During his recent trip to Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the following statement:
“We in the Middle East have followed the American policy in Iraq for a long time, and we are very much impressed and encouraged by the stability which the great operation of America in Iraq brought to the Middle East. We pray and hope that this policy will be fully successful so that this stability which was created for all the moderate countries in the Middle East will continue.”
Embarrassing would be the word. Or delusional. Or sycophantic. Or bizarre. Or perhaps just stupid. The leader of the Jewish state is certainly a canny operator.
Suffice to say, his comments have led to a wave of ridicule (here and here.) Ynetnews commentator Nahum Barnea writes: “The crippled shall help the blind, said our forefathers. The cripple in this analogy is Bush, while the self inflicted blind man is Olmert.”
Olmert and Bush talked about the Iranian “threat” and the various ways to isolate Iran (none of which will work, of course, not least because the US so desperately needs Iranian assistance in Iraq.) The Jerusalem Post clearly wants confrontation with the Iranian regime:
A realism worthy of the name would begin with this basic premise: The refusal to confront and punish aggressive tyrants will not result in their moderation but in the opposite – more terrorism, greater threats, and a less free and more unstable world. We hope that Bush does not need Olmert to remind him of this, and that our prime minister’s confidence is better placed than meets the eye.
The Israeli establishment may be talking up the need to deal militarily with Iran – and guess whose protection it would need if such an attack occurred? – but how likely is it? Time magazine’s Tony Karon fears the worst:
Olmert and company have long been doing a hard sell on the idea that any enrichment of uranium in Iran somehow constitutes an intolerable menace to Israel — that’s a pretty bizarre benchmark, of course, one that is certain to get Israel into a disastrous war with much of the region (and it ought to have learned by its misadventure in Lebanon last summer that elective wars could actually prove to be a more dangerous threat to Israel’s survival than are the doings of Iran’s nuclear scientists). But Olmert insists that Iranian enrichment leads inexorably to a nuclear-armed Hizballah!
Karon writes that the “Likud lobby is going to work hard to start a war with Iran in the lame duck years of the Bush Administration.”
I share his conclusions. The utter failure of the Iraq mission seems not to have dimmed the desires of militant Zionists to wage perpetual war in the Middle East. The Diaspora Jewish community remains mute against the forces so determined to bomb/invade/nuke Iran. After all, in their view, they’re only Iranians, and Jews are the chosen people.
The Zionist lobby will continue to demand aggression against the Islamic state, no matter the costs to Israel, the region, the world and the Iranian people. They are addicted to the notion that Israel can survive forever if it bombs its way to success. Unfortunately, Israel’s position in the Middle East is more precarious than ever. Opening negotiations with Iran are essential to at least determine a way forward.
21st century Zionism has morphed into an ideology that only knows expansion, occupation, degradation and invasion. This may appeal to the radical, frightened fringes of the Jewish community, but the rest of the world – away from the UK, US and Australian governments – simply see an immoral and belligerent state with little to offer other than never-ending aggression. The nearly 40-year occupation and recent war in Lebanon now defines the Jewish state for much of the world. How do Jews feel about the fact that, according to this Haaretz report, “During the second Lebanon war, Israel made use of American-made cluster bombs that left behind thousands of unexploded bomblets, even though Israel Military Industries produces cluster bombs that leave nearly no unexploded munitions.”
Israel’s long-term future requires making friends in the region, not guaranteeing more enemies. What happens when the US starts to disengage from the Middle East? Who will Israel turn to then? India? China? It’s a question that most Zionists haven’t the foresight to even consider.
UPDATE: Speaking of the insidious, radical Zionist lobby…