As Iran and the West Make Progress in Geneva, Israel Grumbles From the Sidelines

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Gali Tibbon / Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony for late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem on Oct. 16, 2013

On Tuesday night, about the time U.S. diplomats prepared to sit down alone with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the Golan Heights. The contrast was not incidental. The talk among would-be peacemakers in Switzerland, that famed neutral ground, may have heralded the start of fresh talks on Iran’s nuclear program as “meaningful” and “very useful.” But the Golan is a battleground, territory that Israeli troops fought to take from Syria three times in the space of six years and, in the gloaming, Netanyahu watched as Merkava tanks roared across broken ground in an exercise that demonstrated Israel’s military readiness.

“We can’t surrender the option of a preventive strike,” Netanyahu warned in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, a few hours earlier. “It is not necessary in every situation, and it must be weighed carefully and seriously. But there are situations in which paying heed to the international price of such a step is outweighed by the price in blood we will pay if we absorb a strategic strike that will demand a response later on, and perhaps too late.”

Netanyahu framed his remarks as a lesson of the October War of 1973, when Israel was taken by surprise by Egypt and Syria, and for a time lost territories it had taken six years earlier — by striking first, in the Six-Day War. But Israeli reports said the Prime Minister’s staff made clear the remarks were intended as a reality check on the diplomatic hopes blossoming in Geneva. Netanyahu says he fears that the momentum for a negotiated solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions might produce a hasty compromise that leaves its enemy with a residual capacity to create atomic weapons that would threaten the Jewish state.

“I think that it would be a historic mistake to ease up on Iran without it dismantling the nuclear capabilities it is developing,” Netanyahu added when he reached the Golan. “Iran is now on the ropes, and it is possible to employ sanctions at their fullest in order to achieve the desired result. I hope that the international community will do this, and I call upon it to do so.”

(MORE: Signs of Optimism at Iran Nuclear Talks in Geneva)

In Geneva, talks continued for a second day on Wednesday. Iran appeared intent on building on the sense of a fresh start that followed the public relations success of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s U.N. visit, which was capped by a telephone conversation with President Obama. The substance of Iran’s proposal remained unclear, but European diplomats, at least, welcomed it for a level of detail not seen in earlier negotiations. And the tenor of the session remained upbeat with the next round of talks now scheduled for early November. Israelis were surprised when a Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, took a question from Israel Radio — a departure for any Iranian official, let alone the lead nuclear negotiator in the room at Geneva.

“Any agreement will open new horizons in relations with all states,” Araghchi told the reporter, whose ID clearly identified him as Israeli. The diplomat replied “Yes” when asked if Israel could live with any agreement that might come out of the Geneva talks.

“That’s the key question to this negotiation,” says Gary Samore, who held the title of President Obama’s top adviser on weapons of mass destruction for four years, and now heads a group called United Against Nuclear Iran. “I would put it in terms of time. How much time do you want to have in terms of advance warning that Iran has decided to pursue nuclear weapons by producing weapons-grade uranium?”

Currently, Samore told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday night, Western intelligence agencies estimate that Iran would need about two months to spin enough uranium to the 90% enrichment required for a weapon, if it decided to “break out” of its atoms-for-peace posture. The interval will grow shorter, Samore adds, as Iran brings more sophisticated centrifuges online. Given that trajectory, he describes the goal of the negotiations as to “put time back on the clock,” meaning gain more time for IAEA inspectors to notice and report any move toward the bomb. That time would also allow Washington or Israel to prepare air strikes aimed at knocking out Iran’s nuclear facilities before it’s too late.

“Obviously I’d feel much more comfortable if we had a year’s notice, or even nine months’ notice,” Samore says. “That would give us a lot more time to detect and then respond. And I think from Israel’s standpoint if there was that amount of warning time and the Israelis had confidence the U.S. was willing to act once ‘breakout’ was detected, that should give them some comfort as well.”

(MORE: Four Good Reasons Iran Resents the U.S.)

Israel’s leadership has struggled a bit to hit the right note since Rouhani was elected Iranian President earlier this year. The dynamic in the international campaign to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions has shifted from scolding rhetoric backed by military threat to diplomatic politesse, with hopes now that a negotiated solution can emerge. At the U.N. General Assembly last month, Netanyahu tried to mine Rouhani’s professional history in Iran’s theocratic regime in an effort to hollow out the Iranian’s charm offensive. But he may have made more headlines for his subsequent interview with BBC Persian, energetically mocked by the Iranians Netanyahu was trying to persuade when he suggested the hip youth of Tehran were not allowed to wear jeans. He had extended his stay in New York City for days in order to give interview after interview, intent on showing a steel that one analyst, at least, says is in fact mostly show. “If Iran and the Western countries agree … will Israel agree too?” asked Amos Harel in the daily Haaretz on Wednesday. “The answer, though Israel will not admit it officially, is yes.”

That’s certainly not what Netanyahu has been suggesting relentlessly in public. At the U.N., Netanyahu made a show of taking the gloves off, offering a more explicit threat of military action against Iran’s nuclear program — “Israel will stand alone if it needs to” — than the veiled sorts that had done so much to drive attention to the issue in the previous two years. Those threats sounded even more direct at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session on Tuesday, framed by the 40th anniversary of the October War, the trauma of which still reverberates in Israel.

“A preventive war, even a preventive strike, is among the most difficult decisions a government can take, because it will never be able to prove what would have happened if it had not acted,” Netanyahu said. “But the key difference between the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War lies first of all in the fact that in the Six-Day War we launched a preventive strike that broke the chokehold our enemies had placed on us, and on Yom Kippur the government decided, despite all warnings, to absorb the full force of an enemy attack.”

48 comments
AjaxLessome
AjaxLessome

Unfortunately, Tehran's extensive propaganda campaign, emphasizing "moderation" of its new president Rouhani, seems to be working by softening up US and Europe to lift sanctions. Iran should not be trusted and sanctions should not be lifted. It is well documented that Iran has been systematically violating of the terms of the NPT.  Despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Iran’s nuclear work is not consistent with any other application than the development of a nuclear weapon.  Iran continues to conceal its nuclear program and conduct enrichment-related activities, in violation of the NPT, the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, all subsequent IAEA Safeguards Resolutions, and numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Additionally,as a party to several human rights treaties and as a Member State of the United Nations, Iran is legally obligated to protect the civil, political and religious rights of its citizens. However, since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran has been involved in large-scale abuses of human rights, including systematic persecution of religious minorities and severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression and assembly. Lastly, Iran has also violated numerous UN Security Council Resolutions relating to the state-sponsorship of terrorism by providing training, financial support, and arms shipments to terrorist organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  This is in clear violation of the Security Council resolutions and poses a serious threat to international security. While Iran is making claims for peace, Iran has done nothing to reverse its old ways. Promising peace does not do any good if you still support a barbarous regime, fund terrorists groups, and work to develop nuclear weapons. Sanctions shouldn’t be lifted simply based on promises, but

bbsnews
bbsnews

Israel, the Client State of the United States, will not be allowed to strike Iran.

No Iran war for you ate of Israel. Israel is the problem. 

Iran has every right to defend itself against the insane and warmongering rogue wingnuts.

cvs.bpw
cvs.bpw

I have a confession, i never much liked BIBI thought he was disrespectful to Obama several times, but i am on his side in this issue and hope that other leaders intuit what he has, after all he has to be concerned about the nation of people that he is responsible for protecting. I have a few friends from Iran and from the conversations we have they do not trust Iran and their motives. The conflict of war has always perplexed and vexed me at the same time. But where does civilization begin in terms of regulation nuclear power for peaceful purposes? the world will need it in the big picture sooner that we imagine. The Arab league is so impotent at leading and positively influencing other rogue brotherhoods, with all their money they seem to exhibit little influence at promoting peace in the region, with eyes fixed on Israel they are all missing the big picture, Israel is not the primary enemy rogue nations are. If israel goes down many of their children and children's children will have no future. Sad reality.

mirrordaemon
mirrordaemon

Fools! It is not Iran or Israel that you should worry about it is me. I plan to rule this world and everything in it. The governments and religions of the world shall crumble and and pay homage at my feet. I will cast a great shadow that will blind all men to truth and reason, he will fall upon his brother for a grain of wheat or cup of water. Those that resist my tide of influence shall be marked as undesirables and will be cleansed upon the sacrificial altar of martyrs. Have you figured out who I am? I am Fear and i dewelleth in everyman.

boulderfinfan
boulderfinfan

Israel doesn't have the courage to attack Iran on it's own or it would have done so in a sneak attack which is the MO. The truth is Israel wants a US war against Iran paid for by American taxpayer and fought by American soldiers. It'll use it's power over our congress through their lobby to get that war.

It's a shame that our congress would go to war for a foreign country instead of worrying about American people and their needs.

delight
delight


ALBERT EINSTEIN AN AMERICAN GENIUS ---- WARNING ---- 


ABOUT  THE ATROCITIES TODAY AS HE PREDICTED...


Albert Einstein's 1948 Letter to the New York Times  

Albert Einstein, who was a great humanitarian and peace activist in addition to being one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his landmark letter to the New York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why the leaders of Israel were not to be trusted and did not deserve money or support from Americans, including American Jews who believe in equality and democracy for all human beings. You can see a scanned image of the Einstein Letter by clicking the hyperlink. The letter was written by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and more than 20 other prominent Jewish intellectuals, to alert Americans and the larger world to the dangers represented by the emergence of racism, fascism, terrorism and religious fanaticism among the Zionist leadership of the newly-formed state of Israel. The letter accurately predicted some of the terrible results we see today. I have annotated the letter with [bracketed comments] to help readers understand how the "Einstein Letter" relates to the present situation. 


http://www.thehypertexts.com/Albert%20Einstein%201948%20Letter%20New%20York%20Times%20Nakba.htm...




AS AN AMERICAN I FIND IT INSULTING TO BE CALLED ANTI SEMITE AFTER MY ANCESTORS  FOUGHT AND DIED FOR YOUR FREEDOM . WE CANNOT HAVE A CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ZIONISM / TO EQUATE RELIGION WITH NATIONALISM.   THAT IS WHY WE ARE IN THE SITUATION WE ARE IN NOW. IMAGINE PEACE ON EARTH WITHOUT THIS EVIL.  I SUPPOSE ALBERT EINSTEIN WAS ALSO ANTI SEMITE !!!!!!!!


DidaNdi
DidaNdi

Why Netanyahu repeating the same thing over and over again since 1996 ? Why won't he just go ahead with his bluff?to all you warmongers like him get ready if he does to go fight for Israel instead of depending on America to do it for them

TedLeavensworth
TedLeavensworth

If your neighbour to the right is selling drugs and stocks of weapons and the neighbour to the left follows suit, and their cousin from the next block is sending them weapons and all of them are threatening to kick  you  off  from this nice Placate with them neighbourhood,  what would you  do ?     

patrick1
patrick1

Netanyahu is right. Rouhani is an integral part of an autocratic, racist government whose goal is to de-stabilize the middle east, to torture its own people and deny them basic rights, and to propagate radical Islam in an attempt to bring "death to the infidels." Who is providing weapons to Asad to butcher  his own citizens? IRAN!! Who is supporting Hizballah while they aid Asad and threaten Israel with thousands of missles? IRAN!! A smile and charm offensive from Rouhani does not constitute any major changes in Iran. What Iran needs to do is stop its policies and subterfuge before the West would even think of removing any sanctions. A typical article from Time Magazine and Karl Vick, anti-Semitic and trying to portray Israel as war-mongers. With the holocaust in the back of his mind, and multiple wars of aggression started by the Arab nations against Israel, Netanyahu is right to question the true motives of these loonies in Iran. Also, I must address the comments left here by others. Not one word from them about the massacres in Syria and all over the world, but the constant refrain of oppressing the Palestinians. Give me a break! the Palestinians enjoy a standard of living which exceeds that of most Arab countries. Maybe that's why most Palestinian Jerusalemites would prefer to remain citizens of Israel than a corrupt Palestinian state/authority.

delight
delight


http://www.american-integrity.tumblr.com


READ ALBERT EINSTEIN AN AMERICAN GENUS ---- WARNING ---- OF ZIONISM / NOT TO BE TRUSTED AND THE ATROCITIES HAPPENING TODAY AS HE PREDICTED.  
 
Albert Einstein's 1948 Letter to the New York Times  
 
If we want to understand the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we can go to a trustworthy source: Albert Einstein, who was a great humanitarian and peace activist in addition to being one of the greatest scientists of all time. In his landmark letter to the New York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why the leaders of Israel were not to be trusted and did not deserve money or support from Americans, including American Jews who believe in equality and democracy for all human beings. You can see a scanned image of the Einstein Letter by clicking the hyperlink. The letter was written by Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt, Sidney Hook and more than 20 other prominent Jewish intellectuals, to alert Americans and the larger world to the dangers represented by the emergence of racism, fascism, terrorism and religious fanaticism among the Zionist leadership of the newly-formed state of Israel. The letter accurately predicted some of the terrible results we see today. I have annotated the letter with [bracketed comments] to help readers understand how the "Einstein Letter" relates to the present situation. — Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry
 
http://www.american-integrity.tumblr.com
 
http://www.thehypertexts.com/Albert%20Einstein%201948%20Letter%20New%20York%20Times%20Nakba.htm...

DrorBenAmi
DrorBenAmi

In one of his many clips to be found on you tube, bill maher pointed out that during his lifetime the USA has killed several million people including  chinese, koreans, vietnamese, yugoslavs, iraqis, afgans, and peoples from, at least, 15 other nations. In short since 1948, when israel was founded, the USA has been at war for over 28 years in full comabat mode and another 10 years carrying out smaller scale operations. In fact, least we forget, the USA is STILL at war this very minute. 

But, according to Karl Vick, it is Netanyahu who doesn't want peace. Hey Karl, how many wars have been fought in Israel during the years Netanyahu has been Prime Minister ???


Yoshi
Yoshi

Agreed.

However, do any of you actually want to see Iran with bombs and delivery systems? I'll bet the Saudis don't, for one.

oddegg69
oddegg69

I am bigging to not trust Bibi,very much anymorem not that i ever did. 

sridhar.sid
sridhar.sid

The whole world has changed,but not Netanyahu! Nobody can afford wars and perpetual confrontation with Iran, but not Netanyahu!Iran has changed and Rouhani and his team have succeeded in convincing the world that they are reasonable people, but not Netanyahu! What  goodwill exists for Israel is slowly being wittled away by one man's obsession! Wake up,Bibi!

Openminded1
Openminded1

He is a Israeli jew, they are like muslims, they do not like anyone that is not a jew , like the muslims do not like anyone that is not muslim. That si why the fight with every one and kill people they do not like.

jhoughton1
jhoughton1

Bibi is a warmonger.  Warmongers need enemies.  When their friends make friends with their enemies, that cuts down on the sellability of paranoia and violent response.  

ThomasHall
ThomasHall

The right-wing conservative Israelis seem to need enemies to keep their support alive and to justify their heavy-handed oppression of the Palestinians that they have subjugated for over 60 years without creating a two-state solution or bringing peace to their fortress nation. Nobody ever mentions that Israel created its own nuclear weapons program in secret while putting forth a false face to teh world, still does not acknowledge their nukes nor allows AEC inspections. Hypocritical?

Peter.K
Peter.K

@AjaxLessome So you think sanctions against Iran are justified on the ground that Iran has violated the NPT. I would like to remind you that Israel hasn't even signed the NPT to begin with. So would it be just to ask for sanctions against Israel too? or are we living in a world with double standards? as far as human rights concerns goes I feel for the Iranian people but sanctions offer no comfort to people. In fact sanctions make normal people's life harder and it is like punishing people for that matter. Again is there any sanction against say China, Saudi Arabia, and host of other countries that systematically violate human rights?

ralph6675
ralph6675

Israel the problem ???? Because it exists !!!

derekcaamano
derekcaamano

@daridekas It needs to be more than just Israel that "knows better". It's pretty blatantly obvious that while Rouhani is discussing nuclear deals in Geneva, the centrifuges are still spinning back at home. 

vetramon
vetramon

@cvs.bpw What the hell you are writing about? Excepting the tragic and horrific years of Nazism, are you going to say that the jewish people never had a future wherever they were?  Don't they have a future in the USA? In Britain? In the world?  The tragic and ignorant exposition that you express is that you never mention the Palestinian children and children's children. You see the world through the eyes of somebody that has been plasticized with the only truth, the Zionist truth. 

  The sad reality is the reality of all the children of the world that has been killed and continue to be killed in senseless wars to satisfy out of this world promises, or for geopolitical reasons. Guess who are the main culprits. 

SamMcDonagle
SamMcDonagle

@mirrordaemon Very well, for I am the watcher in the dark, he who hungers, and I will find you.  I will grind your bones for my bread, I will devour the evil that you spread and turn it against you.


I am he who lurks.


In other news.  Don't trust Iran.  Seriously, think about how they treat their own people. they're going to re hang a guy who survived the first execution attempt and that'll be execution 570 or so on the year.  They make Texans look tame when it comes to executions, and that's saying somethin (Love Texans by the way-America's BAs).

vetramon
vetramon

@mirrordaemon It is so easy to play the fool and to laugh at the stupidity of humankind. I feel really sorry for you. 

SamMcDonagle
SamMcDonagle

@boulderfinfan Why do you support a country like Iran that supports terrorism and terrorists who don't just kill Israelis, but Arabs and Iranians as well?

vetramon
vetramon

It is a victory card for Zionism to always play the victim. The Jewish mass assassination during ww 2, designated inapriopriately as Holocaust, just to play in the world as a form of making us guilty for what happened to them, Nobody talk about the almost 20 millions soviet killed to defeat the Nazi. What do you think was the Nazi plan dealing with the Soviets? Are this amount of people killed another holocaust in itself?  The USSR was left in ruins after the war and you have never heard of the families of the people killed asking for compensation, as others doing it, even after so many years.

   Zionism is a danger to the world. Zionism doesn't respect anything. They only want to fulfil the Agenda proposed by its founders at any cost, even at  the cost of their supporters lives. Do not forget ever the lives of the marines killed by the Zionists aboard the USS LIBERTY.

SamMcDonagle
SamMcDonagle

@patrick1 People tend to subjectively forget about Rouhani's dedicated support for Assad in Syria, not sure why with 100,000 dead, but it's important to note.

derekcaamano
derekcaamano

@patrick1 Well said. Rouhani is as Bibi said, a "wolf in sheep's clothing" who has inherently evil intentions behind his smile on the global stage.

derekcaamano
derekcaamano

@Yoshi Absolutely not. Regardless of religion, race, morals, etc, it's not in anyone's best interests for Iran to have nuclear capabilities.

derekcaamano
derekcaamano

@sridhar.sid Rouhani has a long way to go before the "world" is convinced Iran is run by reasonable people. Currently, they're far from it and one single "moderate" leader isn't going to change that.

derekcaamano
derekcaamano

@jhoughton1 Iran is a warmonger for insisting on expanding their nuclear program behind closed doors and not allowing weapons inspectors to have full access to the country's facilities.

goldmax1974
goldmax1974

@ThomasHall here we go again with "oppression of the Palestinians."  You and your kind are completely ignoring the fact that a lot of those "poor Palestinians" are citizens of Israel that have equal constitutional rights as everyone else.  And how many non-Muslims have equal rights in most Islamic countries?  How many Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc.. are allowed to have a grocery store for example in let's say Saudi Arabia and go on about their business without being harassed by Arabs?  Start counting and I highly doubt that you'll get past 0. Arabs (not that I didn't say Muslims) are the biggest racists in the world that hate everyone who isn't Muslim and are famous for murder, rape, pillage and destruction.  Arabs have been waging wars against the entire world for centuries and to give those people a chance to for making a nuclear weapon is like giving a drunk monkey a loaded gun and sending him into a preschool.  On the other hand, you can be sure that Israel won't fire its nukes unless fired upon first.

P.S.  Those "poor, oppressed Palestinians" have received 50 times more per person of financial help from the world than originally intended.  Yet, they continue living in poverty, while their leaders (Assad and KO) are very well set.  What are you going to say that Jews are forcing Assad to pocket those donations?      

ralph6675
ralph6675

The main difference is that Israel never threatened to wipe of the map other countries  .If you don't understand that I am sorry for you

mirrordaemon
mirrordaemon

@vetramon @mirrordaemon Thank you i accept your pity my world view is very bleak filled shadows of doubt lit by the fires of anger.  hate for fellow man is just fear of that man which stems from fear of the inevitable. I fear that in man's foolish quest for immortality he will destroy himself. comedy or tragedy they both are the same


DidaNdi
DidaNdi

Tell him to do it fast ,time is running out ,let me know if you go join the fight tough guy

vetramon
vetramon

@goldmax1974 @ThomasHall Your ignorance and fanaticism has no measure. Your fantasy world is beyond the boundaries of belief. First of all, mr gold, Israel is not a secular country. That you elect secular people as rulers and not rabbis, it has nothing to do with the reality of what Israel is in itself. Tell me, mr gold, how many religions are allowed inside the limits of your nation?  Is Catholicism, Christian fundamentalism, Islamism, etc, freely allowed in your country?  How many catholic, fundamentalist churches and mosques, have been built in your country?

  Your knowledge of history is shamefully nil. You write that the Arabs have been waging wars again the world for centuries. Name one war where in these last two centuries the Arabs have waged war against the west? It is the other way around, sir. I would like to refresh your memory, but what for?  you are a fanatic.

    You made an assertion that is comical and irreal. You wrote that poor and ethical Israel won't fire its missiles unless is fired upon. Your brain is a melon. Did you forget the bombing of Iraq? Did you forget the bombing of Syria? Did you forget Palestine? Did you forget the bombing of the USS LIBERTY? Who do you think you are kidding? Do you think we are all ignorant children here?

   Your post scriptum is really an eye opening for me, and I think for many people. You Zionists are really miserable. So, according to you, you have transformed Palestine into a heavenly place where freedom is a given.

  Bye, bye , you miserable.