Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Who is right on Iran ?
One thing is clear after this weeks meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama and that is that the Israeli leader unlike the new President does not view the peace process as a priority. All Netanyahu sees is Iran. While in opposition he crossed the the globe warning of the threat from Persia. To be fair I do understand where he is coming from. The entire concept of an Israeli state is for Jews to protect themselves and to prevent the events of the second World War from ever happening again to the Jewish people. "Never again" is pretty much the nations motto. You are probably thinking, but Jews could never again be rounded up and herded into gas chambers on mass. True, but a Muslim nation could develop a nuclear weapon, smuggle that weapon to terrorist organisations operating on Israels borders who could make use of it and there you are, the Jewish people would be suffering their second holocaust in 65 years except this time it would be a nuclear one. Non Jews probably will never understand the utter determination to make sure that if that threat comes, they will face up to it themselves. They will not be helpless and they will not rely on others to stand up for and rescue them. They tried that once. It didn't work and six million perished.
Iran announced today that it successfully tested and is now mass producing a new long range missile
So to what extent does this put Netanyahu at odds with the Obama administration. The way I see it, not that much. The truth is both men have the same agenda. Unlike most pro Israeli commentators I cannot possibly see why Netenyahu would be angered by Obama's olive branch to Iran. He hopes it will work. The reality is the Israelis have not restrained themselves from bombing Iran due to any sense of respect for international law. They are willing to bomb Iran. They are just not able to do so as the location and quantity of Iran's nuclear facilities are not known accurately. If they were it would have happened by now. Netanyahu knows that the military approach is extremely undesirable particularly in the current global economic climate. Iran has the capacity to significantly worsen the global recession by blockading the strait of Hormuz and causing general mayhem in the Persian Gulf resulting in oil prices skyrocketing in the process. I'm sure Obama made that clear to the Prime Minister and I'm sure the PM replied with something like, keep trying your way, best of luck with it, but in the meantime we are continuing our efforts to perfect an air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities and if we succeed in doing so, we are taking that chance. Obama's response I suspect would be, fair enough but for Gods sake let us know in advance so we can prepare for the turbulent aftermath.