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The Race for Iran

IRAN, ISRAEL, AND AIR DEFENSE: WHAT, EXACTLY, IS THE “THREAT”?

A few days ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran had sent Syria a “sophisticated radar system that could threaten Israel’s ability to launch a surprise attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities”.  The story, see here, cited reporting from “two Israeli officials, two U.S. officials and a Western intelligence source”, and was “confirmed…by the Israeli military”.  We are somewhat confused by the reporter, Charles Levinson, writing that the “Israeli military” has “confirmed” the transfer which had been “described” by his other sources.  As far as we can tell from the story as it was written by Mr. Levinson, only Iran and Syria could have “confirmed” the reports from Mr. Levinson’s sources.  (For the record, both Iran and Syria have denied that any radar transfer took place, as Mr. Levinson duly notes in his story.) 

Of course, none of Mr. Levinson’s sources offered any information as to “how they determined the shipment took place or discuss the radar’s type or capacity”.  But his sources assure Mr. Levinson that the new radar “would give Syria and its ally Iran improved visibility of Israeli air space and provide early warning of any imminent strike.” 

Furthermore, Mr. Levinson’s sources are concerned that Syria might share data from the new radar with Hizballah.  Mr. Levinson cites one non-official “electronic warfare and radar expert” arguing that, if this happened, it would “likely increase the accuracy and lethality of Hezbollah missiles aimed at Israeli cities (sic)”, as well as “incoming Israeli aircraft”.  But Mr. Levinson’s official sources seem to be focused on the potential contributions that the radar might make to Hizballah’s defensive/deterrent capabilities (and even Hizballah’s missile force is best understood as a deterrent capability):  “A clear picture of the skies above Israel and Lebanon would give Hezbollah greater freedom of movement during any conflict, since the group would know when its fighters were at risk of being bombed from the air”. 

So, if we have read Mr. Levinson’s story correctly—the transfer of sophisticated Iranian air defense radars to Syria (if said transfer actually happened) is/would be a bad thing because:

–it would give Iran more warning time, and hence a better chance to defend itself against an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear targets; and

–if data from that new radar were shared with Hizballah, Hizballah would be in a better position to defend Lebanon against offensive Israeli military action. 

It seems to us that there is a pattern here.  Israeli commandos repel down ropes from helicopters to board Turkish vessels on the high seas—and people on board those vessels “attacked” the commandos.  (As we wrote recently, what, exactly, is the legal basis for expecting people on board the ships to welcome, or at least acquiesce to, forcible boarding on the high seas?)  Russia concludes a contract to provide Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles (which cannot possibly be used in an offensive manner) and the United States and Europe exert strenuous efforts to forestall delivery of such a “provocative” weapons system.  And now, anti-aircraft radars in Syria are another “threat” to Israel’s security. 

The pattern is grounded in a reality that we’ve previously identified, see here and here:  Israeli political and policy elites are intent on preserving a regional balance of power that is strongly tilted in Israel’s favor.  They want to forestall any developments—Iran acquiring a perceived nuclear “breakout” capability, Turkey delivering aid directly to Gaza, or Syria improving its air defense capabilities—that would being to constrain Israel’s currently unconstrained freedom of unilateral military action.  As we wrote in December, 

“One can readily appreciate why Israel values its status as the Middle East’s military hegemon and wants to maintain the maximum possible room for unilateral military initiative. But that strategic preference is not legitimated by the U.N. Charter, the laws of war, or any international convention. Moreover, Israel’s strategic preference for preserving and enhancing its military hegemony does not, at this point, serve the cause of regional stability or containing the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities in the Middle East.” 

You do not have to take our word for this.  In May, a group of retired senior IDF officers, Israeli diplomats, and Israeli intelligence officials conducted a war game, under the auspices of the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliyya, which assumed that Iran had acquired a nuclear weapons capability.  Our former colleague Dan Kurtzer played the U.S. President in the war game, which was also attended by the leader of the opposition in the Knesset, Tzipi Livni.  As Israeli conference participants subsequently told Western media (see here), the main problem with an Iranian nuclear capability is not that such a capability poses some sort of “existential threat” to Israel, but that it “would blunt Israel’s military autonomy”.   One participant, a retired Director of Military Intelligence for the IDF, even said that, if Iran obtained a nuclear weapons capability (which, of course, Iran denies it is seeking) it would treat that capability as a means of “self defence and strategic balance”.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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259 Responses to “IRAN, ISRAEL, AND AIR DEFENSE: WHAT, EXACTLY, IS THE “THREAT”?”

  1. Go Somewhere else says:

    {Follow Israel news on and}

    Only stupid and zionist stooge like you may follow. get lost stooge.

  2. tzvi gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-to hell, with all the virgins, and boys like pearl,from your Main Kampf,the Koran.
    I again sent you the source as well as the article
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/138509

    Hamas Sends Patients to Israel for Care

    by Maayana Miskin
    Follow Israel news on and .

    Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv treats up to 100 patients a month from Gaza, and often Hamas takes the role of middleman between Gaza residents and the Israeli hospital, Ichilov Director Professor Gabi Barabash said Thursday. Barabash spoke to Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, a resident of the Druze village of Dalyat El Carmel near Haifa, who was touring the hospital and viewing its care for foreign Arab patients.

    In addition to caring for patients from Gaza, the Ichilov staff treats many citizens of foreign Arab countries, including those that have no diplomatic ties with Israel. They all receive dedicated care, and the relatives who accompany them are provided with free food and a place to stay, Barabash said.

    Kara praised the hospital’s care at the end of the tour. Ichilov treats all of its patients equally, he said, but it is not the only one, and hospitals throughout the country send hundreds of people home to Gaza in good health each month after they arrived in Israel suffering from serious ailments.

    He condemned Hamas for benefiting from the arrangement while giving nothing in return. “The time has come for Hamas to give us something small in return,” he said, “to release a single son of ours, who has been held for four years with no medical care, in exchange for the hundreds of people whose lives Israel saves every month.”

    Kara called on Arab countries to take action: “I call on those Arab countries that are aware of how much we give them when it comes to medicine to call for Gilad Shalit’s release as well.” Shalit’s release would “make the peace talks much more meaningful,” he added.
    (IsraelNationalNews.com)

  3. Go Somewhere else says:

    {I guess you read my source,about Israels’ treatment of Gazas’ sick and you don’t dispute it.}

    Are you talking about the source that gives:
    [404 – Page Not Found]

    You are a zionist liar. Do you think you can fool people at this site? You are not only stupid but a zionist stooge as well. Get lost.

  4. tzvi gross says:

    Go somewhere Else-Why don’t you?
    I guess you read my source,about Israels’ treatment of Gazas’ sick and you don’t dispute it.
    I guess you trust a Zionist Newspaper when you find something unfavorable to Israel.
    Why don’t you email directly to the Israeli Department involved, and complain. I am sure they will be able to provide you with a logical explanation.
    I do believe that logic and good will of Israel will prevail.

  5. Go Somewhere else says:

    {Do you know that Hamas actually sends his ill cronies from Gaza to Israeli hospitals, and those Israeli fools, actually treat them for free?}

    SHE IS NOTHING BUT A ZIONIST LIAR WHOSE JOB IS TO GO TO DIFFERENT SITES SPREAD MORE LIES. WE HAVE ENOUGH LIES TO KNOW NO ONE CAN TRUSJTED A ZIONIST JEW.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-israel-seizes-oxygen-machines-donated-to-pa-1.298385

    {Israel confiscated seven oxygen machines en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza based on the claim that there was a chance the generators attached to the machines would not be used for medical purposes, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Saturday.}

  6. Tzvi Gross says:

    Heck,
    Here is the source for you; http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/news.aspx/13869 I could also provide you a source from the Goldstone report documenting Hamas war crimes, if you so wish. If anyone mistakenly bombs civilians in a war situation, when the combatants hiding behind civilians, then all nations fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan have committed war crimes, including the “righteous” Norwegians, except that there are no 50+ Islamic countries asking for it. Quite to the contrary. In a classic fashion of “scratch my back, and I will scratch yours”, there is a gentleman’s agreement to support Islam in demonizing the peace loving Israeli state, and as a reward, none of the other countries will be sighted for War Crimes.
    Wonderful UN justice, eminently suitable to Hecks’ sensitivities. Hail Heck!!!!

  7. It’s amusing that Gross says Israel treats Hamas personnel in hospitals for free when it is well known and documented that hundreds of critical Palestinian patients have to wait for any medical attention and are forbidden from crossing into Israel for medical help.

    Not to mention that Israel in its bombardment of both Lebanon and Gaza deliberately attacked medical facilities, and medical ambulances, and prevented wounded Palestinians in the case of the Gaza atack access to medical help from anyone. All of this is documented and is part of the case for Israeli war crimes listed in the Goldstone Report.

    Gross is a truly pathetic Zionist troll. Can we please apply to Israel for better qualified trolls?

    Sorry, this whole business is rather off topic. We’re here to discuss Iran and should confine ourselves to that. We should ignore the Zionist troll. I will try to do better.

  8. Mr. Brill: I would say that there is no requirement for the arms smugglers to be Iranian. Almost certainly they won’t be as they might have trouble being accepted in various places. What would happen is that agents for Hizballah would contact someone who would contact someone else somewhere who would contact Iran for perhaps some sort of “legitimate” purchase of weapons (or perhaps just “machine parts”, a common decoy). Iran would sell the weapons to that third party who in turn would contact whatever smugglers they know who would in turn smuggle the weapons to some place where the Hizballah agents could pick them up (probably in Syria, then drive them across the border passing by bribed Syrian border guards or possible over some route not regularly patrolled by Syria.

    Therefore you’re never going to be able to prove that anyone in authority in Iran personally approved shipping weapons to Hizballah. That simple isn’t how it’s done.

    Try these links:

    This one establishes that Israel does exactly the same thing:

    Israeli indicted in U.S. for smuggling arms to Somalia
    www dot haaretz dotcom/print-edition/news/israeli-indicted-in-u-s-for-smuggling-arms-to-somalia-1.298855

    This STRATFOR article details the mechanics of the arms trade in Mexico, but the same principles apply everywhere:

    Mexico: Economics and the Arms Trade
    www dot stratfor dot com/weekly/20090708_mexico_economics_and_arms_trade

  9. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you?
    Sorry for making you work. Unfortunately I don’t know how to transfer the references, and it’s too long to transfer the address by hand, that’s why I tell you to look it up where I found it.
    I will ask some one to show me how to copy and paste, so I could copy the sources directly.
    If you keep cursing you will be punished-high blood pressure and heart attack. Do you know that Hamas actually sends his ill cronies from Gaza to Israeli hospitals, and those Israeli fools, actually treat them for free?

  10. Tzvi Gross says:

    James Canning,
    It’s against the rules of war, as well as a callous disregard for civilian lives to place such a dangerous explosives amongst civilians.
    Yes, it may prevent the Israelis from pre empting a Hizballah attack, as they will not want to kill indiscriminately civilians-unlike their Hamas and Hezbollah adversaries-but once Hezbollah fires, Israel will have to shoot back, and has the right to do so.
    Inhumane enemies, who couldn’t care less for their own.And people like you in the west defend such tactics, as legitimate.
    Is there a limit to what you will find acceptable and defensible by Hamas and Hizballah?

  11. James Canning says:

    Tzvi Gross,

    You rebuke Hezbollah for hiding weapons amidst civilians, thus causing civilian casualties in the event of an Israeli attack. Israel monitors the Lebanese landscape rather thoroughly, so are you suggesting Hezbollah should put its arms caches out in the open, to facilitate an Israeli attack? Isnt’ the solution, that Israel not attack Lebanon?

  12. Go Somewhere else says:

    {You will also find the article there http://www.haaretz.com titled, iran-pays-syria-smuggles-and-hezbollah-receives-weapons.}

    What kind of information is this sh*t? Did you, the zionist liar, gave any sources for your ZIONIST HASBARA that you spread here” Now, she asking for sources from Mr. Heck? Where is your sources?

    {google “Iranian arm caches by Israel” and see video documentation of the position of Hezbollah armory- Peoples’ homes.}

    She is so arrogant that DARES to question anyone who does not follow the zionist hasbara. She “directs” them to more fabricated zionist lies as sources without any input by herself. She wants everyone do her work to reach the zionist fabricated information.

    I am disappointed with double standard and special treatment of phony “chosen people”
    everywhere in Occupied America. Shame

  13. tzvi gross says:

    Mr. Heck,
    I read your rumbling demagogy and accusations. Can we have your sources? Otherwise they are nothing but a by product of a mind full of Pyrotechnics and Hallucination, too far gone, irreparably damaged by the “hate” virus.
    Please google “Iranian arm caches by Israel” and see video documentation of the position of Hezbollah armory- Peoples’ homes.
    What a pity that people react to this crime only when it’s too late.

  14. Richard,

    “There is little doubt that Iran is supplying Hizballah with weapons, especially the Katyushas which are mostly manufactured in Iran. There is no mystery as to how this can be done. Smuggling is smuggling, especially in the Middle East.”

    I go to the movies enough (“Blood Diamond” and “Lords of War,” for example) to recognize that arms smuggling is a big business, and it’s not hard to understand why. Based at least from what I’ve seen in the movies, there’s a lot of money to be made and often a beautiful woman to fall in love with along the way (though there appear to be better-than-average odds that one will die in hail of bullets or a fireball explosion about two hours into the movie). And I’ve never had any reason to doubt that some Iranians – like some Americans and citizens of many other countries – engage in arms smuggling.

    For these reasons, I’ve never had any doubt that some or many of the weapons acquired by Hezbollah in Lebanon were smuggled somewhere along the way to the retail customer. I’m less confident than you appear to be that Iranian smugglers were involved in getting those weapons to Lebanon, but I have never intended to exclude that possibility. And if I were to find that Iranian smugglers were involved, I’d be suspicious that the Iranian government might also be involved – just as one would suspect the American government might be involved if the smugglers were Americans. The nationality of the smuggler wouldn’t be proof that his government had been involved in the smuggling, of course, even though it would be an important piece of information to consider.

    Similarly, if the smuggled weapons had been manufactured in, say, the United States, or China, or Iran, I would be more suspicious than usual that the smugglers involved were American, or Chinese, or Iranians, though the source of the weapons wouldn’t prove the nationality of the smugglers – much less that the smugglers’ governments had been involved.

    In short, I do take into account such information, and more. I just don’t reach conclusions from it as quickly as others might. And, I might add, I’ve so far seen very little even of such information, and what little I have seen raises more questions than it answers (for example, why the Francop hadn’t already dropped off its Lebanon-bound Iranian weapons when it stopped earlier at Lebanon’s main port in Beirut, or why the shipping documents photographed by the Israeli navy had been issued by an Iranian government agency that had changed its name more than 20 years earlier).

  15. Richard and Nasser,

    Your “waiting for moderation” problems can be solved by including no more than one link. For an additional link, leave off the http:/ and the http://www., and use this format for the rest: websitenameDOTcom.

    Your posts “waiting for moderation” might as well be waiting for Godot, so you’re probably best off re-posting them with my pointer in mind (unless, of course, they made points with which I would predictably disagree, in which case I recommend you just forget about them).

    I hope this helps.

    Eric

  16. Tzvi,

    I have now seen a video of the Francop ship, a large amount of weapons sitting on a dock that are said to have been taken from the ship, and photographs of documents said to be shipping documents from the ship. So I stand corrected on my misstatement that Israel did not publicize its find.

    I’ve looked into it a bit further as a result, and will continue when I have enough time. Though I’ll withhold judgment this time until I’ve looked more thoroughly, I’ve already found enough to leave me, so far, equally suspicious of the “weapons from Iran for Hezbollah” claim (for two striking examples – there are others less striking – it turns out the ship had already stopped at Beirut, Lebanon since leaving Iran, which begs a question too obvious even to state here, and that some of the shipping documents photographed by the Israeli navy were issued by an Iranian government agency that had changed its name more than 20 years earlier).

  17. Mr. Brill: I addressed your question about arms smuggling in a post which unfortunately I see is still “waiting for moderation” because it contains three links to articles on the subject,

    There is little doubt that Iran is supplying Hizballah with weapons, especially the Katyushas which are mostly manufactured in Iran. There is no mystery as to how this can be done. Smuggling is smuggling, especially in the Middle East. And when you have the complicity of the Syrians, whether officially or just bribed border guards, getting weapons from Iran into Lebanon is not an issue.

    The same applies to Egypt. And once the weapons are in Egypt, getting them through the tunnels into Gaza is not that big a deal.

    Also keep in mind that neither Hamas nor Hizballah are really large organizations. The logistics of supplying a guerrilla group are a lot less intense than supplying a regular military force.

    Where the Zionist troll is wrong is about whether this is somehow a Bad Thing. Hizballah has missiles aimed at Israel for one reason and one reason only – to keep Israel out of Lebanon by means of creating fear in the Israeli civilian population if Lebanon is attacked. This was fairly effective in the 2006 conflict.

    Hamas doesn’t have much in the way of missiles. The Qasem rockets are basically toys that have killed what, one or two people tops in all the times they’ve been used. But getting RPGs, Semtex explosive and AK-47s and ammunition through the tunnels is not hard at all.

    As for the accusation that Hizballah is hiding its weapons among the Lebanese population, it has been established that during the 2006 conflict, Israel mounted its offensive artillery and tank cannon attacks next to ARAB villages in northern israel, thus drawing Hizballah rocket fire down on Israeli Arabs, while denying them access to bomb shelters reserved for the Jewish population. Hizballah fired the notoriously inaccurate Katyusha rockets (which are area affect weapons, not point effect weapons) in the general direction of the artillery fire they were taking from Israel. Their rockets landed in the vicinity of civilian housing because that’s where the Israeli fire was coming from. Israel then declared that Hizballah was deliberately targeting civilians.

    Typical Zionist lies. Not to mention the Zionist hypocrisy when Israel was destroying much of Lebanon’s critical social and industrial infrastructure with aerial bombing, including deliberately attacking Red Cross vehicles, causing the deaths of over a thousand Lebanese civilians, then dumping cluster bombs in civilian areas throughout southern Lebanon. All of which is verified by the UN.

    Not to mention the war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza campaign, documented by the Goldstone Report, and now verified by some of the facts coming out in Israel’s own prosecution of several of its soldiers.

  18. Jasper says:

    Yes,

    Criticizing Israel now, are we?

  19. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere else-why don’t you?
    Google “Iranian arm cache by Israel” for up to date info, about how the heroic Hezballah hiding it’s weapons in the midst of the population they claim to protect.
    You will also find the article there http://www.haaretz.com titled, iran-pays-syria-smuggles-and-hezbollah-receives-weapons.
    good luck

  20. Go Somewhere else says:

    {Syria also produces Iranian missiles-called #600 for it’s 600mm diameter.It was set up entirely by Iran with one stipulation, that half of the production goes to Hezbollah.}

    STOP YOUR ZIONIST LIES AT ONCE. YOU MUST PROVIDE a LINK FOR YOUR CLAIM OR STOP IT. I DON’T KNOW WHY PEOPLE ASK QUESTION FROM A ZIONIST who has given nothing but zionist hasbara for an answer. Israel fabricate information all the time.

    EVERYONE PROVIDES A LINK TO BACK UP THEIR ALLEGATION otherwise they disredit themselves.

    {The tile of the article was something like, Iran pays, Syria delivers.
    All this while Iran going broke.}

    Why don’t you google under “Iran pays, Syria delivers” to look at your own lies?

    Stop giving this kind of bullshit as information at once.

    Is the new policy going to apply to ‘chosen people’? or like Obama going to make an exception for the racist zionists?

  21. Tzvi Gross says:

    Eric
    The M/V Francop, was boarded by Israel last year. and they found 3000 Iranian produced missiles, and other arms, with Iranian markings, which they did reveal for the media to see.
    Presently, an entire sophisticated Iranian Radar system was installed in Lebanon, under Hezbollah protection.How did this equipment got there? In Spite of the fact that we didn’t follow the route, it is alleged that it’s Iranian.
    Syria also produces Iranian missiles-called #600 for it’s 600mm diameter.It was set up entirely by Iran with one stipulation, that half of the production goes to Hezbollah.
    The tile of the article was something like, Iran pays, Syria delivers.
    All this while Iran going broke.

  22. Nasser,

    “The bad apples would be those in the IDF that engage in smuggling and sometimes even spy for their business partners Hezbollah. Something you apparently find to be completely ridiculous.”

    Not completely. Close, though.

  23. Nasser says:

    “Nor do I believe, if Hezbollah does have any “bad apples” involved in the drug trade, that those bad apples are contributing their drug profits to Hezbollah’s weapons-procurement fund.”

    Hezbollah’s bad apples aren’t engaged in the drug trade. The drug trade happens to be one of Hezbollah’s business interests to procure independent funding. Be these funds devoted to weapons procurement or setting up charities to get votes is not the issue because the whole point was to highlight one of its funding methods independent from Iran.

    The bad apples would be those in the IDF that engage in smuggling and sometimes even spy for their business partners Hezbollah. Something you apparently find to be completely ridiculous.

  24. Tzvi,

    “Eric, What is your hypothesis of who supplies Hizbollah with the considerable weaponry in it’s arsenal? Who finances their procurement, and why? What proof do you have for your position?”

    I don’t know how Hizbollah gets its weapons. If forced to speculate, I’d guess they buy them or make them in Lebanon, possibly in Syria.

    I’d make clear that I was speculating.

  25. tzvi gross says:

    Eric,
    What is your hypothesis of who supplies Hizbollah with the considerable weaponry in it’s arsenal? Who finances their procurement, and why? What proof do you have for your position?

  26. Nasser 2,

    “You ridicule my suggestion of Hezbollah’s involvement in the drug trade.”

    You misstate what I’ve written. I have no idea whether Hezbollah is involved in the drug trade, or whether the IDF is involved in it. I’m willing to believe that a few bad apples in each organization are involved, but even that would just be speculation on my part.

    But I don’t believe that Hezbollah and the IDF are engaged in the drug trade together. Nor do I believe, if Hezbollah does have any “bad apples” involved in the drug trade, that those bad apples are contributing their drug profits to Hezbollah’s weapons-procurement fund.

  27. Nasser 2,

    You write:

    “Bilal Saab of the [Brookings Institution’s Saban] Center contends that: “Iran already smuggles most of its weapons into Lebanon by a combination of air and overland routes. Should Syria end its weapons supply and stop being a conduit, Iran would compensate by increasing its air shipments directly to Beirut. During the past few years, Iran has effectively disguised its weapons shipments to Hezbollah as humanitarian aid.””

    You’re exactly right: Mr. Saab does contend that. Do you know why? I don’t. Mr. Saab didn’t explain why he believes this, nor offer any evidence, nor cite any source where one might look for evidence.

  28. Pirouz 2,

    “I think they would go from Iran to Syria and from Syria to Lebanon is a very easy transfer anyway. The question is how would Iran send those weaponry to Syria to begin with? They have no common border!”

    That indeed is the question.

  29. Nasser2,

    The American Enterprise Institute piece you cited merely refers to the same Haaretz article that the Guardian article referred to. Multiple citations to one source is not independent verification. It’s just repetition.

    I strongly recommend that you read the Haaretz article, carefully. You’ll note that it is based entirely on a press conference held by a single Israeli navy official, who stated at various times that the alleged weapons haul included anywhere from “several” containers to 40 containers, containing anywhere from “hundreds” of tons to 12,000 tons of weapons. He said the containers were identified as belonging to the “Iranian commercial fleet.” Sometimes the official claimed that “an inspection of the ship’s documents revealed that the ship was carrying several containers of weapons originating from Iran and headed for Syria.” At other times, he said he doubted that any member of the ship’s crew knew that any weapons at all were on board – much less 40 containers of them or any record of them on the “ship’s documents.”

    Despite its seizure of these incriminating “ship’s documents” and anywhere from “hundreds” of tons to 12,000 tons of weapons, as the Guardian article mentioned, the Israeli government offered no evidence at all as to the source or the destination of any of the allegedly seized weapons – for example, no copies of the “ship’s documents [that reportedly] revealed that the ship was carrying several containers of weapons originating from Iran and headed for Syria,” no photographs of the containers identifying them as property of the “Iranian commercial fleet.” Nor, to my knowledge, did the Israeli government ever release any photographs or other actual evidence of the weapons allegedly seized.

    Call me skeptical if you will, but if such “ship’s documents” existed, or if the allegedly seized weapons actually existed, it occurs to me that the Israeli government would have released copies of those “ship’s documents” and numerous photographs of the seized weapons. If I’d been in charge instead of this Israeli navy official, I can assure you that I’d have promptly announced a photo-op at which I stood grim-faced next to a pile of Katyusha rockets strewn across the deck of that ship – much like the “drug bust” photos typically released when large quantities of illicit drugs are seized by US government officials. I’d also have distributed photographs of the containers allegedly marked as property of the “Iranian commercial fleet,” and clear copies of the “ship’s documents” stating that the cargo on board consisted of “weapons originating from Iran and headed for Syria.”

    Would you have done that too? Does it strike you as odd that no such evidence was released?

  30. Pirouz_2 says:

    Eric:

    YOU ASKED:“Given that rockets have rained down on Israel from Lebanon and Gaza, and assuming for the sake of discussion that Iran supplies Hezbollah and Hamas with those rockets, how do those rockets make their way from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?”

    That is an excellent question which I have been asking myself for a very long time.
    I do have a partial answer to it, for the case of Hamas, but in case of Hezballah I am really not sure.

    For Hamas:
    I don’t think that Iran gives them any “weapons”. You have to understand that Hamas has no weapons of significance anyway. All they have are AK-47 assult riffles, some RPGs perhaps and of course the Qassam rockets which are HOME MADE (meaning that Hamas does not procure them from outside). Whatever help Iran gives to Hamas could only be in terms of money, which maybe spent on buying the aforementioned weapons from black market.

    The case for Hezballah is very different though. They have much more sophisticated weaponry: surface to surface missiles (made in Iran most likely), Katyusha rockets (again probably made in Iran), anti-ship missiles (most likely made in Iran), advanced RPGs and anti-tank weaponry (most likely made in Iran), and there are even rumours about some air-defence systems (if true, again most likely made in Iran).
    How do these weaponry make their way from Iran to Lebanon? Beats the hell out of me, you figure out a theory, let me know as well!!
    I think they would go from Iran to Syria and from Syria to Lebann is a very easy transfer anyway. The question is how would Iran send those weaponry to Syria to begin with? They have no common border!

  31. Nasser2:

    “My point was weapons shipments still happened through the Mediterranean (and not even that long ago) which you believe Israel always had on lock down.”

    I am focused on Iran’s involvement. Do you have any articles on that?

  32. Nasser2 says:

    Eric you are also very dismissive of the notion of the arms shipments via Syria and you write:
    “To state the obvious follow-up question: And how do the missiles get from Iran to Syria? Through Turkey? Or through Iraq? In the overhead compartment on commercial flights from Tehran to Damascus?”

    Apparently all of the above, and via some other means like cargo planes.
    aei.org/outlook/100098

    Bilal Saab of the Sabin Center contends that:
    “Iran already smuggles most of its weapons into Lebanon by a combination of air and overland routes. Should Syria end its weapons supply and stop being a conduit, Iran would compensate by increasing its air shipments directly to Beirut. During the past few years, Iran has effectively disguised its weapons shipments to Hezbollah as humanitarian aid.”
    mepc.org/journal_vol15/97Saab.pdf

    But I suppose this is absolutely preposterous to you?

  33. Nasser2 says:

    A very recent example of an Israeli soldier involved in the drug trade spying for Hezbollah:

    strategypage.com/htmw/htintel/20100706.aspx

    jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?ID=179996

  34. Nasser2 says:

    An example from the time of the 2006 war, this time involving a much higher ranking officer.

    Colonel David Eshel writes: “…Hezbollah HUMINT activities inside Israel managed to recruit valuable information rendering agents. One outstanding example, over such recruitment was the network operated around Omar el-Heib, a Bedouin who served as a lieutenant-colonel in the IDF and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on espionage charges last June. Using Lebanese drug dealers, Hezbollah transferred dozens of kilograms of narcotics to Heib’s network, which was tasked with gathering intelligence on IDF positions and SMUGGLING these across the border, in exchange. Israeli analysts pointed out, that the accurate Hezbollah rocket attacks on IDF military installations, such as the air force monitoring station on Mount Meron, which was attacked at the outset of the war, must have been made possible through local intelligence reports delivered by HUMINT agents.”
    But, I suppose “your common sense” tells you that corruption within the honorable IDF is not possible huh!

    prepareyourways.com/De-classified%20Israeli%20Intelligence%20Updates.html

  35. Nasser2 says:

    A very recent example of Israeli soldier involved in the drug trade spying for Hezbollah:

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htintel/20100706.aspx

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?ID=179996

  36. Nasser2 says:

    Eric,

    You ridicule my suggestion of Hezbollah’s involvement in the drug trade.
    On this point I was talking about some of Hezbollah’s independent source of FUNDING, specifically through drug trade, NOT commenting on weapons transfers or its missile shipments. I was pointing out one of Hezbollah’s business interests; drug smuggling into Israel that is facilitated by the cooperation it receives from some corrupt Israeli soldiers in border regions (I thought this was well known). And I certainly do hope I didn’t give the impression of suggesting OFFICIAL IDF involvement. But, maybe there weren’t any misunderstandings and your “common sense” has led you to believe that IDF soldiers are immune to temptations that the CIA and DEA have been known to indulge in. But my proposition is not as ridiculous as you suggest.

  37. Nasser2 says:

    “Israel offered no evidence about the source or destination of the weapons.”

    My point was weapons shipments still happened through the Mediterranean (and not even that long ago) which you believe Israel always had on lock down.

    And I have been posting comments answering your questions on the other points since last night and the moderators keep deleting my comments!

  38. Nasser2 says:

    Eric,

    You ridicule my suggestion of Hezbollah’s involvement in the drug trade.
    You write: “Let’s assume this is true, even though something deep inside of me (I think its common sense) cries out against making an assumption quite this absurd. How, exactly, does this Hizbullah/IDF drug deal get the missiles from Iran to Lebanon or Gaza?”

    On this point I was talking about some of Hezbollah’s independent source of FUNDING, specifically through drug trade, NOT commenting on weapons transfers or its missile shipments.
    I was pointing out one of Hezbollah’s business interests; drug smuggling into Israel that is facilitated by the cooperation it receives from some corrupt Israeli soldiers in border regions (I thought this was well known). And I certainly do hope I didn’t give the impression of suggesting OFFICIAL IDF involvement. But, maybe there weren’t any misunderstandings and your “common sense” has led you to believe that IDF soldiers are immune to temptations that the CIA and DEA have been known to indulge in. But my proposition is not as ridiculous as you suggest.

    A very recent example of Israeli soldier involved in the drug trade spying for Hezbollah:

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htintel/20100706.aspx

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?ID=179996

  39. Nasser2 says:

    I don’t get why the moderators keep deleting my comments.

  40. Naseer,

    The Guardian article you cited includes this sentence:

    “Israel offered no evidence about the source or destination of the weapons.”

    Nor did the article mention that Israel had even accused Iran of being involved.

    Again, I’m focusing here on Iran’s involvement. Do you have any articles on that?

  41. Nasser says:

    Eric A. Brill,

    Regarding the arms shipments via Syria you write:
    “To state the obvious follow-up question: And how do the missiles get from Iran to Syria? Through Turkey? Or through Iraq? In the overhead compartment on commercial flights from Tehran to Damascus?”

    Apparently all of the above and via some other means like cargo planes.
    http://www.aei.org/outlook/100098

    Bilal Saab of the Sabin Center contends:
    “Iran already smuggles most of its weapons into Lebanon by a combination of air and overland routes. Should Syria end its weapons supply and stop being a conduit, Iran would compensate by increasing its air shipments directly to Beirut. During the past few years, Iran has effectively disguised its weapons shipments to Hezbollah as humanitarian aid.” http://www.mepc.org/journal_vol15/97Saab.pdf

  42. Naseer says:

    Eric,

    2) You write about the arms shipments via the Mediterranean: “I can’t say I keep up on every report of ship seizures in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Last I heard, one couldn’t even get a wheelchair past the Israeli navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, much less a day’s supply of Katyusha rockets.”

    Yes it has been a while which is why I said, “in the past.” But as far back as you think; an incident last year:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/04/israel-seizes-ship-weapons-hezbollah

  43. James Canning says:

    Zionist Habara not allowed,

    Re: July 8th 10:09am – – Do you support the Saudi peace plan? It would result in a Palestine comprising 22% of what was Palestine under the British Mandate. Potentially, some exchanges (on a like-value basis) would enlarge the Palestinian share to perhaps 25% (or maybe more).

  44. James Canning says:

    Tzvi Gross,

    Re: July 8th, 12:48am – – Surely it is in Israel’s own best interests, to have Hezbollah possess sufficient firepower to deter another insane smashing of Lebanon by Israel. This is the viewpoint of Lebanon’s prime minister. How else can Lebanon prevent another mauling?

  45. Go Somewhere else says:

    {So, we are becoming a chameleon, and changing our names from Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you? to Zionist.}

    YOU ARE NOT ONLY A ZIONIST RACIST BUT A FOOL.

    Men at this site are WEAK AS WATER. Look at Eric and fyi, they are begging for answer from a racist zionist who know shi*t about anything and repeatedly has given Zionist hasbara for an answer. answer

  46. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    I am personally disappointed by your answer.

    I was expecting a short “yes” (your individual opinion and not GoI opinion).

    Your response was very very equivocal.

    What I conclude from your answer is that you, and perhaps GoI, is unwilling to leave West Bank.

    Your prior statements regarding Jews being left a minority in Israel, it seems to me, to have been insincere.

    Am I wrong in my conclusions?

  47. Tzvi,

    “My dear curious friend.your fingers are as good as mine, so please google “arm supplies to Hizbollah” and you will have enough sources to fill in your curiosity about how Iran supplies Hizbollah.”

    I just did as you suggested. The first few entries referred to pronouncements by Hillary Clinton and other State Department officials. Another started its key sentence with “It is widely believed…” but failed to mention who it is, exactly, that “widely believes” whatever it is that they widely believe.

    Can you be more specific, Tzvi, or are you consigning me to the mush with which I was already intimately familiar when I asked for your help in answering this apparently unanswerable question? If so, I’ll have no choice but to add your unsubstantiated speculation to that mush.

    I’d hoped for more from you, as have others on this website. Please give me credit for more patience (or, perhaps, less wisdom) than others have exhibited.

  48. tzvi gross says:

    Fyi,
    thanks for your question.
    I am certainly not authorized to speak in the name of the Israeli government, but the precedent is that the Israelis are willing to make a lot of sacrifices for a real peace, like returning the resource reach Sinai to Egypt, and Gaza and South Lebanon, for a very dubious peace to the PA and the Lebanese Government.
    Granted that Judea and Samaria is a more complicated case, but imaginative solutions may be found with “territorial exchange” and probably some other ideas, as if there is a will, there is a way.
    Would be nice to finally see that entire area in peace, reaching their full potential in all aspects, and becoming the envy of the world for their peaceful cooperation, standard of living, and tranquil coexistence.

  49. tzvi gross says:

    Zionist Hasbarah,
    So, we are becoming a chameleon, and changing our names from Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you? to Zionist.
    Ok, i will call you for Zionist, for short- from now,
    Please keep on your mindless ranting and raving for everyone to see the consequences of hate on the human brain, with a hope that no one is around for you to drip your foaming mouth’s ,poisonous liquid on.
    I am still at awe that no one here,even as much as made a comment about your hate postings.
    Oh Well…

  50. tzvi gross says:

    Eric,
    My dear curious friend.your fingers are as good as mine, so please google “arm supplies to Hizbollah” and you will have enough sources to fill in your curiosity about how Iran supplies Hizbollah.

  51. Zionist Habara is not allowed says:

    {Israel craves peace-but presently there are no credible partners.}

    This type of lies is typical of Zionist liars who go to different sites aiming to fool people spreading lies after lies. Israel has stolen 85% of Palestinian land with this lie. It’s enough to look at the map to realize that the Zionists have wiped Palestinians off THEIR LAND. American silence has helped these terrorist liars to prevail. We definitely hold Americans responsible for the massacre of people of the region and the occupation of the region by Israel and American war criminals. Get out Now.

    It’s interesting to see this site allows a zionist liar comes here to use the site to spread more Zionist Hasbara where people hate because these lies are the root causes of the dark history of Zionism and Israel has forced upon our region to divide population of the region and put them against each other for the interest of the BRUTAL WEST benefited from Zionism which has brought nothing but wars, destruction and genocide at the expense of the people of the region. Few commenter, most likely are hidden Zionists themselves, are engaging her to spread more Zionist hasbara from Golda Mayer, Shimon Peres, Netanyahu’s lies where everyone in the world, with shallow knowledge of the history, recognizes at once.

    If you don’t know, then you must be illiterate of the Zionist history.Stop commenting to educate yourself.

  52. Nasser,

    YOU WROTE:

    “You also don’t seem to take seriously Hezbollah’s capacity to buy its OWN weapons from black marketers (by this I mean weapons it gets by itself and NOT through Iran).”

    Quite the contrary. I’ve written nothing whatsoever that suggests I don’t take this seriously. In fact, I’ll confidently speculate that I take “Hezbollah’s capacity to buy its OWN weapons from black marketers…and NOT through Iran” far, far more seriously than you do.

    The question was not whether Hezbollah (or Hamas) has been acquiring rockets – which, obviously, it has been acquiring and which I explicitly acknowledged in my very first post were “(indisputably) raining down on Israel.” The question solely concerned Iran’s delivery of those rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon and to Hamas in Gaza. I presumed (fairly, I think you’ll agree) that Iran’s supplying of rockets to Hezbollah and Hamas was intended to be covered by your statement (which I explicitly declined to challenge) that Iran supplies terrorists with weapons used against Israel.

    My question was straightforward, and I’ll paraphrase it here:

    “Given that rockets have rained down on Israel from Lebanon and Gaza, and assuming for the sake of discussion that Iran supplies Hezbollah and Hamas with those rockets, how do those rockets make their way from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?”

    Other than unsubstantiated speculation from Tzvi that Iranian gun-runners are slipping through the Gaza sea blockade, and that Iran is shipping missiles by air through Syria via some as-yet-unspecified route through Turkish or US-controlled Iraqi airspace, the only response I’ve heard so far from you, Tzvi – or anyone else – to a straightforward question I’d naively assumed other people (including you) must wonder about from time to time is essentially this:

    Hezbollah “gets them by itself and NOT through Iran” (emphasis in original).

    You should understand by now why I consider your comment above to resemble Tzvi’s response quoted in my post of July 8 at 1:32 AM, which I’ll repeat here:

    TZVI WROTE: “I don’t understand. Do you deny the fact that thousands of Hizbollah rockets landed in Israel, before and during the last Israel-Hizbollah war? Who cares how they got there, the fact is that they got there.”

    I REPLIED: “The question was whether Iran had anything to do with those rockets.”

    YOU ALSO WROTE:

    “Here is an interesting [story] of Hezbollah buying MANPADS: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/04/did_efraim_diverolis_crony_shi.php

    Interesting article indeed, but entirely irrelevant, as I think you’ll agree now that you’ve read this far. The article includes, for example, this sentence: “Pinari’s Albanian arms agency doesn’t appear to have gotten missiles from North Korea or Iran.” Nor does the author suggest that Iran was otherwise involved in any way whatsoever in the arms trading described in the article. So I’m not sure why you pointed me to this article.

    I can honestly say that I didn’t anticipate this question would prove so difficult for you to answer. I’ll pose it one more time:

    “Given that rockets have rained down on Israel from Lebanon and Gaza, and assuming for the sake of discussion that Iran supplies Hezbollah and Hamas with those rockets, how do those rockets make their way from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?”

    Can it really be that I’m the only one who ever wonders this?

  53. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    Do I understand your reply of July 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm correctly?

    That you (Israel) are indeed willing to leave the West Bank if rockets (grenades, etc.) do not fall on Israel from there?

  54. Nasser says:

    Ooops sorry for the double post!

  55. Nasser says:

    Eric,

    4) You also don’t seem to take seriously Hezbollah’s capacity to buy its OWN weapons from black marketers (by this I mean weapons it gets by itself and NOT through Iran). So I don’t understand the relevance of this remark of yours: “And how, exactly, do the missiles physically get from Iran to the Black Marketeers?” Isn’t that an oxymoron?
    Here is an interesting one of Hezbollah buying MANPADS: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/04/did_efraim_diverolis_crony_shi.php

    5) “Any more bright ideas.” I will stop but I wanna hear some of yours!

  56. Nasser,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and well-wrtten response of July 7 at 10:22 PM.

    I do not necessarily agree with a few of your key assumptions, as may be evident from my other recent posts, but I don’t think that matters much here. I understand your basic point to be this: It’s possible that a deal could be struck between Iran and Israel, supported by the US, if Iran could only see its way clear to renounce its support for the Palestinians. And you close by asking me whether I think Iran should “sacrifice her geopolitical interests just because it finds Israel’s actions to be morally outrageous?”

    Taking the last question first, you’ll note from my post of July 7 at 7:58 PM that I don’t find this question quite so “either/or” as you do. That doesn’t justify me in ducking your specific question, since my belief that moral considerations should count in a state’s decision does not mean that moral considerations alone should dictate the decision. In other words, I can imagine a situation in which Iran would conclude that its geo-political interests outweigh its moral support of the Palestinians. I recognize that moral considerations typically count for less in state decisions than in individual decisions, in part for the reasons I explained in my earlier post cited above (though, frankly, I question whether moral considerations often count for much in many individuals’ decisions).

    But turning now to your first question, I don’t believe there’s any practical need to determine whether Iran would abandon the Palestinians to achieve the possible “power-sharing arrangement” you lay out because I consider that arrangement all but impossible to achieve (though your clear analysis almost makes it seem plausible). I might change my mind if you could supply illuminating answers to the questions I posed in my July 7 at 8:10 PM post, which I’ll repeat here for your convenience:

    Over what countries (and non-state actors) might Iran and Israel exercise power under this arrangement?

    How might that power be allocated between them?

    How might those countries and non-state actors feel about, and respond to, the Israel/Iran arrangement?

    What role, if any, do you suppose the US might play in maintaining this arrangement?

  57. kooshy says:

    Eric

    “How do the rockets supplied by Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas make their way – physically – from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?”

    In the same line of questioning I wonder where Taliban get their ammunitions and military hardware?, Iran?. Although repeatedly claimed it is doubtful since they are entrenched foes and it wouldn’t help with Iran’s supported northern alliance, India? Doesn’t make sense, no, If Pakistan US for sure would knew Pakistan is sending arms and ammo to kill Americans. Russians same case as Pakistan, the one I suspect most is China, why the US military don’t dare to explain where Taliban get the military hardware for 9 years of war, I don’t think Taliban has any military ammunition production capability in HELL LAND (Helmand) do you,? this is one that no one ever talks about.

  58. Tzvi,

    “Israel has intercepted a number of ships destined to Hamas carrying all kind of arms, as well as found arm caches during the Hezbollah war with clear Iranian production markings. It’s coming in by air to Syria, and then by land to Hezbollah.”

    GIven your obsession with facts, can you cite a few stories reporting those Hamas-bound sea shipments for me? I was under the impression that Gaza has been blockaded by the Israelis for several years now, and unaware of any efforts by arms shippers to slip through that blockade.

    As for the “clear Iranian production markings,” I’ll confess to a bit of skepticism about those claims. It’s occurred to me that, if Iran indeed were supplying missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, it might not stamp “Made in Iran” on the missile.

    As for the shipments by air from Iran to Syria, are these military planes carrying the missiles? If so, are those military planes Iranian or Syrian? And are those Syrian or Iranian military planes passing through Turkish air space or US-controlled Iraqi air space?

    Or are these air shipments of “Made in Iran” missiles from Iran into Syria carried on commercial jets? If so, it must be the case that at least one baggage handler at the Damascus International Airport is not on the Mossad payroll. That would surprise me, but I suppose it’s possible.

    You’ve been helpful so far in filling in the large gaps in my knowledge on this question, Tzvi, but, as you can see, your partial answer has only raised more good questions in my mind. Do you know the answers to any of them, or are you just speculating?

  59. Nasser,

    “Iran’s support of terrorism directly threatens Israeli security.”

    Speaking of “Iran’s support of terrorism,” I’ve often read that Iran supplies Hezbollah with the rockets it fires from Lebanon into Israel, and supplies Hamas with the rockets it fires into Israel. This has been repeated so often that no one even seems inclined to ask obvious questions about the assertion, much less to undertake the impossible task of proving the negative. I won’t make the latter effort, and do not claim to know whether the assertion is true or false.

    I’m nonetheless willing to ask a few of the almost-never-asked obvious questions. In fact, I’ve already posed the most basic question to you and received only such a weak response that I could not resist a bit of sarcasm in my reply to you. I’ll repeat the question here, with the hope that you know more about this than you’ve already mentioned:

    How do the rockets supplied by Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas make their way – physically – from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?

    I’ll elaborate a bit so that you understand why I’m so puzzled.

    First, Gaza:

    Israel tightly controls all land, air and sea access to Gaza, except for the southern land crossing controlled by Egypt. I’m not aware that Israel claims Egypt is letting missiles be shipped into Egypt from Iran and then smuggled through the tunnels into Gaza. Are you? If not, how do the missiles get from Iran to Gaza?

    Next, Lebanon:

    Though I don’t know this, I’m willing to bet, and I suspect you’d agree, that Israel is nearly as effective at preventing shipments of weapons into Lebanese seaports as into Gaza seaports. Though Israel cannot blockade Lebanese ports, it has not been shy about boarding ships in international waters when it suspects that weapons are on board (examples: the recent flotilla incident; the 2002 Karine A interception in the Red Sea). And Mossad would not be doing its job if it didn’t maintain an extensive network of spies at Lebanese seaports and all potential beach-drops in between. The situation is probably much the same at Lebanese airports. As for land routes, I’m not aware that Israel claims that Turkey is allowing weapons to be shipped into Lebanon or Syria. Are you?

    That leaves Syria-to-Lebanon ground shipments, which merely shifts the question one country to the east: How do the missiles get from Iran into Syria? By sea (see above regarding Lebanon seaports)? By air (see above regarding Lebanese airports)? By ground through Turkey (see above regarding Turkey-to-Lebanon shipments? Through US-controlled Iraq?

    I hope you can understand why I find it so difficult to figure out the answer to this question:

    How do the rockets supplied by Iran to Hezbollah and Hamas make their way – physically – from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?

    I hope that you know more about this than you’ve already mentioned.

  60. Tzvi Gross says:

    Richard Steven Hack,
    Could I just call you Rick, or Steve or just a Heck?
    It is just so wonderful you don’t wish to engage me- a Zionist. I will still derive the ditinct pleasure of reading and commenting on your psychedelic hallucinations. They are so original and colorful.
    Goebbles anyone? How about Der Sturmer?

  61. Tzvi Gross says:

    Eric,
    Israel has intercepted a number of ships destined to Hamas carrying all kind of arms, as well as found arm caches during the Hezbollah war with clear Iranian production markings. It’s coming in by air to Syria, and then by land to Hezbollah.

  62. Tzvi,

    “I don’t understand. Do you deny the fact that thousands of Hizbollah rockets landed in Israel, before and during the last Israel-Hizbollah war? Who cares how they got there, the fact is that they got there.”

    The question was whether Iran had anything to do with those rockets.

  63. Ms. Gross: Do not waste your time attempting to engage me. Your arguments aren’t even worth acknowledging, let alone responding to. You’re a Zionist propaganda re-iterator, nothing more. You’re not even up to the level of the Zionist trolls who I used to deal with on Talking Points Memo. They at least could cite references, if not that often.

    In any event, one knows when a Zionist is deliberately lying – they are communicating in some manner, possibly even including sign language for the deaf.

    Have a nice day.

  64. Tzvi Gross says:

    Richard Steven Hack,
    Now we finally have it. Jewish criminal conspiracy to control the world! Doesn’t it sound familiar, if not very original? How about publishing here the protocols of the elders of Zion, or asserting that the Jewish conspiracy orchestrated the holocaust.
    How about the 9/11 Jewish conspiracy, or the tsunami a few years ago? Have I forgotten something? I am sure you will remind me.
    What a foolish racist bigot.

  65. Tzvi Gross says:

    Richard Steven Hack,
    If any one is irrational here is you! What a foolish opinionated piece. You claim Israel has Atomic bombs and for 60 years plans to annihilate the Arabs. In 4 major existential wars-and a few minor ones in between- they surely had the opportunity to carry this plan out. Why didn’t they? What were they waiting for-for Iran to arm itself with atomic bombs as well, to make it more even?
    Am holding my breath for you very original theories.

  66. Fiorangela: Thanks for the link to Cockburn’s piece. This quote is particularly appropriate vis-a-vis Nasser’s comments:

    “The main explanation is that Israelis believe their own propaganda and their supporters abroad adopt a skewed view of events as if it was an article of faith. Israelis, leaders and followers alike, acquire a wholly distorted picture of the world around them.”

    So, in a sense Nasser and I are both right. Nasser thinks the Israelis believe they have a legitimate beef against Iran, and I think the Israeli leadership know perfectly well that it is not true.

    In fact, the distinction lies in exactly WHAT “threat” Iran poses to Israel. It is not a threat of nuclear arms. It is a threat of being a “problem” for Israel’s domination of the Middle East. That concept removes the problem of whether Israel’s leaders believe their own propaganda – they do, but the reason behind that is not that Iran is a nuclear threat, but that it is a geopolitical “threat” to ISRAEL’S THREAT to dominate the Middle East.

    So who is the threatened and who is the one being a threat? Clearly, if you look at the history and doctrine of Zionism vs the history and doctrine of Shia Islam, as well as the relative national behavior of both countries, clearly the threat of Israel is much more significant than the threat of Iran. As I’ve said, Iran is no threat to anybody, even on a geopolitical front. Israel is a threat to EVERYBODY on the fronts of espionage against the US, military threats to the region, nuclear threats to the region, economic threats to the region, and geopolitical threats to the region – not even to mention the burgeoning Israeli organized crime gangs operating world wide! Israel beggars Iran as a threatening nation!

    It’s a joke to compare the two.

  67. Tzvi Gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    You sound much more interesting analyzing Hillary, then talking about the ME. You sound like a kindergarten child when you talk about respectful neighborly relations.
    If you talk about Israel, this already exists on 2 fronts-Egypt and Jordan. It could exist at the Gaza and Lebanon borders as well, if not for militant Islamic organizations adventurous, bellicose attitudes.
    Israel craves peace-but presently there are no credible partners.
    Israel is a superpower-millitarily and technologically, and now with a newly discovered Gas wealth as well. I am going to buy some land for investment, and you should do the same, as Israel will become one of the richest countries in the world.
    This will benefit all around, as the Palestinians have the opportunity to sue for a true peace and share the spreading of the wealth, rather then chose mutual suffering and war.
    Do you think they are up to the challenge?

  68. Nasser: My point was not the “moral” content of your comments, but the reality of whether the Israeli LEADERSHIP (not the ignorant Israeli masses) actually believe the stuff they mouth off to the rest of the world about the so-called Iranian “nuclear weapons program”.

    Since we have considerable reasonable suspicion over the provenance of the famous “Laptop of Death” as being of Israeli Mossad manufacture, as well as Tzipi Livni’s comments about how Iran is not an existential threat to Israel, it is quite reasonable to believe that Israel’s leaders do NOT believe their own claptrap.

    Therefore, your entire argument that Israel needs to treat all this as a “serious threat” is completely blown out of the water and is as laughable as I said it was.

    Not to mention that we have specific statements from numerous Israeli leaders going back sixty years of what they intend for the Palestinians and the entire Middle East region, as well as more recent documents such as the PNAC documents and the writing of Oded Yinon, clearly show that Israel is not REACTING to the actions of Iran or other Middle Eastern countries but in fact is PROVOKING those actions in a deliberate plan to, first, oust the Palestinians (or failing that, reduce them to a passive slave group), then take over the Middle East economically, not by its own military force or by actual occupation but by using the US to attack and break up the major Middle Eastern powers, reducing them to squabbling, uncoordinated ethnic and religious groups, so that Israel and the US can dominate the region economically.

    This policy has already born fruit in the Palestinians, in Lebanon, and in Iraq, and is well on its way in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is being followed in Iran according to reports of Obama’s expansion of the Bush covert action programs against Iran.

    Therefore, once again, any attempt to define the situation in terms of some “rational” or ‘realist” Israeli response to perceived threats from the Middle East is completely wrong. It may apply to the Israeli street, but the Israeli leaders know what they are doing.

    Not to mention that Iran’s approach to religion, cited with this haircut business, while hardly rational, is also hardly relevant to the issue of whether Iran’s leadership wishes to see their country reduced to glowing rubble by being so stupid as to either attack Israel or US assets with nuclear weapons. That is the only geopolitical rationality involved in this matter. Iran’s social structure is not.

    I might also add that there is hardly any more rationality in the Zionist doctrine than there is in radical Islam. So who is the “irrational” nation here – the one that has from the start thought it could come in, as Arnold Evans has pointed out repeatedly, and take over an entire region from 600 million Arabs without anybody saying “boo”, or a nation like Iran that has not directly attempted to expand its borders for generations – including an entire generation of radical Islamists?

    Your entire approach to this matter is as an apologist for Israel and a condemner of Iran. Your arguments are incredibly weak on both sides.

  69. Tzvi Gross says:

    Dear Erick,
    I don’t understand. Do you deny the fact that thousands of Hizbollah rockets landed in Israel, before and during the last Israel-Hizbollah war?
    Who cares how they got there, the fact is that they got there. In the ME anything can happen, you just have to oil the right palms.

  70. Fiorangela says:

    Eric wrote, re, How do Iranian missiles get to Hezbollah:

    “In the overhead compartment on commercial flights from Tehran to Damascus?”

    not anymore. Major suppliers are refusing to fuel Iranian planes, at least from Europe; guess the Tehran to Damascus transit of missiles in the overhead is still an option.

    I wonder what happens to Iran-bound travelers who have booked flights from Amsterdam or Paris or Frankfurt? out of luck? who pays?

    speaking of isolating — tzvi? are you on board with isolating Iran? best way to ensure that diplomacy works: isolation, sanctions, punishment, harsh rhetoric, lies, disinformation, psy ops, spying, internal destabilization. yeah, works every time.

    Patrick Cockburn has published a new piece: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-the-chronic-failure-of-israeli-leadership-2020931.html

    Any bets on when US and Israeli leadership will come around to the wisdom of Davutoglu’s Zero Problems Policy and the essential **irrationality** of treating people, especially one’s neighbors, respectfully?

  71. Fiorangela says:

    tzipi, you’ve admitted you’re a member of the hasbaratchik; that’s progress.

    “Just like I said, when you can’t dispute the massage, you try to isolate the messenger.”

    I DID dispute a massage once, when the masseuse tried to isolate a major muscle too vigorously. It all worked out.
    I’m not seeking to ‘isolate’ anyone; just callin’ ’em like I sees ’em.

    “I will dispute your assertions if they are factually wrong.”

    Based on whose set of facts? By what authority? What makes you think your version of the facts matters to me?

    As one of my favorite Iranian friends is fond of saying,

    pfff

    Please do as you feel,it’s free expression here, but don’t expect me to return you the favour, as I will dispute your assertions if they are factually wrong.
    Wishing you a good night again.

  72. In response to my question (“How do missiles launched against Israel from Lebanon and Gaza get from Iran to Lebanon and Gaza?”), I predicted some imaginative responses. No disappointment so far:

    Nasser (first): “Vis a vis Syria mostly.”

    To state the obvious follow-up question: And how do the missiles get from Iran to Syria? Through Turkey? Or through Iraq? In the overhead compartment on commercial flights from Tehran to Damascus?

    Nasser (second): “In the past, through direct shipments from Iran (which is why you used to hear reports of arms seizures on the Eastern Mediterranean).”

    I can’t say I keep up on every report of ship seizures in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Last I heard, one couldn’t even get a wheelchair past the Israeli navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, much less a day’s supply of Katyusha rockets.

    Nasser (best, assuming you’re not kidding): “But Hizbullah has funding capacity of its own (for e.g. The drug trade it engages in with the IDF)…”

    Hizbullah is engaging in drug trade with the IDF? International intrigue makes strange bedfellows indeed. Let’s assume this is true, even though something deep inside of me (I think it’s common sense) cries out against making an assumption quite this absurd. How, exactly, does this Hizbullah/IDF drug deal get the missiles from Iran to Lebanon or Gaza? On IDF naval vessels? The IDF waves them through at border checkpoints? IDF helicopters drop them at pre-arranged rendezvous points inside Gaza and Lebanon? Wait – I’ve got it! They used to do all that, but Hizbullah was dissatisfied because some IDF guys who weren’t privy to the conspiracy would inevitably fire back at the Palestinians who tried to fire the rockets, and many of the rockets would miss their targets anyway, and so finally they struck a win-win deal under which the IDF just dropped the missiles directly onto Israeli residential targets and charged Hizbullah double the price for each missile – quadruple if the IDF dropped it on an Israeli apartment building. Is that it?

    Nasser (finally): “… sometimes [Hizbullah] buys weapons from the Black Markets.”

    And how, exactly, do the missiles physically get from Iran to the Black Marketeers?

    Any more bright ideas?

  73. Tzvi Gross says:

    Fiaroangela,
    Just like I said, when you can’t dispute the massage, you try to isolate the messenger. Please do as you feel,it’s free expression here, but don’t expect me to return you the favour, as I will dispute your assertions if they are factually wrong.
    Wishing you a good night again.

  74. Nasser says:

    “Shirin Hunter and Flynt Leverett both argue that Iran does NOT support “terror,” defined by Hunter as “PKK, AlQaeda, IRA.” Hunter further states that Saudi Arabia, not Iran, funds insurgency in Iraq, and that Saudi Arabia is likely a larger sponsor of Hamas than is Iran. Leverett argues (in the same videoconference as Shirin Hunter) that Hamas and Hezbollah have become integral parts of their respective states, Gaza/Palestine and Lebanon, with whom Israel and the US are going to have to come to terms in pursuit of their own best interests and the interests of justice…Your use of the word, irrational, to describe Iran is surprising.”

    Again, I was trying to portray the Israeli perspective not give some moral condemnation or vindication of Iran’s actions. Israel regards Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations; I was not arguing whether their cause are morally commendable or not. The IRA, PKK and Basque separatists can also be seen as similar movements engaged in national liberation struggle but they are regarded by the UK, Turkey, and Spain respectively as terrorist organizations and rational states do not support these organizations lest they earn the wrath of these countries. It thus becomes apparent why some Israelis might regard Iran’s regime as irrational for seemingly having no concern for Iran’s own national welfare and for earning the wrath of a nuclear armed nation. Lastly, rational people don’t try to micromanage people’s lives like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/world/middleeast/07haircut.html

  75. Tzvi Gross says:

    fiaroangela,

    Wishing you a restful night as well.

  76. Fiorangela says:

    Richard Steven Hack: I agree: the comments on this board tracking who did what to whom and did it worse are irrelevant.

    It is also becoming apparent that our new hasbarist is doing what hasbarists do: disrupt, detail, deflect, and annoy. That one is on Ignore.

    re your comment that Clinton is associated with The Family: I was not aware of that association. I must confess my ‘analysis’ of Clinton dives into her psyche in a way that is probably more suitable for a novel than a geopolitical analysis; I think she’s a fascinating character but I don’t trust her or her judgment.

    I tangled once with the Moral Majority set and learned a bit about their modus operandi. In general I have respect for the mainstream denominations in the US, including United Methodists and especially the Society of Friends; my biggest complaint is that they have allowed themselves to become marginalized and do not mount a sufficient force to pressure US legislators to make better decisions regarding war and peace. William Sloane Coffin’s voice is sorely missed, as is Joseph Bernardin’s, but it was refreshing to read that Fr. Hans Kung had a post at United Nations.

  77. Tzvi Gross says:

    Eric,
    You can’t be serious. I enjoy this guy here, as well as note the fact that no one commented when he blamed Israel for 9/11. Do I have to say any more about the composition of the contributors here?
    The only one using any facts and logic her is Nasser, even though I may differ with some of his claims.

  78. Tzvi,

    You wrote to Go Somewhere Else:

    “Go Somewhere Else-Why don’t you? I invariably find, that when one can’t dispute the massage, he tries to get rid of the messenger.”

    Ah, irony!

  79. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-Why don’t you?
    I invariably find, that when one can’t dispute the massage, he tries to get rid of the messenger.
    Desmond Toto once said, that he learned from his father, that instead of raising your voice, sharpen your argument-but for that you need something to sharpen.

  80. Nasser says:

    Richard Steven Hack,

    My response to Eric Brill’s question was an attempt to give what I thought was the Israeli perspective; not discuss Israel’s moral transgressions of which as this site has highlighted there are several. I stand by my statement that “The chance of an irrational regime possessing nuclear weapons is not something Israeli security planners can remain indifferent to.” I ask you Richard, if you were an Israeli policymaker responsible for the preservation of the your state (illegitimate as most in the region regards it) and welfare of your people (regarded as racist and completely immoral by many) would you be willing to view Iran in any other light? I know I wouldn’t if I were in their shoes. I also wouldn’t launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities because I don’t know how good my intelligence is and what the Iranians have up their sleeves. Lastly, if the Iranians do not have some form of nuclear capability by now I am utterly convinced they are the stupidest, most incompetent people on Earth! They had a nuclear program since the 50s, since the f-ing 50s!

  81. Fiorangela says:

    okay tzvi, I’m with Go Someplace Else — go someplace else with your trite and hateful parrotings of the Worst of Golda Meier.

    actually, I prefer a little humor: Jack Nicholson’s line from “As Good As It Gets” is one of my favorites: “Go sell crazy someplace else; we’re all stocked up here.”

    good day.

  82. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser – I directed a response to you that should have addressed fyi; my apologies.

    In your comment to Eric (10:22pm) you wrote: “Iran’s support of terrorism directly threatens Israeli security. The chance of an irrational regime possessing nuclear weapons is not something Israeli security planners can remain indifferent to. ”

    Shirin Hunter and Flynt Leverett both argue that Iran does NOT support “terror,” defined by Hunter as “PKK, AlQaeda, IRA.” Hunter further states that Saudi Arabia, not Iran, funds insurgency in Iraq, and that Saudi Arabia is likely a larger sponsor of Hamas than is Iran. Leverett argues (in the same videoconference as Shirin Hunter) that Hamas and Hezbollah have become integral parts of their respective states, Gaza/Palestine and Lebanon, with whom Israel and the US are going to have to come to terms in pursuit of their own best interests and the interests of justice.

    Your use of the word, irrational, to describe Iran is surprising. In my opinion, Israeli leaders have an inside-out process in mind when they refer to Iran as irrational, as Israelis frequently do. Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party pursue the Jabotinsky iteration of right-wing or militant zionism. That policy follows the Iron Wall doctrine, exemplified by Irgun, the terrorist group that Jabotinsky formed and trained, that Netanyahu’s Lithuania-born father was part of. Iron Wall doctrine holds that: Arabs will never agree to live as Israeli subjects: Israelis would not do so were they in the situation of Arabs, so why should Jews expect that Arabs would accept to be subject to Jews? Yet, Jews are determined to claim Palestinian land for their homeland. Therefore, Jews must create an Iron Wall of military force so strong, and that will react so disproportionately to any Arab resistance, that the force of Israeli military might will act as a “pedagogy” to “teach” Arabs that they CANNOT resist Israel. Eventually, after enough Arabs have been battered and killed by Israel, enough “rational” Arabs will emerge that they will outnumber those Arabs who “still say No,” and Israel will make peace with those “rational” Arabs.

    Iran is considered “irrational” because Iran has not only refused to succumb to the punishments Israel inflicts on Iran but also, Iran goads the other Arab and Islamic states in the region to stand up to Israeli aggression and to demand their own rights to self-determination. In the format of Iron Wall doctrine, such behavior is irrational.

    What Iran’s convoluted decision-making structure may suffer from is far from irrationality, however; it may rather suffer from a paralysis of analysis, and, as Dr. Hunter suggested, from factionalism and infighting among the various interest groups vying for power in Iran: the bazaaris, the IRGC, the reformers, the elites, the mullahs, the rural poor/Basiji. Iran is not irrational in a conventional sense; Iran is perceived to be irrational from the Israeli perspective.

    with respect to the Halevey video: the last comment he made was a fuzzy fudgy set of words — “we will threaten Iran with military action but we will not do so in a threatening manner” or words to that effect. His concluding remark was, “We will not take action unless our backs are to the wall.” That’s another code for Israelis, and it is part of holocaust victimology which, 65 years removed from that horrendous time in Jewish history, has become abused by Israeli leaders to rationalize evil acts they intend toward those who refuse to submit to their will. In his revised history of Israel’s war on Palestinians in 1948, Benny Morris catalogs the injustices Israelis perpetrated on Arabs — deaths and rapes and tortures and dispossessions in wildly disproportionate numbers to the same evils suffered by Israelis at the hands of resisting Arabs. “But,” Morris explains, to justify the acts of Israelis that violate the Israeli ideal of ‘purity of arms,’ “we had to do these things because Our Backs Were To The Wall.” In 1948, the memory of the holocaust in Europe in 1943 was still fresh in the minds of Israelis. Halevey is summoning the same fears, and laying the same groundwork for justification, for acts that run contrary to what more and more American Jews are claiming is their MORAL and historical legacy.

  83. Tzvi Gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    But you are going from bad to worst.There was never a Palestinian entity for them to lose their land from. Quote me please one Palestinian King, Ruler, PM, or anything like that ever in history.
    You are absolutely ignorant-not a liar-and you try to build theories based on them?
    The largest part of Mandatory Palestine was given to the Hashemites, and it’s called Jordan, and the British left a small sliver of land for the Jews and Arabs to fight it out to the bitter end.
    This Imperialistic betrayal still plays itself out today.
    My question to you is also, as soon as you lose an argument, you bring out a new, unrelated one. What has a commercial dispute between israel and Iran has to do with the ME conflict?

  84. Go Somewhere else says:

    {The notion of Iran being an “irrational regime” that would unilaterally conduct a nuclear attack on Israel is laughable. The only regime in the region with the known history of subtly threatening nuclear attack in the region is Israel.

    The notion of Iran being an ‘irrational regime’ is racist, period. Why an apartheid state is allowed to have more than 300 illegal nuclear bombs but Iran who is surrounded by many nuclear states, like US, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, India, and god know who else should not be allowed to have it?

  85. Tzvi Gross says:

    Richard Steven Hack,
    Wow, you left me breathless. Why don’t you sell this plan to all military/ territorial conflicts in the word? Northern Ireland,Sudan, Chechnya, Kurdistan, North and south Korea, China and Taiwan, and many African nations. Make them a ward of the UN against their will, which means they will have to be occupied by the UN, and subjugate their freedom and human rights to a third party. Force them into a shot gun marriage-see how stable this marriage will be.
    But you are free to present your options, including your far reaching future prophecies.
    You are indeed a great prophet, maybe even overtaking Mohammed, the last great one!!

  86. Nasser: “The chance of an irrational regime possessing nuclear weapons is not something Israeli security planners can remain indifferent to.”

    This is complete nonsense. First, Iran does not have and never had a nuclear weapons development AND DEPLOYMENT program (they may have had a nuclear weapons research program at some point, which stopped in 2003.) Second, even if Iran HAD nuclear weapons, detente would have worked perfectly well. The notion of Iran being an “irrational regime” that would unilaterally conduct a nuclear attack on Israel is laughable. The only regime in the region with the known history of subtly threatening nuclear attack in the region is Israel.

    Israel knows this perfectly well. It knows perfectly well – and some Israeli government officials have even said so, in private – that Iran is NOT any kind of military threat to the existence of Israel.

    To suggest that Iran’s support for Hamas or Hizballah is some sort of serious threat to Israel’s existence is even more laughable, from a military standpoint. If those two groups were SERIOUS about terrorizing Israel, Israel would be in deep doo-doo. But Hamas is run by military idiots who blow up buses instead of blowing up Netanyahu, and Hizballah is a national resistance movement which has no serious interest – or capability – to seriously harm Israel; they exist solely to keep Israel out of Lebanon.

    To a large degree, Iran isn’t even a geopolitical threat to Israel – IF you eliminate the notion of ISRAEL dominating the region.

    Therefore, it is quite clear that Iran is and never was the issue for Israel. What is the issue is that Israel is not the dominant power in the entire Middle East. Therefore Iran and any other state with any significant military or economic power in the region must be broken up and destroyed, through the use of US military power directed by Israel.

    Iran is no threat to anybody, by means of “terrorism”, nuclear weapons, or even via the influence on the Shia in the region, let alone a threat to Israel.

    ISRAEL is THE threat in the region, the main instigator of military confrontation, caused by an imperialist desire to control the resources of the region, fueled by religious fanaticism and power lust, just like it was two thousand years ago.

    Blaming Iran for everything that has happened in the Middle East for the last century is just completely ignorant. Without the Zionist project, the Middle East would not have been peaceful, I have no doubt. But without the Zionist project, and without US foreign policy being embedded in the Middle East, the US would be at far less risk of terrorism, economic problems, and a host of other issues.

    Deal with Israel first – then deal with Iran from a credible foreign policy.

    Never happen. Only power-hungry thugs and fools are involved in this matter, in the US, in Israel and in Iran.

  87. Fiorangela says:

    tzvi: if you’re going to call me a liar, be so kind as to cite the facts that you claim are untruthful.

    Regarding Barak’s “good will gesture”:

    “The facts are exactly the opposite, and please check it out. Israel discovered those gaz fields, and legally could have kept them but Ehud Barak gave it as a gift to Yaser Arafat as a token of good will gesture.”

    observe this map of the dwindling territory of the Palestinian people: http://www.vtjp.org/images/pallossofland_large.gif

    The shores off Gaza were never Israel’s to give. The claim that “Barak gave it as a gift…a token of good will gesture” is the equivalent of a thief returning the hubcaps to the car he stole, “as a gift…a token of good will gesture.”

    Have you yet addressed the matter of the failure of Israeli companies to pay to Iran the debt that an impartial arbitrator has concluded that Israel owes?

  88. Most of the arguments in this thread, if I may say, about whether Iran did this or Israel did that, and in what sequence, are fundamentally irrelevant to the bottom line issue.

    That bottom line issue is that Israel is an illegally created, rogue, terrorist, racist, colonialist and imperialist state that is a major military and nuclear threat to the entire region. Any comparisons with Iran’s influence in the region are laughable. Iran has no where near the coercive military and economic potential in the region as Israel (especially with Israel’s US backing, both militarily and economically and geopolitically).

    Zionism is by definition a racist, colonialist and imperialist doctrine created in the late 19th century. The state of Israel is based on, and run by adherents to, this doctrine. While one might complain that Iran’s religious and political doctrine is also pernicious, Iran hasn’t had anywhere near the influence on the region’s geopolitical and military history that Israel has had.

    The ONLY solution to this situation is for the UN, with the concurrence of the US and the international community, to revoke the 1947 partition decision, declare Israel an illegal state, and demand that it immediately disarm its nuclear arsenal under pain of total economic sanctions and military blockade of its sea and air ports.

    Then the UN must re-establish a Mandate over the entire area of Palestine, and resolve the border differences with Lebanon and Syria. Then the UN must convene a Constitutional Commission to create a Constitution for a new state covering the entire region of Palestine, with input from Constitutional scholars and experts in international law and Sharia law, as well as inputs from both Palestinians and Israelis chosen from the NON-FANATICAL factions of both sides. The new Constitution should provide for civil and Sharia law remedies and guarantee the religious and civil freedoms of all citizens. Then the new Constitution can be put to a vote in a referendum in which both Palestinians and Israelis may participate.

    Once the new state is created, elections must be held in which anyone EXCEPT former members of either the PLO, Hamas or the Israeli political parties may stand for office. This is done to sideline the hardliners on both sides and only allow moderates and true seekers of peace to apply for membership in the government.

    The Israeli and PLO and Hamas military and police forces should be integrated. This will insure that no neighboring state will harbor any intentions toward Palestinian territory as the new state’s military, based as it would be on the IDF, would still be the most powerful military force in the region, even without nuclear weapons.

    In addition, the UN, the US and the international community should guarantee the new state’s borders from any neighboring aggression.

    As for the right of return, and reconciliation of land claims, this can be handled as a civil manner. Anyone with a clear right of title can either reclaim their property, or, if the property is now being used in a manner better suited to the social benefit, receive adequate compensation from the new state (possibly even financed by the international community as a cheap way of reducing conflicts.) Immigration can be controlled in whatever reasonable manner, as most states do.

    The end result will be that the majority of Jews and Palestinians will be forced to get on with their lives in an integrated manner without the completely artificial political boundaries and reliance on fanatical hardliners that currently controls their destinies, in the same manner as forced integration in the US reduced (but did not eliminate) racial tensions.

    Nobody should expect such a transition to be without physical conflict. But with the unwavering support of the UN, US and the international community, such a plan would have the best chance of reducing the potential for either ethnic cleansing or war in the region.

    Having disarmed Israel of its nuclear arsenal and supported a single Palestinian state, the US would then be in a position to be credible in requesting Iran to be even more transparent about its nuclear program, and would lay the groundwork for a credible “Grand Bargain”.

    Unfortunately, none of this is going to happen. There simply is no way the geopolitical system and human nature will permit it.

    What WILL happen is continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, possibly eventually leading to a forced expulsion or even actual genocide, further wars between Israel and Lebanon, Syria and Iran, and an Iran war between the US and Israel, as well as continued terrorism against the West. What MAY happen is the eventual destruction of Israel by a nuclear weapon, either its own or someone else’s, delivered either by terrorists or some military means, and the possible destruction of Arab cities by Israeli nuclear weapons.

    Take your pick. Either a single Palestinian state or endless war. There is no third alternative.

  89. Go Somewhere else says:

    {don’t know who filled you up with so much hate, but it looks like you are advocating the wholesale murder of 6000000 Israelis-another Shoah- including those poor souls, the ME Jews, who already suffered so greatly from the hands of their Arab/Muslim host nations.}

    Stop playing your victimization card at this site. It will not hide your lies. Almost every single group have gone through their own holocaust and your ‘holocaust’ is not different from any other group to make yours ‘unique’. One million of People in Rowanda were literally cut in pieces and burned in only 3 months. 14M Chinese, Armenians, Jypsies, Catolics and other groups were masacared.

    In WWII more than 56M people were perished, 21M, were Russians. However, according to Dr. Mohammad Gholi Majd and his book “The Great Famine and Genocide in Persia, 1917-1919” in WWI due to occupation of Iran by British clonial more than 8M Persians were perished which makes it the WORST GENOCIDE OF THE 20TH CENTURY. He writies:

    {Mohammad Gholi Majd argues that Persia was the greatest victim of World War One and also the victim of possibly the worst genocide of the twentieth century. Using U.S. State Department records, as well as Persian and British sources, Majd describes and documents a veritable holocaust about which practically nothing has been written.}

    Is you and people like Benny Morris who advocate “nuclear extermination” of Iranians based on the similar LIES LIKE YOURS.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9711

    Stop the victimization card at once.

    Are Leveretts going to stop this person who comes here with more LIES AND ATTACKS VOID OF ANY SUBSTANCE, OR YOUR ELIMINATION RULES DO NOT APPLY TO ‘CHOSEN PEOPLE’ LIKE HER?

  90. Nasser says:

    Eric, I will try to answer your questions but I warn you it is a long response. I of course welcome your perspective.

    Eric, I read the situation as such:

    Iran wants to become the dominant power in the Persian Gulf; this is something the US vigorously opposes. Israel wants to continue being the dominant power in the Levant and keep the Arabs divided; this is something the US actively promotes. Both Iran and Israel broadly speaking wants to put the screws on the Arabs (though different Arabs) and need US assistance or at least need the US not to hinder their efforts for them to be successful. Seen this way, Iran and Israel are in different regions entirely. So, from an Israeli perspective, Iran causing trouble for a country it has no territorial disputes with because of some emotional reason like pan-Islamism seems pretty irrational and dangerous. Add to this the threat of nuclear weapons. A hostile country with nuclear bombs is in of itself dangerous but a hostile country that seems irrational (the Arabs hate Iran too so why isn’t Iran cooperating?) with nuclear possession seems especially so.

    The US has decided to put the screws on the Levantine Arabs (most significantly the Palestinians) by actively aiding the Israelis and by empowering such regimes as Mubarak’s Egypt, the Hashemites of Jordan and Mahmood Abbas of PA to suppress popular hostility towards Israel. The Palestinians are thus separated from neighboring Arabs (and of course within themselves) and neighboring Arabs won’t help them because their governments are hostile towards public opinion and towards the Palestinians.

    On the other side of the Arabian Peninsula, the US has decided to be friendly towards the Gulf Arabs by actively isolating and undermining Iran. The US tries to create a balance of power in the region to prevent anyone from dominating all the oil resources. The putative power of the region, Iran, cannot dominate the Gulf (thus threaten Saudi oil fields) as long as it faces a hostile Iraq to its West. By removing Saddam (who himself was threatening Saudi oil fields) and thus empowering the Shias in Iraq, the US has destroyed the balance of power in the region. Thus, the Saudis, UAE and other Sunni Gulf Arabs are increasingly hysterical and the US figures the only way to preserve the balance of power is by having a large military presence in the region and by actively isolating Iran.

    Iran’s support of terrorism directly threatens Israeli security. The chance of an irrational regime possessing nuclear weapons is not something Israeli security planners can remain indifferent to. Iran’s vigorous support of the Palestinian cause increases Palestinian intransigence (Israel’s number one enemy) and its criticism of regional indifference towards Palestinian plight undermine the type of Arab governments that Israel favors. By having unpresentative regimes in the region Israel has succeeded in breaking the will of the Arabs (particularly the Palestinians), kept her enemies divided and has achieved peace with Egypt and Jordan and placated (the largely inconsequential anyway) Syria to the North. Currently, the only threats it faces are from terrorism or from a renewal of a hostile Arab coalition. Given all this it is no wonder Israel regards Iran as its number one threat.

    I think Mr. Halevy is proposing a return to the type of situation that existed during the Shah’s era where Iran and Israel were the two dominant military powers in the region and engaged in strategic cooperation. The fact he is missing is that the US will probably not allow this (like it tried to prevent Israeli arms sales in the ’80s). The biggest losers from such a deal would of course be the Palestinians, and if such a deal causes US reassessment of Iran, then the Sunni Gulf monarchies. Syria and Hezbollah both of whom really only care for control of Lebanon need not be losers.

    Lastly , I have a important question for you Eric, are you suggesting that Iran sacrifices her geopolitical interests just because it finds Israel’s actions to be morally outrageous?

  91. Tzvi Gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    Who is the real aggressor in Lebanon, Israel or Syria? Who has imperialistic designs on Lebanon, Israel or Syria?
    Why there are no Israeli overflights against any of his other neighbors, Egypt or Jordan, but only Lebanon?
    Israel’s overflight are defensive in nature-no bombs are being dropped. Hezbolah kept nothing of it’s UN commitment, as it re armed to the teeth, and the Sheba Farms were taken by Israel from Syria in the 73 war, along with the Golan hights, and not from Lebanon.
    It’s a feeble pretext on Hizbollahs’ part to keep it’s military might to subjugate Labanon.
    Please be more careful with checking your facts again.

  92. Tzvi Gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    You are again long on opinions, yours and all your quotees, but very short on facts, with throwing in a pinch of conspiratory theories here and there, like, Israel is eyeing the gas resources offshore Gaza.
    The facts are exactly the opposite, and please check it out. Israel discovered those gaz fields, and legally could have kept them but Ehud Barak gave it as a gift to Yaser Arafat as a token of good will gesture.
    Why do all Israels opponents are so short on truth? What happened to decency and honesty?
    I always wondered how much money had the Islamic/Arab word had to pore into the best
    pr campaign in the world to make Israel- a free and democratic country to all of it’s citizens- smell like them? It looks like one of their best weapons was distortion of the truth. I will never be afraid of truth, and will stand corrected if i am proven wrong.
    I will also never say that Israel have never done anything wrong, but they are still angelic in relation to any other countries’ war time conduct in the world.

  93. Fiorangela: The point you made with the quote about how Israel sells weapons to everybody (including, I believe, Wall technology to North Korea to enable NK to more easily prevent its citizens from defecting to China) is on a par with Israel’s selling of surveillance and telecommunications technology to the US and other Western countries, as we’ve noted elsewhere.

    No one can say Israel isn’t very cleverly insinuating itself in many governments, both allies and hostiles, worldwide. Probably the best spy apparatus in history (except when then screw up badly such as the Dubai hit – which is probably mostly a reflection of their arrogance rather than incompetence.)

    Another somewhat off-topic point I’d like to make in passing about Hilary Clinton who was mentioned in the thread is that she is a devotee of The Family, a radical right-wing Christian organization with ties to various dictators and military juntas around the world. A really bad organization with substantial influence on Capitol Hill. Take this into account when assessing whether her views are “Methodist” or not.

  94. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you?
    It’s interesting that even when you are bringing a fact-the Goldstone report- you forgot to add that he condemned Hamas activities as a War Crime. Or maybe that was just an honest omission.
    I don’t know who filled you up with so much hate, but it looks like you are advocating the wholesale murder of 6000000 Israelis-another Shoah- including those poor souls, the ME Jews, who already suffered so greatly from the hands of their Arab/Muslim host nations.
    Don’t you think that you are parroting the Hamas/hezbollah racist line, and am surprised no one reacts.
    Indeed very selective morality we have here.

  95. Fiorangela says:

    tzvi – you wrote:

    ““Can you -or anyone- name one instance in which Iran has taken aggressive action to escalate tensions in the region”?
    You sure must be mad. Who arms the Hamas and Hezbollah to the teeth?”

    The critical word here is “aggression,” tzvi: Lebanon maintains a DEFENSIVE posture against Israeli threats, against Israel’s persistent, harrassing overflights of Lebanese airspace, its repeated forays into the Litani, Israeli spying on Lebanese activities, and the ‘not if but when’ posture Israel takes toward another attack on Lebanon.

    In a different comment series, you endorsed Israel’s sale of arms to Iran so that Iran could defend itself against Iraq; if it is the case that Iran sells weapons to Lebanon and to Gaza so that Hezbollah and Hamas can defend their states against Israeli aggression, isn’t that just good geopolitics and good business?

    Flynt Leverett introduced Shirin Hunter at a speech Hunter gave at New America Foundation. At about 49 minutes, in the context of answering a question from the audience about Iran’s support for terrorists, Hunter explained that the known terror groups in the world are the IRA, AlQaeda, PKK; Iran does not sponsor any of these groups, in fact, is antipathetic toward them.

    Regarding Iran’s relationship and supposed sponsorship of Hamas and Hezbollah, which is Israel’s number one grievance against Iran, when all is said and done, Hunter pointed out that, according to Economist magazine, on the day after the fateful election of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal went to – – – wait for it — Meshaal went to Riyahd, to meet with his sponsors. You’ll note that’s not Tehran.

    Shirin Hunter also mentioned that: most of the funding for insurgent activities comes from —- Saudi Arabia.
    And you are no doubt aware that US and Israel demanded the elections that resulted in the election of Hamas, that US and Israel never allowed Hamas to properly take power, thus thwarting the will of the Palestinian people; that US and Israel propped up and armed Fatah, the party that the Palestinians did NOT elect because they were wary of Fatah corruption; and, finally, you are undoubtedly aware that Israel is responsible for the creation of Hamas in the first instance: Israel sought to weaken the power of Arafat by whipping up Islamic ideology and so Israel financed the beginnings of Hamas.
    Hezbollah formed in the aftermath of Israel’s 18-year long invasion and occupation of Lebanon and the Sharon-supervised Falangist massacres at Sabra and Shatila. Like US and its CIA in all of CIA’s history, Israeli strategy to divide people has all the characteristics of the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which would be amusing if it were not the case that just because it can’t shoot straight doesn’t stop Israel and the US from shooting and shooting and shooting, not infrequently at innocent civilians.

    To amplify Hunter’s point, that Hamas and Hezbollah are NOT creatures tied to Iran’s purse strings nor do they serve as a beachhead for Iranian aggression, 55 minutes into the videoconference, Dr. Flynt Leverett explained that both Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas, have matured politically and taken a fairly permanent place in Lebanese and Palestinian political culture, respectively. Hamas was deliberately uninvited to the Annapolis conference, George Bush’s hail mary pass for middle east peace, so long as Iran was marginalized in the process. Daniel Levy pointed out at the time that the exclusion of Hamas was a major mistake; three years later, the US and Israel make the same mistake which, as Flynt pointed out, works contrary to the best interests of Israel and the US. Richard Augustus Norton is the expert I consult on issues having to do with Hezbollah; he has watched the group develop over a twenty year period.

    you wrote: “The UN- who are not Israels’ friend- certified that Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the last square inch-so why there is a need for a Hezbollah with 40000 missiles, if not to protect Iran as a forward position, with Lebanon knowing full well that they will be an unintended consequence of that conflagration?”

    answered above as well as by others.

    tzvi wrote: “Israel also withdrew from Gaza to the last Square inch- so why is Hamas being armed to the teeth- baring Israels’ embargo- if not to be sacrificed on behalf of Iran?”

    You used the word cynical in the next line; Israel’s ‘withdrawal’ from Gaza was an act of pure cynicism, but, one that Israelis may have come to disavow after several trillion dollars worth of natural gas was discovered off Gaza’s coast. Israel wants that resource; might be a clue there as to why Israel was so testy about a flotilla in the Mediterranean off Gaza.

    tzvi wrote: “Cynical geopolitics of your favorite nation, who takes no aggressive action against any one.
    Strange- I could have been fooled.”

    you would not be fooled if you assessed the situation objectively, for example, by comparing the numbers of innocent civilians Israel has killed vs. the number of innocent civilians Iran has killed in the past N years.

    If your comment, “your favorite nation” was meant to be an insult, you missed the mark: it is in the best interests of the US to form a relationship with Iran, a nation facing a dynamic future.

  96. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you?
    You are pretty good at calling names and racist slogans, but pretty short on facts. You bring quotes from anti Israeli Jewish conspiracy theorists, whos crebility is not better then yours,as short on facts as you, and just as rich on hillucinatory opinions and lunatic, fantastic theories.
    According to you, the Jews were behind 9/11, right?
    And I thought we left name calling back in kindergarten.

  97. Nasser says:

    “But I have long wondered exactly how the missiles that (indisputably) have rained down on Israel make their way – physically – from Iran to Lebanon or from Iran to Gaza.” Vis a vis Syria mostly. In the past, through direct shipments from Iran (which is why you used to hear reports of arms seizures on the Eastern Mediterranean). But Hizbullah has funding capacity of its own (For eg The drug trade it engages in with the IDF) and sometimes buys weapons from the Black Markets.

  98. go somewhere else says:

    This link gives the history of the primitive rocket that Hammas were using to defend themselves against Israleis massacare of Palestinians. They are home made.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qassam_rocket

    Israel used phosphorous bombs, cluster bombs and othe WMD against defenseless people. No wonder a zionist pro Israel, Goldstone, could not ignore crime against humanity and after investigation charge Israel with genocide and crime against humanity which no one has taken any action. The stooges at ICC go after Bashir and leave the war criminals inlcuding US – Israel – Britain off the hook.

  99. Tzvi,

    I confess that I have no idea whatsoever what military support is provided by Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon or to Hamas in Gaza. But I have long wondered exactly how the missiles that (indisputably) have rained down on Israel make their way – physically – from Iran to Lebanon or from Iran to Gaza.

    Can you or anyone else explain this to me? I do not mean to dispute that it happens – it’s just that I’ve never quite understood how.

  100. Tzvi,

    “Israel doesn’t execute its prisoners, regardless how heinous their crimes are.
    Doesn’t this alone elevates Israel to a much higher and humane level then Iran?”

    I guess so, if your only criterion is whether a country imposes the death penalty. If that’s your only point, I’ll say for the third time that you’ve made it well. But if your point goes beyond that, I’m missing it. Aren’t you equating Iran and the US (most of whose states execute prisoners too), and placing Israel above both of them? Maybe that is what you intend, but I’d prefer that you say so explicitly, and that you proceed to explain how you would distinguish Iran from the US.

  101. Nasser,

    Best to respond separately, on “non-moral” grounds here, to your comment on the “alarming” statement by this former Mossad chief about a possible “power-sharing arrangement” between Israel and Iran. Let me start by repeating my question to you, which you did not answer in your initial response:

    “Any idea what the former Mossad chief had in mind? I’m curious why you would point me to this.”

    I’ll try to get you started with a few more questions:

    Over what countries (and non-state actors) might Iran and Israel exercise power under this arrangement?

    How might that power be allocated between them?

    How might those countries and non-state actors feel about, and respond to, the Israel/Iran arrangement?

    What role, if any, do you suppose the US might play in maintaining this arrangement?

    The fact that you drew my attention to this brief passage in Katie Couric’s interview with this former Mossad chief suggests to me that you have thoughts on it. If so, I’m curious to hear them.

  102. Nasser,

    “Alarming how, Eric? Morally? I thought morality should not apply when talking about geopolitics.”

    You may well think that, Nasser, but you certainly didn’t hear it from me.

    FYI wrote: “States are not moral agents – they are expression of human collective will.”

    That doesn’t absolve humans of responsibility for the “collective will” expressed by their state – especially those humans who are in a position to discern that collective will and have authority to express it. A state acts in its own self-interest, but it does not follow that a state’s “self-interest” may not take account of moral values reflected in the “collective will” of its citizens. Moral values often are much vaguer criteria than hard economic, military or geo-political interests, and it often may be difficult to establish that a particular value reflects the “collective will” of a state’s citizens. But that vagueness and difficulty do not justify ignoring moral values altogether in state decisions.

    That unwarranted conclusion nevertheless appears to have been drawn by FYI himself, as when he wrote “A collective has no responsibility” and “I think it best to avoid this subject since it detracts from the main discussion, the geopolitics of each state,” and by you when you replied: “Well said, will do in the future.”

    All that may sound sensible to you and FYI. But don’t assume that readers who fail to respond to such remarks necessarily agree with them.

  103. Nasser says:

    Dear Tzvi,

    You call the starvation policy towards Gaza a myth but it is not a myth. UN has made reports of stunted growth among Palestinian children. It might not be as severe as Nazi concentration camp situations but it is very significant. Some neocon commentators (Marty Pretz for one) have long made such suggestions to reverse the birth rates among Palestinians!

    You also write: “Gaza may become an Iranian outpost threatening the entire ME and western Europe with potentially, Iranian nuclear missiles.” I was hoping you wouldn’t reduce yourself to such racist hysteria like so many others on this site. This is what Martin van Creveld, an Israeli military historian I otherwise much admire reportedly said: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets of our air force…If Israel goes down it would take the whole world down with it.” I must say I thought such a blunt threat was way scarier than any hypothetical mullah nukes.

  104. Nasser says:

    Dear Fiorangela, I will try to give you a detailed response:

    You write: “I was chastened by your earlier comment regarding the prophets etc.” I don’t know what you are talking about here, I never talk about religion.

    I meant the “war debts” as a figure of speech. I was suggesting that Iran could have used the opportunity to forge a useful relationship and since Iran has no shortages of enemies it need have created another one.

    Israel was cooperating with the government of Iran at the time which happened to be the Shah. It just so happens that that government was an awful one. That doesn’t mean when the opposition comes to power the state of Iran should forego all relationship with Israel just because the opposition had an axe to grind with Savak.
    Mature western nations do not conduct their foreign policy with such emotionality. They keep their foreign relations intact even when the opposition comes to power. This disregard for Iranian national interest is still present in Iranian domestic politics today. We even this when the Greens chant death to Russia and China, isolating Iran internationally even more.

    Iran has never backed a two state solution. It seeks to defer the issue to the Palestinians, in essence a one state solution with a right to return for refugees. Israel of course regards this as unacceptable, a hostile stance and as a denial of their right to exist.

    Halevy is one of the most reasonable Israeli commentators I have come across and he happens to be an insider. Sadly, such figures as him are a rarity these days in Israel. He specifically says: “Israel and Iran need not be enemies, they can be friends.” I sincerely believe such an outcome would be in the best interest of both countries. As to Halevy’s other remarks, of course the Israeli state would try to isolate and portray as pariahs those they regard as hostile. Don’t the Iranians do the same thing by calling Israel such things as “cancerous” and “a tumor.”

    As to Israel’s human rights record which is truly deplorable, I have to ask why should Iran care? The Arabs don’t seem to care when Iranians die of chemical bombardment. They also don’t seem to like Iran poking its nose in Palestinian politics; they also seem to discard Iran’s substantive help for some futile gestures made by a Sunni Erdogan. So why should Iran make geopolitical sacrifices for those contemplating opening up their airspace for aerial strikes against Iran?

    One more thing regarding Israel’s human rights record though, they do these atrocities onto others. Iranians mutilate themselves. You would never find Israelis do something like this to themselves: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/world/middleeast/07haircut.html

    Lastly, I have to take issue with what I would consider chauvinistic even racist comparisons between Israel and Iran that you have made. You characterize Iran as: “an educated, indigenous population 70 million strong with 3000 year deep roots in a significant chunk of real estate with a major supply of natural resources that the world needs…” Yes, but despite having all these resources Iran is in a pitiful state with a totalitarian government, an economy in shambles (despite all the hydro carbon riches), suppression of all civic freedoms at home, and of course facing the possibility of warfare and bombardment. The Israelis, despite having no significant resources to speak of, not even a state to begin with has managed to carve out something for themselves and has imposed its will on the region. I think that (no matter how morally deplorable) deserves Respect! Just think what they could have done had they the resources that Iran has!

  105. Nasser says:

    Eric you write: “…it might be possible for them to work out some sort of “power-sharing arrangement,” an alarming phrase that …”

    Alarming how Eric? Morally? I thought morality should not apply when talking about geopolitics. Such an offer should be very appealing to Iran, geopolitically speaking. That is why I pointed you to it.

  106. Nasser says:

    “The UN- who are not Israels’ friend- certified that Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the last square inch-so why there is a need for a Hezbollah with 40000 missiles…” Tzvi, Israel still occupies the Sheba Farms. Israel continues to violate Lebanese aispace on a a daily basis while Hezbollah is adhering to the ceasefire agreement. Hezbollah has been very clear that it would continue to resist Israel as long as Israel occupies Sheba Farms.

    Shimon Peres has made the claim that Israel would withdraw from these lands when Hezbollah disarms. So why might you ask Hezbollah not disarmed yet? To which I will respond by saying that you must not be very familiar with Lebanese domestic politics!

  107. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    This site allows a Zionist liar, tzvi gross, comes to this site to deflect attention from the main subject to spread lies which have been proven wrong to majority of people interested in the truth.

    It would be enough to look at what this person has put forward so far to realize that the aim is spread of propaganda to protect the interest of an apartheid state who has committed numerous genocide and war crime against humanity.

    People who comment at this site and are looking for substance not Zionist hasbara must stop exchanging comments with zionist propagandist at once, because the aim of this disinformation, like conventional media, is not to inform you but to mislead you about a criminal, apartheid, racist, terrorist state and deflect your attention away from Israel’s crime onto other groups who are the victims of zionist brutality.

    You do not need to prove anything to anyone any longer because the crime of the Zionists are documented by so many investigation, even by the zionist pro Israel, like Goldstone report, but the war criminals veto any action against the criminal state because the elite of the United States is 100 percent are in the pocket of the zionist bankers and have their own interest at heart not American people.

    Everyone with shallow knowledge of the region knows that **Israel does not want peace** but war since Zionist project is **expansion** beyond Palestine. Israel is using an excuse like ‘Israel security’ forgetting that Israel is the only state sitting on 400 illegal bombs in the region yet her ‘security’ is considered ‘unique’ because they are ‘chosen people’ so they feel ‘threaten’ by anything moves, thus, they have to eliminate them. Therefore, they install Zionist stooges at the WH to implement Zionist policy against other groups in the region and squeeze more $$$$ and military equipment out of America through their fifth column, Israel lobby.

    Everyone including Mossad believes that ISRAEL AS BURDEN ON AMERICA AND A LIABILITY.
    Zionist plan is to establish ‘greater Israel’ from Mauritania to Afghanistan. The aim of wars is to destabilize and partition the regional states, according to ODED YINON, to create pawns like Kurds to control the states and the resources of the region. Only the Zionist stooges at the WH do not see it, everyone in the region knows it. According to Atzmon, another empire will go down the tube by the Jews since they bring the economy down through all these stupid wars.

    Gilard Atzmon believes that the Zionist Jews used British Empire, French empire and now are controlling American empire to erect and expand the interest of ‘jewish state’ at the expense of the people.

    Finklstein said:
    Israel’s main goal in the Gaza slaughter was to fend off the latest threat posed by Palestinian moderation. For the past three decades the international community has consistently supported a settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict that calls for two states based on a full Israeli withdrawal to its June 1967 border, and a “just resolution” of the refugee question
    based on the right of return and compensation. The vote on the annual U.N. General Assembly resolution, “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine,” supporting these terms for resolving the conflict in 2008 was 164 in favor, 7 against (Israel, United States, Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau), and 3 abstentions. … For example, in March 2008 Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas’s Political Bureau, stated in an interview:

    There is an opportunity to deal with this conflict in a manner different than Israel and, behind it, the U.S. is dealing with it today. There is an opportunity to achieve a Palestinian national consensus on a political program based on the 1967 borders, and this is an exceptional circumstance, in which most Palestinian forces, including Hamas, accept a state on the 1967 borders….There is also an Arab consensus on this demand, and this is a historic situation. …Israel is fully cognizant that the Hamas Charter is not an insurmountable obstacle to a two-state settlement on the June 1967 border.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFD5e5ZLSqg&feature=player_embedded

  108. tzvi gross says:

    Eric,
    I am sorry, but I thought that I have already replied. According to international execution statistics, Iran executed nearly 300 of it’s own citizens last year- and this are the confirmed ones, and who knows how many more, unconfirmed.
    Israel doesn’t execute it’s prisoners, regardless how heinous their crimes are.
    Doesn’t this alone elevates Israel to a much higher and humane level then Iran?
    I think it should reflect the humanity of the Israelis, against the ugliness of the Iranian regime.
    That’s what I was trying to say.
    The demonization of Israelis got to stop, as they are fine people, and try to do the best they can to prevent blood shed, unlike their opponents.
    By the way, I think that’s also a significant reason for the bad press they receive. a journalist tries to protect it’s skin from the greatest threat, Arab murder- and sells his soul in the process. He knows he can write anything about Israel and will reach him no harm, while he would be killed by Islamists in Iran, or anywhere in the ME, if he would be just and honest.
    It’s cowardice at it’s worst.

  109. tzvi gross says:

    fiorangela,
    “Can you -or anyone- name one instance in which Iran has taken aggressive action to escalate tensions in the region”?
    You sure must be mad. Who arms the Hamas and Hezbollah to the teeth? The UN- who are not Israels’ friend- certified that Israel withdrew from Lebanon to the last square inch-so why there is a need for a Hezbollah with 40000 missiles, if not to protect Iran as a forward position, with Lebanon knowing full well that they will be an unintended consequence of that conflagration?
    Israel also withdrew from Gaza to the last Square inch- so why is Hamas being armed to the teeth- baring Israels’ embargo- if not to be sacrificed on behalf of Iran?
    Cynical geopolitics of your favorite nation, who takes no aggressive action against any one.
    Strange- I could have been fooled.

  110. Nasser:

    “Here’s an interview of the Former Mossad Chief giving his frank views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byShLamhq8w Watch from the 7:00 onward.”

    I listened. He said that Iran and Israel need not be enemies, that it might be possible for them to work out some sort of “power-sharing arrangement,” an alarming phrase that, regrettably, Katie Couric did not see fit to ask further about.

    Any idea what the former Mossad chief had in mind? I’m curious why you would point me to this.

  111. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser – you wrote: “All, I am suggesting is that Iran isolated as it was, shunned by both superpowers could have used this opportunity and forged a better relationship with the Israelis.”

    I don’t suppose Hafez or Saadi would have resorted to this inelegant retort; it’s what we Americans call homespun wisdom: “It never pays to get in a p***ing contest with a skunk.”
    Having emerged from such a contest feeling stinky, Iran might have felt a bit wary of a re-engagement with Israel.

    Moreover, Iran DID play by the rules with respect to Israel, and pursued several large contract claims against Israel, relative to Israel and Iran’s joint project of shipping and marketing Iranian oil to Israel, thence to Europe. Israel realized a very lucrative revenue stream from selling Iranian oil to Europe, until the flow was halted in 1979. In 1985, Iran sued Israel; Israel delayed and deflected for about 20 years, until finally, in about 2004 (?) a Swiss arbitrator handed down a decision in Iran’s favor: a neutral arbitrator decided that Israeli oil companies owed Iran several hundreds of millions of dollars. Israel has not paid its debt to Iran. I don’t know about you; when one of my client’s jerks me through the legal system, then refuses to pay an adjudicated debt, I’m disinclined to engage in further business with that client: there are other fish in the sea.

  112. Tzvi,

    You wrote to Fiorangela:

    “Fiorangela, Thanks for pointing out that NYT article about Iranian Jews, and of other minorities’ treatment by the Persian rulers. It was a sad article, reading between the lines the fear and coercion, and open racism suffered by minorities in Iran- ”a Muslim is forbidden to vote for a Jew in elections.””

    A few comments here:

    1. For those interested, here’s the NYT article (by Roger Cohen, in Feb. 2009):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/23/opinion/23cohen.html?_r=1

    2. Here’s the passage you purported to quote from Mr. Cohen’s article:

    “Jews elect one representative to Parliament, but can vote for a Muslim if they prefer. A Muslim, however, cannot vote for a Jew.”

    Mr. Cohen does not explain how he reached this incorrect conclusion. The Iranian constitution provides for at least one Jewish representative in the Iranian parliament (Majlis), regardless of how many (or few) people vote for that representative, and neither the constitution nor any law I am aware of prohibits a Muslim (or anyone else) from voting for a Jew. Given the small number of Jewish voters in Iran, I’ll venture a guess that the Jewish representative to parliament gets fewer votes than are typically necessary to elect a Muslim representative.

    3. You wrote that it “was a sad article, reading between the lines the fear and coercion, and open racism suffered by minorities in Iran.”

    You might find it more illuminating to read the actual lines, rather than “between them,” and that you hold writers like Mr. Cohen to the same standards as you would hold posters on this website.

  113. tzvi gross says:

    Dear Nasser,
    Regarding Gaza, I beg to differ.
    Starving Gazans? It’s a myth. There are countless videos, and photos of Gazans, and nobody shows any effects of starvation, unlike some people at the African continent, or pictures of Holocaust survivors, or people in the Biafra conflict.You can see when people starve.
    I still think that the Israeli withdrawal was done by a a corrupt politician- Sharon- for a political gain, as by following the Israeli leftists’ demand for withdrawal, they forgave his corruption, and he didn’t end up in jail. His son did, after Sharon became incapacitated.
    I personally think that the withdrawal was a grave mistake, and made the over all situation much worst. Gaza may become an Iranian outpost threatening the entire ME and western Europe with potentially,Iranian nuclear missiles.
    As far as Israels’ attitude to the livelihood of the Pals,the facts are that 55% of the entire Israeli flower export originated from Gush Katif,Gaza, and it was left intact for the Gaza Pals, with Israel agreeing to export it for them. This alone could have sustained hundred thousand Gazans, but the authorities destroyed them instead.
    Israel should’d be blamed for the wrong political decisions of the militant Islamists of Gaza, who rule mercilessly over their people,who would like to arm to the teeth-if not both Israel and Egypt preventing them- and launge the whole Arab world into a bloody conflict against Israel, on Irans’ behalf, who will not move a finger with the ensuing mutual carnage, just like during the last Gaza conflict.

  114. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser,
    I was chastened by your earlier comment regarding the prophets etc. (with which I have a fundamental, historical and objective disagreement, ie. I think you’re wrong about the history of the ‘prophetic’ — by which I think you mean Abrahamic — traditions: you’ve incorporated the Sunday school version, which is suitable for Sunday mornings but not for matters of geopolitical moment.)

    This comment of yours, however:

    “Yes I do believe Iran has gone well out of its way to make an enemy of Israel. At the very least you must admit that Iran has done a hell of a way of repaying its war debts! Iran could have taken a number of steps to reduce hostilities: a public thank you would have been nice, it could have backed a two state solution,”

    as well as what I assume is your endorsement of Ephraim Halevey’s comments to Katie Couric, make me think you’ve gone off the rails.

    re: “Iran went out of its way to make an enemy of Israel.”
    In “All the Shah’s Men” Stephen Kinzer describes how Iranian weavers reassembled official documents retrieved in the US embassy. Those documents revealed the ways in which Israel and the US had been systematically plundering, spying on, and, thru SAVAK, viciously mistreating Iranians. That is, Iranians discovered that their “friend” and “ally” Israel and the US had been abusing them, exploiting their ‘friendship’. Americans might do well to take a lesson from Iran’s discovery of this abusive relationship.

    re: “you must admit that Iran has done a hell of a way of repaying its war debts! Iran could have taken a number of steps to reduce hostilities: a public thank you would have been nice…”

    You kiddin’ me? Iran DID repay its war debts, in hard, cold cash: that’s one of the main reasons Israel was so delighted to keep Iran and Iraq at loggerheads, killing each other: the cash was flowing, baby, and the lord looked on what he had made and found it was good. And there were revenue streams and cash flows the first day, the second day, the third day….

    In contrast, Iraq went into debt to prosecute the war that Saudi Arabia and the US encouraged Iraq to fight. It was that debt that led to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that led to the US declaration of the first Persian Gulf war that led to genocidal sanctions against Iraq that led to the second invasion of Iraq that led to the destruction of Iraq’s culture, history, institutions, infrastructure, about 1 million of its citizens, and the displacement of about 4 million more. But I digress.

    re: “[Iran]could have backed a two state solution,”

    Iran HAS backed a two-state solution; in his speech at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad declared Iran’s support for a solution to the I/P conflict that would be acceptable to Palestinians, such acceptance being registered by a referendum of all the people concerned. Isn’t that what democracy is all about? Iran has held that position far longer than Israel has been dragging its feet while concurrently occupying hilltop settlements in a militarily designed ring around the crumbs left for Palestinians to form a state. Israel has, by design, diplomatically resisted and delayed implementation of a two-state solution in order to create “facts on the ground” that would make a two-state solution impossible. Iran had nothing to do with Ariel Sharon building settlements on hilltops ringing East Jerusalem and on every aquifer in the West Bank; that was Israel’s doing, and Israel’s alone.

    Halevey’s commentary to Katie the Cute were outrageous: the two-year old stomping his foot and telling his elder, “I Am In Charge; You Must Do What I Say.” Really. It was hard to listen to Halevey’s bluster after a point, but let’s give it a go:

    Couric pointed to Israel’s exercise involving 100 Israeli aircraft and suggested that might be “escalating tensions.” Halevey said, “Both sides, both Israel and Iran, have been escalating tensions.”
    Can you — can anyone — name one instance in which Iran has taken aggressive action to “escalate tensions” in the region in the past dozen years?

    Halevey complained that “it is incongruous to give Iran anything but the status of a pariah state.” tzvi gross complains on this forum that Israel is singled out for criticism, that: “[people] truly believe that Israel is a worst human right abuser, more then-let say- Iran, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Libya and probably 80% of UN membership?”
    Well, yes, Israel DOES have a worse human rights record than Iran, for certain, and likely worse than Turkey: how many thousands of people have Iran and Turkey killed in the last 5 years? How about Israel? Israel is “singled out for criticism” because it does horrendous things to innocent civilians in numbers far disproportionate to any provocations it endures. If the word ‘pariah’ means anything, its a gross injustice to attach it to Iran rather than to Israel, Mr. Halevey.

    Halevey is “very troubled” that US might grant Iran “status that it does not have a right to” as a “hegemon in the region.” “It is unthinkable…that Iran should become a player in the international community,” fumed Halevey.

    Right: an educated, indigenous population 70 million strong with 3000 year deep roots in a significant chunk of real estate with a major supply of natural resources that the world needs should cede influence to a twerp state that has to cobble together an internally fractious demographic body by paying them to move to Israel, a state that is run on the basis of a religio-mythic ideology, that exists at the sufferance and the suffering of a supplanted indigenous people, that has no resources and little talent other than that imported from Russian and American universities, that runs its economy on US taxpayer subsidies and on a record of refusing to pay its just debts — THAT twerp state SHOULD have major influence in the region. Why? Because, says Halevey, “we’ve got the biggest military.”

    And that, dear Nasser, is the geopolitical argument Davutoglu, Erdogan, Ahmadinejan, Basheer, and Meshall have blown out of the water just as evidently as IDF dropped out of helicopters onto the Mavi Marmera: the power of logic defeats the logic of power. But Israel and the US are, for religious, ideological, and financial reasons inextricably committed to the logic of power: the US economy’s last remaining manufacturing base is, arguably, in the defense industry: where else shall we send our sons and daughters who master science and math? Over the past 50 years and more the American people have been heavily propagandized with the Politics of Fear, to the extent that the American herd is now quite comfortable in reciting, “kill them over there so we don’t have to kill them over here,” and they no longer see how this offends the very essence of the Enlightenment humanism that was the basis of the establishment of the United States.

    Religion in the United States and in Israel has become debased by political zionism: the history of that debasement tracks back to at least Woodrow Wilson’s tenure, but it’s another story, and I’m late for an appointment.

  115. tzvi gross says:

    James,
    Please stop your misinformation campaign already. You still haven’t provided proof to your earlier wild allegations, and you come up with new ones.
    A)Iran accepts a 2 state solution: So how come they support the rejectionist front of Hamas- Hezbollah against the more “moderate” PA faction?
    B)Hamas observed cease fire-fairly well; Can I have a source for that, besides your fanciful imagination?
    I start to formulate an opinion about your factual competence.

  116. Tzvi Gross:

    You wrote to Pirouz: “Pirouz, I guess, you don’t wish to comment about the video I asked you to view.”

    Pirouz didn’t, but I did, at some length. Any response, Tzvi?

  117. Nasser says:

    James,

    Iran has a record of trying to sabotage any peace process. What Iran has in effect backed is a one state solution which the Israelis of course interprets as a denial of their right to exist. “Palestinian refugees should return and Muslims, Christians and Jews could choose a government for themselves, excluding immigrant Jews.”-Khameinei

  118. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Iran has given a number of signals over the years that it would accept an independent Palestine comprising the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, if the Palestinians accept that outcome. In other words, the “two-state” solution is available, if Israel accepts it.

  119. James Canning says:

    tzvi,

    The Hamas ceasefire in Gaza was being observed fairly effectively, in the four or five months before Israel launched its murderous attack in late 2008.

    Serious advocates of a total Israeli pullout from the West Bank accept that a large peace-keeping force will need to be deployed for a number of years.

  120. Nasser says:

    Dear Tzvi,

    You write: “Israel withdrew from Gaza to the last inch, and the precedent proved to be terrible for the Jewish state.” Israel withdrew precisely so they could consecrate on strengthening their hold on the West Bank. Also, why let the Palestinians hold elections if you were not willing to accept the results? And, you cannot continue to blockade, bombard and lead a starvation campaign against a people and still characterize it as “withdrawing to the last inch.” But, I am not bitter towards Israel, I have no right to be. I am however furious at Egypt for treating their fellow Arabs that way. The real question is why does Israel get so much heat and not Egypt; there would be no blockade without Egyptian compliance.

  121. Sineva says:

    No offence taken in the least Eric,I agree with you

  122. tzvi gross says:

    FYI,
    Thank for acknowledging my answer.
    Israel withdrew from Gaza to the last inch, and the precedent proved to be terrible for the Jewish state.
    Instead of cultivating the green houses left behind and transferred to the Pals under the auspices of the Word Bank, they have been destroyed, making hundred thousands of Pals overnight paupers. and the rackets started raining down on Israeli cities.
    What do you think will happen – based on this precedent- if Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria? But this time it has the potential to be 100 times worst, considering the long border area,. and the close proximity of the borders to the entire Israeli state, and all these, without mentioning the emotional attachment to this Biblical land by many Israelis, which will complicate this situation even further.
    If there would be viable solutions easily found- they would have been found already. There are no simplistic answers for the present situation, and do nothing, is less perilous in the Israeli mind, then giving the territory up.
    By the way, Iran does all it can to muddy the waters all around Israel with assistance and encouragement to the most extreme anti Israel elements in the ME-Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. and now, there is a new development of a competition between Turkey and Iran about their sphere of influence with thew anti-Israel crowd.
    will be interesting to follow these new developments.

  123. Nasser says:

    Dear Fiorangela,

    I agree with your quotations that Israel didn’t exactly provide its support because of any particular love for the Iranians but because of a greater fear of Saddam. All, I am suggesting is that Iran isolated as it was, shunned by both superpowers could have used this opportunity and forged a better relationship with the Israelis. Instead Iran got too emotional just like it did during the hostage crisis and conducted a foreign policy blunder that it is still paying for today.

  124. Fiorangela says:

    tzvi gross, having read and re-read the Guidelines for this forum, I respectfully decline to engage in a discussion of Israel as such or Israel in relation to Palestine.

    My interests and abilities may not be completely in line with the rigorous (and welcome) demands of this weblog, but inasmuch I am keenly interested to see my country, the USofA, behave “more morally” (that whole ‘more perfect union’ thang), and to see the US establish a relationship with Iran, I choose to commit my efforts to mastering that body of knowledge and must refrain from dabbling in the Israel/Palestine distraction.

    I do hope you understand.

  125. tzvi gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    No different then what Sweden, Switzerland and other neutral countries have done in the second world war. It’s called Real-politics.
    If you have 2 enemies killing each other- they don’t have the opportunity to kill you. It’s not pretty, but wouldn’t you call it self preservation?
    Wasn’t Israel in a state of war with Iraq, and was declared as a mortal enemy by the Mullahs of Iran?

  126. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    Again, if I understand you correctly, you fear that the Jew will be miniroty in his own country.

    That is a legitimate concern.

    Then why do not you leave the West Bank as you have already left Gaza?

  127. Nasser says:

    Dear Eric A. Brill,

    You write: “Valid point in your first sentence: Israel supported Iran in a war 25-30 years ago. Is it your impression that Iran and Israel don’t get along today because Iran has “gone out and made an enemy” of Israel?”

    Yes I do believe Iran has gone well out of its way to make an enemy of Israel. At the very least you must admit that Iran has done a hell of a way of repaying its war debts! Iran could have taken a number of steps to reduce hostilities: a public thank you would have been nice, it could have backed a two state solution, it could have had limited relations such as exchanging military attaches or held back channel talks, it could have explained that Hezbollah is motivated far more by domestic Lebanese politics than any particular enmity towards Israel. But no, it has done none of these things, the current Iranian government is too emotionally and ideologically motivated to conduct its foreign policy competently (you can even see this when it chants death to Russia and China).

    I would argue that such extremist support for the Palestinian cause has yielded no significant benefits for Iran. We can see this with the continued hostilities towards Iran by most of the Arabs (Arab Ajam) and their hasty embrace of Erdogan (who hasn’t even cut ties with Israel). I hope you are not suggesting Eric that Iran sacrifices her geopolitical interests just because it finds Israel’s actions to be morally outrageous?

    Here’s an interview of the Former Mossad Chief giving his frank views: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byShLamhq8w Watch from the 7:00 onward.

  128. tzvi gross says:

    Pirouz,
    I guess, you don’t wish to comment about the video I asked you to view.
    You will rather try to discredit the messenger not with facts but with your own opinion. I don’t think this will influence any one who knows how to distinguish between facts and fantasy.

  129. Fiorangela says:

    Nasser wrote: “An objective look at Iran’s national interest would show you that Israel supported Iran during a very bloody war with Iraq”

    from “The Secret War with Iran,” Ronen Bergman:

    “During the Shah’s regime, Israel and America had kept Iran well armed; but now, following the seizure of the U S Embassy and the subsequent hostage crisis, America had declared a general boycott of Iran, and demanded that its allies do the same.
    “Not everyone complies with the US Demands. … One French firm, apparently under the protection of a high official in French intelligence, signed a contract with a British firm to supply engines for Scorpion light tanks to Iran…. They also approached the Israel Defense Ministry’s representative in Paris, offering to act as an intermediary for sales of Israeli supplies.
    “Amazingly, Israel responded. Khomeini’s regime openly endorsed the destruction of Israel, yet there were enough people in Israel who thought they should sell arms to him, in secret, for the operation code-named ‘Seashell’ to be born. It puts the later Iran-contra scandal to shame.
    “There were four main reasons why Operation Seashell went forward. First, Israel could not come to terms with the the military, intelligence, and diplomatic losses that it had sustained with the disruption of relations with Iran after the revolution. Arms exports would at least give it a foothold in Tehran. In Israel’s defense establishments, the lesson had been learned from many cases over the years that swiftly supplying weaponry and military know-how to a totalitarian state will bring the supplier as close as possible to the rulers, because weapons are their means of holding on to power.
    “Second, it was hoped that the infusion of weaponry would intensify the Iran-Iraq war and lead to the mutual destruction or, at least weakening, of two enemies.
    “Third, Israeli officials feared a victorious Saddam Hussein.
    “Finally, more than anything else, the weapons industry wanted to make money. As one Israeli Defense Ministry official, a key figure in Operation Seashell, recalls,: ‘I do not remember even one discussion about the ethics of the matter. All that interested us was to sell, sell, sell more and more Israeli weapons, and let them kill each other with them.’ ” p. 43

  130. tzvi gross says:

    Fyi,
    You again confuse opinions with facts. Opinion “including Pals from the territories as Israelis, will not cause any substantial change” not verbatim.
    Facts- add the number of Israeli Arabs+Gaza+ Judea and Samaria Arabs= Majority, or close to an outright Arab majority, and The state the Jews fought so hard and long to have for self protection will be stolen from them, and ceases to exist. I presume, that’s what you want, to render the Jews again defenceless, and subject to the good will of the World. They have been there and done that, and hopefully will never be sweet talked into it again.
    What happens to human intellect when it comes into conflict with one’s own prejudices- a sad example.

  131. Pirouz says:

    I’ve actually seen a better defense of the Zionist regime on another site, by a brilliant mid-ranking US Army officer who was jewish. He was able to bring the discussion to a draw using specifically legalist arguments, but even so he could never outright win the argument.

    By comparison, this hasbara commenter stumbles all over herself. Not worth the time of engagement.

  132. tzvi gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    If you want your position to be taken seriously by any self respecting Israeli-as after all, that’s what you want, to convince them of the validity of your arguments-
    then could you explain to them how come it’s only them ever being hauled in front of the UN human right commission in front of panelist-judges like Syria, Iran, Libya amongst others.
    How can you explain to the Israelis that it’s only done in the name of world peace and justice, as they have done very, very wrong?
    This kind of singling out, could make even the most leftist thinking Israeli into a sceptic ,and a cynical observer of such a parody.

  133. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    Thank you for your comments.

    My information about the casual murder of the Palestinian medics by the Israeli soldeirs has come from multiple sources. I trust it as much as I trust that the American Revolution did in fact occur.

    If I understand you, Israelis want to have a pure Jewish state.

    They currently do not have it per your own admission with the Arabs citizens of Israel.

    The inclusion of the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank will not change the situation qualitatively.

    I fail to see the issue.

  134. Nasser says:

    Tzvi,

    I advocate for Iran to have a better relationship with Israel because I genuinely believe it is in Iran’s national interest to do so. I recall the fact that Israel was the only country helping Iran during the ’80s when most of the Arab governments that Iran now advocates for in Islamic solidarity were funding Saddam’s war crimes against her. Besides, Iran has plenty of hostile neighbors already so why go out and make another enemy; a nuclear armed one at that.

    Similarly, I also advocate Israel to better treat her neighbors and end the occupation not because I am so sympathetic for the Palestinians (which I am) but because Israel’s conducts make it a public relations liability for anyone (particularly muslim governments) to be seen having any relations with her.

    Lastly, you write: “Do they truly believe that Israel is a worst human right abuser, more then-let say- Iran, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Libya and probably 80% of UN membership? So why is Israel being singled out so blatantly and disproportionally?” Yes all these states have blood on their hands but there is something I deeply admire about western states. What is true of Israel and other western countries is that they treat themselves right and commit crimes unto others. We in muslim countries like the ones you listed don’t just do wrongs onto others, we treat our own selves badly.

  135. tzvi gross says:

    Dear FIY,
    I am sorry that you use hearsay or unsubstantiated facts to demonise Israel”killing Palestinian Medics”. In the same vain you could claim that Norwegians killing civilians in Afghanistan, and demonise them too.Israel is in one long continuous war to defend it’s citizens from murder and anarchy, -and considering the fact that if you are an Israeli Jew, a simple mistake in direction may result in your lynching -I think they can teach the world example in humanity, while being in a constant state of war,in spite of huge concessions made-erroneously-in Oslo. Along with that I wouldn’t claim that there are absolutely no occasional, rare wrong doings, but the anti Israeli propaganda is way disproportionate to reality, unless you claim that Israel, as a political entity is an atrocity, in which case there is no longer an argument, as just by existing one is considered a criminal.
    About why Israel doesn’t bestow Israeli citizenship on the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, and maybe also Gaza, are you serious?
    Israel fought to defend a state where a Jew will be able to call it’s own after centuries of exile and terrible sufferings, now you want them to commit a national suicide?
    Maybe after a 100 years of mutual peace, there can be some sort of federation, but now, with the amount of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli hatred spoon fed to any young Arab and Palestinian, how could they live together?
    You must not be serious, or you are just just plainly naive.
    Look what happens between Muslims themselves, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and on and on, without introducing a different cultural, religious and ethnic element into the equation.

  136. Fiorangela says:

    tzvi gross, you’re hitting all the hasbara talking points:

    http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-make-case-for-israel-and-win.html

    we rock
    you suck
    they suck
    everybody sucks (the argument you just floated: “why is everybody picking on Israel, so many other places are so much worse.”)

    Hasbara, of course, is not unique; men (and women) have been using distorted and false logic to advance claims for thousands of years.
    Your attempt to deflect criticism from Israel is a variant of tu quoque — “you also”. Tu quoque argues (fallaciously) that the adversary ALSO commits N wrong, therefore it is acceptable the arguer to do so. The argument fails because if a thing is wrong to do, it’s wrong, no matter who does it.

    Israel is called out for doing wrong things because Israel is doing wrong things. Shooting unarmed American civilians in the head, four times, while on board another state’s ship in international waters, is a wrong thing to do.

    duh

  137. Nasser,

    You wrote to Go Somewhere Else:

    “An objective look at Iran’s national interest would show you that Israel supported Iran during a very bloody war with Iraq while these Muslim Arabs you are advocating for were using chemical weapons against Iranian civilians. Why go out and make an enemy with this faraway country that Iran has no territorial disputes with when Iran already has a bunch of hostile neighbors plus the Fifth Fleet to deal with?”

    Valid point in your first sentence: Israel supported Iran in a war 25-30 years ago. Is it your impression that Iran and Israel don’t get along today because Iran has “gone out and made an enemy” of Israel?

  138. Nasser says:

    Dear Fiorangela, as the Leveretts themselves have put it: “More specifically, the purpose of the comment section is to promote informed debate, share pertinent information and news items, and encourage constructive criticism and analysis about Iran and its geopolitics.” They bolded “Iran and its geopolitics.”

    The fact of the matter is, States act to advance their own interests and thus are inherently in competition with one another. When acting on those interests, morality if anything is largely an afterthought. Even when morality is thought about it is to avoid international diplomatic fallout or domestic backlash thus harming national interests and not from a desire to do good. It is true that in democratic societies governments can be compelled to act in a more moral manner as I suppose is the aim of J Street. But the fact of the matter is Israel or any other rational state for that would only change their course of action when they see it is in their best interest (not ger voted out of office; avoid diplomatic isolation) to do so and not because of sentimentality.

  139. tzvi gross says:

    Nasser,
    You seem to be almost the only guy here uses logic, without an axe to grind. I don’t know what happens to people -whom could be thoughtful and logical on other topics- but lose it, when it comes to Israel? Do they truly believe that Israel is a worst human right abuser, more then-let say- Iran, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Libya and probably 80% of UN membership? So why is Israel being singled out so blatantly and disproportionally? It’s not a police state, and one could visit Pals in Judea and Samaria freely, in the most part, at any time?
    I hope my complement to you will not prove a liability at this forum.

  140. fyi says:

    Fiorangela:

    Thank you for your response.

    The Prophetic Tradition puts a burden on the individual; this is mediated through the myth – if you will – of the Creation of Man in the image of God and his subsequent Fall (from Grace).

    It is the individual who is a free agent and thus capable of moral choice (within the Prophetic Tradition) for good or ill.

    A collective has no responsibility. It is not made in the image of God, it is incapable of Grace or Redemption. Only an individual human being is capable of experiencing moral guilt and receiving salvation.

    Civilization is just a tool for us to make a living, from our births to our deaths. If we, like plants, could live off water, minerals, and sunlight, much of our civilization would have disappeared. It is not essential. In fact, 2000 years ago, Rabbis rejected Rome, in spite of her civilization, because it was Godless.

    You wrote: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” but this only pertains to the people who have accepted the Prophetic Traditions of West Asia. It does not pertains to the East Asian countries or vast tracts of Africa.

    The nexus is always the individual and his moral choice.

  141. Fiorangela says:

    fyi, Nasser, I disagree:

    you wrote:
    “States are not moral agents – they are expression of human collective will.
    They are not subject to the religious-based ethics of human beings.
    I think it best to avoid this subject since it detracts from the main discussion, the geopolitics of each state.”

    I’ve never studied political science so I’m not qualified to analyze the “geopolitics of each state” in an abstract political framework.

    But if states are “the expression of human collective will,” then states MUST be moral actors, since expression of a collective will devoid of moral consideration is not ‘human’ much less civilized but based on animal instinct or robot/computer programming, that knows only ends and means but not right and wrong. A state that has no moral grounding is greatly to be feared.

    Yesterday, I attended a discussion hosted by J Street; one participant urged that the group not get lost in discussions of whether Israel was acting in accord with Torah principles or zionist principles but whether its behavior was “right or wrong.” Over the years, societies and cultures have developed some pretty basic determinants of right and wrong; principles around which ALL religious creeds and belief systems have found consensus: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

    I have heard political scientists argue that powerful governments — superpowers — are granted the right to act outside moral norms in order to provide for the greater good. I’m not sophisticated enough to understand that argument, and the rubble of history suggests to me that there is a fundamental flaw in the theory, a flaw that has too many times resulted in the deaths of too many people.

    I believe there are basic facts and tendencies of human nature that can be understood, and that people are held in collectives by shared mythologies — an essential element of religious systems. When mythologies go awry, when the augers are misread, such as when Croesus misunderstood the Delphic oracle that told him that a Lydian attack on Persia would “result in the destruction of a mighty empire,” people suffer. Thus, I believe it is not only germane and important but also essential to consider the myth systems and religious understandings of people and states, in order to understand how their thinking is shaped and influenced and whether it is congruent with the Golden Rule.

  142. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    And the poorly disciplined Israeli soldiers routinely murder Palestinian medics. They just make sure that the poor gullible Americans are not around to see it.

    But I digress.

    I am still curious to learn answers to the questions that I posed to you:

    What is preventing the Government of the State of Israel from granting full citizenship to the Arabs living there (in the Occupied Territories)?

    Would that not end the War?

    What is preventing it?

    Can you elaborate or otherwise explain?

  143. Tzvi,

    “I despair sometimes … that so many in the free world accept the Muslim narrative without asking questions, and checking for true facts.”

    You appear to do the very thing that causes you such despair. Your claims about the 2009 election reveal that you know very little about it. As for your comment on the “hanging videos” – that it is “irrelevant” who the defendants were, what they did, and whether they received a fair trial and right to appeal – I can’t say much more than to disagree again. All that does matter, unless your sole point was that you oppose the death penalty. One commenter said they were “political activists;” another said they were “drug runners;” a third said they had raped and beheaded a young woman. Are those distinctions really “irrelevant” to you?

  144. Nasser says:

    fyi:

    Don’t forget the oranges Iran buys from Israel :)

  145. tzvi gross says:

    Eric,
    Yes, with the absence of proof, as the Islamic regime has not allowed independent observers to see the ballots, you may believe that they have nothing to hide, while I believe that they have much to hide, and that’s why they are hiding it, but I respect your opinion, even though I didn’t think it’s logical, based also on the the speed Ahmadinejad was declared a winner. I think you are in a minority though-which on it’s own is not a proof that you are wrong.
    As far as your questions about the identities of those murdered Iranian- Kurds,Don’t you think that it’s irrelevant in the context of the point I am trying to make, that in Israel, Mega murderers are sitting in Jail awaiting a better life tomorrow, while in Iran, people are being cruelly executed, raped, tortured. These are not allegations, but proven facts. Here in Canada we had a Canadian -Iranian photo Journalist raped and murdered by the Iranian authorities who still refuse to turn over her body to her son in Canada.
    Israel is a terrorist’s paradise in comparison to Iran’s’ treatment of it’s dissenters, and look at the treatment Israel gets for her humanity.
    I despair sometimes, when I see this hatred of Jews, and that so many in the free world accept the Muslim narrative without asking questions, and checking for true facts. Understandably this kind of attitude will just increase the Israelis’ sense of insecurity,and retrenchment.

  146. Fiorangela says:

    Tzvi gross, you write the “facts” that you “fly frequently,” that you “have to stand in line,” and MAY be — emphasize MAY be subject to the “same kind of searches as Palestinians” are subjected to inevitably.

    Can you tell us exactly, factually, how many times you have been subjected to the “same kind of searches as Palestinians” are subject to EVERY TIME they seek to travel not on an airplane but to their homes, farms, work, school, hospital?

    You state further facts that, “it is not very pleasant,” that “you don’t appreciate it,” “but it’s an unfortunate by product of the world we are living in.” You assert as further facts, apparently to explain the etiology of “the world we live in” that “not all Islamists are suicide bombers but nearly all suicide bombers are Islamists.” And you register a psychological connection with the IDF, noting their “empathy” and “pleasantness,” and claim to have seen no “hatred or abuse.”

    Can you apply that same capacity to judge empathic intention on the part of the “young conscripts” to a judgment on WHY the “world we live in” is as it is? Your recitation of facts omits any mention of the FACT that Palestinians are occupied by the families of those young conscripts, and that those “pleasant” “empathic” young conscripts are controlling access to the land and property owned by the Palestinians but not by the “pleasant” “young conscripts.” The “pleasant,” “empathic” young conscripts are thieves, tzvi gross, as are the settlers the IDF protects and the government that supports them. That’s an important FACT to include in the narrative and the explanation of WHY the world we live in is as it is.

    Another fact that you alluded to but did not spell out is that while not every Jewish Israeli is in IDF, every IDF conscript is Jewish. In other words, one ethnic group controls the actions and rights of another group. That favored ethnic group –Jewish Israelis- controls the oppressed ethnic group – Palestinian Arab Israelis — with the use of weaponry, financial backing, and state sponsorship and political support which are denied to the controlled group. That’s another important fact that you omitted.

    You related your experience of traveling through airports to the experience of Palestinians passing through checkpoints (omitting that your transits are much less frequent, that you only MAY be searched, and if you are searched, it is by a compatriot, not an adversary). I assume that you also transit frequently into and out of your home, most likely through a door. In Hebron, IDF welded shut the doorways to the homes of Arab residents of Hebron, while the residents were inside. Arabs in Hebron are forced to crawl and climb over rooftops to walk from the interior of their homes to the streets outside their homes. I’m certain that if you had to do the same, for a fact you would find it “pleasant” and “empathic.” Like this: The Rooftops of Hebron

    As for your claim that the “pleasant” “empathic” IDF enforcement of Jewish Israeli ethnic superiority over dispossessed Arab Israelis is more or less cruel than the 2005 incident in which young Iranians were subjected to the death penalty, or in which Iran’s government quelled protests in the streets in June, 2009, using means that violated the rights of some, perhaps many Iranians, ask yourself these questions:
    Was Iran’s behavior on-going or was it episodic? Have the behaviors continued? Were Iran’s actions so heinous that the international community saw fit to attach the label ‘war crimes’ to them?

    Ask the same questions regarding Israel: since the execution depicted in that 2005 video, how many people have been killed by Israeli government action? Were the killings the result of a judicial process? Were they moral? Legal? State sponsored? Outrageous in their use of weaponry, tactics? Did they employ narratives and rhetoric to deceive their own citizens or their victims?

    Now YOU make the comparison, tzvi gross, based on a fuller set of facts: which is the cruel actor here, Iran or Israel?

    Finally, wouldn’t the “world we live in” be a better world if we were honest about the facts and causes of the acts of resistance that are so desperate that young people choose to sacrifice their lives rather than to live in a humiliated and oppressed state? Wouldn’t the “world we live in” be a better place if, instead of increasing the inspections and checkpoints and weapons and bombs and thefts and sanctions and starvations and demonizations and lies, we instead acknowledged the facts of criminal acts performed by oppressive regimes, both Israeli and Iranian, and STOPPED DOING THEM?

  147. fyi says:

    Nasser:

    Don’t forget the pistachio nuts and the wshing machines that Israelis buy from Iran right now.

  148. Nasser says:

    fyi wrote: “The comparisons among US, Iran, and Israel from ethical point of view, however edifying, is also irrelevant.
    All 3 states have blood on their hands; some more than others.
    States are not moral agents …
    I think it best to avoid this subject since it detracts from the main discussion, the geopolitics of each state.”

    Well said, will do in the future.

  149. Nasser says:

    GO SOMEWHERE ELSE: “tzvi gross = Nasser = zionist Hasbara = Kurds as Israel pawn”

    Just because I advocate for Iranian national interest without buying into the Islamic regime’s propaganda like you doesn’t make me a Zionist. An objective look at Iran’s national interest would show you that Israel supported Iran during a very bloody war with Iraq while these Muslim Arabs you are advocating for were using chemical weapons against Iranian civilians. Why go out and make an enemy with this faraway country that Iran has no territorial disputes with when Iran already has a bunch of hostile neighbors plus the Fifth Fleet to deal with? But of course, you drunk too much of the Islamic Regime’s propaganda KoolAid to tell fact apart from fiction.
    Justin Raimondo is wrong about the Kurds, just like he is wrong when he suggests that the Bosnian genocide never happened!

  150. fyi says:

    The comparisons among US, Iran, and Israel from ethical point of view, however edifying, is also irrelevant.

    All 3 states have blood on their hands; some more than others.

    States are not moral agents – they are expression of human collective will.

    They are not subject to the religious-based ethics of human beings.

    I think it best to avoid this subject since it detracts from the main discussion, the geopolitics of each state.

  151. Tvzi,

    “I think that majority of observers will accept it as a fact [that the 2009 election was stolen, and so Iran’s government is illegitimate], but it’s not provable, as the Mullahs didn’t allow independent observers to count the ballots. Did I answer your question reasonably?”

    Quite the contrary, Tvzi.

    As you may or may not know, my view on the election is much different. Click on my name in this post.

  152. Nasser says:

    Dear Tzvi,

    You write: “My impression is, that the relative civility shown towards other religious minorities, is only as long as they know their place, and parrot the government line. Dissent in not tolerated!” Everyone has to parrot the government line, its not just the minorities! My point was that Iranian society is strong enough to preserve diversity within their midst despite the “malevolence of the Islamic regime.” I thought this was pretty unique in the region and so took issue with you taking slights at Iran :)

  153. Tvzi,

    You wrote to Pirouz:

    “We all saw the cruelty of the Iranian regime in the wake of last years” elections, but if you really want to make a comparison, watch this video, and give me an honest comparison with the video you provided.
    http://www.ireport.com/docs//DOC-274670?ref=email. It’s not for the faint of heart, but truth can’t be denied.”

    The video indeed is gruesome. Thanks for the warning.

    These hangings (June 2009) appear to have had nothing at all to do with the 2009 election. I’m curious to know why you suggest they did.

    Do you know what these five men were accused of doing? Some commenters on your linked page said they were executed for unspecified “political activities;” others said they were convicted “drug runners.” Do you know?

    Do you know whether they received a trial and right to appeal?

    Do you at least know their names, so that we might find answers to these questions on our own?

    If you don’t know anything about these men other than what appears on the video, is your point merely that you are opposed to the death penalty? If so, it’s a fair point well made, but you appeared to be making a broader point.

    If what you suggest is true, your points may be valid, Tvzi, but we appreciate facts as much as you claim to. What you’ve offered here seems to fall short of what you demand from others.

  154. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    tzvi gross = Nasser = zionist Hasbara = Kurds as Israel pawn
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTt84I3bxF4

    Justine Raimondo in “PAWNS OF THE WAR PARTY” WRITES:

    {The Israelis are eager to use the Kurds as a tripwire for war, not only with Iran but with Syria, where restive Kurds have recently begun to rise against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. If the Israeli strategy is to spark a regional war that will rearrange the map of the Middle East and oust their enemies from Beirut to Tehran, then the Kurds are the perfect fuse. If you look at the claimed area of Kurdish predominance – “Greater Kurdistan” – it runs through Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and as far north as Armenia. Kurdistan, in short, is ideally located as a base from which to launch a campaign to destabilize Israel’s enemies and effect “regime change” throughout the Middle East.}

    The Isral’s pawn, the Kurds and other ‘minorities’ constructed by ODED YINON STRATEGY
    based on destabilization of the regional countries based on ethnic and religeous differences along with zionist hasbara take this wish with them into another world.

  155. tzvi gross says:

    Eric,
    I wouldn’t be a historical revisionist, if I would claim as a fact that the Iranian elections have been stolen from the people, which means that there is an illegitimate government in the land.
    I think that majority of observers will accept it as a fact, but it’s not provable, as the Mullahs didn’t allow independent observers to count the ballots.
    Did I answer your question reasonably?

  156. tzvi gross says:

    James,
    i am not a jurist, and can’t comment about the legality of Israels’ settlement in Judea and Samaria. Are you? I would have thought that if this would have been so, Israel would have been long ago hauled in front of the world court of justice, or some other similar body and blockaded by the entire world, so I don’t know about that. but please tell me your source again, just like I am still awaiting the sources of your claim about the 30,000 Arabs civilians Israel murdered over the past 30 years.
    Wild claims and exaggeration don’t make their claimants look very trust worthy.
    By the way, did you watch the video I recommended?
    What is your opinion about it, in comparison to Israel’s treatment of it’s Pals prisoners? Please provide documented facts facts and not wild hyperbole.

  157. Tzvi Gross:

    “Again, my impression is, that with the stolen elections the majority of the Iranian people are nothing more then hostages of their government, and the “tolerance” for some-but not all-religious minorities, is no more then a fig leaf to try to conceal the authoritarianism and malevolence of the Islamic regime.”

    Your early posts insisted on “facts” and damned counter-arguments as “opinions.” How would you characterize what you’ve written above?

  158. tzvi gross says:

    Nasser,
    Thanks for your civil article.
    My impression is, that the relative civility shown towards other religious minorities,is only as long as they know their place, and parrot the government line. Dissent in not tolerated!
    Again, my impression is, that with the stolen elections the majority of the Iranian people are nothing more then hostages of their government, and the “tolerance” for some-but not all- religious minorities, is no more then a fig leaf to try to conceal the authoritarianism and malevolence of the Islamic regime.

  159. James Canning says:

    tzvi gross,

    Your comparison is specious because the Israeli checkpoints are in someone else’s country and intended to benefit illegal colonists occuying that country.

  160. tzvi gross says:

    Pirouz,
    Thanks for pointing out the video about Israels’ checkpoint. The facts are as follows,
    I fly frequently, and I have to stay in line in every airport, and may be subject to the same kind of searches, for the same reason as the IDF conducts searches on Palestinians.It’s not very pleasant, and I really don’t appreciate it, but this is an unfortunate by product of the world we are living in, in which not all Islamists are suicide bombers, but nearly all suicide bombers are Islamists.
    I was actually pleasantly impressed by the empathy of the young Israeli conscripts with the Pals.they were more pleasant then some of the security people I meet at airports.
    I certainly saw no hatred, abuse or anything remotely resembling the above.
    Now, about Iran in comparison. We all saw the cruelty of the Iranian regime in the wake of last years” elections, but if you really want to make a comparison, watch this video, and give me an honest comparison with the video you provided.
    http://www.ireport.com/docs//DOC-274670?ref=email. It’s not for the faint of heart, but truth can’t be denied.

  161. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Interesting points on religion in America. My understanding is that the Baptists are largely the result of a defection from the Presbyterians – the latter being the Scotch-Irish who settled in the hills of Virginian and North Carolina upon immigrating from Ireland. The Methodists were defectors from the Church of England. Their founded, John Wesley, had not intened to start a new church or sect, but only to “reform” Anglicanism.

    Wasn’t Bill Cinton’s orignal name William Jefferson Blythe IV?

  162. Nasser says:

    Dear Tzvi Gross,

    You write: “It was a sad article, reading between the lines the fear and coercion, and open racism suffered by minorities in Iran- ” a Muslim is forbidden to vote for a Jew in elections”, and this is even before factoring in the inhuman suffering, and denial of the inalienable rights of the Kurds in their own ancestral homeland, Kurdistan, by the entire Arab and Muslim ME.”

    Yes the treatment of the minorities in Iran truly is deplorable particularly the treatment of the Bahai community under the current government. However, Iran should be commended for managing to preserve the multi-ethnic nature of her society and for being able to preserve their small Jewish community despite the fanaticism of the current government. Iran can also boast of hosting the largest refugee population in the world despite being a pretty poor country. As to the issue of the Kurds, you will have to blame the Turks (Iran wouldn’t mind seeing Iraq break up) and the divisions between the Kurds themselves throughout history for their lack of a homeland. Iran can still claim that the Kurds are best integrated in their society than anywhere else. Again, all this despite having a pretty horrible government.

    This is definitely a rarity in the middle east where the infection of European style nationalism led the Turks to commit heinous crimes against her Christian subjects (it wasn’t just the Armenians) and continue to commit atrocities against the Kurds. The same can be said of the Arab countries who expelled their Jewish subjects breaking up ancient communities and continue to oppress upon the Shias and the Kurds.

    Given this regional backdrop and also given the fact that Iran does not enjoy a somewhat liberal representational government like Israel does, I do believe Iran can actually be commended for her overall treatment of her minority subjects.

  163. James Canning says:

    GO SOMEWHERE ELSE,

    Interesting points [July 6th, 11:17pm], regarding Khazars and their empire north of the Byzantine and Arab empires. Earlier, before the Arab conquest of the Persian empire, a kingdom in SW Arabia had a relatively large Christian element among its upper classes. The king did not want his country to be either Christian or Zoroastrian, so he became a Jew. Later, he ordered the slaughter of the Christians. The king of Axum then crossed the Red Sea and destroyed the Jewish kingdom (in what is now greater Yemen).

  164. James Canning says:

    tzvi gross,

    When I give a figure for the number of “Arab” civilian slaughtered by Israel over the past 30 years, obviously I include the carnage resulting from the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon (which largely caused the creation of Hezbollah). I will provide the best source I can find.

  165. James Canning says:

    tzvi gross,

    You contend that Hezbollah “is practically an occupying power” in Lebanon and that it holds the Lebanese hostage [July 6th, 6:25pm]. What does the Lebanese PM say Hezbollah is an essential part of Lebanon’s defences against Israel?

  166. Fiorangela says:

    tzvi gross, recently I came upon an entire website dedicated to the proposition that the fact that Iranian Jews did NOT complain about their “horrible” treatment in Iran MUST be evidence that they were being treated so horribly that they were not allowed to say so! I just read an article by a Jewish historian and archeologist who explained that there is no proof other than Torah that any incident mentioned in Torah up to the time of the Assyrian wars, actually took place. “But,” he insisted, “the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Your argument, and that of the stridently anti-Iran website mentioned above, twists that concept one more time: “the evidence of absence is evidence of existence!”

    My question is, Why do Israelis, and let’s go out on a limb, why do so many Jews feel the compulsion to go to such lengths to distort and demonize the Other? Why is it so necessary for some people to insist that Iran is evil, especially when the facts and evidence point to a far different reality? What is gained by inciting hatred and division? The value set that informs my world says, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.” (caveat: it’s an ideal, not yet an accomplishment; god’s not finished with me yet). What is gained by insisting on the notion: “Where there is no hate, incite hate, and you will find hate?” Because that is exactly what US and Israeli policy is deliberately pursuing with respect to Iran.

    A newspaper in my region recently printed a spate of letters responding to an op-ed that said, “Why must US hate Iran?” A leader of the so-called Iran Task Force of United Jewish Federation responded to the op-ed saying, “Iran causes people to hate it.” The letter writer cited a speech by Ahmadinejad in which he mentioned US sanctions on Iran then led the crowd in chanting, “We hate America.”

    Quelle suprise. Did the Iran Task Force agent expect a reprise of the flowers and candy with which Iraqis greeted US invasion forces? No, in fact we know that he did not: we know for a fact — from the lips of US Congressmen such as Ed Royce and Israeli Knesset officials such as Ephraim Sneh that the purpose of sanctions on Iran is to engender division and hatred.

    The question again is, Why? What is accomplished by sowing hatred?

  167. Pirouz says:

    To the hasbara commenter, we don’t have this in Iran:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eB5__mXHX0

    We don’t have a Gaza siege, either.

    You totally ignored the points I made. You’ve never been to Iran. In Iran, we have many Iranian jews. How many Iranian muslims are there in occupied Palestine? Before the European invasion that followed the 2nd World War, travel between these lands was easy. Now Palestine is crisscrossed with checkpoints and walls.

    You depict occupied Palestine as some kind of Shangri-la. Surely, you can’t expect us to take you seriously.

    I’ve seen a spirited defense put up for occupied Palestine, in strictly legalist terms. But to offer a defense of Zionism based on the relative interests of Palestinians reminds me a lot of the defense put up by revisionists in the 1970’s, that slavery in America actually benefitted African-Americans in that they were not susceptible to plaques and famines in their native African lands. And hasbara commenter, this comparison is in no way a reduction to the absurd.

  168. Nasser says:

    GO SOMEWHERE ELSE writes: “Don’t forget Medvedev is a zionist Jew and work closely with the traitor zionists inside Russia.” I am so glad they are gonna start monitoring this forum; kinda overdue.

  169. fyi says:

    Fiorangela:

    Thank you for your comments.

    It is not often that I learn something from others; much obliged.

    So HRC is seeking distinction and elevation (in the sense understood during Feudal period of European History) by associating herself to the cause of the “Special People”.

    Emininetly plausible argument; in a country so dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal that it denigrates all signs of distinction as elitism what is left than by associating with an ancient people of disctinction. Add to it the Protestant flirations with Ancient Israel cirac 1700 among the British people and the obsession of Western people with Jews and we are where we are.

    Incidently, I heard that Methodists were just those Baptists that could read and write.

  170. Fiorangela says:

    fyi, yours is a more categorical and less psychological assessment of Hillary Clinton than is my own (by the way, she comes from a Methodist tradition, not Baptist. In contrast to Baptists, Methodists are usually thought to be less inclined to evangelical fervor, more liberal, more concerned with social justice issues. Bill came from a mixed Baptist and Catholic background. Nevertheless, in my opinion, denominational religion has very little influence on Ms. Clinton’s thinking.)

    My understanding of HRC views all of her training as a lawyer and social activist and her experiences and skill acquisition as first lady of Arkansas and of the US as background. The crucial point from which the HRC we know and love(!) emerged was her humiliation in the Lewinsky affair. It’s hard for me to believe that very public affair did not sear her soul.
    The Clintons’ move to New York state was opportunistic. Here’s where tinfoil hats are to be donned: I suspect somebody equally opportunistic, namely, Haim Saban, saw in HRC a skilled, connected, but simultaneously vulnerable individual that he could use to accomplish his purposes; in other words, a good investment for a wealthy but not that scrupulous businessman who “has one issue and that issue is Israel.” Saban appealed to Clinton on an emotional level and offered her the financial means and network support to redress her humiliation. By the end of this month, the Clinton’s only child will marry into a Jewish family. Those are powerful bonds — if I remembered more high school chemistry, I’d identify them as tri-valent–at least as powerful as the US-Israel special relationship that Obama affirmed again yesterday.

    Perhaps my assessment is selectively inaccurate: I haven’t seen Clinton engaging with, for example, a Black audience or a Methodist group, or, in fact, with any other group in the intense and intimate way she relates to participants at an AIPAC conference.

    Newt Gingrich used to recommend Colleen McCollough’s novels on Rome as important background for American interactions in the world. Those novels, like most people and states, swirl around a core mythos: a set of beliefs, frequently super-natural, that define a group. If you notice how Israelis name their military and propaganda campaigns, you will recognize biblical references: Project David, the Samson option, the Third Temple. Torah is a sine qua non element of Jewishness, and, according to Natan Sharansky, the Torah story that defines Jewish identity is the Exodus story, where Yahweh chose the Hebrew people as his own, and promised them the land of Canaan.

    As the story continues, Joshua takes over leadership of the group of, by now, second generation Hebrews who fled from Egypt. Joshua assigned twelve spies to survey Jericho; out of that intelligence gathering mission a relationship with Rahab, a town prostitute, was developed. Her actions on behalf of the Hebrews allowed them to overthrow Jericho. While most of the people and possessions of Jericho were destroyed by the Hebrews, Rahab lived out the rest of her days with the invading Hebrews. Christian apologetics casts Rahab in a positive light. That’s a matter of judgment. Applying Occam’s Razor persuade me that Hillary Clinton is being used by characters such as Haim Saban to subvert American principles and to advance the agenda of an alien force. It’s the only explanation I can think of to explain Clinton’s dogged determination to undermine relationships that would be in the best interests of the people of the United States.

  171. fyi says:

    tzvi gross:

    The representation of the recognized religious minorities in Iran is based on a guaranteed confessional representation. This has been the case for the last 100 years, since the Revolution of 1905. In a non-confessional system, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians will not be represented since their numbers preclude that. This confessional reservation of a seat in the Majlis was an attempt to represent people that otherwise could not be represented. USA has achieved the same thing by jerry-meandering her congressional districts to the point of absurdity.

    Kurds are not the only people without a state in the world. So are the Basque, the Catalans, the Jains, the Hmong, and many others. The existence of an ethnos does not mean that that ethnos is entitled to a separate state. Black Americans are clearly an ethnos without a state.

    In regards to the Occupied Territories, my question to you is this: What is preventing the Government of the State of Israel to grant full citizenship to the Arabs living there? Would that not end the War? What is preventing it? Can you elaborate or otherwise explain?

    In regards to your question about the origin of hatred: surely you must know that we are made in the image of God and just as God is stark raving mad, so are we.

  172. Ali,

    Dr. Afrasiabi is hardly the only one to have had a parking ticket problem in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Shortly after Barack Obama decided to run for president, it was reported that he had a fairly large number of unpaid tickets from his law school days. He promptly paid them all, and now he’s president of the United States.

    I’m not saying there’s a cause-and-effect relationship here, but you never know. May be worth mentioning to Dr. Afrasiabi.

  173. tzvi gross says:

    Fiorangela,
    Thanks for pointing out that NYT article about Iranian Jews, and of other minorities treatment by the Persian rulers
    It was a sad article, reading between the lines the fear and coercion, and open racism suffered by minorities in Iran- ” a Muslim is forbidden to vote for a Jew in elections”, and this is even before factoring in the inhuman suffering, and denial of the inalienable rights of the Kurds in their own ancestral homeland, Kurdistan, by the entire Arab and Muslim ME.
    I challenge any one here to actually go and visit Israel, and Judea and Samaria, and compare the life and freedoms of the local Arab inhabitants, to anything that exists elsewhere in the ME, in any Arab and Islamic country, not only for their minorities but for the Muslims as well.
    Israel allows independent schooling, and cultural and language freedom to all in Israel,Muslims or Christians, and in fact pays for it.
    Compare again the treatment of the Kurds in Turkey-for example- where their culture and language are prohibited, and their schools have to teach Turkish culture and language.
    I really don’t know where all this hatred coming from, probably from reading too many ” scholarly ” articles about the subject that have nothing to do with truth and reality.
    By the way,Arnold, Sorry to disappoint you, I guess there will be nothing to learn from me.
    By the way, I haven’t seen any one making a comment about that guys “Go somewhere else” hate spewing comments. Is it too much to hope that some one will say something?

  174. fyi says:

    Fiorangela:

    There are 2 aspects to Mrs. Clinton.

    A politician who is interested in Power (accumulation and exercise thereof) and a human being with her beliefs.

    The Baptist and the Politician meet in the comment “We will obliterate Iran.”.

    This statement, in support of an alien people and state, in a fight, in which, according to Mr. James Baker “we have no dog in”, betrays a religiously emotional person that should never be in position of influence and power in USG.

  175. Sineva,

    Please understand that I did not intend my criticism to apply to you personally. You may well have thought otherwise, since I put my thoughts into a response to one of your posts.

    Eric

  176. Sineva,

    You wrote to Arnold: “I’m in agreement with you on this one Arnold.”

    I hope you’re in agreement with both of Arnold’s points. Bear in mind that he did make two, not one: (1) this site could use a strong presenter of arguments for Israel; and (2) Tvzi Gross does not fit the bill.

    On most issues, there are simple-minded arguments and simple-minded responses, and there are sophisticated arguments and sophisticated responses. I think Arnold’s essential point was that, if one never confronts anything but simple-minded arguments (or, worse yet, arguments on only one side of an issue), one may lose his ability to fashion sophisticated responses.

    I’ll go a step further in speculating about what’s in Arnold’s mind. He agrees with Fiorangela’s point made on an earlier thread: this website’s strength lies in the appreciation of its readers for well-thought-out arguments, presented carefully and civilly. That appreciation is shown in well-thought-out responses, presented carefully and civilly. Civility doesn’t preclude strong attacks on arguments with which one disagrees, and this site wouldn’t be interesting if such attacks were not frequent and forceful, or if tempers didn’t flare every now and then (we’re all human).

    When it comes to Israel/Palestine, though, the tempers of too many posters on this website flare right out of the gate, and responses quickly become personal and vicious. While I agree with Arnold that Tvzi Gross has not, so far at least, shown herself to be the strong pro-Israeli poster he’d hoped she would be (nor very civil herself, I might add), she’s had a tough row to how. While several posters have responded respectfully to her arguments, others have treated her with “label and dismiss” disrespect, ignoring her arguments entirely.

    If we hope for what Arnold does (and I do), are we likely to get that if anyone who tries to fit Arnold’s bill gets shouted down with mindless all-caps-and-asterisks responses? Are we likely to get what Fiorangela hopes for (and I do) – a website known for well-thought-out arguments, presented carefully and civilly?

  177. Fiorangela says:

    It’s unlikely that Hillary Rahab Clinton is aware that Iran ONCE AGAIN opened its arms to welcome Jewish (and Christian) refugees from Poland in World War II.

    A Forgotten Odyssey

    “the forgotten tragedy of 1.7 million Polish citizens of various faiths and ethnicities (Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish) deported from eastern Poland (Kresy) in 1940-42 to special labour camps in Siberia, Kazakhstan and Soviet Asia. ***Some 120,000 of these escaped through Persia in 1942 as soldiers of Anders Army and their families*** – and eventually made their way to the West because their pre-war homeland was consigned by the Allies to remain under the hated Soviet regime.”

    A dwindling number of Polish survivors of the extraordinary march across frozen Russia to the safe haven in Persia still live in Iran, and a cemetery in Iran is dedicated to memorializing those Poles who died in Iran.

  178. Fiorangela says:

    Koestler was one crazy mixed up dude: He was an ardent Communist until he wasn’t; he was a passionate zionist until he lived in Israel* for a short time and experienced its dark side; he was Jabotinsky’s secretary, imbibing the ideology of the Master, until a more dazzling idea presented itself. Koestler was Peter Pan with an overindulged libido and undisciplined mental habits.

    *Koestler “made aliyeh” – joining his coreligionists in Israel when he flunked out of Vienna Polytechnic University and needed someplace to hide.

  179. Rehmat says:

    Before the 1979 Islamic Revolution – the Jewish community was 75,000-strong. The Jewish elites were favorites of Reza Shah regime. Israeli military officials trained and even headed the Shah’s intelligence agency SAVAK. The Jews were overwhelmingly represented in news-media, business and diplomatic community. Majority of non-Persian Jews and Bahai migrated to Israel after the Revolution – taking along immense wealth earned in Iran. Currently, the Persian Jews in the Islamic Republic numbers 25,000-30,000. The Jewish community has a ‘reserved’ seat in the Majlis (Parliament) and its religious affairs are conducted by Rabbanic courts and not according to the Islamic shari’ah.

    Contrary to that the native Muslim and Christian Palestinians in occupied Palestine/Israel are treated like inhumans.

    Israel – Thou shalt not know the truth
    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/israel-thou-shalt-not-know-the-truth/

  180. Fiorangela says:

    Jewish life in Isfehan

    a small taste….

  181. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    Don’t forget Medvedev is a zionist Jew and work closely with the traitor zionists inside Russia. Putin is a fool who is after NO ONE INTEREST EXCEPT HIS POCKET. He wants a very confortable retirement. He is working on that. Beside don’t forget that Russian are looking fro a base in Iran and Iran never allow a the enemy, US and Russia have a base in Iran. Down with Iran’s enemies. Apparently Russia wants to sell S-300 for much higher price. Russia under the Jewish president like Obama, a zionist poodle, has done nothing but harming Iran. Iranians never forget or forgive their enemies.

  182. irshad says:

    Bussed-in-Basij – thank you for that insight

    Now that the US has agreed to base interceptors in Poland and possibly in Bulgaria and Romania – do people here think that the Russians may in turn supply the long delayed S300 SAM system to Iran, as retaliation or will the Russians be still dazzled by the “reset in relations” by Hilary and co.?

    Also – I subtely have noticed that there seems to be disagreement within the Kremlin about the sale and delivery of the S300 between president Medvedev and foreign minister Sergie Lavarov – the president wanting to halt the deliveries and taking a more critical line against Iran whic is more in line with European countries and USA – whilst Lavarov is trying to soother Iranian worries and saying the sams will be delivered…with PM Putin in the middle (who has no loyal for anyone but “Mother Russsia”….

  183. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    {How many Jews were imprisoned in Iran after visiting relatives in Israel, and thus being blamed as spies upon their return? What happened to the Bahai community in Iran, which have be..}

    How many Jews wre imprisoned liars? You liar how many Palestinians have you killed, imprisoned, targeted assasination, forced out out their land, destroy their houses, deported from their own land and taken over? No one listen to your zionist hasbara.

    Chomsky the zionist repeat the same bullshit zionist hasbara to keep Americans fool as ever.

  184. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    “I’m trying my hardest, Tzvi, because a reasonable pro-Israel voice would really benefit this comments section. I’m starting to worry that my wait for that is going to have to continue.”

    {I agree on both points.}

    this is typical of CLOSET ZIONISTS WHO PRETEND OTHERWISE. MAJORITY OF THE SITES ARE TAKEN OVER BY ZIONIST CLOSET WHO TRY TO FOOL OTHERS. YOU CAN FOOL NO ONE EXCEPT YOURSELF LIARS.

  185. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    {If indeed, Arthur Koestler’s theory is right-as it’s only his theory- there is still the fact the the majority of Israels’ Jews are from the local neighborhood, Muslim lands, which robed them from all their posesions, murdered them in unprovoked pogroms,}

    You lived around the black see and are from the turkic tribe. Go back where you have come from. You are the robber who has stolen land of Palestine where you have no RELATION WITH THE LAND OR THE HEBREWS OF THE REGION CAME FROM EGYPT.
    YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A LIAR. THE ZIONIST ‘HISTORY’ IS BASED ON NOTHING BUT LIES.

  186. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    The issue between Iran, Israel and US is about power- decreasing US and Israeli power in the ME and globally and increasing Iranian power. I don’t advocate armed conflict but I do not see the US and Israel adjusting to the new power relations peacefully.

    Eventhough US/Israel know that a military conflict will not be effective aganist Iran in the long-run, they have to respond militarily at some point given their shared settler culture and imperial history. Attacking Iran for them is about maintaing the military superiority of western civilization against rivals- in this case a religious republic which challenges their exclusive claim to being the chosen people, the peak of human “civilization”, and divine regents on earth.

    In Israel it is called “chosen people” and “civilization” in the US it is “American exceptionalism”, “US global responsibilities” and “the world’s only remaining superpower”. There isn’t much ordinary US citizens can do about this and the good thing about the Islamic Republic- especially the security forces- is that they have stopped hoping that somehow the American people will help them (unlike some in the Arab world who still “believe” in the US). They have chosen to increase military strength and preparedness and that is the only way to deal with the US and Israel.

  187. Sineva says:

    I`m in agreement with you on this one Arnold I`m afraid its just the same old Zed-head claptrap about jew hating racists,supporters of terrorism[islamic of course],its our right to kill,conquer,destroy etc,etc,etc,but as for reasoned arguments these are rather lacking sadly but then again I think this just shows how hard it is to try and defend zio-nazi-ism,because I guess when it comes down to it you can`t rationally defend racist nationalism of any kind without coming off as a dare I say it “racist nazi” a good example of this would be

    As far as the segregated roads, security fences etc. it didn’t start out that way. Every one drove on the same roads, and Pal workers and tour buses traveled with no hindrance everywhere in Israel. But then came the indiscriminate road kill of Israelis by the Pals on the roads, and the terrible suicide bombing on buses, coffee houses etc, inside Israel, and the segregated roads were implemented as a defensive, rather then a racial matter.The fact is that Israeli Arabs-20% of Israels population- are traveling on the same roads with Israeli Jews. Where is apartheid? What a foolish, mindless comparison.

    i.e it didn`t start out for racial reasons but simply because the Palistinians would`nt accept the ocupation and colonisation of their homeland and dared to resist us,so we had no choice but to implement race based policies in order to protect or we didn`t mean it to be racist and discriminatory it just worked out that way purely by coincedence,personally thats about as weak an excuse as I`ve heard,as for the situation in israel proper heres an interesting article that I found
    http://www.ceia-sc.org/page3/page4/page4.html

  188. Pirouz says:

    I was hoping to avoid this, but I must intervene and enter the discussion with the hasbara commenter.

    When I attended high school in Tehran, my best friends were Iranian jews. There was never a problem.

    Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa protecting all Iranian jews, but they had to renounce zionism. Tens of thousands did so.

    The Israeli government has sought to lure Iranian jews away from their Meehan (homeland, Iran) with offers of settlements and money. They haven’t budged.

    A couple of years ago, a jetliner was diverted to Iran for an emergency. An Israeli citizen was on board and he was provided a protective escort and a music box memento upon his departure aboard the repaired plane. Imagine if an Iranian was in his place, aboard a flight diverted to Tel Aviv,

    All of this hasbara posturing, regarding jews in Iran isn’t factually based. Has this hasbara commenter ever been to Iran? I have. And I can tell you, during Operation Cast Lead, there were plenty of Iranian jews protesting the Zionist regime, right alongside their fellow Iranian brothers.

  189. Arnold,

    “I’m trying my hardest, Tzvi, because a reasonable pro-Israel voice would really benefit this comments section. I’m starting to worry that my wait for that is going to have to continue.”

    I agree on both points.

  190. Arnold Evans says:

    I was excited and hopeful that the comments section here could have someone from the pro-Israel side who would question at least my premises and in a way, keep me honest, which would result in what I write being better, more clear, take facts and views into account that it might not otherwise.

    I hope you read it, it wasn’t written by a Jew.

    I’m a lot less excited now.

    I’ll be cordial but I’m not sure we have much to learn from each other.

  191. Tzvi Gross says:

    By the way Arnold, did you read the article I recommended? I hope you read it, it wasn’t written by a Jew.

  192. Tzvi Gross says:

    Arnold,
    I am sorry , I replied to some one else, your question. Look at my reply to Go Somewhere Else at 11:46.
    If you have any comments, I will read about it.

  193. Tzvi Gross says:

    Lysander,
    How many Jews were imprisoned in Iran after visiting relatives in Israel, and thus being blamed as spies upon their return? What happened to the Bahai community in Iran, which have been decimated by the Islamic regime? How many people were executed, raped and tortured- documented cases- in Islamic Iran for nothing else then political descent?
    Would you still prefer to live in the Iranian, rather then in the Israeli democracy? Even as an Arab?
    When did Israel executed an Arab- even a Mega murderer sitting in an Israeli jail- or imprisoned an Arab for his political views?

  194. Arnold Evans says:

    I’m trying my hardest Tzvi, because a reasonable pro-Israel voice would really benefit this comments section. I’m starting to worry that my wait for that is going to have to continue.

    I’ll repeat something I’ve written earlier:

    You would rather see the status quo than a situation such as in today’s South Africa, where individual rights are protected and respected but there is no Jewish state. Correct?

    When I’ve asked this question before, I’m usually met with a refusal to answer it and I can’t force you to answer, but I’m going to interpret a refusal to answer, if you refuse, as an answer of “yes, I prefer the situation today to a peaceful resolution that does not contain a Jewish state.”

  195. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go somewhere else-why don’t you?
    I already disputed your, or your sources claim validity. Bringing more foolish, misguided opinions will not make them right.
    I have given you a factual answer. Prove me wrong, if I am not telling the truth, but stop quoting opinions of others as factual truth.

  196. Lysander says:

    Tzvi, my point is that you are mistaken. Iranian Jews CAN leave Iran. Many have chosen to leave many others chose to stay. After all, their community has been there for three melinia. Those who leave can come back any time. If you have evidence to the contrary, by all means share it with us.

  197. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-Please go.
    I guess you don’t only dispute the 9/11 massacres, but also the validity of the Holocaust.
    If indeed, Arthur Koestler’s theory is right-as it’s only his theory- there is still the fact the the majority of Israels’ Jews are from the local neighborhood, Muslim lands, which robed them from all their posesions, murdered them in unprovoked pogroms, and exiled them from Muslim lands they have lived in from before Islams murderous conquest.
    As far as the European Jews- some of them, supposedly descendants of the Kazars- most of them were murdered in the Holocaust, and the small remnants went to the only country they felt safe in- their own, Israel.
    After the great tragedy of the Holocaust, and many more before, I completely understand why the Israeli Jews refuse a shot gun marriage with any Arab, and request their own country. Wouldn’t you after such a global betrayal? If anything, the more the world keep betraying Israel, the less they feel safe to compromise on the only safe haven they have in this cruel, dangerous world- Eretz Israel.

  198. Rehmat says:

    Zionists are professional liars and therefore, are not expected to be ashamed of their lies.

    Last month, American Jewish organizations lead by AIPAC, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs refused to meet the delegation of Turkish lawmakers who visited the US to seek Jewish support against Israeli attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla – murdering nine Turkish aid workers in cold blood. Until recently, ADL, always had supported Turkish interests in the US Congress, because it considered Turkey being an important strategic Muslim ally against the rising power of the Islamic Iran in the region. However, since Ankara voted against new UNSC sanctions against Tehran – the organized Jewish groups in the US are depicting Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “as an inveterately hostile Islamist.

    Interestingly, the same ADL in official statement made on its website – is not happy with the majority of 56 member-states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). ADL has claimed that 23 of those countries has failed to curb ‘anti-Semitism (criticism of Israel) and provide ‘true hate’ statistics to ADL. Nine nations reported fewer than 10 hate crimes and in some cases zero hate crimes. The worst, some countries have mocked ADL’s definition of ‘hate crime (against Jews only)’…….

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/zionists-racists-hiding-behind-anti-semitism/

  199. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    Carter wrote of an apartheid worse than in South Africa:

    When Israel does occupy this territory deep within the West Bank, and connects the 200-or-so settlements with each other, with a road, and then prohibits the Palestinians from using that road, or in many cases even crossing the road, this perpetrates even worse instances of apartness, or apartheid, than we witnessed even in South Africa.

    Of course, Carter was smeared as an anti-Semite. In the end, following the Lobby’s mobbing of Carter, he apologized to American Jews for “stigmatizing Israel.”

    Before Carter, South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, who lived under apartheid, spoke of apartheid practices in Israel against the Palestinians. He, too, was accused of anti-Semitism.

    Tutu was unapologetic.

    People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful — very powerful. Well, so what?

    The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists.

    Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.

    Added Tutu:

    Have our Jewish sisters and brothers forgotten their humiliation? Have they forgotten the collective punishment, the home demolitions, in their own history so soon?4

  200. Tzvi Gross says:

    Lysander,
    I don’t really understand your point.
    It’s a foolish thing for you to say that you will rather be a Jew in Iran, then an Arab in Israel.The facts are pointing to othrvise. Had Iran allowed Jews to emigrate, they would all leave fortnight, while any one can leave Israel, but the movement of Arabs is to the opposite direction- to Israel.
    Empty bravado will prove nothing.

  201. Tzvi Gross says:

    Sineva,
    Your opinions don’t count as facts. They are only, lies and ignorant opinions.
    And the comparison to SA, getting really tedious, just like the description of the murderous activists on the Turkish ship as peaceful human right activists.
    In Israel, the Arabs are sitting in the Knesset, and partake in all that Israel has to offer, in spite of the fact that very few of them actually serve in the IDF, and defends their country from it’s despotic ,murderous neighbors.
    Every one saw the violence inflicted by the different Pal factions on the other, or-globally- by one Islamic group upon another.
    As far as the segregated roads, security fences etc. it didn’t start out that way. Every one drove on the same roads, and Pal workers and tour buses traveled with no hindrance everywhere in Israel. But then came the indiscriminate road kill of Israelis by the Pals on the roads, and the terrible suicide bombing on buses, coffee houses etc, inside Israel, and the segregated roads were implemented as a defensive, rather then a racial matter.The fact is that Israeli Arabs-20% of Israels population- are traveling on the same roads with Israeli Jews. Where is apartheid? What a foolish, mindless comparison.
    I hope I have enlightened you, or maybe you are so full of hate that you are beyond enlightenment.

  202. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    Stop your zionist hasbara at this site. YOUR LIES ARE FAMILIAR TO EVERYONE. THE FOLLOWIN IS YOUR HISTORY. Read it and memorize it so you won’t make a FOOL OF YOURSELF AGAIN.

    {The Khazars’ sway extended from the Black sea to the Caspian, from the Caucasus to the Volga, and they were instrumental in stopping the Muslim onslaught against Byzantium, the eastern jaw of the gigantic pincer movement that in the West swept across northern Africa and into Spain.
    Thereafter the Khazars found themselves in a precarious position between the two major world powers: the Eastern Roman Empire in Byzantium and the triumphant followers of Mohammed. As Arthur Koestler points out, the Khazars were the Third World of their day, and they chose a surprising method of resisting both the Western pressure to become Christian and the Eastern to adopt Islam. Rejecting both, they converted to Judaism.}

    http://www.christusrex.org/www2/koestler/

  203. Arnold Evans says:

    Lysander:

    I’d much rather be a Jew in Iran than a Palestinian ‘citizen’ of Israel. How much less a Palestinian in the WB or Gaza.

    Beautifully made point that I’ll have to remember.

  204. Lysander says:

    Tsvi Gross:

    “To “Go to somewhere else”
    Your hate is so very ugly for all here to see, but you have not disputed my facts that the entire ME is envious at the progressive treatment the Israeli Arabs receive from the Israeli Jews, in fact, so much better then what they receive from guys like you,”

    From a recent Haaretz article:

    “100,000 Haredim protest for right to segregated education

    More than 100,000 ultra-Orthodox demonstrators thronged the streets of Jerusalem earlier Thursday in support of the Ashkenazi parents’ right to keep their children in classes segregated from their Sephardi peers. It was one of the largest ultra-Orthodox demonstrations in recent years.”

    Tzvi, I share Arnold’s concern for civility, but you are stating Zionist talking points from the 1980’s, long ago refuted. In today’s world, I’d much rather be a Jew in Iran than a Palestinian ‘citizen’ of Israel. How much less a Palestinian in the WB or Gaza.

    I’m sure you are correct that Palestinians in Gaza or West Bank would gladly take up Israeli citizenship. Therefore what? I suspect all the provinces of Rome would have grabbed Roman citizenship, were it ever offered.

  205. Arnold Evans says:

    No, Tzvi, I’m not going to convince YOU that Israel is a strategic liability to the United States. Which brings up an important point though that I’ll ask directly here so it will be out in the open.

    You would rather see the status quo than a situation such as in today’s South Africa, where individual rights are protected and respected but there is no Jewish state. Correct?

    When I’ve asked this question before, I’m usually met with a refusal to answer it and I can’t force you to answer, but I’m going to interpret a refusal to answer, if you refuse, as an answer of “yes, I prefer the situation today to a peaceful resolution that does not contain a Jewish state.”

    Of course having a Jewish state in Israel is not the only, the most effective, the most moral or in any way, the best means to prevent the wild scenarios you’ve presented of, for example Syria conquering Lebanon. In fact, if you haven’t noticed, Israel pushes Lebanon toward Syria instead of away.

    From memory, Bin Laden’s claim that the US is the distant enemy because of its policies in support of Israel were expressed long before 9/11. But a democratic Arabia would pose even more of a threat, because it has more oil and is geographically closer to Israel than an independent Iran.

    US support for the Saudi monarchy is directly descended from the relationship forged in the early 1900s by the British Empire, but the United States maintains this relationship, where there is nothing similar, for example in oil producing areas of West Africa, to prevent an independent Arabia from threatening Israel.

    Bin Laden’s anger at the support the US gives the corrupt and backwards dictatorship of Saudi Arabia is anger at US policies ultimately motivated by Israel’s security. Other than Israel, the United States would have no problem with a democratic Saudi Arabia, no matter who wins elections it would still sell oil. The United States has an interest in unrepresentative governments in Saudi Arabia and throughout the region not because independent countries would threaten the US, but because they would threaten Israel.

  206. Tzvi Gross says:

    Go Somewhere Else-why don’t you? Your raving and ranting adds nothing valuable to this site, and you make a complete fool of yourself. you are probably one of those Radical Islamists dreaming about the coming Kalifat.
    I will only touch one point. The Jews settled in that narrow strip of land around 3500 years ago, and were there continuously until today.They were not always a majority,but they always-in spite of periodical terrible slaughters, -always clang to the land of their forefathers.Any description of any travelers from any historical period will attest to the presence of the Jews in that land.
    The Jews, in diaspora never ever attempted to colonize or take over another country, but always tried to get back to the land of Israel, which was the only place they ever considered “home land”.
    As soon as opportunity presented itself, many more Jews returned to their ancestral land, and others-like the Middle Eastern Jews- became refugees from the Arab lands they have resided in, and fled to Israel.
    Now, you want to ethnically cleanse the Jews from their ancestral land? Where will they go, to their wellcoming Arab hosts- when the Muslims themselves are fleeing and dreaming about a better life in the west,just like you did? Or you just want to drive them all to the sea?
    Is the Koran teaches you so much hate towards the Dhimmis here and everywhere?

  207. Sineva says:

    Very well put as always Arnold,I`m looking forward to Ms Gross reply to your post,anyway heres my reply to her posts.I imagine the apartheid regime in sth africa would have claimed that “their” blacks were the envy of all of africa with the opportunities that they had availiable to them under apartheid,I imagine also they would have said the same thing about keeping “mega murderers” like Nelson Mandela for instance, to see an “undeserved tomorrow” as proof of what a just country they were.As for the body count last time I looked israel was way out in front in points.Israel may not have started out with a policy of apartheid but thats what its invasion and colonisation of palestine have driven it to also its increasing swing to the extreme right politically have seen these same ideas starting to take root in israel proper,proposed loyalty oaths for arab israelis etc..,not just in occupied palestine with its settlers[jews only] security roads.The wake up call for israel should have been the goldstone report,for the first time you had a report that didn`t try to whitewash or blame both sides as though this was a battle of equals,and then if that wasn`t bad enough israel attacks an aid convoy in international waters,they couldn`t even wait for it to reach israeli controlled waters,and kills nine people on board,and we wont even mention the assination in dubai wich would have done maxwell smart and control proud although I think even max would have noticed all those security cameras.Israel now is where sth africa was in the mid to late 70`s theres a lot of ominous dark clouds on the horizen and they`re only going to get worse,the choice for israel is between continuing the greater israel/colonisation,along with “the world is against us,they`re all antisemites” slide to the extreme right or to realise that the only hope for a decent future for jews and arabs is one free of zionism and all the nasty shit that has gone along with it for both jew and arab

  208. Tzvi Gross says:

    Arnold Evans
    First of all I have to confess that I am an expert in nothing, and will be very happy if you could prove me wrong, but you will have to use facts, and not opinions, yours any one else’s.
    You are entitled to claim that Israel is financial and/or a strategic liability to the US, while I see Israel as both a financial and strategic asset not to the US only, but to the entire free world.
    For that tiny country’s contribution to the entire world-in spite of the fact that she didn’t have one day of peace since her inception- please google a recent article in h+Magazine, titled “Israel’s Value to Transhumanism”.It’s all facts, not opinions, and see the response-full of hate.
    As far as the origins of 9/11, and Bin Laden’s motivations, from Bin Laden himself,he resented having “infidels” stationed in the “Holy Land” -that’s Saudi Arabia- and that’s why he attacked the US. His opportunistic usage of the Pal card, came much later.
    Now strategically, lets’ examine the ME without Israel.A complete anarchy.
    We remember after black September, only Israel scrambling it’s tanks to the Golan Hights that prevented Syria from attacking Jordan.
    We know from History that at one time or another, any one of the present Arab countries was an empire; the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Turks and of course the Persian.
    Well without Israel, Syria will swallow up both Jordan, the new Pal entity, and of course-Lebanon, and the Syrians don’t hold it a secret that they are considering this entire area as Greater Syria.
    Now Turkey, the former Ottoman empire ruler, for sure will have something to say about this, as well as Iraq (once they get their act together), and probably also Egypt.
    Persia will also demand it’s sphere of influence in the Gulf and Arabia, and maybe even Syria, and the entire ME, etc.
    Can you see the potential world wide suffering these inter Muslim conflicts will wreck as oil wells in the ME will be set ablaze, and supplies will be curtailed?
    I suspect the moderate Arabs are aware of this also,and quietly they support Israel’s
    right to exist there.
    How ever, Radical Islam will never accept Israel’s right to exist, as they view her as a bone in the throat of the Islamic ME, but-in the same token- they don’t recognize any non=Muslim countries right to exist in peace either, with or without Israel being around.
    Compromise-is only a tactic until they feel strong enough to abrogate anything they signed for.
    Israel has to use all the ingenuity in her arsenal to make sure that she doesn’t represent a defenceless target for the Imperial and /or hateful ambitions of her
    despotic and/or radical Islamic neighbors.
    By protecting herself, she contributes an invaluable, immeasurable contribution to the entire -thankless- free world,

  209. Tzvi Gross says:

    Arnold,
    First of all I have to confess that I am an expert in nothing, and will be very happy if you could prove me wrong, but you will have to use facts, and not opinions, yours any one else’s.
    You are entitled to claim that Israel is financial and/or a strategic liability to the US, while I see Israel as both a financial and strategic asset not to the US only, but to the entire free world.
    For that tiny country’s contribution to the entire world-in spite of the fact that she didn’t have one day of peace since her inception- please google a recent article in h+Magazine, titled “Israel’s Value to Transhumanism”.It’s all facts, not opinions, and see the response-full of hate.
    As far as the origins of 9/11, and Bin Laden’s motivations, from Bin Laden himself,he resented having “infidels” stationed in the “Holy Land” -that’s Saudi Arabia- and that’s why he attacked the US. His opportunistic usage of the Pal card, came much later.
    Now strategically, lets’ examine the ME without Israel.A complete anarchy.
    We remember after black September, only Israel scrambling it’s tanks to the Golan Hights that prevented Syria from attacking Jordan.
    We know from History that at one time or another, any one of the present Arab countries was an empire; the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Turks and of course the Persian.
    Well without Israel, Syria will swallow up both Jordan, the new Pal entity, and of course-Lebanon, and the Syrians don’t hold it a secret that they are considering this entire area as Greater Syria.
    Now Turkey, the former Ottoman empire ruler, for sure will have something to say about this, as well as Iraq (once they get their act together), and probably also Egypt.
    Persia will also demand it’s sphere of influence in the Gulf and Arabia, and maybe even Syria, and the entire ME, etc.
    Can you see the potential world wide suffering these inter Muslim conflicts will wreck as oil wells in the ME will be set ablaze, and supplies will be curtailed?
    I suspect the moderate Arabs are aware of this also,and quietly they support Israel’s
    right to exist there.
    How ever, Radical Islam will never accept Israel’s right to exist, as they view her as a bone in the throat of the Islamic ME, but-in the same token- they don’t recognize any non=Muslim countries right to exist in peace either, with or without Israel being around.
    Compromise-is only a tactic until they feel strong enough to abrogate anything they signed for.
    Israel has to use all the ingenuity in her arsenal to make sure that she doesn’t represent a defenceless target for the Imperial and /or hateful ambitions of her
    despotic and/or radical Islamic neighbors.
    By protecting herself, she contributes an invaluable, immeasurable contribution to the entire -thankless- free world,

  210. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    {envious at the progressive treatment the Israeli Arabs receive from the Israeli Jews, in fact..}

    You have forgotten that Palestinian whom you call ‘Israeli Arabs’, in fact, ARE THE OWNER OF THE LAND THAT YOU CALL ‘ISRAEL’. These people have lived in their land for more than 21 centuries continually until you came from Europe and steal their land and force majority of them out or killed them. You neither have connection with the Hebrew people of the regions who came from Egypt nor the land of Palestine. All your history is a BIG LIE. Arabs cannot buy piece of property in their own land.
    STOP THE ZIONIST PROPAGANDA AT THIS SITE.

    {Israel is the best investment ever made by the US}

    This lie is also said by the zionists like Chomsky and people like him to fool Americans to protect the interest of the ‘jewish state’, which is laughable.
    Today, every one including Mossad agents are screaming Israel is A BURDEN on the United States.

    Israel through its fifth column, lobby, has occupied all branches of the government and since clinton installing her president, a zionist puppet. Obama is the first Black Jewish president, according to James Petras, totally a servant of zionist interest against American interest.

    Sept. 11 designed by Israel and Bush Administration to wage war for Israel’s interest in order to destabilize and partition the regional statees to create pawns like KURDS in the region to establish the ‘greater Israel’. People of the region coming to gether and you will take this wish into your graves.

    Majority of Amerians denies what Chomsky wants to sell. Giraldi in an article “The strategic Ally Myth” writes:

    {Chas Freeman has pointed out that Israel is useless for the projection of American power. The US has numerous bases in Arab countries but is not allowed to use any military base in Israel. Washington’s own carrier groups and other forces in place all over the Middle East, including the Red Sea, have capabilities that far exceed those of the Israel Defense Forces. Israel has never been a strategic asset or any asset at all, always a liability. Even the stockpiles of US equipment in Israel are a typical bit of bonus support for Tel Aviv from Congress, placed there for the Israelis to use “in emergencies” while making it appear that they are for American forces. The supplies are, in fact, regularly looted by the Israelis, leaving largely unusable or picked over equipment for US forces if it should ever be needed.}

    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2010/05/26/the-strategic-ally-myth/

  211. Arnold Evans says:

    Tzvi:

    Are you really claiming US support for Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other countries has nothing to do with Israel?

    Now about Egypt on Nasdaq, the United States isn’t committed to Egypt having a qualitative military advantage over Israel, as is the case the other way around. Egypt, with 10 times as many people as Israel’s Jewish population, could not be kept in the condition the US explicitly commits to maintain if Egypt had preferential access to technology as Israel does. Just another of the many costs Israel imposes on its region.

    Osama Bin Laden seems to think 9/11 was retaliation for US policies that support Israel. The United States isn’t inherently anti-Muslim, it’s anti Muslim because it is committed to the idea that Israel, with about 5 million Jewish people must be able to overpower any possible combination of the over 200 million non-Jewish, mostly Muslim people in its region. That’s not an easy commitment to keep, or one that can be kept without provoking responses like 9/11.

    I read often that the United States gives money to Israel some of which is spent on US weapons so it’s in some sense not really a contribution. That’s such an absurd argument I usually let it pass, but I might as well address it now. We see the US not doing the same for every other country in the world. Why not? Because it is a sacrifice the US makes that it could not afford to expand universally.

    More important, the US has backed off European missile defense to keep Iran from having a nuclear program like Japan’s. The US has refrained from pressing China on its currency policies. The US is spending probably a trillion dollars occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. The direct payments are a tiny reflection of the cost the US pays for Israel, nearly nothing.

    How much could the 60 million people of Egypt purchase from US companies if it was to industrialize? How much profit do US companies forgo to maintain sanctions on Iran? It would be difficult to calculate the total cost of US support for Israel, but it is a huge amount.

    Also, what do you think AIPAC does, if not push US policy into a more pro-Israel direction than it would go otherwise?

  212. Dan Cooper says:

    “Many voices in America now are saying Israel represents a strategic liability rather than a security asset for the United States.”

    Fawaz Gerges, LSE professor

    Fawaz Gerges, a professor at London School of Economics, agreed that Israeli settlements remained the biggest stumbling block to restarting talks.

    “This Israeli government has not given the international community, the American government or the Palestinian authority any reason to believe they are serious about the peace process,” Gerges told Al Jazeera.

  213. JohnH says:

    Yes, it does look like this blog has its Israeli “minder” now. It shows that Race for Iran has now registered on Israeli radar.

    Yes, Israel is heavily involved in spying via telecoms. Here’s a piece from Lebanon:
    http://www.almanar.com.lb/newssite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=144340&language=en

  214. Tzvi Gross says:

    Arnold,
    Thanks for your civility.
    Democracies make huge mistakes in supporting corrupt dictatorial regimes all over the world,and it has nothing to do with Israel.
    US invasion of Afghanistan had to do everything with Sept 11.
    Israel is the best investment ever made by the US, as most of the us aid money has to be spent in the US. Consequently, In order to benefit from this money, Israel has to open companies in the US to purchase from thoe US companies. Subsequently, US is the recipient of Israels talent and ingenuity for cheap, to keep US ahead of the global competition.
    Egypt gets almost as much as Israel, how much of their companies are on the NASDAQ, and employing millions of Americans with their high tech advantage.
    There is more to Americas Mega benefit from Israel, but I will write about it later.

  215. Tzvi Gross says:

    To “Go to somewhere else”
    Your hate is so very ugly for all here to see, but you have not disputed my facts that the entire ME is envious at the progressive treatment the Israeli Arabs receive from the Israeli Jews, in fact, so much better then what they receive from guys like you,I mean their Arab brothers, that all Pal Arabs want to become Israeli citizens.Do you know the number of ME Arabs who risking their lives-from their Muslim government- to come to live it that country you so hate a vilify.
    I will get you numbers in my next posting.

  216. Arnold Evans says:

    Please everyone be civil to Tzvi Gross.

    If she (I’m assuming Tzvi is a woman’s name, I actually have no idea except it strikes me as similar to the name of one of Israel’s foreign ministers or something) is going to volunteer to be the board’s resident pro-Israel voice, or possibly one of them, it will be a difficult job but the overall effect will be to improve the arguments of everyone involved.

    Ms. Gross: my position is that the United States expends a tremendous amount of resources subduing Israel’s region enough that it can sustain a Jewish state, not only financial and military but also moral resources. The United States behaves as a fully colonialist power in Israel’s region, supporting weak and corrupt dictatorships in a manner that is no different from Great Britain’s relationship with the Raj in India during the height of colonialism, or Great Britain’s relationship with the parents or grandparents of todays leaders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf states 100 years ago when that relationship was openly colonialist.

    The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq would not have been perceived as necessary or useful but for the US’ commitment to Israel’s security. The distinction the US draws, that Iran cannot have the type of nuclear program Japan and Brazil have is very expensively pursued ultimately for Israel’s sake.

    Israel is an incredible drain on US resources and would not be if, as in South Africa, a post-Zionist arrangement is reached that protects the rights and property of individual Jewish people in what is now Israel. For the US’ sake, that would be a far preferable outcome than the continuation of the status quo. It would slow the US’ decline as a global power, which seems to me to be the US’ current trajectory.

    But anyway, at least speaking for myself, welcome to the raceforiran.com comments section. I hope to see you contribute for a long time.

  217. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE says:

    {The Israeli arabs are the envy of the entire Muslim ME for the standard of living, medical care,}

    NO PAYS ANY ATTENTION TO MOSSAD AGENTS WHO ARE SENT TO DIFFERENT SITE TO MISLEAD.
    YOU HAVE BEEN TOTALLY EXPOSED. DOWN WITH APARTHEID STATE. 95% OF THE JEWS IN ISRAEL SUPPORTED GAZA GENOCIDE AND ALMOST ALL SUPPORTED THE ATTACK ON FLOTILLA. GET LOST, YOU CANNOT FOOL ANYONE BUT YOURSELF.

  218. tzvi gross says:

    The anti-Israel hate in these postings is palpable. Nobody mentions-maybe out of sheer ignorance- facts, like 20% of Israelis are Arabs, and that a further 55% are Jews of Middle Eastern origins, who has the same right to live there in freedom as anybody. The Israeli arabs are the envy of the entire Muslim ME for the standard of living, medical care, personal and social security and democratic freedoms accorded to them by that imaginary “murderous Zionist Entity” so vilified here.
    I see a great deal of paranoia, by a bunch of conspiracy theorists feeding on each others’ racism and ignorance.
    What a bunch of fools.

  219. DWZ: suggest you re-read the latest demand from Turkey. Along with the demand to apologize, Turkey’s foreign minister ALSO said that Israel must either lift the blockade OR go along with an international investigation of the flotilla raid.

    I think it is premature to assume Turkey will not follow through on its threat to cut relations with Israel. They might not, but let’s not pre-judge the situation.

  220. That line should be: Israeli companies ALSO manufacture…”

    Israel of course also runs one of the largest military and political and economic intelligence spy rings in the United States – and in many other countries such as Australia, where they are treated a bit more harshly than here.

    As for “lopping off a part of Iran”, this was Dick Cheney’s idea. The Khuzestan oil fields are just across the border from Iraq. It might not be all that difficult for the US military, with sufficient force, to penetrate that far into Iran and seize those fields.

    The difficulty of course would be holding them against the incredible guerrilla war that would be fought by Iran against the US occupation of that part of Iran. It would be at least four times, if not ten times, the size of the Sunni insurgency against the US occupation of Iraq. The cost to the US would be four times (or ten times) the cost of holding Iraq or probably $20 billion per month if not more.

    While this is complete lunacy, so was the Iraq war – and the US did it. Obama is quite capable of doing something equally as stupid as he is demonstrating in Afghanistan. The US has spent at least $300 billion in Afghanistan trying to “prevent the return of Al Qaeda” who currently number about 50-100 individuals. Does that make any sense? The US, with its latest round of financing, is spending a BILLION DOLLARS PER REMAINING AL QAEDA member!

    As I have offered many times in the past, pay me a billion dollar in advance and I’ll capture bin Laden in ninety days! Give me the same billion and more time and I’ll wipe out Al Qaeda! AND I’d make a nine hundred million (or so) profit doing so!

    Anybody who thinks the US needs to spend that kind of money to deal with terrorism is a complete and total idiot.

  221. Fiorangela: This is true. Israel has very cleverly discovered that the best way to spy on the world is to be the country that manufactures all the spying devices that other countries use to spy on their citizens.

    Thus, Israel at one time managed the CALEA wiretap system used by the FBI – until agents of the company were caught selling wiretap info to drug dealers in Los Angeles. There is a faction of the FBI which is upset over the depth to which Israeli company employees have access to US intelligence services.

    Israeli companies almost manufacture the hardware used to do NSA telephone monitoring.

    Israeli companies installed the video surveillance system in the London underground – before the terrorist attacks there. Nice way to get access to the entire system.

    Much of the Israeli tech company infrastructure is funded by the Israeli military. Basically if you deal with an Israeli tech company, you’re vulnerable to Israeli espionage.

  222. tzvi gross says:

    Who is this James Canning. He quotes 40000 Arab civilians killed by Israel? May I get the source and the breakdown of where, when and the context? By the way, did you have statistcs of Israelis murdered by Arabs?

  223. tzvi gross says:

    This is a very dangerous and misleading article. Comparing Israel in any shape and form to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is a travesty to truth and justice.
    Iran, a country that kills hundreds of its political prisoners, and place thousands of it’s citizens in prison for peaceful political activity, and the same could be said of Syria. Hezbollah is practically an occupying power in it’s own country-Lebanon, and holds every one there a hostage to it’s narrow, sectarian designs.
    In the same time, Israel feeds the “mega murderers of it’s citizens in jail, who may see an undeserved tomorrow, which they deprived their innocent victims off.
    I would’t trust the Mullahs , who murder their own people in a whim- with nuclear responsibility.

  224. Fiorangela says:

    Interesting Open Democracy article, James.

    Has it never occurred to anybody in US defense/State Dept/White House that Israel will be the next terrorist group, created and armed and financed by the US, that will turn on the US?

    Is nobody in the US Congress aware that Israeli corporations control the nexus of US communications and commercial transactions (everytime you use your credit card to buy gasoline, an Israeli company monitors the transaction)?

    Has nobody in US government noticed that Lebanon caught Israelis spying on Lebanon, that listening devices were mounted in Lebanese communications towers?

    In 2008, Iran officially unveiled a massive communications tower in Tehran. Prior to the completion of that project, Iran’s communications had transited through Turkey, making Iranian communications more vulnerable to Israeli taps. Iran plugged that hole in the dike, but who can know how many more exist? Israel roams freely through US government bureaucracies, agencies, databases, communications infrastructure. How secure do you think US communications are?

  225. Pak says:

    Poor old Mr. Afrasiabi, getting a taste of his own medicine.

  226. James Canning says:

    Ali,

    Let’s hope Dr. Afrasaibi’s story gets onto “60 Minutes”.

  227. Ali says:

    sign petition: Iranian scholar arrested, suffers concussion in police custody – Cambridge MA (mayor claims: ‘no record of arrest’!!)

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/protestiranianresearcherabuse/

    The Petition

    On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) sadly learned that one of its senior members, Dr. Kaveh Afrasiabi, a former political science professor at Tehran University and author of several books and numerous scholarly articles, has been physically injured while in Cambridge police custody in Boston on Monday, June 28.

    Dr. Afrasiabi had gone to the police precinct in Cambrige, his hometown, to file a complaint surrounding racist mistreatment at a local restaurant. Instead of processing the complaint, the police turned the tables around and charged Dr. Afrasiabi with an outstanding traffic violation dating back to 1986 – 25 years ago! On the basis of that allegation, the police proceeded to arrest him and placed him in jail, refusing to allow Dr. Afrasiabi to use his constitutional right of making one phone call to either his lawyer or family to inform them.

    On Monday morning, he was to be taken to court before a judge. The police then separated him from all other persons who were being taken to the court, handcuffed him with his arms behind his back, threw him into a separate police van. Then the police stepped on the gas, driving at break-neck speed, slamming on the brakes, causing Dr. Afrasiabi to fly into the iron gate full force.

    He sustained a major head blow according to the Cambridge Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance for treatment. Due to his head and neck injuries, the judge postponed the case until Tuesday, when he returned to court.

    Four days later, Dr. Afrasiabi is suffering from a concussion and is unable to function normally, which may have long term ramifications.

    Given the amount of negative propaganda in the media, and hostility emanating from the Congress and the White House against Iran and the Iranian people, the behavior of the Cambridge Police officers is an extention of this anti-Iranian atmosphere. Dr. Afrasiabi has given hundreds of interviews on American and International TV networks often critical of U.S. foreign policy, he is the founder of an NGO – Global Interfaith Peace – has been a consultant to UN’s “Dialogue Among Civilizations” Program, and is also a former consultant to CBS’s “60 Minutes”. Incredibly, the office of the mayor of Cambridge has informed Dr. Afrasiabi that there is no record of his arrest by the Cambridge police and that the Cambridge police denies that they ever arrested him!

    Another unbelievable element is that although a reporter and photographer from the Cambridge Chronicle, a local newspaper, came to Dr. Afrasiabi’s home when he got out of the hospital, did a lenghy interview and took several photos of his injuries, the editors are now refusing to print the story or photos, no doubt to prevent the Cambridge police from being in the public eye in another embarrassing case in light of last year’s arrest of a pre-eminent African American Harvard professor – Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    We the undersigned strongly protest the racist and abusive treatment by the police officers who must be brought before the Cambridge Police Review Board for an investigation, and we call upon the office of Mayor David P. Maher to also investigate the violation of Dr. Afrasiabi’s civil rights while in the custody of the Cambridge police. We ask signatories to this petition to also call the following numbers to protest the abusive treatment of Dr. Afrasiabi:

    Police Review Board – Executive Secretary Marlissa Briggett at (617) 349-6155;

    Office of Mayor David P. Maher (617) 349-4321

  228. James Canning says:

    Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, says in letter to EU that Iran wants assurance of security, and support for strengthening the NPT and getting rid of nukes in the Middle East.

    Netanyahu, of course, in at the White House this week hoping to undermine US support for the effort to rid the Middle East of nukes.

  229. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I continue to believe Obama has the right instincts, even if he seems to lack an adequate understanding of the power dynamics at work in the Middle East.

    I also think the Pentagon has far too much power and influence in the US government today, and that the continuation of this situation is putting the survival of the Republic at risk.

  230. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Mark Perry’s idea that Hezbollah could be integrated into the Lebanese army is premature, to say the least. Hezbollah is effective, in part because it operates much more efficiently than the Lebanese government. The Lebanese PM, of course, says that Hezbollah needs to be strong to protect Lebanon from another Israeli attack.

    I think Israel should see Hamas as an organization that can help provide stability in an independent Palestine. So-called “supporters” of Israel who seek to cripple or destroy Hamas are in fact acting against Israel’s best interests.

  231. fyi says:

    James Canning:

    No doubt it is lunacy.

    In fact, in that case, it will be prudent for US to immediately move to impeach the President, whoever he or she might be, and remove that person from power forthwith.

  232. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    As you know, I regard the idea of a US attack on Iran as being an act of utter lunacy that would even make the grossly idiotic invasion of Iraq seem reasonable.

  233. James Canning says:

    JohnH,

    The US could “lop off” a part of Iran, and occupy it? Surely this is an insane concept.

  234. Ali says:

    Professor Afrasiabi does wonderful and courageous work defending Iran from Zionist propaganda and lies. There is a clip of Professor Afrasiabi around the time of the election speaking on CNN at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQjjaaeLP-k

    Iranian scholar brutaly beaten by Cambridge, MA police
    Jun 30, 2010

    [ Kaveh has been in and out of the hospital since this happened on Sunday. This Press TV article has errors, eg the location of arrest (Cambridge, MA). Kaveh was handcuffed, thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, taken on high-speed ride during which the police came to an abrupt stop, which sent him into metal bars, causing extensive injures. Stay tuned…. ]

    NY [Cambridge, MA] police ‘beat up’ Iranian professor
    Wed, 30 Jun 2010

    A US-based Iranian university professor and senior political analyst, Kaveh Afrasiabi, says he has been brutally beaten up by police officers in New York [Cambridge, MA]

    Speaking to IRNA on Tuesday, professor Afrasiabi explained about the unusual manner in which he was arrested, saying that he was handcuffed and sent to jail under the pretext that he had not paid his traffic ticket.

    “While handcuffed I was pushed to the front. Then my head hit a metal rod and I was seriously wounded. I was then sent to the hospital in an ambulance due to severe injuries,” said Afrasiabi who could hardly speak.

    After he was discharged from the hospital, the police took him to court where the judge ordered his release.

    Afrasiabi said his arrest came over a traffic ticket which he had to pay 25 years ago.

    Afrasiabi has taught political science at Tehran University, Boston University, and Bentley College. He has also been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, UC Berkeley and Binghamton University.

    The Iranian professor, who is a former consultant to the UN program of Dialogue Among Civilizations, has appeared on numerous television talk shows, including Press TV, CNN, MSNBC and Al-Jazeera. He has also worked as a consultant to CBS’s 60 Minutes program.

    He has also authored the book After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran’s Foreign Policy and is a co-author of Reading in Iran Foreign Policy After September 11.

  235. fyi says:

    JohnH:

    US does not have the required logistics capability.

    She can if she puts a lot more people under arms.

    The operation of all these oil fields requires human beings – where are they going to come from. US?

    As for Iran falling into chaos – that is not realistic.

    The more realstic scenario will be the War in Southern Lebeanon from 1982 to 2000.

    And there are many many international actors that would relish the opportunity of bleeding US in the Persian Gulf.

    You also must, in my estimation, discount a short, restricted, limited war possibility.

    You may, for example, consider what would transpire in Pakistan in the event of a US-Iran War.

    Americans generally overestimate the powers of their country while foreigner underestimate those powers.

  236. Adam says:

    Our government must not only ignore Apartheid Israel, we should distance ourselves as much as possible from the racist Jewish regime. Our support for the Apartheid Israel has done nothing but to endanger our nation and destroy our ties with the world. It is time that we stopped defending Israel and started putting American interests first by extending a hand of friendship to Iran and work to rebuild the once great relationship between our two nations. Unlike Israel, Iran is a nation who has never attacked anyone, has not ever invaded anyone and is pivotal to our achieving lasting success in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Israeli regime would like nothing more than to destroy that relationship as peace is antithesis of Zionism, and without continued war and violence to use as cover for its campaign of ethnic cleansing, Israel would be quickly exposed as the despicable racist country run by Judeofascist religious extremists that it is.

    Who knows, we might even get back a congress that is 100% loyal to our own country for a change.

  237. JohnH says:

    fyi–if the US goal was to hold and clear a strip of largely unpopulated land along the Persian Gulf, which includes the South Pars gas fields and the Strait of Hormuz, do you think they could pull it off?

    Presumably they would be happy to let the rest of Iran sink into chaos, as long as they held the Gulf.

    What’s with the US trying to occupy whole countries (Iraq, Afghanistan), when they could simply lop of the biggest prizes? Is “pacifying” the entire country essential for some reason?

  238. fyi says:

    Correction:

    Meant to say that the war could last more than 9 years. Assuming that Iranains fight for half as long, it could still last more than 4 years.

  239. fyi says:

    As I said before, you need to concentrate at the world during and after the Iran-US War.

    The Shia of Lebanon fought Israel for 6 weeks. Iran, having a population 70 times that of the Shia of Lebanon, will likely continue fighting for 70 X 6 = 420 Weeks. That is close to 4 years, well into the next Presidency.

    Certainly Iran will withdraw from NPT and could detonate an implosion type device sometime during the war to raise the stakes even more.

    It is likely that oil will hover around $200 for months, if not years.

    Southern Persian Gulf states will experience economic ruin as their infrastructure will be systematically destroyed during the war.

    And there will not be an isolated war theatre in Persian Gulf – there will be a single common theatre from Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.

    I am certain that this war, like all recent wars, will end inconclusively. Iranians will keep their nuclear capabilities, US will have demonstrated her resolve, and Arabs their impotence.

    Business as usual minus the roughly $ 2.00 trillion of damages to Iran and the Southern Persian Gulf States, as well as to Iraq and the 70,000 or so dead with the bulk being Iranians.

    I do not anticipate a run on the dollars, actually, short term; the dollar will receive a boost as people flee to it for safety. Only later, when the magnitude of the geopolitical disaster in that area becomes clear will you see a gradual weakening of the dollar.

    I would like to invite others to contribute to the Iran-US War scenario and the aftermath.

    Note that there has been little or no public discussion either in US, in EU, in Russia, in China, or in Israel that realistically discusses the aftermath of this war. That is, in itself, disturbing since it indicates an infantile approach to the issues of war and peace in the jugular of world energy producing region.

  240. Rehmat says:

    Pak…..

    No US administration can afford to be ‘serious’ about the Zionist entity. It has long been controlled by dishonest and coward leaders. The latest example is Gen. David Petreaus, the former CENTCOM and now NATO Chief.

    Gen. Petreaus’s military career is a tale of honesty and dishonesty, opportunism, and cowardice. It indicates that Gen. David Petraeus, who just replaced Gen. McChrystal as commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, has frankly assessed that the intimate U.S. relationship with Israel is costing U.S. lives in the Middle East. But he’s concerned that his views may cost him politically and so uses buddies in the media to conceal them….

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/how-to-destroy-hizbullah-and-hamas/

  241. Interesting piece on Iran’s naval and Guard capability on the water:

    In responding to West, Iran stresses its naval abilities in Persian Gulf
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/05/AR2010070502578_pf.html

    The 2005 war game referred to reminds me of the 2002 war game in which retired Marine Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, acting as the Iranians (actually an un-named “Red Force”, but everybody knew who was being represented), sank 16 US Navy ships within a very short time. As the game was described, “If the games had been real, it would have been the worst US naval defeat since Pearl Harbor.” The war game referees suspended the game and had to “re-float” the US fleet so the games could continue. Van Riper quit the game in disgust.

    A couple years ago, speaking about the Iranian intention to use “swarm tactics”, a US Navy spokesman said that it was quite difficult to coordinate such attacks, thereby revealing the US Navy had no clue. Because by definition, a “swarm attack” deliberately relies on LACK of coordination. Only by introducing a more or less random, chaotic aspect to the attack do you achieve the goal of confusing the enemy and inhibiting his response.

    From the article above: “”If the [U.S.] Navy is prepared and goes in right, the Iranian navy would be on the bottom of the gulf pretty quickly.”

    As Han Solo once said, “Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?” IS the US Navy prepared?

  242. Pirouz says:

    I haven’t seen any details provided for this story. I could provide plenty of conjecture, but then I might just be contributing to the PR and media hype such a story may be intended to provide.

  243. There is no way Obama is going to force Israel to join the NPT – completely impossible. Israel would simply refuse. Then what is Obama going to do? Commit political suicide by cutting off aid to Israel? Support UN resolutions against Israel? Please – it is to laugh.

    Remember, Obama has SURROUNDED himself with Israeli agents – “Joe “I’m a Zionist” Biden, Rahm “I Fought for the IDF” Emmanuel, and Hilary “Bomb Iran to Oblivion” Clinton. Anybody who thinks Obama is trying to “force” or even “negotiate” with Israel to get anything done is living in a dream world.

    The ONLY thing Obama is trying to do is ratchet up tensions with Iran in preparation for a war. He simply doesn’t want to be BLAMED for starting the war as Bush was – at least not until he’s re-elected in 2012 (IF he is). He may start the war sooner, however, if he thinks he’s losing in Afghanistan (which he is, but I think he’s too dumb to realize it) and the Republicans are using that against him prior to the 2012 elections.

    Obama is TOTALLY going along with the “permanent war” economy and military-industrial complex takeover of the US just as every President for decades has. Until that situation is re-dressed – which it will never be because ninety nine percent of the US public have no clue about it – nothing will change. The US will continue to commit aggressive war after aggressive war and get away with it – at least until the economy collapses.

    As Dorian Grey said “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Empires crumble. There are no exceptions.”

  244. Pak says:

    Dear Nasser,

    I think that Israel signing the NPT would have symbolic value more than anything else. At the end of the day, in legal, practical terms, the NPT is useless. But the fact that the US would hypothetically force Israel to sign the NPT would send a clear message, i.e. the US is serious about Israel and is willing to challenge the status-quo.

    Dear James,

    I truly believe that Obama is trying to put Israel in its place, but he faces unimaginable hurdles (Clinton being one such hurdle). I, like you, hope, but I am not expecting much immediate progress. I believe the process to put Israel in its place will take years of small and careful steps, which only opens the door to more hurdles and pitfalls.

  245. Nasser says:

    Dear Pak,

    You write that the US could force Israel to sign the NPT.

    I have to ask do you honestly believe Israel signing the NPT would make such of a difference? I would think that even if Israel were to sign the treaty they could still hold on to some of their warheads. They certainly have genuine security reasons to do so. Also, Israel could possibly continue to have covert underground facilities that the inspectors or the outside world knows nothing about. I think this is precisely Israel’s concern with Iran that once a country has figured out how to make nukes it is largely irreversible.

  246. Dan Cooper says:

    With the US Trapped in Depression, this Really is Starting to Feel Like 1932

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25875.htm

  247. Dan Cooper says:

    Obama’s New Iran Sanctions: An Act of War

    The Obama Administration calmly portrays economic sanctions as “peaceful” solutions to political problems, they are anything but.

    The strategy here is to economically attack Iran until it responds militarily, giving the U.S. a fake moral high ground to “defend” itself, since the other side supposedly attacked first.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25867.htm

  248. Rehmat says:

    Sounds like another Mavi Marmara carrying ‘terrorists’ and ‘arms’ for Hamas – which would make it difficult for the Zionist regime to annihiliate the 1.5 million native Muslim and christians traped inside Gaza Strip.

    If my memory serves me right – a few months ago DEBKAfile reported that Turkey is installing similar radar system along Turkish-Syrian border.

    PITY – now Ankara is threatening the zionist regime that it would cut the old ‘Donmeh-chord’ unless Zionist regime apologize for murdering nine Turk aid workers in cold-blood on May 31, 2010 at Sea or accept an international investigation into Israeli commandos storming of Turkish vessel among the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/turkey-to-cut-donmeh-chord-with-israel/

  249. Nasser says:

    Dear James,

    You write: “Henry Kissinger says many foolish things about the Middle East.” I don’t think it matters whether if you and I regard those mutterings as foolish but what matters is whether such views hold prominence here among policy making circles which I think you will agree they do. I thought this was a rare moment where Kissinger was quite blunt in claiming that what he fears about nukes is not so much a irrational and suicidal attack from Iran but a “shield to discourage intervention by outsiders.” This just vindicates what the Leveretts have been saying all along.

  250. James Canning says:

    I recommend Habib Ahmadzadeh’s article on opendemocracy.net today: “Iran: remind me now, which are the terrorists?”
    http://www.opendemocracy.net/habib-ahmadzadeh-leila-zand/iran-remind-me-now-which-are-terrorists-0

  251. James Canning says:

    JohnH,

    Good points. How many tens of thousands of “Arab” civilians have been slaughtered by Israel over the past 30 years? I think it is more than 40,000.

  252. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Henry Kissinger says many foolish things about the Middle East. He provides a spuriously plausible explanation for idiotic US foreign policy in that region.

  253. JohnH says:

    Yes, the main problem here is that any aid to anybody in the ME potentially threatens Israel’s “freedom of action.” In other words, aid could theoretically result in the deaths of an Israeli or two while Israel conducts one of its periodic pogroms, designed to kill the usual thousand or so Arab civilians.

  254. James Canning says:

    Pak,

    The US did support the May initiative in the UN to seek to oblige Israel to sign the NPT. Obama is under pressure to reverse course on this point. Let’s hope he does not. (Netanyahu is in Washington this week to try to change the administration’s position.)

  255. James Canning says:

    Syria had agreed to allow Israel to keep radar stations in the Golan Heights, after an Israeli withdrawal, as part of a peace agreement, so that any Iranian attack could be detected as early as possible.

    It appears the claim by Shimon Peres, that Syria had transferred scud missiles to Hezbollah, was false, even though the US rushed to back it up (while provide zero proof).

  256. Pak says:

    Thank you for highlighting Israeli intentions, which have been quite explicit for a while now. What I would like to know is, as Americans, what are you suggesting? The way I see it, you have three options:

    1. Continue with the status quo, which should maintain hegemony over the region for the foreseeable future (in violation of many international laws, but since when did anybody, especially Americans, care about international laws?)

    2. Cease the absolute US support for Israel and bring Israel in line with international norms, through, for example, forcing Israel to sign the NPT, but maintain close, cordial relations.

    3. Downgrading relations with Israel and shifting support to the other regional superpowers, such as Iran.

    In my opinion, option 1 is the most reasonable; the same way that Iran views Hezbollah as a significant asset. Option 2 would anger Israel and threaten US hegemony in the region. Option 3 would be unimaginable and akin to diplomatic suicide.

    For all the rhetoric I have heard about Israel, I see few pragmatic solutions or recommendations.

  257. Nasser says:

    “What Iran really seeks is a shield to discourage intervention by outsiders in its ideologically based revolutionary foreign policy.” Henry Kissinger
    Thugs and robbers hate the second amendment!

  258. paul says:

    Great photo, as always.

  259. paul says:

    In essence, the US and Israel are determined to maintain unilateral military capability, and what that means, translated, is total impunity for aggressive war. In mythological terms, they want to keep Pandora’s Box wide open at all times.