FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Netanyahu is the Real Threat to Peace

by DR. CESAR CHELALA

There you go again, Mr. Netanyahu. At the United Nations and on several TV shows during his visit to the U.S. Netanyahu has been repeating his mantra: Iran is an existential threat to Israel and Israel is ready to attack it alone if Iran continues to develop its nuclear program. Never mind that Israel has the backing of the United States and is vastly superior to Iran because of its possession of nuclear weapons.

Speaking about Israel’s policy towards Iran Netanyahu said, “What is important is to convey to them, especially after the election, that the policy will not change…And [it] should be backed up with ratcheted sanctions. You should ratchet up the sanctions and make it clear to Iran that they won’t get away with it. And if sanctions don’t work, they have to know that you’ll be prepared to take military action – that’s the only thing that will get their attention.”

Paradoxically, while Netanyahu was repeating his known aggressive opinion on how to deal with the Iranians, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Tokyo that it would be “diplomatic malpractice” not to pursue all options before taking military action to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. President Barak Obama reiterated this point of view when he told Netanyahu that the Western powers had to “test” diplomacy with Iran.

Despite Netanyahu’s aggressive rhetoric, the Iranians reason that if Israel has an estimated arsenal of 200 to 400 nuclear weapons and has carried out aggressive actions against their neighbors (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan) why couldn’t they develop their own nuclear program? It is still to be determined if the Iranian nuclear program is planned for aggressive purposes. In addition, the Iranians say, they haven’t attacked any of their neighbors in more than 200 years.

Prodded by Netanyahu and the pro-Israel neo-cons in the U.S. government, and contrary to the opinion of most countries, the United States and its European allies have imposed brutal sanctions on Iran that have affected the Iranian people more than its leadership, and have intensified a public health crisis in the country. Those sanctions, rather than daunting the Iranians, have intensified them in their resolve to pursue their nuclear program.

In addition, both in 2009 and in 2012, the United Nations passed a resolution calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to submit to inspections on its alleged possession of nuclear arms. Israel refused to sign that treaty. Iran, by contrast, is a signatory of the treaty.

President Obama has repeatedly indicated the danger represented by nuclear weapons falling into terrorists’ hands, thus suggesting the need to curb Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. However, both Pakistan and North Korea, with considerable more unstable regimes, represent a far more serious danger in that regard, and they have not been subjected to the kind of hostility that the Iranian government has been.

As Mr. Netanyahu insists that Iran is edging up to the red line on its nuclear development, Mr. Rohani has stated that he is in favor of continuing negotiations to resolve his country’s nuclear dispute with the West. At the same time, however, Mr. Rohani is defending this country’s right to pursue peaceful development of a civil nuclear energy program.

Despite his clams about his concern for peace, Mr. Netanyahu’s actions betray his lofty words. He has ordered the lethal attack against thousands of civilians –many of them women and children- in Gaza as well as the uninterrupted building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Both actions have been strongly condemned by the international community.

Through diplomacy and common interest Iran’s new leadership now offers the opportunity to change a paradigm geared for war for one geared for peaceful coexistence. Rather than using belligerent language, this should be a logical next step in bringing peace to that troubled region.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is an international public health consultant and a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail