Livni shows a little real vision on the Iran issue?

I just read this account, from the BBC’s Tim Franks, of what looked like some kind of cross between a ‘war-game’ and a panel discussion about Iran’s nuclear program, held yesterday at Israel’s close-to-power ‘Inter-Disciplinary Center’ (IDC), in Herzliya.
Well-connected and high-level participants from both the U.S. Israeli took part in the event, though not, apparently, any currently serving officials in either government.
Franks wrote this about Tzipi Livni, the head of Israel’s main opposition party, Kadima:

    Ms Livni directed particular criticism at the current Israeli Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu repeated warnings about a second Holocaust.
    “The role of leadership is to give an answer to this kind of threat,” she said, rather than to stoke worry.
    “Israel in 2010 is not the Jews in Europe in 1939.”

Franks also wrote that Daniel Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, said that, time and again, during ‘war-games’ or consultations of this type held jointly between Israeli and American participants,

    a marked difference of emphasis would emerge from the role-playing, with the Israelis favouring military action as a ‘first course of response’, and the US tending to look at alternatives.
    In that context, there was a particularly striking contribution from Dan Halutz, the previous chief of staff of the Israeli armed forces, and another participant in the day of war-gaming.
    He argued strongly not just for talk of military pre-emption, but diplomatic pre-emption.
    He said that the Iranians should be isolated from the rest of the Muslim world, which, he claimed, was “by and large more concerned than Israel is about a nuclear Iran.”
    The way to do that, he said, was clear: a comprehensive regional peace settlement. “The price is known, all the files are ready.”

Ah, Dan Halutz! The guy who was so certain back in July 2006 that he knew exactly how to “isolate” Hizbullah from the rest of the Lebanese population!
What an idiot. Why should anyone consider him an expert on anything to do with the politics of the Muslim countries of the region?
Still, it sounded like an interesting gathering.
And I find it interesting that some high-level Israelis are willing to talk so openly about the way they see the ‘linkage’ operating between the Iran situation and the need for Israel-Palestine peacemaking. This, though Israel’s willing armies of hasbaristas inside the U.S. body politic are still so absolutely adamant that no-one in the west should assert that there’s any linkage between the two issues at all…
My assessment is that current PM Netanyahu also believes that there is and should be linkage between the two– but that he sees it operating in a way that’s almost 180 degrees turned round from the view Halutz was expressing. I think Netanyahu’s real view is something like the following:

    1. He may well believe that Iran is aiming at, and may get to, the possession of a nuclear weapons capability within the next few years. But he isn’t really very scared by that prospect– despite what all his armies of hasbaristas are yelling in the west– because he knows full well that Israel’s own nuclear arsenal is completely well poised to destroy Iran and come to that the whole world if Israel chooses what we might call the “Samson option”. (The hasbaristas, of course, are not allowed to make any mention at all, however indirect, of Israel’s own NW capability.)
    2. Nonetheless, Netanyahu is very happy indeed to keep tensions high around the Iranian nuclear program, and to carry on inciting/pressuring the U.S. to escalate these tensions (including by delivering threats that if the U.S. doesn’t act ‘forcefully’, then Israel just might have to launch its own military strike against Iran)– primarily because keeping the attention of U.S. officials focused on ‘containing’ and threatening Iran prevents them from giving due attention to what’s happening on the ground in occupied Palestine. It’s all an elaborate distraction ploy!
    3. Therefore, meanwhile, as American officials are fussing around and devoting huge resources to ‘containing’ and combating Iran, Netanyahu’s government is very busy indeed continuing with its policy of colonizing the West Bank and shutting up all its rightful Palestinian owners inside the increasingly overcrowded open-air pens called “Oslo”. Every time Americans dare to challenge that policy, Netanyahu distracts their attention to Iran. And any Americans appeals to the idea that what Netanyahu’s doing in the OPTs might be making the fight against Iran harder is met with squeals of outrage from the hasbaristas to the effect that there really cannot be any “linkage” between these two issues.

Bottom line: Whereas Halutz judges there is cross-issue linkage, but within that picture assigns the need to counter Iran a higher priority than the need to preserve the entire, continuing settler-colonial project in the West Bank, Netanyahu judges there is linkage but assigns the need to preserve the settler-colonial project a higher priority than the need to do anything to actually counter Iran.
… Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what happens now that the “initiative” on the Iran issue seems to be slipping out of the hands of Washington and into the new hands of Turkey’s Erdogan and Brazil’s Lula, backed up by the broad network of supporters that both those leaders have around the world.
Is Netanyahu perhaps already planning the launching of Israeli dirty tricks against both those governments?

6 thoughts on “Livni shows a little real vision on the Iran issue?

  1. Frank al Irlandi

    because he knows full well that Israel’s own nuclear arsenal is completely well poised to destroy Iran and come to that the whole world if Israel chooses what we might call the “Samson option”
    The Whole World??
    The Samson option is about inflicting economic devastation on the surrounding countries in a last ditch strike, and is well documented.
    It is unlikely that they would fire nuclear weapons at the French, the UK, the Russians the Chinese or the other nuclear players. Tel Aviv would disappear in a cloud of smoke if they did.
    Disarming the Israelis is a necessary first step in implementing President Obama’s nuclear free world strategy.

  2. Neil M

    Your 3-point assessment nails it very nicely. The wholly Israel/neocon-inspired Iran Talk is obviously a distraction from Israel’s West Bank Piece Process. The spectre of Israel attacking Iran is, from a military standpoint, as ludicrous an example of self-deceptive group-think as one could ever hope to stumble upon. Israel itself and hundreds of thousands of US assets, troops and mercenaries etc, are within Iran’s verifiable radius of sustained retaliation.
    Uncle Sam could become very unsympathetic, very quickly, toward an Israel which unilaterally decided to expose them to the risk of massive “collateral damage”.
    There are just too many vulnerable targets in the Middle East for an Iranian retaliation to be solicited by either Israel or the US of A.

  3. epppie

    It’s good to speculate about Netanyahu’s motivations, since it’s obvious that Iran is NOT a threat and he knows it, but it’s pretty absurd to ignore the fact that Obama knows EXACTLY the same thing, so why is he so hellbent on hyping the fake Iran threat as much as he can?
    Let’s talk about that.
    And while we are doing this essential speculation, essential because we all know that neither Netanyahu nor Obama really thinks Iran is a threat, anymore than W really thought Iraq was a threat, do you think we could try to remember that just because actually attacking Iran would be insane doesn’t mean they won’t do it? How many times now have we seen that the ‘leaders’ of both Israel and the US WILL in fact do the insane? The immoral? The vicious and wrong? Yes, they will. So stop assuming that it’s all a bunch of damn bravado. These people are awfully serious about their warmongering for a bunch of bravado. It’s gone far past that now, and you need to start recognizing that.
    And the moment you start hanging anything on the peg of Livni’s credibility, that’s the moment that you need to take a step back from the self-delusions of the coopted alternapundits. Stop believing that the powerholders you love to watch are sane. They are mostly sociopaths. LOOK AT THEIR TRACK RECORD IF YOU DOUBT THAT. Do you even remember the Gaza Slaughter that Livni led?

  4. Neil M

    I wish to take issue with epppie’s question “How many times now have we seen that the ‘leaders’ of both Israel and the US WILL in fact do the insane?”
    Yes. Insane … like a fox.
    A brief review of the tediously long list of targets for America’s post-WWII military aggression will reveal that, with the exception of Korea and Vietnam, America, like Israel, prefers its targets to be soft and notionally defenseless. So while one may be tempted to describe the decision to embark on these adventures as insane, the fact remains that all of them involve a degree of political and military risk-averseness better described as cowardice – of which Iraq is the most blatant example. Iraq was weakened after its war with Iran and suffered significant loss of military capability in Gulf War 1. Then the USA and UK spent almost a decade weakening it with sanctions and comprehensively disarming it in preparation for the 2003 invasion.
    The only insanity involved was the insane disregard for the lives and human rights of Iraqis and the disregard for the laws of war revealed by America’s refusal to act honorably after the surrender of the Iraqi armed forces.
    America’s embarrassing lack of military ability/credibility is on display for all to see in Afghanistan where an angry population and a few thousand low-tech goat-herders and poppy farmers are consistently outfoxing the World’s only Superpower – little more than a decade after dispatching the pretender to 2nd place.
    Iran is quite safe. Iran knows it and America knows it.
    Another insane aspect to the Iran Talk is that most young Iranians, up until recently, admired America and would like to have been born American.

  5. HALI

    Isolating Iran form other Muslims?
    A pipe dream..those who talk of such a scenario fail to understand what Islam is!
    The Islamic people are united..the corrupt governments are not!The difference is there..
    Hizbullah is the most popular organization.in Muslim lands…..by the way..figure it out why and how?

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