FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Why Netanyahu is the Real Threat to Peace

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.

More articles by:

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.”

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 18, 2019
Gerald Sussman
RussiaGate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!
Lance Olsen
Perverse Housing Policy Perverts Forest Policy
Richard Ward
All Will be Punished
Jonathan Cook
Annexation of West Bank May Provide Key to Unlocking Netanyahu’s Legal Troubles
Judith Deutsch
People Music: Malignant Phallic Narcissism v. Being Ordinary
Jan Oberg
The Iran Floods and US Sanctions: 10 Million at Risk, But Who Cares?
Manuel E. Yepe
Assange: Between Gratitude and Betrayal
Ralph Nader
Children’s Moral Power Can Challenge Corporate Power on Climate Crisis
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Your Check is in the Mail
Binoy Kampmark
The European Union and Refugees in the Mediterranean
Arnold R. Isaacs
Looking Back at 1919: Immigration, Race, and Women’s Rights, Then and Now
Andrew Moss
Immigration and the Shock Doctrine
Michael Howard
Assange and the Cowardice of Power
Jesse Jackson
Making Wall Street Pay for the Financial Crisis
Mel Gurtov
At Risk—the Idea of America
April 17, 2019
James Bovard
Washington’s Biggest Fairy Tale: “Truth Will Out”
Yoav Litvin
The Ilhan Omar Gambit: Anti-Semitism as a Reactionary Political Tool
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Hawai’i in Trouble
Vijay Prashad
To Ola Bini, a Political Prisoner Caught Up in the Assange Debacle
Hans Muilerman and Jonathan Latham
EU Threatens to Legalize Human Harm From Pesticides
Binoy Kampmark
Delegitimising Journalism: The Effort to Relabel Julian Assange
Jack Rasmus
Trump Whacks the Middle Class
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Burning Cathedral and the Dead Turtle
Kenneth Surin
Insurgencies in Malaysia and Vietnam: Boyhood Reflections
Rev. William Alberts
Opening Tombs and Resurrecting Lives
Tom Engelhardt
How the U.S. Military Feeds at the Terror Trough
Norman Solomon
The Toxic Lure of “Guns and Butter”
George Wuerthner
How to Stop Grazing on Public Lands: Buy Out the Permits
George Ochenski
Vote-Trading for Big Coal
John Stanton
The Price of Participating in Society is the Sacrifice of Privacy and Self
April 16, 2019
Richard Rubenstein
Julian and Martin: Reflections on the Arrest of Assange
Geoff Dutton
Talking Trash: Unfortunate Truths About Recycling
Kenn Orphan
A Land Uncharted: the Persecution of Julian Assange
Patrick Cockburn
Netanyahu’s Victory in Israel Tells Us About the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Robert Fisk
No More Excuses: Israeli Voters Have Chosen a Country that Will Mirror the Brutal Regimes of its Arab Neighbours
Jonah Raskin
The French (Bread) Connection in a Bourgeois California Town
Denis Rogatyuk
The Ordeal of Julian Assange
David Swanson
Exporting Dictators
Ted Rall
Self-Censorship is Credibility Suicide
Robert Koehler
War Crimes and National Security
Lee Ballinger
None Dare Call It Fascism
April 15, 2019
Bruce Neuburger
The Border, Trumpian Madness and the Clash of Demographics
Patrick Cockburn
Calling Assange a Narcissist Misses the Point
Conn Hallinan
Diego Garcia: The “Unsinkable Carrier” Springs a Leak
Dan Corjescu
State of Apocalyptic Nature: A Contract with Gaia
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail