are especially strong and where the presence of Western people is quite numerous to enable terrorists to reach their goals.

For many people the blast at the central bus station in Jerusalem has becomes the sign of a new disaster. The most important question now: will the repetition follow and where?