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Syriza govt signs military agreement with Israel

Symbolism points to another capitulation now to US

28. July 2015
by Wilhelm Langthaler

During his visit to Israel on July 19, 2015, the Greek defence minister Kammenos has signed a mutual “status of forces” agreement. Although pecularities have not been reported, such agreements usually regulate the conditions under which foreign military forces can operate on the sovereign territory of a given state. It is to be noted that so far Israel has had such a treaty in place only with its closest ally and long-time protector, the US.

See the respective report in the Jerusalem Post:

And Mondoweiss:

Greek Syriza-led government makes military deal with Israel that only US has made

This hardly can be read as accidental: Although one could claim that Kammenos belongs to the small rightist coalition partner of Syriza, namely Anel, it is difficult to believe that such an important foreign policy decision could have been taken without the acknowledgement of the prime minister and the dominant coalition partner Syriza.

This is all the more important as Syriza had vowed in its party programme to severe the relations with Israel. Also this promise together with Tsipras’s visits to Moscow seems to be part of the bluff which ended in the totally lost gamble. Syriza eventually bowed to the EU’s and especially Germany’s economic austerity dictate. To assure also the US that it will stay within its geopolitical orbit it apparently embarked on a military co-operation with the main colonial project maintained by the US directly controlling the Arab heartland. In this way not only the co-operation with the Arab resistance forces is ruled out but also the participation in a wider attempt to create an alliance for a multi-polar world.

See the early warning and specific interpretation by Stathis Kouvelakis, member of the Left Platform of Syriza, on January 22, 2015, right before Syriza’s landslide electoral victory: “I think that there is a sector of Syriza that probably sees the US as a counterweight to a Merkel-dominated EU. I disagree with this, and I think that there is a very heavy cost to pay for these types of options. The people who say this kind of thing in Greece are inclined to support the foreign policy lines of the Greek state and political elites, namely an alliance with Israel and trying to use Israel as a card in relation to Turkey, thereby inverting the traditional axis or alliance between Greece and the Arab world or at least parts of the Arab world.”

Two inviolable dogmas: Israel and Euro regime

To become part of the Western power bloc two main preconditions need to be met comprising the economic, political and well as the cultural and ideological fields: the support to Israel and its narrative turning colonialism and imperialism into democratic self-defence; and the justification of the Euro regime which not only petrifies neo-liberalism but condemns the democratic and social resistance within its historically grown forum, the European nation states, as retrograde nationalism (while imperialism in general and EU specifically tries to sell itself as a form of internationalism).

Tsipras and Syriza is not the first case of adherence to the ruling dogma though by far the most important one given the u-turn and the hopes he created. There is a whole series of striking examples like Gysi, the former head of the German opposition party “Die Linke”. In order to become a partner for government formation he accepted German support for Israel as necessary “reason of state”. Though strongly attacking austerity imposed by Schröder he opposed any questioning of the EU and the Euro regime. The same held for the Italian Rifondazione Comunista before its demise. But also rightist forces before being accepted into the system need to undergo the very same adoption procedure.

Let us hope that the rebellion of the Greek opposition forces outside and inside Syriza will be strong enough to withstand the ruling dogma and to build a radical anti-systemic democratic, social and popular opposition.