Time for US ‘Red Lines’ for Bibi Netanyahu

By Ludwig Watzal

On September 27th, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly witnessed a ridiculous appearance of Netanyahu. He not only presented a self-drawn cartoon, which made headlines all over the world, but in fact, he looked more cartoonist than his self-drawn graph. Some Israeli officials think he is ‘deranged’; some call him ‘messianic’. At least, his speech showed to the world that these judgments hit the nail on the head.

Because the US Americans did not follow Netanyahu’s orders to draw “red lines” for the Iranians so he did it himself amateurishly and political foolishly. Netanyahu’s UN speech was fluffy and mere rhetoric and not so much directed to the world but rather to the American political class. Netanyahu might think that only they are important. The rest of the worlds are mere bystanders. He knows the American political system back to front, and he knows the US politicians, what makes them tick. He is not “irrational” as he confirmed towards “ynet news” from August 5, 2012, Netanyahu said: “I would prefer that the US attack Iran, but the likelihood of that is small.” And to the characterization as a “messianic” by Shin Bet-chief Yuval Diskin he replied that “he is being completely rational in considering the matter”.

After his rant before the UN Netanyahu has finally become an embarrassment even for the fawning corporate media in the US. Nobody bothers about his speech; it was all in the cartoon. His meddling in US elections and internal affairs directly, via the Israeli embassy and AIPAC causes some US Americans to question the “unshakable” alliance with Israel. Netanyahu and its right-wing pro-Likud cheerleaders in the US do everything to get Mitt Romney elected as the next President. They expect from him to start a war against Iran together with Israel. But for such an illegal attack it seems that not even Romney gave Israel’s hawkish Prime Minister a go-ahead.

Romney, who had spoken to Netanyahu, said that publicly threatening to attack Iran would be enough and he would not take it “off the table”. He hopes that the US can prevent any military action. In their talk, Romney avoided to support Netanyahu’s call for “red lines” and an “ultimatum” against Iran. But he added that he would “respect” any decision Israel would take to go to war with Iran. 

By keeping the Iranian alleged nuclear issue publicly on the boil, the Israeli government distracts the international community from two real important topics: Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people and its own vast atomic arsenal that is off limits for the inspectors of the “International Atomic Energy Agency“(IAEA) in Vienna. Before the US and its Western cronies demanding from Iran to drop its pants in the nuclear issue, they have to press Israel to comply with the IAEA and to sign the “Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (NPT), which Iran has signed and observers meticulously. This gives the Western warmongers no casus belli. All the other bombastic accusations against the Iranian leadership and their alleged support of terrorism are not supported by hard facts.

More important than making unsubstantiated charges against Iran’s fictional nuclear weapons program, US President Obama should draw “red lines” for the Israeli government to sign the NPT and open up its nuclear installations for the IAEA inspectors. Instead of threatening Iran with an attack on a regular basis, Netanyahu and his right-wing government should be forced by the US government to end the 45-year-old occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, comply with international law and respect the human rights of the Palestinian people. On a personal level, Obama should make it clear to Netanyahu to stop making a fool of him and stop acting up with him publically.

Would an attack on Iran give the Israeli government the political opportunity to finish the job from 1948? In 1989, in a speech before students of the Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said inter alia: “Israel should have, as the world’s attention was focused on China, taken advantage of the repression of the demonstrations to carry out mass expulsions of Arabs.”

There are some farsighted US strategists whose answer to the question of a nuclear Iran is: So what! Indeed, a nuclear Iran would contribute to the stability in the region as the renowned scholar Kenneth Waltz has pointed out in his article “Why Iran should get the Bomb?” It was published in the July/August issue of “Foreign Affairs”.  The bottom line of his argument was: “When it comes to the nuclear weapons, now as ever, more may be better. “ This means loosely translated, according to Waltz, that when it comes to nuclear weapons, their spread could still secure peace. 

Up till now, none of the nuclear powers have ever attacked another nuclear power. All the belligerent talk about attacking Iran would be over with the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran and stability would return to the troubled Middle Eastern region. History of the last 60 years shows that nuclear deterrence works.

– Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. He runs a bilingual bog “Between the lines.

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