Uneasy Israel threatens Iran, as Egypt and Jordan erupt with food riots

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THE Zionist leadership has begun to beat the war drums against Iran, louder than ever, in reaction to the continuing crisis that the US faces in Iraq, and that it faces in Gaza and in the Lebanon, a crisis which is becoming ever more intractable.

In Gaza it is now up against real opposition from well trained Palestinian fighters who have learnt a thing or two off the Hezbollah movement that recently inflicted a major defeat on the Israeli army in southern Lebanon.

Its fears about the situation in the region have been exacerbated by the way the growing world crisis of capitalism has led to food riots and strikes in Egypt and Jordan.

These are undoubtedly shaking the regimes of President Mubarak and King Abdullah, the two leaders of the two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel.

The Zionist mood of being ‘under siege’ was seen last Tuesday when it conducted a test of a ballistic missile aimed at simulating an Iranian attack on Israel.

The test on Tuesday followed on from an intervention by Foreign Minister Livni at a trade conference in Qatar where she sought to incite the Gulf states against Iran.

She said that Iran represented ‘the extremists in the region’ and was ‘a threat and challenge to the entire region’.

Livni added that ‘extremists’ were attacking ‘our democratic rights’, qualifying what she meant by ‘our’ by saying: ‘When I say “our”, I mean the rights of Israelis, moderate Palestinians, moderate Arabs and pragmatic Muslim regimes alike.’

At the same time Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, commented: ‘We have to prepare, and if there’s a need, to take action, not just to talk idly.’

Last week Israel’s national infrastructure minister, Benjamin ben-Eliezer, pledged that an Iranian attack against Israel ‘would lead to the destruction of the Iranian nation’.

Meanwhile three people died in riots last Monday at al-Muwaqar prison in the southeast of Amman and fears of further riots are growing in Jordan.

The prison protests come amid mounting pressure on the Jordanian government to tackle soaring food and energy prices in the country.

Jordan’s main opposition party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), warned on Monday that social unrest was likely as a result of ‘insufficient’ government policies to tackle soaring prices in the cash-strapped country.

‘People’s patience has limits, and I think that in the coming days there will be an explosion, a very big explosion, and nobody can predict its repercussions or results,’ said Zaki Bani Rasheid, secretary general of the Islamic Action Front.

Prices in Jordan have risen sharply this year, with the cost of domestic fuel up by 76.1 per cent since January and electricity prices up by as much as 38 per cent.

It is this ‘big explosion’ that Israel’s leaders are so fearful of, since it could see its ‘moderate allies’ removed from power and revolutionary regimes established in the Arab states nearest to Israel.

While Israel is now beating the war drums against Iran, a military intervention into Jordan to maintain King Abdullah on his throne, in the event of a ‘big explosion’, is not out of the question.

It is becoming clear that matters are coming to a head all over the Middle East.

In fact, only the revolutionary movement of the Arab working class, leading the masses of the Arab poor, can liberate countries such as Egypt and Jordan from the rule of the capitalists and kings who are now presiding over hunger and growing starvation.

It is this revolutionary movement of the Arab working class that will lay the basis for the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a socialist secular Palestinian state, where Jews, Arabs and Christians can live side by side, and for the expulsion of Zionism and imperialism from the Middle East.