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Senior Likud MK: Key Government Goal, Elimination of Iranian Nuclear Threat

MK Carmel Shama eliminate Iran nuclear threat Thanks to an Israeli source pointing me to this provocative Facebook posting by senior Likud MK Carmel Shama HaCohen:

At the beginning of the current government’s term three chief objectives were set: ending the economic crisis, returning Gilad Shalit, and eliminating the Iranian nuclear [program].  We’ve exited the economic crisis for some time, Shalit comes home Tuesday alive and well…

Two outa three ain’t bad.  But this MK is telling his Facebook audience that Bibi’s goin’ for the Trifecta.  The ellipsis after the word “well” says it all.  And in case you have any doubt about the meaning of the word used in Hebrew (chisul) which I’ve translated as “eliminate,” it can also mean “liquidate” or “assassinate.”  You get the idea.

A legitimate question to ask is whether in an Israeli context MK Shama-HaCohen is Michele Bachmann or Chuck Schumer. A trusted Israeli source tells me he’s the real deal who knows whereof he speaks.  He comes out of a high-level intelligence background and chairs the Knesset’s economy committee .  So imagine Chuck Schumer tells you, after Tom Friedman and Chris Mathhews have weighed in in the affirmative, that we’re about to attack Iran. Do you believe him?

Prof. Muhammad Sahimi, an Iranian-American expert on Iran’s nuclear program, has published a telling comment here about the prospect for war. I’ve known him and worked closely with him for two years and never known for him to call himself an “Iranian nationalist.” What is important about this is that a man of peace and science is telling you that when his country is threatened, no matter how much he hates the current ruling clique, he will rally round. In precisely the same way that almost any Jew, even those harshly critical of the Israeli government, would likely rally round if it faced an existential threat (a real one as opposed to Bibi’s imagined ones).

Prof. Sahimi predicts a protracted ten-year war in the event of an Israeli attack with the likelihood of little or no quarter given or offered by either side. Sahimi also warns that such a war will freeze the reform movement and whatever gains it might have made, while it will unify every Iranian (except the MEK) around the hated mullah regime. I can’t think of a worse outcome.

Let’s not forget the impact on Israel. The nascent social justice movement–dead. The left, anti-war, and human rights community, as small as they are–in the deep freeze. The Likud and hard settler-led right–dominating Israeli politics for the next decade at least. Israel will become a nation on permanent war footing. This would be the destruction of my dream for a truly democratic Israel. That couldn’t happen for a generation, unless Israel were defeated and the international community intervened to restore equilibrium and imposed a truly democratic system, and comprehensive peace deal on Israel.

What about the impact on the U.S.? We would become, as the Nixon presidency did during the 1973 War, Israel’s military guarantor. We would be responsible for arming Israel when the tap ran dry. The cluster bombs, bunker busters, F-16s–all from our stockpile. All the bodies stacked up on massive symbolic funeral pyres, would become a reflection on us, on our nation. We would become the enabler of regional war.  Obama magnificent Cairo speech and grand plans for Middle East peace?  Dead as a doornail.  His entire presidency?  Not much more sentient.  Not an enviable position.

The only thing that is eating at me a bit is the question: if you were Bibi or Barak would you telegraph your intentions as they seem to have done? Past Israeli leaders surely wouldn’t have done so. Two answers: either it’s a grudge match and the hatred is so deep that Bibi can’t help gabbing about it to Israeli journos; or the current government with its unwieldy eight member senior ministerial decision-making body, is destined to leak like a sieve.

At any rate, I now believe that war is more likely than not. And the anti-war left must prepare as if war is coming. We should anticipate and begin our organizing for it now.  If/when it comes, we’ll be ready or more ready than were we to be taken by surprise.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • dickerson3870 October 15, 2011, 10:59 PM

    RE: “this MK is telling his Facebook audience that Bibi’s goin’ for the Trifecta…And in case you have any doubt about the meaning of the word used in Hebrew (chisul) which I’ve translated as ‘eliminate,’ it can also mean ‘liquidate’ or ‘assassinate.’ ” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: That’s why I sometimes (only half-jokingly) refer to the Dissociative State of Israel.

    FROM WIKIPEDIA:

    (excerpt) Dissociation is an altered state of consciousness characterized by partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s normal conscious or psychological functioning.[1]
    Dissociation is most commonly experienced as a subjective perception of one’s consciousness being detached from one’s emotions, body and/or immediate surroundings.[2] Van der Kolk et al.[3] describe dissociation as a “compartmentalization of experience.” Under normal conditions, consciousness, memory, emotions, sensory awareness, affect, etc., are integrated; with dissociation, in contrast, these traits are discretely compartmentalized to greater or lesser degrees.
    Dissociation describes a wide array of experiences that can affect any aspect of a person’s mental functioning.[4][5][6][7] Although some dissociative disruptions involve amnesia, other dissociative events do not.[8] At one end of a continuum, dissociation describes such common events as becoming lost in thought while driving a vehicle and not recalling parts of the journey. At the other end of the continuum are a cluster of dissociative disorders, such as dissociative amnesia, that can occur in response to severe psychological trauma such as rape or military combat. In such cases of abuse or trauma, dissociation can be regarded as a coping mechanism to help with an overwhelming experience.[9]…

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation

    P.S. ALSO SEE: Avraham Burg: Israel’s new prophet ~ By Donald Macintyre, The Independent, 1 November 2008
    Avraham Burg was a pillar of the Israeli establishment but his new book is causing a sensation. It argues that Israel is an “abused child” which has become a “violent parent”. And his solutions are radical, as he explains to Donald Macintyre.
    LINK – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/avraham-burg-israels-new-prophet-979732.html

    • dickerson3870 October 15, 2011, 11:38 PM

      P.S. RE: “the Dissociative State of Israel.” ~ me, above

      FROM A FILM REVIEW BY GILAD ATZMAN OF “DEFAMATION” (2008):

      (excepts) I urge every person on this planet to watch Yoav Shamir’s Defamation, a documentary about anti-Semitism…
      …He provides us with some intimate footage of Israeli youth being indoctrinated into collective anxiety and total neurosis just before they join the IDF.
      The general image we are left with is no less than grotesque. The film elaborates on the aggressive vulgar orchestrated amplification of fear amongst Israelis and Zionist Jews. “We are raised to believe that we are hated” says an Israeli high school girl on her way to a concentration camp…
      …Shamir provides us with an opportunity to see how badly young Israelis behave once in Poland. You watch their contempt to the local population and disrespect to Polish people and institutes. You can also watch Israelis project their hatred onto others. For some reason they are convinced that everyone out there is as merciless as they happen to be. The Israeli youngsters are saturated with fear, yet, they are having a good time, you can watch them having a party dancing in a bus all the way to a Auschwitz…

      “Defamation” can be streamed from Netflix – http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Defamation/70117001
      “Defamation” is also on YouTube (in 9 parts) – http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Defamation+qsdfgh84

  • pea October 16, 2011, 1:42 AM

    I guess the question is, under what circumstances is Israel allowed to take steps to defend itself against physical threats? Can you perhaps outline the conditions that would justify an armed response to a threat?

    • Meni Zehavi October 16, 2011, 8:27 AM

      I don’t know Richard’s view, but there was time when Americans lived under the threat of Soviet nuclear missiles. The US administrations had enough brains to prefer diplomatic and military containment to “armed response” in the sense that Israelis attribute to that term.

    • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2011, 7:44 PM

      You mean you don’t understand what constitute a REAL threat to Israel as opposed to the manufactured ones Bibi makes up?

  • josh October 16, 2011, 4:00 AM

    So this explains the ongoing buildup of American military around Syria?

  • pabelmont October 16, 2011, 7:09 AM

    Israel seems to have got its soldier back, even if reneging (as some say) on release of Marwan Barghouti.

    But, Israel has solved the economic problem? Really? Then what are/were the Israeli street protesters protesting? Sounded a bit like OWS to me.

    As to responding to threats, even if Iran HAD a nuke or two, it would hardly be a threat to DO something bad to Israel. Israel has got away with responding to “threats” which are like the “threat” of a person who is thinking or dreaming of shouting “FIRE!” in an empty (not in a crowded) theater. Illusory threats. Israel has the missiles and the aircraft and the nuclear bombs to obliterate Iran to such an extent that Iran would have to be mad to contemplate USING a nuke for a first strike. (Iran’s nuke, if it had one, might at best be a threat for a second strike, and serve to prevent Israel from military adventures such as the one it so blithely contemplates today. Military adventures such as 2 Lebanons and Gaza call top mind. If Iran had a nuke, Israel might be a LITTLE less persuaded of its immunity and impunity.

    But Iran does not even have a “nuke”. There is no “threat” in that sense at this time. Moreover, the GOI1 (Gov’t of Iran) has shown far more restraint in the matter of starting wars than has the GOI2 (Gov’t of Israel). Israel is the “threat”, not Iran.

    • pea October 16, 2011, 8:29 AM

      I didn’t say anything about Iran. I’m just asking in general – under what circumstances would Israeli use of force be justified? Just throwing it out there as a general question.

  • Meni Zehavi October 16, 2011, 8:29 AM

    “We’ve exited the economic crisis for some time”

    Gee, he should tell that to all the people who demonstrated on Israeli streets from July to early September.
    If the attack on Iran is as successful as Bibi’s economic policy, God save us all…

  • Or Shachar October 16, 2011, 11:11 AM

    Truth be told, I doubted you claims regarding an Israeli attack in Iran so far, but more and more evidence are starting to pile up: many reporters in Israel start to raise similiar questions, not to mention obvious hints as well.

    But still, look, this is a very serious matter, and I have to admit such speculations scare the shit out of me.
    If they are seriously considering such mesaures, they should be captured and be juged for treason and madness, now, before it is too late. God help us if this is true.
    However, if it’s just a lame duck you should stop this, before this becomes an encourgment for each side to take things into his own hands.

    I dispise this goverment, dispise it’s ministers, it’s policy,and it’s prime minister the most. But call me naive, I still hope, and want to beleive,that there is still some remaining sanity there. God help us if your’e right.

  • Asaf October 17, 2011, 12:53 AM

    “Prof. Sahimi predicts a protracted ten-year war in the event of an Israeli attack with the likelihood of little or no quarter given or offered by either side. ”

    Really? a ten year full scale war? there is a thing that the Prof. don’t take into consideration. targeting central Israel for that long and the number of lives that would go up to the thousands is something the Israeli people won’t be able to tolerate no matter how much money and F16 the U.S throws in. in 2006 the public pressure to end the operation due to soldier and civilian lives was massive and that operation was widely accepted.

    Iran is huge. It’s a longer way to get there than Iraq. the Iranian have learned a lesson from the Iraqi reactor bombing and their reactors will be much much more protected. any attack on Iran will be a valid reason for them to start a war or at least retaliate in a way that would cause a massive damage to Tel-Aviv for example. as much as some of the people here love to see Israel leadership as a messiachal, war mongering, homicidal lunatics who are waiting by the red button with an itchy finger, the Israeli leaders are not mentally ill and they hold the fate of millions. they will not launch a destined to fail attack just because they’re trigger happy. collecting quotes and interpreting specific actions and events does not mean that the evidence are piling up and attack is imminent. but i didn’t drew arrows on a map showing where the Israeli F16 route of attack so what do i know.

    • Richard Silverstein October 17, 2011, 1:44 AM

      a ten year full scale war?

      No not a full-scale conventional war. But asymmetric warfare. Sometimes there may be overt missile attacks. Sometimes proxy terror attacks. It will be a long bloody conflict.

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