The attempt by the Washington imperialists to blame Hezbollah for the Beirut explosion, and to subsequently purge Lebanon's government of Hezbollah representatives, has a larger function than merely removing a group that interferes with U.S./Israeli interests. This campaign, and its accompanying events of U.S. economic sanctions on Lebanon and a Washington-supported color revolution, serves to advance longstanding Zionist plans to balkanize Israel's neighbors for the purpose of vastly expanding Israel's settler-colonial project.
This plan started with the vision for settler-colonial development that was laid out nearly a century ago by the World Zionist Organization. The colonists wanted to create a Jewish state that consisted not just of historic Palestine, but of southern Lebanon, Syria's Golan Heights, and the land that stretches between Jordan and the Gulf of Aqaba to the south. The most ambitious colonization plans envisioned an absorption of southern Turkey, the land around the Nile, and the land around the Euphrates. Such a state would encompass land from Egypt to the easternmost stretch of Iraq.
This outline for a long-term colonization plan was later developed into a strategy called the Yinon Plan, which geopolitical analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya described in 2011 as:
An Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states"The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military's Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan. Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views. The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region.
The motivation behind the plan, as Nazemroaya describes, is that in order to survive Israel must both become a regional imperial power and "effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states."
It makes perfect sense why these Israeli strategists believe that this vast operation of conquest, even to the point where Israel is elevated to an imperialist country, is the only thing that can ensure the long-term existence of Israel. It's always been unclear whether Israel will last for more than a century given all of the local resistance to its settler-colonialism, and given the hostile relationship that this small country has maintained with many of its neighbors. The solution to this contradiction within Zionist settler-colonialism, as these strategists make clear, is to systematically undermine and eventually assimilate the regional powers which stand in opposition to Zionism.
The fulfillment of this plan for creating a "greater Israel" is no doubt now becoming seen as more and more urgent, given the military retreat that Israel's protector the United States is making from southeast Asia. The deputy national security adviser to Netanyahu recently assessed that "American hegemony is crumbling before our eyes," a reality which is driving Israeli defense strategists to pursue further colonial expansion in the hope that it will secure Israel's position as the U.S. withdrawal continues.
There are great material limitations to the advancement of this plan. Despite the Israeli far-right's desire for Netanyahu to annex parts of the West Bank as part of this grand Zionist expansion project, Netanyahu's promise to annex the territory in July had to go unfulfilled. This was because such a move would undermine years of negotiations with the Palestinian authorities, because of the pressures to back out that have come from Netanyahu's corruption scandal, and because of the international community's near-universal condemnation of the idea to illegally take control of this much land.
In a time where the contradictions of Israeli colonialism-exacerbated by the internal economic instability that the pandemic has caused the country-are putting increasing pressure on the Zionist regime to give up their colonial project altogether, making big moves to construct a "greater Israel" evidently isn't practical.
Therefore, the hope that the implosion of the Zionist settler-colonial state can be avoided through making Israel the dominant regional power is looking increasingly unrealistic. So the Zionists and their imperialist partners are getting more desperate to destabilize Israel's neighbors.
This desire to further advance Zionism is partly where Washington is getting its motivations to escalate its economically crushing sanctions on Syria, use sanctions to exacerbate Lebanon's economic crisis, and tighten sanctions on Iran during the pandemic. The goal of these economic warfare moves across the region, as well as the color revolution in Lebanon, is to carry out destabilization projects that Israel hopes it can ultimately use to achieve balkanization and conquest.
But roadblocks to the realization of "greater Israel" keep appearing. Assad has decisively won the war in Syria, despite the ongoing imperialist efforts to weaken his country. Regime change in Iran isn't feasible, and it's highly doubtful that the U.S. will even try to balkanize Iran like it was able to so easily do to Yugoslavia. The imperialist and Zionist plan for Lebanon, which is to replace Lebanon's Hezbollah-dominated former government with a pro-Israel technocracy, isn't very likely to be realized when Lebanon attains a new government after the resignation of its cabinet over the Beirut blast.
The hand of U.S. imperialism, which Israel relies on for its regional destabilization projects, is decrepit and unable to carry out the vast geopolitical shifts which would be required for Israel to become an imperial power. Additionally, the power which Washington aims to have fill its place in the region after its military retreat is Turkey-a country that's come to actively stand in the way of Israel's territorial ambitions.
The future that the Zionist state can look forward to is one where it's increasingly isolated, lacking in the means to further expand its territories, and under ever greater pressure from the Palestinian resistance movement-as well as from the destabilizing consequences of neoliberalism and climate change. The Zionists are particularly desperate to see this attempt at a color revolution in Lebanon succeed, because it would give them a regional expansion of influence that their state requires in order to survive in the long term.
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