Palestine v. Nuclear Iran: Quid Pro Quo for Israel?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 5 months ago

Rahm Emanuel’s ego is writing checks that our bank account can’t cash.

Thwarting Iran’s nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Israeli TV reports said Monday that Emanuel made the comments in a closed-door meeting the previous day with 300 major AIPAC donors.

Last month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel that it risks losing Arab support for combating threats from Iran if it rejects peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Clinton said Arab nations had conditioned helping Israel counter Iran on Jerusalem’s commitment to the peace process.

We’ve been through this before.  The Palestinians don’t want a state.  When they discuss “the occupation,” they mean the very existence of Israel.  Progress on “peace negotiations” is an impossible goal with one party seeking the destruction of the other.

So Israel is supposed to show progress, the Arab nations are supposed to pressure Iran, and Iran suddenly decides to relinquish its nuclear program?  This is their plan?  That’s it?  This, after recent news of the continuing obfuscation of issues surrounding the nuclear program?  This plan has no chance of succeeding.  Amir Taheri has outlined the most recent instances of Iranian hegemony, weaving together a tapestry of an ideology bent on domination.

For all who believe that the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons and the prospect of mutually assured destruction is a deterrent to Iranian nuclear ambitions, Norman Podhoretz slammed the door on that by explaining why, from a geographical standpoint, the situation in Israel has no analogue to any other region of the world.

… even Ahmadinejad’s predecessor as president and the current Speaker of the Assembly of Experts, the Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, known far and wide as a “moderate,” has declared that his country would not be deterred by the fear of retaliation: “If the day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in its possession . . . application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.”

Quite literally, a first strike in Israel in or around Tel Aviv and several other major population centers would end Israel as we know it.  The Muslim world can withstand a strike from Israel if there is anything left with which to strike, because there are more Muslims and they live in a larger surface area – so we are told by the Iranian authorities.

Rahm Emanuel has no business claiming that he or the Arab states can accomplish anything with Iran, and the Israelis have no business listening to him.  There are other options such as pressing for regime change from within, but even the democracy programs within the State Department have fallen victim to disinterest.  Most Israelis support direct military action with or without the endorsement of the U.S.  This is good, because they are likely to go it alone, sooner or later.

  • azlibertarian

    If I may, the idea that the Arabs are going to pressure or influence the Iranians to behave in a certain way misses this key point: The Arabs are Arab. The Iranians are Persian. One is Shia; the other Sunni.

    While the Arabs and the Iranians share an animus towards Israel, there is enough suspicion between and among them that it stretches credibility to see them cooperating on an issue as important to Iran as their nuclear program.

  • TSAlfabet

    One of the main arguments bandied about by critics of a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is the difficulty in locating and effectively eliminating all of the sites, even with Israel’s legendary intel. Since there is little assurance that the entire nuclear program can be halted (so the argument goes), the downside of likely civilian casualties and counter-strikes makes pre-emptive action too risky. Figure into this as well, the logistical obstacles of flying enough strike aircraft into Iranian airspace and back in order to hit all the necessary targets and the task does, indeed, seem daunting.

    Answer: EMP strike.

    The detonation of one or two nuclear weapons 10 to 20 miles above Iran would send an electromagnetic pulse which would wipe out all of Iran’s electrical grid and any electronics lacking proper “hardening.” Iran’s oil industry screeches to a halt. Iran’s military largely comes to a halt. Most importantly, most if not all of Iran’s research, centrifuge and nuclear development work comes to a screeching halt as well. Even if Iran has invested in hardening its most critical research facilities against an EMP attack, it has certainly not done the same with its electrical grid or other, civilian infrastructure.

    The U.S. Congressional report on U.S. vulnerability to an EMP attack, authored in part by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R- Md.), makes clear that the devastation would take years to recover from and have cataclysmic effects in the short term. The effects could very well be much worse for a country like Iran with a more fragile infrastructure and an economy wholly dependent upon its oil exports for cash.

    This would be a drastic measure by Israel, no question. But as the article points out, it is looking increasingly likely that the Obama Administration is not going to do Israel any favors with Iran and it is now only a question of months before Iran has the capability (and likely the willingness) to field nuclear weapons.

    Drastic may be the least of an array of bad choices compared to nuclear annihilation.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    I agree. All choices are extremely bad. For Israel, it’s a matter of finding the least bad option. Your idea may be it, but there would of course be international repercussions. But of course, one cannot expect Israel to sit idly and do nothing, any more than one could demand that of the U.S. with such a moral enemy threatening to destroy us.


You are currently reading "Palestine v. Nuclear Iran: Quid Pro Quo for Israel?", entry #2835 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iran,Israel,Nuclear,State Department and was published May 4th, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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