12 04 2012


Israel continues to pursue tension over Iran

For many years the bells of war have been ringing in the Middle East and Israel has been ringing them. The world press has been for a long time reporting of an approaching war in the Middle East and the coverage always relates to Israel. It is said that stability is a great need of the Middle East and peace an absolute necessity, yet Israel is always blowing the whistle of war.

Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister for the first time in 1996. Straight after his election to office, Netanyahu travelled to the USA on an official visit. During his time in Washington DC, Netanyahu delivered a speech to the US Congress and said “Iran is the greatest threat”. According to Netanyahu Iran was “a threat to the entire civilised world”.

Those who listened to Netanyahu’s speech in 1996 heard that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons and was very close to its target. Back in 1996, Netanyahu told them that Iran should be stopped from realising its aim as soon as possible.

The same year, in 1996, Netanyahu’s foreign minister Ehud Barak told the UN Security Council that Iran would certainly have produced an atomic bomb within eight years and that it would use it against the free world. Had Barak been right, Iran would have acquired the atomic bomb by 2004.

2004 has come to pass. In 2005, Israel declared that Iran had passed a key phase of uranium enrichment and w aver close to producing atomic weaponry. According to official Israeli assessments Iran had gone past the point of no return in its quest to acquire nuclear weapons.

About seven years ago...

In 2005, MOSSAD had claimed that with its progress in the nuclear field, Iran had attained enough power to threaten the existence of Israel. The analyses published had claimed that Iran had acquired the capability to pursue its nuclear ambitions without any external assistance. Saul Mofaz, the Israeli Defence Minister of the time, had told the USA and the international community that there was less than a year to stop Iran. The same year various Israeli reports claimed that Iran would definitely have nuclear weapons in early 2007. The first “certain report” on the matter actually dates back to 1993. In 1993 the Israeli government had claimed that Iran would use an atomic bomb in 1996!

A long time has passed since 1996 and even 2005. The world has changed, circumstances have changed, aims and problems have changed. But not everything has changed. Today Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel and Ehud Barak is its Defence Minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister again in 2009 and gave a seat in his cabinet to Ehud Barak. 16 years on Netanyahu and Barak still claim that Iran is the greatest threat. After 16 years, the duo still argue that Iran is a threat to the free world and yes; of course Iran may develop nuclear weapons at any moment and use them ruthlessly.

Generations around the world have grown up being told how dangerous Iran is over the last three decades. Perhaps Iran’s political composition seems unlikeable or even disturbing to many, but over the course of these decades Iran has not initiated any wars.

During this time, Iran has not invaded any countries. Perhaps the regime in Iran is not known for being democratic or politically mature, but given the position of Saudi Arabia, this hardly seems to be a fundamental requirement.

Yet the clarion call of war has been ringing since the beginning of the 80s. According to Israel, Iran is unforgivable. Iran cannot be tolerated and it cannot be stopped using any option short of military.

Perhaps Iran truly is running a project which will ruin the entire world, based on a great secret plan. Perhaps Iran will develop nuclear weapons and launch them against every other country. Yet for some reason Israel does not appear convincing or credible at all. It reminds one of those weapons of mass destruction which were used as a cause for war and then never discovered in Iraq.

Should someone you trust deceive you, you would think it was by mistake. Should it happen a second time you would think it is due to bad luck. If you must, you can chalk up the third time to coincidence, the fourth to misfortune and the fifth to error. Yet if you have been constantly deceived regarding the same issue for the past 30 years, you will need to find a new definition for what is going on.

Looking at the past 33 years, the past three years and the past three months, Israel appears to be more dangerous than Iran.

The Wikileaks documents pertaining to Israel show for one that the USA should beware of Israel’s threat perception and defence conception which are dominated by its fanaticism.

There is no doubt that Iran has problems in coming to accord with the international community. But the same applies also to Israel. Israel disregards decisions of the UN Security Council. It violates international law in Palestine. On many issues, especially Palestine, Israel prefers illegitimate decisions and practices.

For example, despite all the warnings of the international community, Israel continues settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land. It sabotages all peace efforts with its negative approach. By the de facto situation of its own making, Israel completely demolishes the vision of a two state solution.

The UN Security Council has accepted five new proposals against Israel on the issues of “Israel’s violation of Palestinian human rights”, “the violation of the Palestinian right to self determination”, “illegal settlements”, “human rights violations in the Golan Heights” and “the implementation of the Gaza Commission Report”. The proposals have been accepted by the Council by a great majority. A new commission has been founded to investigate the settlements Israel has allowed on occupied Palestinian land in defiance of international laws. Another accepted proposal has decided that the commission which has found the Israeli assault on the ship Mavi Marmara illegal should pursue the outcome of its report. Israel has condemned the proposed decision. Netanyahu has accused the UN Security Council of “hypocrisy”.

Most recently, Israel has decided to make public 1,235 acres of land belonging to the Palestinian village of Valaja in the West Bank under the pretext of building a park. The Israeli Parliament has voted to set aside financial resources in order to support these settlements which are in breach of international law. Indeed legislation has been passed in order to give tax benefits to those financing settlement projects.

It is unknown when Iran will become a nuclear power. No one can guess when Iran will attack the entire world with nuclear weapons. Given that these have not taken place on dates Israel has previously given, it is unlikely they will happen on dates Israel will give.

However, Israel has been trampling the law according to concrete, document and certain evidence, not assumptions and guesses. Israeli military boots step not only on legal texts but also on the conscience of the international community and the rule of the law. This danger should have larger sirens ringing even louder.

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