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“Mad Dog” Diplomacy : A Cornered Israel Is Baring Its Teeth

[ and lying through them, too ]

Jonathan Cook argues that Israel is responding to growing domestic scrutiny of its human rights abuses and increasing international isolation, and to the erosion of its deterrence, by introducing new repressive laws and by branding its critics as supporters of terrorism.

Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the strategy he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother”.

Until now, most observers had assumed Dayan was referring to Israeli military or possibly nuclear strategy, an expression in his typically blunt fashion of the country’s familiar doctrine of deterrence.

Exposing Israel’s ugliness

But the Israeli commando attack on 31 May on the Gaza-bound flotilla, in which nine activists have so far been confirmed killed and dozens were wounded as they tried to break Israel’s blockade of the enclave, proves beyond doubt that this is now a diplomatic strategy too. Israel is feeling cornered on every front it considers important – and like Dayan’s “mad dog”, it is likely to strike out in unpredictable ways.

Domestically, Israeli human rights activists have regrouped after the Zionist left’s dissolution in the wake of the outbreak of the second intfada. Now they are presenting clear-eyed – and extremely ugly – assessments of the occupation that are grabbing headlines around the world.

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