One curious thing about the Israel lobby is that so many of its staff seem to be clairvoyants. Each foresees the same thing: Iran is less than one year away from having a nuclear bomb.
The certainty of these soothsayers is awe-inspiring. Time may pass and evidence may be produced to the contrary. Yet they keep warning us of the imminent apocalyspe.
The Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP) is led by such visionaries. Robert Satloff, director of that august body, has carefully decoded every nuance in Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent speech to the US Congress.
According to Satloff, the “key sentence” in the address contained a warning that any deal leaving Iran’s nuclear programme “intact” would enable it build a bomb within 12 months. Satloff indicated that he held “conversations with two long-time Israeli defence officials” who confirmed that their nation’s intelligence services share Netanyahu’s fears.
Satloff is quite audacious. Although he concedes that the Israeli “security and intelligence establishment has not been viewed as a cheerleader” for Netanyahu’s “overall Iran policy,” he is convinced that they agree on this point. Why? Because unnamed “defence officials” told him.
Referring to conversations with anonymous insiders is a tried and tested way of sounding authoritative. Often, a reader has no way of testing if non-attributed “information” is reliable. In this case, however, there are good reasons to believe that Satloff has either been hoodwinked or that he is trying to hoodwink everyone else.
– Read more: The dodgy clairvoyants of the Israel lobby – David Cronin