Haaretz knows better. Still
it misreports on Iran. On August 12, its editorial headlined "Netanyahu's
dangerous demagoguery on Iran" saying:
"Iranian nuclear weapons are a threat to Israel - but its leaders' demagoguery
is just as dangerous."
Haaretz, Israeli officials, US and other Western ones know Iran has
no nuclear weapons program. It likely has no intention of pursuing one.
It abhors them and wants a nuclear-free Middle East.
Israel alone in the region is menacing. It has a powerful arsenal and
declared intention to use it if threatened. Instead of pointing fingers
the wrong way, Haaretz editorial policy should report responsibly.
Iran threatens no one. It hasn't attacked another country in over 200
years. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous. No one in the region and
beyond is safe.
Haaretz said Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak hope enlisting
public opinion support will overcome majority ministerial and defense
establishment anti-war opposition.
Haaretz isn't against war. It wants decisions this important decided
by senior cabinet officials, not one or two alone. Netanhayu's "goal
might be democratic," it said, "but (his) method is demagogic.
"There is no real difference of opinion between the public and its leadership
when it comes to determination not to live in the shadow of Iranian
nuclear weapons as long as the regime in Iran is extremist and openly
seeks Israel's destruction."
Iran's government isn't extremist. It doesn't seek Israel's destruction.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others said its policies are self-destructive.
Responsible analysts know it's true.
Haaretz said "(t)he question is not 'acquiescence or war,' but rather
whether all other means have been exhausted, leaving no choice but to
These type comments are irresponsible. No nation may interfere in the
affairs of others. Preemptive attacks are lawless. Self-defense alone
justifies military responses. Claiming "Iranian nuclear weapons are
dangerous for Israel" is journalistic demagoguery.
Haaretz knows better. It's time it showed it. Instead, it headlined
"Israeli official: Iran has made progress toward developing nuclear
An unnamed Israeli official claimed new US/Israeli/other Western intelligence
"shows that the Iranian activity around the 'weapon group' - the final
stage in the development of a nuclear weapon - is progressing far beyond
the scope known to the" IAEA.
Allegedly Obama knew a week ago. Barak says acting now is "more urgent."
"A senior Jerusalem official said Iran has made significant progress
in developing the components for assembling a nuclear warhead for a
Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 1,500 kilometers, allowing it
to hit any part of Israel."
On August 9, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington has "enough
of an awareness….to be sure that Iran has not begun to pursue breakout
capacity and that we would have time to respond to that as necessary."
US National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said US intelligence
shows Tehran "is not on the verge of achieving nuclear weapons."
Netanyahu and Barak falsely claim otherwise. They also repeat the canard
about Iran "openly declar(ing) its intention to destroy the State of
Israel." On August 10, Netanyahu added:
"In spite of decisions by the UN Security Council, harsh sanctions and
repeated proposals to reach a diplomatic solution, the Iranian regime
ignores the international community, misleads inspectors and races to
carry out its intention of equipping itself with nuclear weapons."
Ari Shavit is Haaretz's resident hawk. He's both senior correspondent
and member of its editorial board. On August 11, he headlined "A grave
warning on Iran from 'the decision maker' - Israel News."
Israel/Palestine 972mag.com contributor Dimi Reider said Israelis awoke
"to a deafening, orchestrated drumroll…." Headlines from four major
dailies beat drums for war. "The soloist of this dubious ensemble was….Shavit."
He interviewed Barak. He reported about him anonymously. He called him
"the decision maker." Shavit is both resident Haaretz hawk and "sycophantic
town crier." He wrote:
"The Decision-Maker is a controversial man. There was a time he was
seen here as a savior, and immediately afterwards, a leper."
"And again, a near-savior, and again, a leper. But even those opposed
to The Decision-Maker admit he’s highly intelligent. Even those with
reservations about him are aware he is possessed of unique strategic
"For half-a-century, The Decision-Maker has been traveling around the
core of the security establishment of the state. On more than one occasion,
he was the core."
"He has respect for both supporters of an action in Iran and its opponents.
But although he had thought over the matter once again, he remains unmoved
from his original position and is utterly convinced that he is right."
Reider calls Barak "the most widely loathed and unelectable politician
in Israel." Shavit posed softball questions. He let Barak get away with
"ridiculous statement(s)." Instead of challenging him responsibly, he
t(ook) up the cheerleader's baton."
If Israel attacks Iran, "history should remember the shameful role (Shavit)
has cast himself to play." Instead of journalistic integrity, he's both
apologist and cheerleader for war.
He doesn't quit. Israel needs covert US backing to attack Iran, he says.
Earlier in August he conducted another anonymous interview. He described
a "tall quiet gentleman. He "made a major contribution to Israel's existence."
He called Iran's "nuclearization unacceptable." It'll embolden Israel's
enemies, he said. Terrorists might get hold of dirty bombs. Israel could
be contaminated or exterminated. Other regional states would want their
own programs. Greater instability than now would follow.
Israel can't tolerate what jeopardizes its existence. Perhaps being
a good neighbor would change things. Shavit and his anonymous subject
left that issue unaddressed.
Also unmentioned was Israel's nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals.
One or more of them is reason enough for regional states to want greater
protection from their real threat.
Last May, former Hebrew University/Jerusalem Professor Yehezkel Dror
published a report titled "An Integrated Imperative: Attack Iran and
Launch a Regional Peace Initiative," saying:
"The possession of nuclear weapons by Iran poses serious dangers to
Israel because" Tehran may use them. Greater regional proliferation
"If Iran advances towards construction of a nuclear weapon is not halted,
Israel will have no choice but to attack (its) facilities while they
are still vulnerable."
Dror is both lapdog and cheerleader for war. Imagine what he taught
students in classrooms.
He's Machiavellian, not reasoned. Imagine proposing war and peace simultaneously.
He replicates America's Dr. Strangelove. Stanley Kubrick's film satirically
depicted a deranged general's obsession to wage nuclear war.
Dror's analysis employs false logic. On the one hand, he calls an Iranian
attack on Israel "small or very small." At the same time, he claims
Iran is likely to use nuclear weapons against Israel if not stopped.
He also dismisses severe damage from an Iranian attack. Then he worries
"Renewed clashes on the eastern front, war in the north, confrontations
with Egypt, rocket and missile attacks, a new type of Intifada, megaterror,
large scale cyber-attacks, innovative forms of passive resistance, non-violent
mass aggression, and so on."
He calls preventive war moral. He says claims about immorality are "primitive
and should be rejected."
His arguments are convoluted and contradictory. Attack a nonbelligerent
country to prevent a war unlikely to happen, he urges. Reduce potential
dangers by increasing them. Kill Iranians and Israelis to save lives
and promote peace.
At the same time, he calls his scenario a "fuzzy gamble." Results could
be "tragic." Evidence supporting is analysis is absent. Rhetoric substitutes
Acting responsibly isn't considered. Convince Israelis and others to
go along with what may harm or destroy them. Forget about rationality
and safety. Just act. Disregard consequences.
If public opinion expresses opposition, ignore it. If failure looks
more likely than success, gamble and chance it anyway. Netanyahu and
Barak espouse the same hawkishness.
Shoot first and ask questions later. Dror gives them intellectual ammunition
to ready, aim, fire.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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