By Ludwig Watzal
Netanyahu’s speech at the UN General Assembly was a political impudence. He showed the world that he has not understood the signs of times. He seemed out of place with diplomacy and still caught up in aggressive rhetoric. He threatened Iran with an attack. If no other country wants to participate in a raid, Israel will do it alone, he said. President Obama should be forewarned and made clear that the U. S. would not help Israel in a war of aggression. The U. S. should not accept any longer to be jerked around by a politically deranged leader of a tiny country.
The Israeli leadership freaked out politically when noticing a rapprochement between Iran and the U. S. Netanyahu seems not to have understood the writing on the wall. The American people are fed up with spilling their boys’ blood for other countries’ interests. In case of Iran, 85 per cent of the American public favors diplomacy over war. It seems as if the belligerent American political class can only be stopped by massive public opinion, as the case of Syria has shown. Whether the Zionist lobby AIPAC can overturn antiwar opinion by financially supporting the U. S. midterm elections remains to be seen.
Netanyahu showed a lack of political acumen when he dismissed the Rosh Hashanah greeting of Iran’s newly elected President Hassan Rohani to the Jewish people as politically motivated. He furthermore accused him of being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” for his rant before the UN General Assembly. Netanyahu called Rohani’s predecessor even a “wolf in wolf’s clothing”, forgetting that he himself behaves politically only slightly better. There are occasional diplomatic voices that reject Israel’s destructive influence on the negotiations of the five veto powers and Germany with Iran. To succeed with Iran on the nuclear issue, Israel should be bypassed.
For the last 20 years, Netanyahu’s political fad has been to warn the world of Iran’s fictive “atomic bomb”, which was alleged to be just around the corner. This bogus “Iranian threat”, however, is now widely recognized as a phantom. All the intelligence agencies know it. And even the notorious Mossad knows that Iran’s nuclear program is neither an existential threat to Israel, let alone to the U. S. So why is Netanyahu still beating the drums of war? To keep the “phantom menace” alive serves a single purpose: Israel intends to maintain its hegemony over the entire Middle East and does not want to make real concessions to the Palestinians despite the ongoing secret “negotiations”. The Israeli security establishment fears that it would lose its maneuverability and the usefulness of its own deterrence should Iran acquire nuclear capability. A look at the facts shows who presents a danger to world peace.
Israel is the fourth strongest military power in the world. Armed to the teeth with 100 to 300 nuclear warheads, five submarines capable of carrying nuclear weapons, and a significant biological and chemical weapons arsenal and led by an aggressively behaving political leadership, which threats Iran with an attack. Contrary to Israel, Iran has signed the NPT Treaty and its nuclear – intended to serve only peaceful purposes – is under tight scrutiny of the IAEA. The country has also signed and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Israel has only signed but not ratified the CWC. Since the Islamic revolution, the Iranian leadership has rejected the production of nuclear and biological weapons on ethical and religious grounds. Out of opportunism, the West does not believe statements by elected Iranian leaders, but believes every declaration made by Osama bin Laden or his phantom. Even if Iran would develop a nuclear weapon, it could not use it because it would take years before they could weaponize it. Should Iran actually proceed to do so, Israel and the U. S. could within hours obliterate the country. The U. S. alone has almost 8,000 nuclear warheads.
However, Iran has every reason to distrust the U. S. and Israel. Both countries conduct cyber warfare (Stuxnet) against Iran. The U.S. engages in direct and indirect economic warfare against the country and its citizens. The U.S. and Israel also presumably stand behind the assassination of Iranian scientists. The U. S. and its Western allies have earlier provided poison gas to Saddam Hussein who used it against its own people and against Iran during the war from 1980 to 1988. Iran cannot forget that nations that have no credible deterrent are liable to invaded by the United States as the case of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya shows and perhaps Syria if it surrenders its chemical weapons totally.
The reason why Netanyahu goes berserk is his fear that Israel will be politically isolated should Iran and the U. S. strike a deal. That is why he will order his Zionist cohorts to Capitol Hill in order to increase pressure on the U. S. lawmakers and try to torpedo any such potential deal. Until now he knows that corporate media is on Israel’s side. Would Israel’s attitude change if Iran would officially recognize Israel right to exist? Iran has never questioned this right. Iran questioned Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, including Jerusalem. Has the Israeli leadership forgotten that both countries collaborated very well during the Iraq-Iran war? And does it ignore that the largest Jewish community within the Islamic world lives well in Iran? During his visit to the United Nations Rohani was accompanied by the Jewish representative of the Iranian parliament.
Israel’s long term interests might be best served by stopping its belligerent rhetoric against Iran and by bringing its obedient U. S. senators on Capitol Hill to walk the line.
-Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog: Between the lines. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.