Is Israel Angling for a Commitment from Obama on Iran?

Israeli media reports suggest the country is using renewed threats of action against Iran to limit Obama's room to maneuver.

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HEIDI LEVINE / SIPA PRESS

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (C) and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a press conference by an Iron Dome rocket battery in Ashkelon, southern Israel, August 1, 2012

Is Israel really about to bomb Iran? That depends who you ask. Analysts in the U.S. and in Israel offer sharply conflicting views on how seriously to take the latest round of Israeli saber-rattling. But some new reports in Israel suggest that the answer to whether or not Israel’s leaders will carry out their threat of unilateral military action may depend on what new steps the Obama Administration is willing to offer Israel as an incentive for restraint.

Israel’s media has seen a frenzy of speculation  that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are about to order the bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities, notwithstanding objections by the Obama Administration and  much of Israel’s security establishment. Some Israeli pundits insist the fateful moment in which Israel risks igniting a regional war in order to stop Iran’s nuclear work is at hand; others dismiss the bellicose chatter as simply more posturing designed to influence American behavior (in keeping with the long-established pattern of threatening military action in order to press Western powers to raise their pressure on Iran).

(MORE: New Sanctions, Old Postures as U.S.-Israel-Iran Stalemate Drags On)

The divide among Israeli pundits over Netanyahu and Barak’s intentions is echoed among analysts in the U.S. Former Obama Administration defense official Colin Kahl, for example, warns that Israel’s threats should be taken very seriously, seeing them as a campaign to prepare the Israeli public for war. Kahl believes the purpose is unlikely to be another round of theatrics designed to scare the U.S. into adopting tougher measures on Iran — largely because, he says, with sanctions nearly “maxed out” and diplomacy stalled, “what additional benefit does the saber-rattling produce here?”

But former National Security Council Iran specialist and Columbia University professor Gary Sick takes a different view, seeing the latest wave as a continuation of a decade-old pattern of Israel threatening military action against Iran in order to shape the international community’s handling of the nuclear standoff. Sick argues that the basic strategic and tactical calculus that has prevented Israel acting on any of its previous threats remains unchanged, although he does allow for the possibility that Israel’s leaders paint themselves into a political corner in which they’re forced to act.

Still, U.S. officials worked hard this week to tamp down the war fever. After Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon demanded last weekend that the U.S. declare diplomacy with Iran a failure, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reportedly said aboard Air Force One, “We continue to believe there is time and space for diplomacy, the opportunity remains for Iran to take advantage of this process.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday that the U.S. believes Israel has not made a decision to strike Iran. Seated alongside Panetta, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey pointedly cast doubt over Israel’s ability to stop Iran’s nuclear program through military action: “I may not know about all of their capabilities but I think that it’s a fair characterization to say that they could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” Dempsey said. That prompted Israeli headlines complaining that U.S. officials were trying to influence Israeli public opinion against a strike.  Yedioth Ahronot columnist Attila Somfalvi  called Dempsey’s remark a “punch in the face” for Netanyahu.

(MORE: Long-Term Uncertainty Remains in Nuclear Talks with Iran)

Washington’s stance clearly remains a critical factor. Opinion polls routinely find a majority of Israelis opposed to Israel starting a war with Iran without U.S. involvement. And Israel acknowledges that its capability to inflict serious damage on Iran’s nuclear program is far less than that of the U.S. — the Israelis have been clear, all along, that they’d prefer Washington to use its more formidable military resources to stop Iran, and threaten to go it alone only if they believe the U.S. won’t do so.

New reports in the Israeli media, however, suggest that the frenzied chatter may indeed be designed to press President Obama into new commitments on Iran. Maariv reported in Hebrew on Tuesday that the Israeli leadership has signaled Washington that if Obama is willing, by late September, to make a public commitment to attack Iran should other means fail to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, “the President may prevent an Israeli attack before the U.S. elections.” The New York Times on Thursday quoted Netanyahu confidante Uzi Dayan to the effect that the Prime Minister and his Defense Minister could be deterred from attacking Iran by stronger U.S. commitments. “Mr. Dayan’s assessment seems to buttress the theory that the collective saber-rattling is part of a campaign to pressure the Obama administration and the international community, rather than an indication of the imminence of an Israeli strike,” the Times suggested.

Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Ron Ben-Yishai, in a piece that appeared Wednesday, quoted an unnamed “senior Israeli official”  as indicating that Israel would rule out a unilateral attack should the U.S. prove willing to toughen its stance on Iran. “The problem is that the Iranians are not identifying determination on the American side,” he quotes the official as saying. “The Iranian regime is certain that in any case 2012 will pass peacefully,” Ben-Yishai continued. “They assume the U.S. will not attack for fear of soaring oil prices and because of the presidential elections. They do not believe we will attack without a green light from Washington. Therefore, it is in the Americans’ interest to convince the Iranians that the U.S. may attack, not to convince us not to attack.”

(MORE: For Israel, the Problem with Iran Diplomacy Is the Prospect of Nuclear Compromise)

The logic of what follows is a little confusing: Israel will restrain itself if Obama commits publicly to take military action to stop Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon — just as he did last year at AIPAC. Ben-Yishai’s source acknowledges that Obama made such a commitment, but wants to hear it again because, he says, Iran hasn’t heeded the message. The unnamed Israeli official adds a laundry list of additional, if somewhat improbable, demands: The U.S. should call off the current nuclear talks with Iran, deploy further military assets in the Gulf, and escalate sanctions to the point of a “boycott” of countries that continue to do business with Iran, such as China, India and Turkey. He also indicated that the Israelis want to see stories leaked to American media about U.S. war plans for Iran, in the hope that this will spook Tehran. “The senior Israeli official estimated that should Washington accept the main demands,” wrote Ben-Yishai, “Israel would reconsider its unilateral measures and coordinate them with the U.S.”

Former Likud Minister Danny Naveh sounded a similar message in  Maariv on Sunday, writing that the “absolute minimum that is required” to stop a unilateral Israeli strike is either for “Washington to sign a defense treaty with a commitment for an attack plan in Iran, including a clear timetable,” or to provide Israeli with the weapons necessary to destroy Iranian facilities when those are placed beyond the reach of Israel’s current capabilities. Israel’s Channel 10 TV news even reported, Tuesday night (according to the Times of Israel) that plans are underway for a Netanyahu-Obama meeting in September, at which the U.S. President would assure the Israeli PM that “the U.S. will use force to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons drive by next June at the latest if the Islamic Republic has not halted its program by then”.

The confusion, of course, is that President Obama last year publicly vowed to take military action to prevent Iran “acquiring a nuclear weapon” — a red line different from the Israelis’ insistence that Iran must be denied the capability to build a nuclear weapon. Iran already has such technical capability and is steadily expanding it, according to the U.S. estimate, but has not moved to begin the process of building a nuclear weapon, or taken a decision to do so. The U.S. estimate is that it would take Iran some two years to build a bomb were it to initiate the process now.

And despite claims  in Israeli media that the U.S. has reached dramatic new intelligence conclusions, there’s reason to believe that the overall strategic assessment of Iran’s nuclear program remains broadly the same — Iran has already achieved the technological ability to build nuclear weapons should it break out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and its inspection regime. Currently, that would take it about two years, but the time frame will shorten as Iran expands its capabilities. But it has not taken a decision to “break out” and weaponize nuclear material — which is why the Administration insists that there is still time for sanctions and other pressures to change the calculations of Iran’s leaders. Still, if the Israeli leadership has, as some feared, painted itself into a corner, then Obama reiterating his vow and taking other related steps might give them a way to climb down from doing something their own generals are warning against.

There’s been no signal from the White House giving credence to any of these Israeli reports, of course. But the Israelis seem to be hoping that the threat of military action will produce responses from Washington that will harden the U.S. stance.  Although negotiations with Iran are effectively stalled and the pain being inflicted on Iranian society by sanctions is showing no signs, as yet, of prompting Tehran to capitulate, the Obama Administration may have been hoping to find better conditions to resolve the nuclear standoff once the pressures of its reelection campaign have passed.  The signals emerging in the Israeli media suggest that Israel is hoping its renewed threats of action will limit Obama’s room for maneuver on the Iran issue next year, and lock in a commitment from him to pursue their preferred solution.

MORE: Is Netanyahu Dreaming in Cuban on Iran?

57 comments
MiguelSaavedra1
MiguelSaavedra1

Get off your knees Jacob. He knows when he's been licked.

MiguelSaavedra1
MiguelSaavedra1

I HATE being blackmailed.  They want us to boycott China? Yeah, that'll happen.

"The U.S. should call off the current nuclear talks with Iran, deploy further military assets in the Gulf, and escalate sanctions to the point of a “boycott” of countries that continue to do business with Iran, such as China, India and Turkey. He also indicated that the Israelis want to see stories leaked to American media about U.S. war plans for Iran, in the hope that this will spook Tehran. ”The senior Israeli official estimated that should Washington accept the main demands,” wrote Ben-Yishai, “Israel would reconsider its unilateral measures and coordinate them with the U.S.”Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/...

Chhajuram Induscharwak
Chhajuram Induscharwak

USA and Israel is interdependent to each other and this is most naked truth about so call super power of today.

popsiq
popsiq

Achmedinjad's reported penchant for 'bad mouthing' Israel, couldn't  help but persuade the warriors that the time is now.

Or maybe the reports -which have been widely heard before - are just more of the hype.

The latest wrinkle - 'don't give us more armaments, that would 'delay' the inevitable' - sounds like some sophomoric  'reverse  psychology'

Divest Campaign
Divest Campaign

As usual, this is about the Israel-first crowd trying to get the US to fight their wars for them.

And their threat: if you don't do it, we will.

Let's make sure there is a high cost for them starting Middle East War III. We can do this nonviolently by pledging to BOYCOTT ISRAEL IF IT BOMBS IRAN:

http://www.divestfromwar.org

Let's PREVENT the next war, instead of protesting it after the fact!

valmach
valmach

THE ZIONIST MENTALITY -  NETANYAHU amp; the Zionist of the Apartheid State of Israel.

H saw Zionism as just, and thought that Palestinians and the neighboring Arab

states would benefit from Zionism, and that therefore, they would welcome the new

Jewish immigrants. He envisioned that Jews from all over the world would immigrate to

Palestine in great numbers, and that over time they would become a majority or a fact on

the ground. He did not think that Palestinians had any collective rights

whatsoever, such as the right of self-determination. He did not believe

that they had any sense of nationalism, therefore, they could be

ignored. Sometimes he argued that even if Palestinian nationalism did

exist, that it could be bought or bribed.He contemplated Palestinian "transfer", where the use of

force would not be necessary. He envisioned that Palestinians could be

enticed to leaving their country in favor of the new Jewish

immigrants. He did not envision Europe's Jews would die so quickly, and in such big numbers.

MACV
MACV

I question the undue influence that the Israeli Lobby has on American leaders in the White House and in Congress. Jews make up less than two percent of the population of the US yet they hold 13 Senate Seats and that is the body that votes for War and/or Police Actions. AIPAC, PNAC, Joe Lieberman, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Henry Kissinger, Robert Reich, Casper Weinberger, Sandy Berger, Paul Wolfowitz, Ari Fleischer, Rahm Emanuel, Lewis "Scooter" Libby etc. ,just to name a few and no one disputes the fact that these individuals have "dual-citizenship" and can rightly be questioned as to where their allegiances lay. Do they work for America or do they work for Israel. Blacks, on the other hand, make up approximately 20% of the American population yet they have only "one" appointed Senate Seat. Our unswerving relationship with Israel has resulted in Israel being caught spying on us and stealing state secrets many, many times over and the deaths of over 37 American naval personnel when Israeli Jets (bought and paid for by the U.S.) knowingly fired on the American Naval vessel USS Liberty and its life-boats during the so-called “6-day war”. They receive 10's of Billions of Dollars in loans and aid that they never have to pay back  and when you add this amount to the stealing of 10's of Millions of Dollars worth of "PELL Grants" during the Clinton administration (money meant for inner-city youth college funds) perhaps you can at least understand other individuals attitude towards the nation of Israel, it has nothing to do with Anti-Semetism. The fact that honest Americans dislike jewish gangsters "Bugsy Siegel, Bernie Madoff and Meyer Lansky" does not make them Anti-Semetic, it makes them cognizant. I keep my eye on these organizations and question everything that they promote and if it is in America’s best interests. They are the "tail" that wags the "dog" and I and other Americans are getting sick and tired of it.

Plumbline
Plumbline

The best security the U.S. has is to continue it's support of the country of Israel.........

MACV
MACV

We don't need Israel to secure our security! We have American Patriots who will die for our country .... but not for yours!

ExecutiveOrder6102
ExecutiveOrder6102

America must truly not be swayed by Zionist problems as for example

the meeting of America and four other nations in the Bermuda Triangle

in 1943 where it was agreed not to intervene in the Nazi slaughter of Jews.

Long live America!

Daniel Morris

america1@usa.com

MACV
MACV

Since 1967 Israel has placed the entire Palestinian population of the Territories under military occupation. All wars in history have been about territory, more land and more natural resources. Now, as a student of the Bible it can be argued that the “Old Testament” is merely an Israeli history book, i.e. a history of the “Jews”. And if I was writing my history, I would be God’s chosen people also. (A LITTLE HISTORY) Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered. Twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death.  

 

NOW SOME OF YOU THINK THIS IS AN ABERRATION, I SUGGEST YOU READ THE FOLLOWING FROM THE KING JAMES BIBLE ..... Acting on God's instructions, the Jews "annihilated everyone who lived in" Makkedah. At Libnah, they again "left no survivors." At Lachish, "they put the sword to all who lived there, just as they had done to Libnah." At Eglon, "they annihilated it just as they had done to Lachish." At Hebron, "they annihilated it and all who lived there." Again at Debir, "they annihilated everyone who lived there; they left no survivors." "Joshua defeated the whole land, including the hill country, the Negev, the lowlands, the slopes, and all their kings. He left no survivors. He annihilated everything that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded." (Joshua, Chapter 10.) 

 

Why would a Mormon back people like this? Why would anyone?

René Martin
René Martin

Israel will attack Iran before X-mas 2011, before the US elections, within one year, soon, in January, [an Israeli attack] could come in the near future, within 6 months, between Christmas and New Year, during the summer, very soon, after the US elections. This time we mean it, in May, we will attack Iran before it is too late, in September, very, very soon, before the window of opportunity for an attack will close, all the options are on the table, If I was an Iranian, I would be very fearful of the next 12 weeks, Israel should attack Iran alone if necessary,in 2013, in February, after New Year, Israel will intervene militarily, during the fall, Israel feels like it cannot afford to wait, a timetable of weeks, rather than months, in the middle of the night, Netanyahu and Barak want to attack in the coming weeks, before the zone of immunity, we'll strike in 2012. Now we are very serious, the Israeli clock on military action on Iran’s nuclear program “is ticking faster, attack is imminent, in March, preparations are underway, within 3 months, you better believe us this time, Israel is on high alert! The deadline is December 2013, before November...

MACV
MACV

Ha-ha-ha-ha! Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon and no one can do anything about it!  America, China and the Soviets will not allow Israel to start World War III, destroy the worlds economy and plunge every country into a world wide depression. This stupid claim that Iran wants to destroy Israel is based on a mis-translation of a single sentence by Ahmadinejad in 2005. How long are Israelis going to drag this myth out. The comment was directed at the current regime in Israel, not its people! Further we can't tell another nation, particularly one we have labeled a member of the Axis-of-Evil and invaded their neighbor, how to protect their citizens. If Israel has a nuke then Iran should have one. After all, Iran did not pass nuclear technology to Apartheid South Africa, Israel did! I suggest you Google "Vela Incident". Israel won't even let in the IAEA inspectors. 

Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling states that deterrence is about the only value the weapons might have for Iran. Such devices, he points out, "would be too precious to give away or to sell" and "too precious to waste killing people" when they could make other countries "hesitant to consider military action".

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

There has always been only one possible outcome.

Israel has no choice but to prevent by any means necessary Iran from having a nuclear weapon.

If the US helps them erase this threat it will prevent Israel from having to use a nuclear weapon on Fodor (we have a really big conventional bomb).

Israel knows using a nuke is a terrible alternative, so US help is extremely important to them.

The only thing not under consideration is that Fodor is going to be anything other than a big hole in the ground real soon now.

MACV
MACV

They'll never make it that far into Iran ... and then you'll have an international incident and ALL H$LL WILL BREAK LOOSE!

Now I wonder where the Soviets put those ground-to-air missiles and their early warning radar? I wonder what Jordan or Iraq or Turkey will have to say about Israeli flyovers?

ATTACK IRAN ... IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!

JoeInFL
JoeInFL

It's really silly to say that the Israelis bully other countries because they know the US has their back.  If it's in their best interests, they go it alone even when the US doesn't have their back (i.e., after the US specifically warned them against launching a first strike in the Six Day War or when they bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor without US approval).  Usually, they're more than capable of beating their poorly trained, poorly equipped, and poorly led Arab neighbors without any US help.

However, in this case, as in many cases before, the US has specifically told them not to proceed without the US giving them the green light.  Because the US is Israel's primary ally and gives them plenty of aid, the Israelis are therefore asking for the US to take on the fight with them.  If the US doesn't agree and the Israelis feel Iran's threats to wipe them out are legitimate, rest assured they'll go it alone again.

By the way, like it or not, the US doesn't support Israel because of some "all powerful" pro-Israel lobby or because of the Jewish vote (representing less then 2% of the American electorate).  The US supports Israel because it's in the US's best interests to have a powerful and democratic ally in the volatile Middle East.  If it ever wasn't in our best interests, I would agree that we should "cut em loose".  That's not the case though.

Arthur Kaske
Arthur Kaske

OBAMA IS AN UNDOCUMENTED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT!

Arthur Kaske
Arthur Kaske

TO HELL WITH THE NPT, YOU HAVE HEARD THE WORDS OF IRAN, DO NOT TRUST OBAMA!

Arthur Kaske
Arthur Kaske

PISS ON THE NPT, YOU HAVE HEARD THE WORDS OF IRAN, TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL!  OBAMA DOES NOT CARE!

borisIII
borisIII

I've had enough of US being used as the rest of the worlds Free military. If the rest of the developed countries want to go to war with Iran and all do their share then it wouldn't bother me.  Where getting taken advantage of it since the start of the Cold War in Korea.  The other developed countries, besides Israel, don't build up big militaries, because they want to spend their tax money on improving their country and just let US be their free military. 

smooth edward
smooth edward

If I was Obama I wouldn’t even take Netahyahu’s phone calls. He’s been nothing but hostile and uncooperative for Obama’s term.

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Boy that's a dumb idea. 

You think that the US believes Iran's government that this nuclear pursuit is for show?  You think that the US is setting up anti-rocket missile bases in the Gulf for Israel, not Saudi Arabia and the other oil-producing states?  You think that the naval base in Bahrain and Qutar are there to protect these Arab states from themselves? 

Here's a clue, Prime Minister Netanyahu is held anserable to the Israeli electorate.  It is his job to help secure the safety of Israelis.   The Islamic Revolutionary Republic of Iran, has spent the past 30 years very publically stating that it hopes and plans to see Israel destroyed.  These comments have been made by every Iranian political leader from the days of Ayatollah Khomenei on down.  

Iran has backed its words with support for not one, but two proxy armies (Hizballah in Lebanon, HAMAS in Gaza).  It also backed Yasser Arafat with weapons by the shipload when he was supposedly making peace with Israel (The Kairne-A). 

Israel believes it has the intelligence showing that Iran is in pursuit of a nuclear weapon, and this has been corroborated with both American and European intelligence organizations.   The Arab states in the Gulf also believe this is true. 

Iran has had the opportunity to resolve this in a peaceful / diplomatic fashion - it has not done so.  It has had the opportunity to show its hidden nuclear facilities to the IAEA - it has refused to do so.  It has the ability to show the world it can live with other states in peace - it's government has instead repeated and intensified both its calls for Israel's destruction, and voiced blatantly anti-Semitic comments by key government leaders. 

In the face of this, PM Netanyahu's concerns are warranted, and since Israel has already subsumed its interests to that of the United States, the US is obligated to stand by its ally in the face of such threats.   Apparently wanting to see his people survive is 'uncooperative' to you. 

Too damn bad.  Jews aren't going to roll over and die for anyone's entertainment ever again. 

Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson

Incentives to Israel? How about the US politicians tell Israel they will stop taking BILLIONS of tax dollars from US citizens and giving them to the Jewish state if Israel does not stop pushing for war with Iran and does not remove its illegal settlements that are now on Palestinian lands. It's disgusting how US politicians from both parties are in the pocket of Israel and its powerful lobby.

Progress! Bob Johnson

www.deism.com

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Ah stick it Bob.  As a US citizen, tax-payer and voter, I think that supporting our ally is a good thing. 

MACV
MACV

Meanwhile Israel kills Americans (USS Liberty) is that alright with you too ?

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Dude, the USS Liberty incident took place in 1967.  Tell me, do you still complain about Japan and Germany for WWII?  Or are you still mad at Great Britain over King George. 

The reality is, the USS Liberty incident was a tragic blue-on-blue error.  There not one, but 10 seperate investigations by both the US and Israeli governments that confirmed this.  Israel both admitted complicity, apologized for the error, and paid reparations to those who were injured and killed. 

Unfortunately, even in the modern error, there are friendly fire incidents.  One need only go back as far as the US invasion of Afghanistan when our air-force dropped bombs on Canadian soldiers who they thought were Taliban. 

Hell, in the mid 1980's we even shot down an civilian Iranian 747 by mistake.   And take it one step further, the US government has announced only this past month, that it will begin cleaning up areas in Viet-Nam that were subject to Agent Orange spraying. 

Lot's of bad things happen in war.  That doesn't make the bad things right, but it does mean that at a certain point you move on.   My grandfather and grand uncle served in WWII, my uncle in Korea, my father in Viet-Nam.  I don't hate the Germans, Japanese, North Koreans, or Vietnamese.    The Liberty incident took place 45 years ago.   Give it a rest already. 

Amr Azim
Amr Azim

Nice to see Palestine in the background....Oops I meant Israel.....Did  I hurt someone feelings....?

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Not really. 

But thanks for reminding the rest of us that it's not the West Bank that the Palestinians are after, but all of Israel.  Kind of useless to pursue peace when the other side wants to see you dead. 

Mark
Mark

The arrogance of Israel is overwhelming. Cut 'em loose.

YehudaElyada
YehudaElyada

Israel never ask from its friend to fight for us. This privilege is purely Arab: Iraq, Libya, Syria, even Saudi Arabia need US soldiers to do the dirty work for their princely elite class too busy hording bribe fortunes. Just let us take care of the problems you insist are not there. Unlike the USA, we don’t believe you should wait until 9/11 before you acknowledge that Al Qaeda is a mortal danger. Do we want the USA to declare war on Iran? No. We are not that naive to hope for this to happen. But the free world should be more convincing if we don’t want to end up with a Muslim North Korea in the middle of the world central oil reservoir. It’s Arab oil, we are excluded from using it so we don’t really care about the gulf production figures. But the USA should. Putting your head in the sand will not solve the problem. Let Iran go nuclear and in no time Saudi rulers will have a new master to obey.     

Amin San
Amin San

What you write, doesn't make any sense:

"It’s Arab oil, we are excluded from using it so we don’t really care about the gulf production figures."

"Let Iran go nuclear and in no time Saudi rulers will have a new master to obey."

So why are the Israelis bent out of shape. If it is not your problem, stay out of it!

Guest
Guest

bomb the muslims, the only thing they are born for is to get blown up anyway, either as suicide bombers or as animals of strikes from other countries

Amr Azim
Amr Azim

WOW - you have no brain, uneducated, and an idiot!  Why don't you go and live in Israel......and see if it is really a democratic country.....!

drorbenami
drorbenami

well amr, i agree with you that morno is an idiot.

Also, i would like to point out that i did move to israel from the usa and i can assure that for jews it is a democracy. For arabs, druze and other minorities, who are israeli citizens, it is democratic in spirit but because of security issues they don't have full rights or full privleges, nevertheless, that have much greater freedoms than muslims in egypt, iran, iraq, or jordan.

they have newspapers and internet sites and they can call israelis facists. they cannot, however, call for the death of jews...that is illegal....jews can call for death to arabs, maybe it is also illegal but is not enforced....

in conclusion, i think israeli arabs are not overjoyed about living under a jewish government, but they recognize its positive aspects...

and would agree that, even for them, it is more or less a democracy...

palestinians in gaza and the west bank is a seperate issue, they are not citizens....

Guest
Guest

you are mistaking me for prophet mohammed

Amin San
Amin San

The Obama administration can do one thing to stop this madness from Israel. Tell them that they can go ahead and do what they want and we will not be responsible for backing them up. It will be put up or shut up time. Lets see what Israel can do if left to their own devices. I think there are enough sane people in the US to override any Jewish vote going to Romney.

Pellam
Pellam

Will people like you shut up about it if Israel were successful in unilaterally stopping Iran or would you be screaming bloody murder. I suspect the latter.

Amin San
Amin San

Absolutely!

But you reap what you sow. Don't come back to us with your tail between your legs once things get nasty. Remember Lebanon, they were thumping their chest in the first few days but as things started getting nasty, then you wanted the US to put pressure on Hesbollah to stop. Remember Condi Rice.

Ty Johnson
Ty Johnson

As usual Jacob you got your facts wrong. Israel started the conflagration by the "Wag the Dog" Ehud Olmert by bombing Lebanon over a kidnapped soldier as a distraction for his corruption investigation. As usual the crook went to jail and was found guilty, but in the process destroyed Lebanon and killed over 1500 innocent people and their infrastructure. 

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

I remember the Prime Minister of Lebanon in tears after several weeks begging for the world to step in between Israel and his home-grown "resistance" group Hizballah (which started the whole conflagration). 

drorbenami
drorbenami

hey tony baloney, this article is pure speculation, based on the ideas of someone working from his dining room table in brooklyn...

can we deal with something more concrete?  last year 140 of your neighbors in brooklyn were murdered by their fellow americans and this year another 140 will be murdered. in the 20 years you have lived in the united states you have never once dealt with this issue. neither for TIME or in your personal blog: the cosmopolitan.

since 125 of these140 victims are either black or latino, can't one make a convincing argument that you are a racist? i mean: if 125 jews had been murdered in brooklyn within a single year you would have written 20 articles, right?

also, this year the syrian people have executed prisoners, cut the throats of sleeping children and thrown their fellow syrians off of roof tops.  if israel had done these things you also would have written 20 articles.

the fact that you don't even mention these syrian atrocities, more or less, indicates that you consider arabs to be a sub human species to which things like the geneva convention don't even apply...

i guess one could conclude: being raised in south africa as you were, old habits such as racism die hard....right tony baloney???

akpat
akpat

Israel has caused us more pain over the years than any other country. Its like the pain in rear rear little brother at school who bullies his way around because big brother is behind him.

After 50 years its time Israel stood on its own two feet without us backing them up. Maybe then they would start to get on with their neighbors.

mnominous
mnominous

Are you talking about the pain of giving Americans needed intelligence in the Middle East? Are you talking about the exchange of technologies both military and non-military between the two countries? 

Oh, I forgot. The Iranians did too. They have lots of lots of exchange of technologies and cultural development with the west. And by the way, the Iranian government is very peaceful, or I shall say, they are very good at keeping the peace in their own country. Right?

Ty Johnson
Ty Johnson

"Needed intelligence?" Hahaha.

If anything Israel steal and spies on its best and only ally. It is the only country from the ME with the longest track record of spying against the US, not Saudi Arabia, not Jordan, and not even Iran.

Ever heard of Johnathan Pollard, who the Israeli billionaire Sheldon Adelson is trying to get off from life imprisonment by legally bribing Ro-money, aka campaign contributions? 

Swiftright Right
Swiftright Right

It is past time to cut Israel lose.

In the long run its best for every one especially Israel.

Tohmsa Hatrman
Tohmsa Hatrman

Yes. Once again, Israel wants the U.S. to act in the interests of Israel rather than its own interests. We know Romney  would do it. Will Obama? We'll see.

mnominous
mnominous

Tohmsa.  What would you do if the Iranians manage to become nuclear and send terrorists to hide a bomb in your backyard and threaten the US with exploding it unless they kneel to their demands? 

JohnWV
JohnWV

However did we get it all so backwards? As a signatory to the Non

Proliferation Treaty, Iran has an internationally recognized right to

develop and implement nuclear technology. Israel rejected the NPT and

has no such right. Yet, the Jewish state has ICBM nukes and openly

threatens Iran; actually campaigns for war against Iran. Israel, not

Iran, should be sanctioned and forced to reveal its nuclear

machinations to IAEA inspection. However did we get it all so

backwards?

strickera
strickera

Israel at no time has threatened Iran, something one cannot say for the reverse!

popsiq
popsiq

Is Achmedinejad busily, and very publicly,  engaged in making his decision on an explosives-centred a 'final solution' to his country's "problem"?

That's what apparently has been going on in friendly little Israel this past week. No threats intended, somebody really means business this time, maybe.

Ty Johnson
Ty Johnson

Reread the article. Otherwise re-learn English.

valmach
valmach

Which rock do you actually live under.. because I would like to come and stomp it into the ground just a little bit harder

mnominous
mnominous

Valmach. I don't think strickera lives under a rock. But I do think he lives in this Universe, unlike you. I think your problem is that you have read and heard too much non-sense from arab wackos who aspire of becoming famous by blowing themselves up or sending their kids to do the dirty job. You need to some real knowledge.  

mnominous
mnominous

JohnWV, Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades and never threatened the west nor used them against its neighbors. Neither did Israel use terrorism nor had mental phantasies of imposing Judaism to the world, nor attack the world trade center.

Iran talks about the 12 Imams, and apocalyptic wars, etc. Am sure nobody complains that France has atomic bombs, nor England, or the US for that matter.

Are you saying that because the US and France and England have it that the Iranians should too?

Come on, man. You can't be that s****d.

popsiq
popsiq

They've done a pretty good job of imposing judaism on the local arabs. Much like the Boers imposed whitness on south African blacks.

As far as threatening anybody with nuclear weapons - who has?

And the Iranians didn't attack the world trade center, those were Saudis amd Yemenis, both of which are among the friendlier of Israel's neighbors.

If  Iran had a nuclear weapon Israel wouldn't be thinking about bombing her.

mnominous
mnominous

popsiq.  I don't know where you get your facts. I tend to be very critical before accepting anything as fact. Judaism is one of those weird religions that forbids proselytizing, so your contention that they impose religion on local arabs makes no sense, unless you are trying to make a different point. Please, clarify.

As to your second point, where have you being lately?  Iran has constantly threaten the existence of the state of Israel.

You are right in stating that the Iranians didn't attack the World Trade Center. They had nothing to do with it, granted. But they were directly involved in attacks in Argentina, Lebanon, and other areas of the world.  That's a fact.

If Iran had Nuclear weapons, Israel would certainly attack them.  If Iran didn't have any itentions on getting nuclear weapons, Israel wouldn't even talk about them. If Iran was a western modern society thinking in bringing revenue and jobs to their citizens and not be concerned with a state 8000 miles away and their existence, then Israel wouldn't be talking of bombing Iran even if they had nuclear capabilities.

Please, throw real facts not emotionally driven quasifacts to persuade readers. That's what critical thinking is all about.

Regards,

valmach
valmach

No country in the Middle East has Nuclear Weapons, with the exception of Israel.. No country has ever threatened to attack Israel.. what was said was this.... 

Israel's existence is an 'insult to all humanity,'.. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel would take action against Iran even if Washington objected. 

mnominous
mnominous

valmach.  In what universe you live?  All Arab countries have threatened at some point in time the annihilation of the state of Israel.

Israel existence is not an insult to humanity. Israel existence is an insult to peace loving muslims, the ones that send their kids to blow themselves up so they can kill Israelis. The ones that kill their own kind because they aspire freedom and democracy.

If Iran were to be trusted, Israel wouldn't need to attack Iran.

ChefDarrell
ChefDarrell

You mean Israel has not used overt state sponsored terrorism right? Mossad is a de facto terrorist organization.

MiguelSaavedra1
MiguelSaavedra1

Jacob you can't be serious, "Israel has gone out of its way to try to have peaceful relations with its neighbors.

Over Golan? Over Hebron and the West Bank?  Over Jerusalem? The facts on the ground belie your assertions.

mnominous
mnominous

ChefDarrell.  In what universe you live? Israel could care less if anyone believes or not in Judaism. Please, when you argue, throw some smart informative arguments. Don't say s****d things you heard from some mullah in Iran. Everybody knows those mullahs are ignorant, which is why they deny the Holocaust and talk about the destruction of the Jewish state. Otherwise this topic becomes an exercise at futility.

ChefDarrell
ChefDarrell

Jacob,

Get your head out of the sand. Israel believes Iran should not have nuclear power, peaceful or otherwise. They even go so far as to murder scientists involved.

Peaceful relations? They kill with impunity then cry like little girls when they are accused of their crimes.

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

No, Israel is not killing people who don't follow their belief.  They are attacking people who have dedicated their lives to kill Israelis.  More than a small difference. 

Indeed, Israel has gone out of its way to try to have peaceful relations with its neighbors.  Compare that with al-Queda's violent and maximilast stance of "Global Jihad". 

ChefDarrell
ChefDarrell

mnominous,

Terrorism, assassination, whatever word you want to use is fine. Israel is killing people who don't follow their belief, much like al Qaeda.

mnominous
mnominous

The word Terrorism like the word Holocaust has being distorted,

misused, and abused over the years. Terrorism is killing of innocent people to cause terror in the population. Israel hasn't committed any acts of state sponsored terrorism. What Israel has being doing is sending Mossad agents to kill the leaders of terrorists groups which are legitimate targets according to the Geneva convention. Yes.