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Israeli Source: Assassination of Iranian Nuclear Scientist Joint Mossad-MEK Operation

iranian scientist assassinated

Remains of car in which Iranian nuclear scientist was killed

An Iranian news agency reports that a fourth Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated along with his driver.  Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was a professor specializing in petroleum engineering at a technical university and director of  Natanz’s uranium enrichment facility.  Mehr news agency said he was “deputy director of the commercial department of the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.”  He was killed by a bomb attached to the side of his car by two men on a motorcycle.  A confidential source who is a former Israeli cabinet minister and senior IDF officer, confirms today’s murder was the work of the Mossad and MEK, as have been a number of previous operations I’ve reported here.

The killing took place near a Teheran university.  The method recalls another series of assassinations that occurred of Fereidoun Abbassi Davani (who was seriously wounded) and his colleague Majid Shahriari (who was killed).  Today’s killing occurred two years to the day after the assassination of another scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi.

Reuters also adds this:

An [Iranian ] official [said]…”The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and is the work of the Zionists (Israelis)” Fars quoted Deputy Governor Safarali Baratloo as saying.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw two people on the motorbike stick the bomb to the car.

Time also offers a comprehensive report.

France’s right-wing Le Figaro newspaper offers (this is an English language report on the story) a window into the types of training and recruitment the Mossad engages in to prepare for such sabotage missions.  It reports that Israeli agents identify Iranian Kurdish recruits who are living in exile in Iraqi Kurdistan.  There they train them in “spycraft and sabotage:”

…The Iranian assets are being prepared for conducting operations inside [Iran] as part of Israel’s undercover intelligence war against Iran’s nuclear energy program. The Baghdad source told the French daily that part of Israel’s sabotage program against sensitive Iranian nuclear facilities, which includes targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear experts, is directed out of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, “where [Mossad] agents have stepped up their penetration.”  For this, “the Israelis are using Kurdish oppositionists to the regime in Iran, who are living as refugees in the Kurdish regions of Iraq”, the source told Le Figaro.

Although the article makes no mention of official or unofficial sanction of the Israeli operations by the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, it implies that the alleged Mossad activities are an open secret in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is not the first time that allegations have surfaced in the international press about Israeli intelligence activities in Kurdistan. In 2006, the BBC flagship investigative television program Newsnight obtained strong evidence of Israeli operatives providing military training to Kurdish militia members. The program aired video footage showing Israeli expects drilling members of Kurdish armed groups in shooting techniques and guerrilla tactics.

The Israeli government denied having authorized any such training, while Iraqi Kurdish officials refused to comment on the report. But Israeli security experts told the BBC that it would be virtually impossible for Israeli trainers to operate inside Iraqi Kurdistan “without the knowledge of the Kurdish authorities.”

Iraqi Kurdistan may be one of the few places in the Arab world in which an Israeli is welcome, even Israeli spies.

There also can be little doubt that the U.S. comes into this mix, as the Iraqi Kurdish authorities maintain extremely good relations with U.S. officials in that country.  And it’s hard to believe that we aren’t playing a role in expediting this mischief in any way we can.  Though officially, the State Department is denying any U.S. involvement.  My guess is that in the current overheated environment, such deeds, though not opposed in Washington, cause discomfort.  Because anything could be the match that lights a region-wide conflagration.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every time something like this happens: assassinations like the one today accomplish nothing.  It doesn’t fundamentally harm Iran’s nuclear program.  It doesn’t deter Iran or its scientists from pursuing the research and whatever scientific goals they may have.  These are shameful acts by a shameful Israeli government exploiting Iranian terrorists for their own ends.  I find it disgusting that Israel can get away with such acts with impunity.

I am not a supporter of Iran’s nuclear program.  But I am even less a supporter of assassination as state policy, and that includes my own nation, whose president seems especially enamored of targeted killings, even of U.S. citizens.

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{ 112 comments… add one }

  • Angel January 11, 2012, 1:19 AM

    You’re so way off it’s funny. For one thing, killing scientists does have an impact. They know they are targeted. As a matter of fact, since they are key elements of an illegal program defying the whole international community, they have become legitimate targets in a war that Iran started. It also serves to discourage more scientists from cooperating to the program. Only the ideologically-driven ones will pursue it, at their own risk. And second, targeted assassinations are the best way to fight an enemy that hides within and behind its own civilian population. Instead of condemning them, you should praise them because they spare innocent civilians and bystanders, and focus exclusively on the targets. I don’t know of any other way to better respect the rules of international law regarding the protection of civilians. I suppose in your virtuous indignation and infinite wisdom you would still prefer a 500 pounds bomb that kills everybody who happens to be in the immediate vicinity of the target? You make no sense, but then again, that’s not surprising: common sense is the first thing that goes in left-wing crazed minds. Keep up the good work.

    • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:18 AM

      Iran’s nuclear program is not “illegal.” In fact it’s more “legal” than Israel’s since it is under IAEA inspection & Iran is an NPT signatory, none of which is true of Israel.

      If they are legitimate targets I’m sure you’ll concede that Dimona & Israeli nuclear scientists are legitimate targets as well. No? As for discouraing scientists, not on your life. Just like in Israel or any other country, there are many who believe scientific work serves the national good & they will do it regardless of danger to themselves. In fact, they may view it as a privilege to die on behalf of their country. Seems to me there have been numerous Israelis & Jews throughout history who felt the same way.

      Targeted assassinations are monstrous. Read my comment rules. Advocating murder here is a grave comment rule violation. If you do so again you will not comment further here. Who is “hiding behind its own civilian population? Iran? Howso? I think you’re quite mixed up. Even if you’re talking about Hamas you’re being disingenuous. But Hamas is way off topic (another comment rule violation).

      They didn’t spare innocent lives. Israeli targeted assassinations routinely kill civilians & did in this instance as someone riding in the victim’s car was killed. In a previous assassination a scientists wife was gravely injured. You justify such collateral damage??

      Targeted killings don’t “respect” international law. They violate it.

      As for 500 lb. bombs, Israel wasn’t above doing that either to get Salah Shehadeh along with 15 civilians including elderly & children. That’s a war crime an Israeli general will pay for one of these days.

      If you continue with the ignorant insults you won’t publish another comment here. Capiche?

      • Rezz January 11, 2012, 5:21 AM

        Thanks Richard for your answer to the above comment. I just want to add to it from another angle. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of the US says in 2007: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program”
        http://www.odni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf

        In 2010, Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess of Unites States says the key finding that Iran has not yet committed itself to nuclear weapons, contained in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is still valid.
        http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Defense-Spy-Chief-Iran-Undecided-on-Nuclear-Bomb-81256887.html

        In the recent report of IAEA, it is mentioned that no enriched Uranium has been ever diverted. But unfortunately, the report has used the old information from before 2003 for speculations. Many experts consider the recent report as a political document rather than a scientific one:
        http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1109/Iran-nuclear-report-Why-it-may-not-be-a-game-changer-after-all

      • Allen Goldman January 11, 2012, 2:57 PM

        Mr. Silverstein,

        I have just read your blog comments regarding the assassination of these Iranian scientist in Tehran yesterday. First off, it has not been confirmed that Israel is responsible, nor has any word come out from Israel regarding this assassination before you jump to conclusions and practice Yellow journalism and accuse Israel of this act, would you not agree the facts should be established and it should be confirmed? Additionally, what steps would you take what would you do or what you think should be done. Man, Iran has not only stated that they will open the tank and destroy Israel. That the Holocaust was a hoax and acquiring a nuclear weapon. A weapon that will exceed the bomb dropped in Hiroshima by a rate of 2000%
        The world stood still, when Hitler was marching in the late 30s, and his anti Jewish agenda was quite clear 5 years later 1945 6 million jews exterminated .Do you want another Holocaust of the Jewish people? When you write those words that you do you incite antisemitism , what is it that you are trying to accomplish you want to see the annihilation of Israel? Your words seem to imply so what is your goal and/or solution when you write these inflammatory statements that go all over the Internet?

        • Randy January 11, 2012, 4:01 PM

          In the popular literature on Mossad there was a campaign in the 1960s waged by Mossad against Nasser’s German rocket scientists. Out of work, because the Third Reich fell, Nasser hired them for his own missile program. Through a campaign of intimidation–not so sure about out and out assasination–Israel set Nasser’s missile program back indefinitely–again, according to books by Ian Black and Benny Morris on the agency. As such, a pretty clear precedent for Israel to be doing the same to Iranian scientists–not proof–of course. Also, while the assasinations might “encourage” Iranian youth to sign up to be nucular wizards themselves, it doesn’t mean they will finish the program or be any good.

          • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 4:43 PM

            The Egyptian program and the German scientists they hired were a totally diff kettle of fish. Iran hasn’t hired mercenaries with a limited number of resources human & otherwise. It has developed its own native nuclear program with all the parameters necessary to populate it with scientists & facilities. The program is deep & can’t be dented by a few assassinations or explosions. Can it be harmed or delayed? Possibly. But ultimately, when an entire country decides to do something with the fortitude with which Iran is going about doing this, it will eventually succeed. I wish Iran wasn’t pursuing this path. But nothing will deter it short of negotiating with it to do so.

          • Randy January 11, 2012, 4:53 PM

            True, Richard–my point was that going after the scientists reflects an historical MO that Israel has taken such actions in the past. I have to agree that Iran will succeed in becoming a nuclear state, eventually. Something I think Dagan was well aware of.

    • Kern de Gaud January 11, 2012, 7:52 AM

      “It also serves to discourage more scientists from cooperating to the program. Only the ideologically-driven ones will pursue it, at their own risk.”

      This is pure nonsense. If anything, it will encourage technically and scientifically inclined young Iranians who may have been considering entering another field to study nuclear science and engineering. I am a (non-nuclear) scientist and I guarantee you that if some bunch of foreign racists and lunatics had been assassinating American nuclear scientists when I did my training, I would have switched to that field in a second to serve my country. You are a fool if you think Iranians are any different.

      “And second, targeted assassinations are the best way to fight an enemy that hides within and behind its own civilian population.”

      Oh, that keen Zionist intellect in action … The nuclear scientists that have been assassinated WERE CIVILIANS. Not only were they part of the civilian population, but they were murdered right out in the open, in public. They were hardly “hiding.”

    • Richard January 11, 2012, 11:03 AM

      Who will benefit from this assassination?

      • Aonee January 11, 2012, 3:35 PM

        Hmm.. certainly not Iran.

      • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:37 PM

        Oh let’s see…. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, the US, the UK, France, all of Europe, Israel, and even Turkey. But to Silverstein, it had to be Israel, automatically. Objectivity and balance are not too welcome here, I guess.

    • lifelong January 11, 2012, 11:30 AM

      Angel, could you please list the members that make up your ‘whole international community’? Ever heard of the Non Aligned Movement? That’s 120 countries right there that openly support Iran in its quest for Nuclear energy, and openly condemn IAEA’s Amano for his crusade against them.

      You’re also clearly clueless about what it means to be a signatory of the NPT and what your rights and obligations are as a member – it’s in fact the US and the EU that are reneging on their obligations as NPT members by refusing to provide Iran with the necessary technology they need to produce peaceful nuclear power.

      The actions of the West are illegal under the NPT, and that is not conjecture – as opposed to your statement about Iran, the above is a legal fact.

      • Aonee January 11, 2012, 4:56 PM

        And do you know how many of those non-aligned countries support Iran nuclear program just for Oil?

    • Dan Levhar January 11, 2012, 12:23 PM

      I find it hard to believe the Israel had anything to do with this. There are many possibilities on the origin of this event. Meanwhile, it seems that Richard Silverstein is/has followed in the footsteps of infamous Julian Assange and Wikki-Leaks. He is incurring the wrath of world goverments near and far. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

    • Clayton January 11, 2012, 2:41 PM

      “Crazed mind”. Your the only one with a crazed mind. The program is not illegal because it complies with the IAEA of which they are member and Israel is not. There is no concrete evidence that they are trying to build a nuclear weapon and if so who said this illegal? They are sovereign nation and they started no war. However, an attack against a national by a foreign intelligence agency must be considered a provocative attack or act of war but I guess in your craze mind it’s simply justice.

    • praxeologist January 11, 2012, 7:08 PM

      Angel, you’ve picked a ridiculous screen name. In fact you seem to be an evil disgusting (if just vicarious) murderer. Why don’t you ignore this site, if it’s so repugnant, and leave the rest of is to ponder and discuss the horrible specter of supposedly civilized governments (pardon the oxymoron) aligning themselves with nihilistic murderous cretins, the MEK, to violate all morality. The murdered scientist was a human being, with a family and parents, and was doing absolutely nothing illegal, or immoral, unlike the entire government of Israel.
      I’m sure you will be welcome at Rick Santorum’s forum.
      Get freaking lost

      • Angel January 11, 2012, 7:45 PM

        Because Praxeologist is not a ridiculous screen name? Doesn’t it strike you as obvious that it evokes “Proctologist”, which judging by your pompous and meaningless rant, fits you like.. er.. a glove, maybe? :) I know lots of people like you: they can’t articulate anything coherent, but boy do they love to hear themselves come up with long strings of words… Keep up the stellar work!

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 10:28 PM

        He’s got some sort of loose or formal association w our friends at CAMERA. He features their pro Israel hasbara tomes at his bookseller website. It’s prob his job to slum through the left wing demimonde & pick fights there.

    • Nela January 12, 2012, 6:03 AM

      I can’t believe that someone endorses murder and have enough nerves to sign up as Angel…

  • isbismarkaherring January 11, 2012, 4:41 AM

    I would agree that such actions will not stop the nuclear program, and Israel must know this. And with this in mind, how likely does it seem that Israel would risk so much? I realize that the MEK is doing the heavy-lifting here, but still.

    And fyi, not all targeted assassinations are a bad thing, that is just a load of dung.

  • Will January 11, 2012, 5:42 AM

    Thanks for posting this “news” and the links, profoundly disconcerting are such acts of terror and war. (Ah, but our usual outlets will be screaming about Iranian acts of terror.) FYI, heard a very close observer of Israel/Iran dynamics remark at a recent DC convention that her contacts among hawkish Israeli sources were wondering, “just what do we have to do to get the Iranians to hit us back?” (e.g., to that we can then crow that Iran started the war, and then the US can finish it”) Remarkably, as I see it, the Iranians have (thus far) not taken the bait.

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:42 PM

      Well, the answer may come soon to prove this statement accurate: Iran’s saber rattling and threats to close the Straight of Ormuz may well give the US the exact casus belli it needs to teach the bellicose Iranians a little lesson.

      • Steffen January 11, 2012, 3:59 PM

        That’s exactly what it comes down to, right? To teach them a little lesson, tell them what they can or cannot do, make sure these untermenschen adhere to your diktat, eh? This is the kind of wet dream someone like you would have.

        And you dare put the word democracy in your mouth?

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 4:18 PM

          Don’t mention the word democracy before you have talked with the Green Revolution youths who are putting their lives on the line, facing killing and torture, to bring it in their country, while you have the obscene audacity to defend their oppressors. As for the little lesson, let me put it to you this way: if you come in front of my house and tell me that henceforth I cannot use the street to come in or out without your permission or paying you a fee, chances are rather excellent that I will teach you a lesson. Iran is behaving like a street thug, and if they make the mistake of attacking, they will be treated accordingly, notwithstanding the usual wailing by apologists of your kind who will scream that they are the victims.

          • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 4:39 PM

            When I have defended the Iranian regime? You lie. I don’t accept anyone lying or twisting my views. You quote my views precisely & accurately or you won’t be here long. Understand? Now prove I’ve defended the regime or the Ayatollahs. In fact, every chance I get I say I don’t support them. But what I oppose even more is the immorality & ineffectiveness of current Israeli policy including assassinations, cyberwarfare & (on a different subject) massive violations of democratic rights for non Jewish citizens.

            I’m going to teach you a lesson: you’ve come down my street and taken a dump in my front yard. From henceforth, you’ll be moderated to ensure you behave properly when you’re on my “property.” If you follow comment rules you will be welcome. If you decide to violate them (& again, you haven’t bothered to read them though I’ve insisted you do a number of times now), the lesson I will impart to you is that you are behaving as little better than a street thug here.

            As for street thugs, I’d say that Israel is behaving far moreso than Iran. Or is serial violation of the sovereignty of nations a privilege to which only Israel is entitled.

      • praxeologist January 11, 2012, 7:10 PM

        You’re morally repugnant to normal people. You need professional help

  • SimoHurtta January 11, 2012, 5:46 AM

    In PressTV they read this blog:

    ‘Mossad, MKO killed Iranian scientist’

    The Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group are the main perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack against an Iranian scientist, an American blogger quotes an Israeli source as saying.

    American journalist Richard Silverstein said the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a senior official at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, brings to mind the terrorist acts committed against other Iranian scientists in recent years.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/220485.html

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 11:30 AM

      There is no incontrovertible proof. All we have is Richard telling us: “My own confidential Israeli source confirms today’s murder was the work of the Mossad and MEK, as have been a number of previous operations I’ve reported here.” Since he source is confidential (someone at Ha’aretz, I imagine, the least reliable, most left-wing Israeli paper, unless Richard is admitting that he knows a mole inside the Mossad?). This is such a ridiculous reflexive reaction, but I have to admit it’s convenient. It mimicks the Arab blame game: no matter what happens, always blame it on the Israelis, and if it can’t be explained any other way, blame it on the one-size-fits-all presumed culprit, the all-powerful Mossad. Proof? Who cares? But never, ever, ever admit any wrongdoing or any responsibility for the situation you’re in. That’s the rule. A rule gingerly adopted here, it appears.

      • lifelong January 11, 2012, 11:37 AM

        So, according to you this Iranian civilian deserved to die because there is ‘incontrovertible proof’ he was working on a nuclear weapon? And that’s not a ‘ridiculous reflexive reaction’ ???

        Taking hypocrisy to a whole new level there…

      • Steffen January 11, 2012, 11:40 AM

        Angel, I think it would be in your own best interest if you simply stopped writing at this point for you make yourself look uninformed and overtly simplistic.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 1:00 PM

          In my best interest? Your concern is touching. Interestingly enough, even though it is obvious enough that this blog caters to a small coterie of like-minded liberals focused on blaming Israel for all the ills of the world, have you ever considered the odd possibility that you might be the one who is woefully uninformed… and therefore sees the world through overly simplistic lenses? Black and white is comfortable and easy, the realm of lazy people. Delving into all the shades of grey that is reality requires a lot more intellectual work, and above all intellectual honesty, which I find singularly lacking among Israel’s critics, in particular the many self-hating Jews who stridently try to distance themselves from the Jewish state. And besides, am I to understand that you do not enjoy a robust debate? Or could it be that you’re fearful of losing an argument? Free speech, anyone? Democracy, anyone? If not, you should have a notice at the top of the page saying something like “divergent views from the collective group think are not welcome”.

          • John.M January 11, 2012, 1:10 PM

            Angel, You would be better of if at least “Listen To Yourself”…!!!
            Your argument is Not One Sided at All…!!! Not at all…!!!
            No way…!!!

          • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:15 PM

            “Self hating Jews,” another BIG comment no-no here. Watch your step & follow the rules.

            As for being overly simplistic…you accuse us of that? Really? Look in the mirror. What you really mean is that YOU don’t dealing with nuance & the fact that Israel behaves in nasty ways which you choose to whitewash rather than confront.

            I don’t distance myself from Israel, though I do distance myself from the type of Jewish supremacist state you envision. That doesn’t mean that I renounce Israel having a Jewish character any more than I renounce it having an Arab or Palestinian character. Just not an exclusivist Jewish character.

            Free speech? We’re listening to your nonsense here & yet you have the chutzpah to tell us about free speech?

      • SimoHurtta January 11, 2012, 12:56 PM

        Funny that those countless unnamed “officials” and “sources” in US and Israeli propaganda stories do not bother you. All stories blaming Iran, Iraq, Syria etc are full of unidentified “experts” and “high government” officials. After those yellow cake and moving chemical weapon factories stories some years ago it is natural, that no western expert is willing to reveal his name in this feeding propaganda and obvious lies. People are still openly laughing to those who used their name and acted as experts during the buildup of Iraq war.

        Who do you have the greatest interest to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and experts? Certainly on the top of that list are the rival countries. And an Israeli “source” who opposes the governments policy in the obvious and visible creating a war with Iran naturally will not reveal his/hers name. That is natural and justified, much more justified than an anonymous source feeding lies about enemies “plans”.

        • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:11 PM

          I actually do not know my source’s personal or political motivation for sharing this information. For all I know, s/he may actually support Israel’s covert war against Iran (again I don’t know the answer). It would be nice if this individual did this out of altruistic motives, seeking to avert such a conflict. But I can’t know this for sure.

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:04 PM

        I’ve described my source numerous times in the past & s/he has nothing to do with Haaretz. Do your homework & you’ll discover what I’ve said about this individual.

        You have called Palestinians an “invented people,” which is a grave comment rule violation. You will follow these rules. Read them carefully.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:33 PM

          That one really intrigues me. Let me see… I repeat what Gingrich said about the Palestinians, which is historically and factually absolutely correct (and which does not mean that they have not since created a semi coherent identity of their own, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the very different identities pushed respectively by Hamas and Fatah), but nevertheless this is a “grave comment rule violation”? So anything that doesn’t match your skewed and limited perception of history is deemed a rule violation? The good old Soviet “wooden language” is back, comrades. Don’t you dare deviate from the politburo’s diktats, especially the ones regarding history. Nice. But I’m not impressed by your unwillingness (or more likely simply your inability) to discuss ideas that don’t match yours.

          • Randy January 11, 2012, 4:05 PM

            Feh. People’s invent themselves–it’s a political label anyway for any nation–asserting homogeny and, sometimes, purpose, through a selective read of shared cultural characteristics. Are the Chinese a unitary people? According to the mandarins in Beijing they are…but it’s complicated.

            I think the real issue here is that the debate, the pointless debate, about whether the Palestinians are a “people” is not relevant to the current thread.

          • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 4:44 PM

            Amen. It’s off topic & irrelevant. Thanks for pointing this out.

      • Clayton January 11, 2012, 2:51 PM

        No, it is also adopted by the US, France, Great Britain and many others as well. Has the US ever apologized to Iraq or the international community for those so called weapons of mass destruction they didn’t find or to Afghanistan when Bin Laden was found in Pakistan. No, they’ll start a fight with Iran and later claim it was to free Irans civilians from tyranny so they could live democratically and one eyed monsters like yourself will be perfectly happy that explanation.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:27 PM

          Rather than blaming “one eyed monsters” (that’s a cute one, I hadn’t heard this before… are you trying to scare little children?), how about you asking the millions of young Iranians who made the Green revolution when Ahmadinejad stole the elections and repressed them in blood? Or I suppose that there is no such thing as civilians to free from tyranny in Iran? If you’re so gullible, I take it that you also agree with Ahmadinejad that there are no gay people in Iran (never mind that they tend to hang at the end of ropes from cranes)?

          • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 5:52 PM

            I’ve told you that here we don’t allow anyone to question the existence of the Israeli or Palestinian peoples. So you’ve violated the comment rules for what, the 10th time. You don’t get to determine what my comment rules are. They’re listed prominently in the sidebar. I don’t make it up as I go alone. The rules are there & you must read them or forfeit yr right to be here.I only have so much patience.

            As for whether the Palestinians are a semi coherent or fully coherent people, the notion that you are qualified aribter to make that judgment is pathetically laughable. Are you an expert in Palestinian nationalism? What book besides Joan Peters & Alan Dershowitz have you read on the subject?

            Gingrich is an ahistorical idiot & you’re an idiot to admire him.

            A “little lesson.” You must be pals with Michael Ledeen who believes the U.S. has to knock around a two bit country every few yrs just to show the world who’s boss. That’s about the level of yr philosophy as well.

            You’re limited to no more than 3 comments in a single day. This is a limit I impose periodically on people like you who have an inordinate need to dominate the comment threads. Believe me, it’s for yr own good. No actually it’s for the good fo the comment threads themselves.

            This “obscure blog” was profiled in Maariv last Friday by a reporter who flew all the way fr Israel to spend 2 days interviewing me. This “obscure blog” was featured in Der Spiegel today. This “obscure blog” was approached by PBS Newshour today for an interview. If that’s “obscure” I’d like to know what popular is in yr eyes. If anything’s obscure around here it’s you & yr hasbarist perspective.

            Just checked Angel’s commercial bookseller website which he pimps in his contact info & it features a “CAMERA Book List.” That tells us all we need to you about you.

  • Jeff January 11, 2012, 6:40 AM

    “My own confidential Israeli source confirms today’s murder was the work of the Mossad and MEK”

    Sure hope you are right as Iranian propaganda is now using you as a source. Seems a bit far fetched for a blog with so few comment’s to be a major news source for Iranian media.

    • Randy January 11, 2012, 5:04 PM

      I am not sure the measure of a blog’s influence is the number of comments it gets. Given the big attention this blog got in Maariv and other places points to an influence in circles that don’t feel obliged to vent to show their interest. While I disagree pretty strongly with many of the positions I see here I do respect the blog for its coverage–often bringing new stories to light that I just dont see elsewhere. Cheers.

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 6:03 PM

        There are now 71 comments in this thread. I suppose for Jeff that doesn’t count as a serious level of comments or readers. Today alone, 9,000 have visited which would project to about 12,000 visitors by the end of today. That’s about six fold more than on a normal day.

  • moshe January 11, 2012, 6:56 AM

    The Israeli government is conducting a terror campaign against Iranian civilians. That much must be said, in those words.

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:45 PM

      That much says nothing at all. If Israel was conducting a terror campaign against Iranian civilians, don’t you think the body count would be markedly higher than one every 3 months? Hello?

      • Ardeshir January 11, 2012, 4:57 PM

        Angel, you’re hilarious. Go get a life.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 6:16 PM

          Anything more intelligent to contribute to the debate, Ardeshir?

  • Leo January 11, 2012, 7:01 AM

    Just a reminder,
    The US has a lot of experience running a secret war. The US defeated the Red Army in Afghanistan which was a significant contributor to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Considering the fact that the US controlled Iraq for the last 8 years, i would say that chances are that the US is behind this are greater then the chances Israel is behind this.
    watch or read Charlie Willson’s War.

  • weindeb January 11, 2012, 9:48 AM

    So now, in addition to numerous other accomplishments listed on its résumé, Israel can now safely add “terrorism”.

  • Chayma January 11, 2012, 10:54 AM

    Iran is too smart for Mossad to stop their program. It’s an accepted that Iran will become nuclear, probably by the end of this year.

    I do not believe the MEK, (who may well wish the current Ahmedinejad regime out) would NOT support their country going nuclear. Thus i’m inclined to believe that either the MEK or Mossad are either exaggering their role in this, or spreading misinformation.

    This could be, as Richard’s sources say, that it’s a joint Mossad operation, or it could be misinformation planted by Mossad to give the impression that they are ‘doing something’. Of course, the MEK would want to look like they are damaging the regime, but I doubt any Iranian would not support their own country going nuclear.

    Angel

    You said ‘illegal nuclear’ program, but nobody has ever built nuclear weapons by openly declaring it. Israel doesn’t even declare it’s own nuclear weapons.

    Iran, Saudi Arabia and others are well within their rights, and SHOULD develop nuclear weaposn. Either we have a nuclear free world, which i happily support if all decide to give up their nuclear weapons, or any state has the right to develop nuclear weapons.

    It’s one or the other. You cannot pick and choose and condemn Iran, whilst turning a blind eye to the 7 or so other nuclear weapon holding countries.

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:22 PM

      Chayma said: “It’s one or the other. You cannot pick and choose and condemn Iran, whilst turning a blind eye to the 7 or so other nuclear weapon holding countries.” You are absolutely correct. So let’s hear what you and the rest of this august assembly are doing collectively about these 7 or so nuclear powers relinquishing their nuclear weapons. Who do you want to start with? Russia? China? US? Pakistan? India? North Korea? France? Great Britain? Once you have convinced all of those, come back here and we’ll tackle Israel. Deal? As for the Iranian program being illegal, it stems from the fact that they have signed the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty), which entails obligations that they are violating, hence the many UN Security Council resolutions demanding that they stop, which they also have ignored, whereas Israel was wise enough to not join the NPT and simply not confirm or deny that they have nuclear weapons). In other words, Israel has not signed the NPT, therefore it has no legal obligation to follow its terms, whereas Iran has, and is obligated to follow its terms. That’s what happens when you sign a contract: you respect the terms, or else you get sued.

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 4:47 PM

        Once again, publishing 10 comments within a few hrs is a gross abuse of my comment threads & violation of comment rules, which you clearly haven’t read. You’re moderated. Until I can tell you’ve read & absorbed them, future comments will only be published when they fall within the rules.

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 4:51 PM

        Israel has no right to demand that Iran do things regarding its program that Israel will not do regarding its own. That called HYPOCRISY, rank hypocrisy.

        And do stop crying croccodile tears for the Green Movement. You don’t care any more for it than you do about anything unrelated to Israel. You don’t get the right to determine what Iranians do regarding the so called tyranny they face. They do. All moral judgments you make about Iran are meaningless. It is up to Iranians to determine who will rule them, not you not Israel. Get that through yr thick hasbarist head.

        Nor do you care about gay people or women or any number of groups hasbarists routinely dredge up to supposedly show that Israel is superior to the foul Arabs.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 6:03 PM

          How on earth could you know that? These are all gratuitous accusations. You’re breaking your own rules. You don’t know me nor do you know anything about me, and yet you draw an imaginary picture of someone that meets your criteria, for the sole and base purpose of dismissing what I have to say. YOU are Mr. Hypocrisy personified, and your Iranian-approved blog is a joke.

          • lifelong January 11, 2012, 7:09 PM

            Angel, you’re a complete and utter lost cause.

            Quoting yourself:
            “As for the Iranian program being illegal, it stems from the fact that they have signed the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty), which entails obligations that they are violating, hence the many UN Security Council resolutions demanding that they stop, which they also have ignored, whereas Israel was wise enough to not join the NPT and simply not confirm or deny that they have nuclear weapons). In other words, Israel has not signed the NPT, therefore it has no legal obligation to follow its terms, whereas Iran has, and is obligated to follow its terms. That’s what happens when you sign a contract: you respect the terms, or else you get sued.”

            In other words, if Iran leaves the NPT tomorrow, you will agree that they have the right to nuclear weapons? Didn’t think you would, so spin the wheel again.

            Nevermind the fact that Iran has never breached its NPT obligations… You would know this if you actually knew what NPT means and what it stands for.

      • Angel Can't Take It January 11, 2012, 10:10 PM

        “As for the Iranian program being illegal, it stems from the fact that they have signed the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty), which entails obligations that they are violating, hence the many UN Security Council resolutions demanding that they stop, which they also have ignored, whereas Israel was wise enough to not join the NPT and simply not confirm or deny that they have nuclear weapons).”

        That paragraph is just one big falsehood from beginning to end.

        Picking a few out……

        1) Neither the IAEA reports nor UNSC resolutions have ever pointed to any violation the NPT, which is precisely why they keep using variations of this phrase:
        “we remain concerned…..”
        which is a phrase that means precisely whatever Humpty Dumpty wants it to mean, neither more nor less.

        2) The UN Security Council has never made a decision that: (a) the Iranians are in violation of the NPT
        nor has it ever made the decision that:
        (b) Iranian enrichment amounts to a “threat to the peace”.

        As such the UNSC is pretty much left with demanding that Iran cease enriching uranium merely because the council don’t want Iran to enrich uranium.

        Which does rather beg this question:
        Q: Does the NPT give either the IAEA or the UNSC the “right” to decide that Iran can’t enrich uranium?
        A: Not according to the NPT’s ARTICLE IV(1), no, it doesn’t and, no, they can’t.

        The UNSC has to look elsewhere to find any “right” to make such a demand, and according to the UN Charter that can only be when the council determines that Iranian enrichment is a “threat to the peace”.

        And since the council has never made any such determination then the UNSC does indeed appear to be exceeding its authority.

  • Steffen January 11, 2012, 11:28 AM

    “Iraqi Kurdistan may be one of the few places in the Arab world in which an Israeli is welcome, even Israeli spies.”

    It might have to do with the fact that they are Kurds, ie not Arabs. Israeli support was very much welcomed by Kurds as it helped bring down Hussein and gain a significant degree of independence – de facto and partially even de jure – from (Arab) Baghdad. An enemy’s enemy…

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 12:51 PM

      I’m not certain what this has to do with the current debate on the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, but your point is very well taken. The Kurds have a much longer and bigger claim to make to have an independent nation than the invented Palestinians, and yet no one ever bothers to support their cause. How do you explain that? They have their own language (the Palestinians speak Arabic, like their neighbors), their history goes back centuries (the notion of distinct Palestinians appeared only in the 60s), they are far more numerous (an estimated 14 million, as opposed to not even 4 million Palestinians), but unfortunately for them they were sacrificed by the colonial powers who didn’t want to upset the Arabs, so today there is no Kurdistan, which inconveniently would include chunks of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. So what’s the best course of action? Ignore them! Same for the Tibetans and all other minorities really persecuted by overlords that the world is too cowardly to confront. It’s called double standard. Much easier to harp on tiny Israel, who has no way (nor intention) to strike back at its critics.

      • SimoHurtta January 11, 2012, 1:19 PM

        Invented Palestinians? Well aren’t Kurds at least as invented as Palestinians are. Neither Jews have had a own language used by the majority before Israel so your claim that the language gives the right to own country is on a bit weak ground.

        What reveals the nature of Judaism as a religion not as a nation (=Jews) is that there are and have existed Kurdish Jews. One of the most famous members of Lehi was Moshe Barazani. Massoud Barzani is the current President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Hmmm…

        If Israel is allowed to train, finance and arm Kurdistan fighters then Arab and Muslim nations have the equal “rights” to train, finance and arm Palestinians. Lets stop then complaining if and when somebody gives Palestinians really effective weapons and begin to thin out Israeli nuclear experts and scientists. No double standards as you demand.

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 1:43 PM

          I didn’t say a language gives the right to a country. I said having a distinct language is proof of a distinct identity. It’s your misinterpretation that is on weak ground. And I’d be really interested to hear what Massoud Barzani thinks of your wild inference that he might be a crypto-Jew. As for your parallel in arming and training both sides, you seem to forget that the Arabs have been doing exactly that since the turn of the 19th century, so the recent support given by Israel to the Kurds doesn’t even begin to compare. The other difference is that the Israeli nuclear program has been in existence for over 30 years, and oddly enough no one in the region has ever felt threatened by it, not even its neighbors. Contrast that with the Iranian program, coupled with countless promises by Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map (in and of itself a violation of Art. 4 of the Genocide Convention, incidentally), and observe that the Arab states are now in a frenzy to go nuclear to counter the Iranian threat. Why? They were never concerned by Israel’s bomb, but now that Iran is about to have one, they’re going nuts. But I’m sure you’ll say that Iran keeps promising that it’s for peaceful use. Right. In facilities buried deep in secret bases, immune from air attack and strategically spread all over the country. All for peaceful use, but nevertheless with a total lack of transparency. Sounds logical to me. I’ve got a few bridges to sell you in funny places. You’d love them.

          • Base January 11, 2012, 3:14 PM

            Angel,

            Exactly how long have ‘Israelis’ been around? How long has modern Hebrew been around? How long has the United States of America been around? Or Pakistan?

            Essentially every nation is ‘invented’, as you say, with the vast majority of the nations in the middle east having been invented in the last 100 years or so. In fact, the most recently invented nation in this region is, of course, Israel.

            So what’s your point? I am happy to stipulate that Palestinians are invented if you are willing to stipulate that Israelis are also invented. If so then you and I can happily draw up the final negotiations for the newly invented State of Pisrael, where everyone living there or having lived there and been forced out has citizenship. A one-state solution, with all the population of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza having equal voting rights. You know – a Democracy (like Israel claims it is now – so it won’t be that much of a change for you, correct? Except this time lets be sure and draw up a constitution – just to be safe…)

            Deal?

          • SimoHurtta January 11, 2012, 3:18 PM

            You are living in a dream world: Even the European nations feel threatened with Israeli nukes and its uncontrolled aggressivity and hidden religious extremism. Why do you think Germany has its intelligence gathering ships on Lebanese waters. Ships which Israel tried to frighten away. Certainly not spying Hizbollah. Why do think China (and many other nations) wanted to participate in UN’s Lebanon operation. All are gathering intelligence about Israel, peacekeeping is a hobby for them.

            Israel has built its 200 – 400 nukes to be used as real threat. Israel has also demonstrated its will to use WMDs. Israel’s nuclear program is everything else than peaceful. Israel has not a single civil nuclear power station, which Iran has. Israel has a real plutonium factory.

            Prove that Ahmadinejad said really said “wipe Israel off the map”. You can’t do it. There is a difference to wish an end of the Zionist regime and advocate a genocide. Lieberman has advocated bombing the Aswan damn. It would cause the murder of lets say10 to 20 million people. What is that? A joke or what?

            By the way of Massoud Barzani is also widely used the family name Barazani (even Memri uses that). The fact of Kurdish Jews is without doubt and Barzani/Barazanis are/were influential among them (for example the historic Asenath Barzani and Samuel Barzani). There are by the way also Kurdish Christians. Are there Jewish Muslims? To be a Kurd or Palestinian is not a based on a religion.

      • Angel Can't Take It January 11, 2012, 1:27 PM

        “The Kurds have a much longer and bigger claim to make to have an independent nation than the invented Palestinians,”

        The trick there is obvious i.e. Angel is deliberately confusing the notion of “nation” with “state”.

        The Kurds do indeed have a much longer-standing claim to being a distinct “nation” but, unlike some of the Palestinians, they can not claim that they are “stateless”.

        Compare and contrast: SOME Palestinians are not stateless (e.g. the Israeli Arabs) but the vast majority of Palestinians (e.g. who aren’t Israeli Arabs) are, indeed, “stateless”.

        “and yet no one ever bothers to support their cause.”

        Just as no-one bothers to clamour for the “right” of Israeli Arabs to form their own breakaway state comprising of the upper Galilee and the Little Triangle.

        Heck, not even Abbas supports that.

        “How do you explain that?”

        I just did i.e. Kurds are not “stateless”, they are either citizens of:
        1) Iran
        2) Iraq
        2) Turkey
        and therefore creating a state called “Kurdistan” would require that this be carved out of the territory of existing sovereign states.

        By contrast, the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are indeed “stateless”, and therefore creating a sovereign state of Palestine requires no dismemberment of an existing sovereign state.

        Here, Angel, let’s do a deal:
        I will voice support of a sovereign state of Kurdistan
        if
        you voice support for the establishment of an independent sovereign state of Palestine that *includes* the upper Galilee and the Little Triangle.

        Deal?

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:08 PM

        We speak English & not a distinct national language all our own. Does that mean we have less right to be a nation than Kurdistan? By the way, we didn’t exist as a nation before 1776. So do we have less right to be one than Mexico, whose national civilization goes back longer?

        This is not a thread about Kurdish national rights. Stay ON-TOPIC, another comment rule.

      • Parah Salin January 12, 2012, 5:26 PM

        ” invented Palestinians,” “left-wing crazed minds.”

        How long are you going to let this sophist “Angel” trash your comment section, Richard?

        It’s harming the overall quality of your blog.

        A few contrarian opinions in the comments can be a good thing that encourages critical thinking, but the Argumentum ad infinitum is achieving it’s goal of diversion of intelligent dialog, good comments get lost in the chaff, and readers lose interest because they are not interested in suffering fools such ad nauseum.

        It’s an expert at the red herring special, twisting nomenclature depending on the nationality of the victims, projection, haranguing your commenters, and the big lie:

        “tiny Israel, who has no way (nor intention) to strike back at its critics.”

        Who started the “war”?
        JINSA, AIPAC, WINEP et.al have been pushing for war since Bush Sr. was in office.

        In 1975 Iran stopped covertly delivering fuel to Israel and in 1985 the NIOC filed suit against Israel for money owed, in 2006 it finally won a judgment against Israel for hundreds of millions of dollars, of which it has yet to pay.

        In sept 2001 Wesley Clark became aware of the the list of 7 countries Neocons slated for regime change within 5 years: Iraq, Syria Lebanon, Libya Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

        David Frum, a George Bush speech writer devised the term “Axis of Evil” and included Iran even after Iran offered to work together to capture Sunni Al Qaeda terrorists of which it has it’s own problems.
        These events predate any mistranslated blustery language by the Iranian President.

        As for claims that Iran is violating the NPT. All Iran has to do is drop out and it will on equal footing with Israel. It is not tied into being a signatory.

  • Ran Sivron January 11, 2012, 12:12 PM

    Whereas your sources may be credible, this whole operation seem to follow the exact course of The Cold War. Obviously, proxies are doing anything necessary to stop Iran not really from developing nuclear weapons, but from becoming a Cold War opponent with great oil assets (90% of oil futures are around The Gulf).

    I do not justify any of the killing. I think it is very stupid. As your blog indicates you are for `Tikkun Olam” so you know that every person in Judaism is considered to be as important as the holy of holies.

    The reproach of Israel for killing and of Iran for cheating and threatening is silly.
    The Jewish nation is like a nerd that was abused by bullies for years, and unfortunately it is in conflict with The Islamic republic, that is like a young man that was abused as a boy. Us sanctimoniously telling the nerd to not revenge and the abused man to not cheat or threaten will not yield `Tikkun Olam’. It may win an election, but also more conflict. Even at this stage we need to show our love and respect for both, and call on Iran and Israel to meet for talks.

  • John.M January 11, 2012, 1:02 PM

    I am glad that Angel Took Steffen’s wise advise and stopped embarrassing herself further with naive and rather week comments she was making..! my advise to angel is that before making comments about world affairs,stop watching main stream media such as CNN،Fox News,etc. for at least few days!
    this way people will take you a bit more serious!

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:50 PM

      Thank you for the gratuitous advice, John, but I don’t need it. And as you may have noticed, I’m ignoring it.

  • Angel January 11, 2012, 1:29 PM

    You will all be delighted to hear that Israel has been found guilty as charged! According to a report from Fox News (I know, most of you are going to feel indisposed, but hey, that’s the only source I’ve found so far that supports your speculations), the Israeli high command admitted that there are things that “happen unnaturally”! I say there are guilty! Look it up for yourselves and savor your certainty: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/11/israeli-military-chief-hints-at-anti-iran-activity/ . :)

    • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 2:19 PM

      This is the most useful thing you’ve ever done at this site. Now if you could base all yr claims on such good sourcing I’d be delighted. As the rabbis said: “Now go & study!”

      • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:53 PM

        Why am I not surprised? You fell for it head first. I was being sarcastic, emphasizing how absurd it would be to draw an admission of guilt from an off-the-cuff comment, and you jumped on it like a cat on a fake mouse. I rest my case. You’ll believe anything as long as it supports your extremely biased and one-sided views. Oops… Probably just broke another rule here. Better watch out.

  • Randy January 11, 2012, 1:36 PM

    And in a completely circular reference back to this website, FARS states

    TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli sources confirmed that the terrorist attack which killed a senior Iranian scientist in Tehran on Wednesday was a joint operation carried out by the agents of the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

    “My own confidential Israeli source confirms today’s murder was the work of the Mossad and MKO, as have been a number of previous operations I’ve reported here,” Richard Silverstein, a senior Jewish American journalist, said in his weblog named Tikun Olam.

    “The method recalls another series of assassinations that occurred of Fereidoun Abbassi Davani (who was seriously wounded) and his colleague Majid Shahriari (who was killed),” Silverstein said in his weblog.

    He downplayed the effects of such assassinations in Iran’s scientific progress, and said, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it every time something like this happens: assassinations like the one today accomplish nothing. It doesn’t fundamentally harm Iran’s nuclear program. It doesn’t deter Iran or its scientists from pursuing the research and whatever scientific goals they may have. These are shameful acts by a shameful Israeli government exploiting Iranian terrorists for their own ends. I find it disgusting that Israel can get away with such acts with impunity.”

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9010170807

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 3:58 PM

      This is frankly hilarious. FARS, the Iranian press agency with as much credibility as the Pravda of old, refers to an obscure blog where an unknown and ridiculously biased “Jewish American journalist” quotes an unnamed and unidentified Israeli source to conclude that Israel is guilty of the dastardly deed! Not even a novelist would come up with something so absurd. Thanks for the laugh. This was a good one and I’ll use it as an example in the future.

      • Randy January 11, 2012, 4:08 PM

        No argument from me. It just seemed amusing that there is a web of cross-supporting “sourcing”–like the telephone game, going around and around in circles.

  • Franjo Schiller January 11, 2012, 2:13 PM

    Dear Sir,

    greetings from Germany. I just got your website from the german magazine spiegel who writes about the killing in iran. I am a cosmopolit with many years experience in Africa. your blog looks very interesting but due to my own active duties worldwide I have no time to to take part in chats, comments aso. But I have time now for one question:
    your write in the last paragraph of your story “that includes my own nation”. Do you mean the US or Israel?

    Since few years I have come to the conclusion that to achieve peace between Israel und Pallästina a new approach or a surprising new idea is necessary.

    If you and your audience is interested I can submit to you this my new idea. It is easier for me to do this in German, because my English is not so good anymore. Is that possible? You can translate it by Xing or somebody else. I am sure you will be surprised. Iill now I have not published this proposual. You will be the first. It is only one page.

    I appreciate the job you and others are doing very much.

    Shalom

    Franjo Schiller

    • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 3:12 PM

      My own nation is America where I live. Welcome to the blog. Glad to have you as a reader.

    • Base January 11, 2012, 3:17 PM

      Franjo,

      I would like to see it. Please post (in German if necessary) and I will translate it online.

      base

  • Cold Wind January 11, 2012, 4:03 PM

    It is difficult to continence those who would condone the murder/assassination of Iranian scientist for any reason. I suspect, with the writer of this article, that Israel and United Stales are behind these murders. After all, Israel was birthed in cruelty and violence against Palestinians and assassination and massacre have been a staple of Zionists from the very beginning. Though it appears that Israel is impervious to retribution, they have created a savage, hell hole State and no state with this as a foundation can long exist. We pray for an epiphany for Israel, but also for justice. Without fundamental change however, justice will come to Israel and when it does it will be swift and all encompassing.

    • Randy January 11, 2012, 4:48 PM

      “We pray for an epiphany for Israel, but also for justice.” What sanctimonious crap. What country do you live in? Unless it’s Iceland your country was founded on slaughter and dispossesion. Therefore, you inherit your country’s sins.

      Keep your faux messianic apocalyptic visions to yourself. Israel has done just fine over the past 60+ years, and has one of the world’s highest human development indices–according to UN stats (of all things).

      • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 6:01 PM

        I value Cold Wind’s perspective & would not have you level such insults. As for human development indicies, you’ve omitted all the OEDC indices which show Israel to have the 5th largest income disparity between rich & poor among developed nations. All other indices show Israel’s democracy and human rights & transparency records to be abysmally low compared to other countries. If human development is so cool in Israel then why have hundreds of thousands protested for social justice, precisely the metrics you claim Israel possesses in such great measure?

        • Angel January 11, 2012, 6:21 PM

          Now, now, look who’s going completely off topic…. Once again breaking his own sacrosanct rules (that is, they apply only to the rest of us, not to him). As I said, Mr. Hypocrisy personified. Oh, I guess that would qualify as an insult under the double-standard definitions applied by the world-reknown blogger Mr. Silverstein. Oops.

  • Angel January 11, 2012, 4:44 PM

    Cold Wind says “justice will come to Israel and when it does it will be swift and all encompassing.” Great. Another fan of Ahmadinejad advocating wiping Israel off the map. What a bunch.

  • ProudZionist777 January 11, 2012, 5:53 PM

    Richard says: “Iran … will eventually succeed….Byt nothing will deter it short of negotiating with it to do so.”

    Well. Maybe Israel should just sell Iran a few of their nukes.

    Saves Israel and Iran a lot of time and money and lives. Right?

  • ProudZionist777 January 11, 2012, 6:34 PM

    If Teheran is rational, than why the threat last week to close the Strait of Hormuz—a move that would send oil prices skyrocketing— and compel the United States, the guarantor of Persian Gulf security, to take military actions that might mean toppling Iran’s ruling establishment.

    I don’t get these guys.

    • ProudZionist Can't Take It January 11, 2012, 9:44 PM

      “I don’t get these guys.”

      Hmmmm, but the USA can insist that “no options are off the table”, and you can smirk a little smirk that shows that you “get” what those Americans are on about.

      Israeli politicians can talk (oh, lordie, how they can talk!) about looming deadlines and this-is-the-year, and you “get” what they are talking about.

      Yet the Iranians can remind everyone that THEY can bring the house down on everyone’s head and it’s “Du’oh? What do they mean?” time from you.

      How odd.

      The meaning is obvious: strangling Iran is not a cost-free exercise for “the West”, because the Iranians can also wrap their hands around the West’s throat.

      It’s an important point, and it is well worth pointing out, because there does appear to be an awful lot of Western politicians who think that “the West” is untouchable, even as it goes around poking everyone else with a very big stick.

  • Randy January 11, 2012, 7:31 PM

    High literacy low infant mortality high life spans. Income disparities are now severe but not that long ago it wasn’t so bad, even better than the old USA israel’s economy is bigger than any of it’s neighbors what are comparing Israel to? Denmark? For a country at permanent war the media are pretty vibrant getting around censorship by contacting you among others. Yeah any country with a Moldavian bouncer as foreign minister is in serious trouble but looking at the whole picture I think there is much to admire compared to other countries I find Israelis usually quite open about their C countries failings. More so than Americans

    • Angel January 11, 2012, 7:54 PM

      Well put, Randy. Israel is far from perfect, and the Israelis are the most vocal about what’s wrong with their country. They don’t need you nor Arab masses screaming bloody murder to tell them what to do. And they’re also doing their best to improve on it. Their democracy is far from perfect, but it is far better than any of its neighbors, and certainly light years ahead of the Iranian Mullocracy that several people here clearly don’t find objectionable. We’re talking night and day, but the mullahs apologists in this group would rather harp on Israel! Absolutely amazing…

      • ProudZionist777 January 12, 2012, 4:20 AM

        The Zionist located their new country in a ‘bad neighborhood’, and as everybody who’s ever lived in a bad neighborhood knows, you must buff up and get aggressive to survive.

        Or to quote a Russian peasant proverb, ‘If you want to attract wolves, than act like a sheep’.

    • Richard Silverstein January 11, 2012, 10:35 PM

      You live in Bizarro World. The last time there was little income disparity in Israel was sometime in the 1980s before Likud destroyed the Labor egalitarian economic model.

      Israeli media are under massive assault and barely staving off the end of a free press. My source, if he didn’t have the connections he has would be in prison like Anat Kamm.

      You read the comments from Israelis at this site (at least the right wingers) & you can truly say with a straight face that they’re more open & critical of their country than Americans??

      • Randy January 12, 2012, 9:20 AM

        Agreed on Bizarro World, in more ways than one. Nevertheless, I would point out the following–one of my heroes, Cass Sunstein, suggested in a book from the mid-90s, and very presciently too, that the newfangled web would give rise to highly polarized communities of interest, with mutually reinforcing and exacerbating rhetoric. Your comment feature tends to draw either strident anti-zionists or right-leaning Israelis whom the former upset. I would suggest to you that there are significant communities out there that aren’t represented here. Even as you have the Anat Kam case, you also have groups like zochrot, btselem and others that take their cases to Israeli and foreign media. It all boils down to a simple philosophical difference–for me the Israeli glass is half-full and for you the glass seems to be empty.

  • Steve Kowit January 11, 2012, 9:48 PM

    Though Iran is probably not presently developing nuclear weapons, it is probably doing what it can to prepare itself to develop them, if and when they are needed. Given two implacable enemies who are highly warlike, pathologically aggressive–Israel and the US–it would be far safer for Iran to have nuclear weapons than not to. North Korea would probably not exist were it not for the fact it has weapons with which to defend itself against the US and South Korea. The sooner Iran does have a nuclear arsenal, the safer it will be. The U.S. and Israel have shown by their past behavior what their intentions are for Iran: the overthrow of the Mossadegh democracy and the installation of the brutal dictatorship of Shah Pavlavi and his murderous secret police, SAVAK, financed by the U.S. and trained by Israel. Is the current Iranian government any worse a regime than the U.S. client states in the Middle East, or the U.S. itself, with its constant wars of aggression? Probably not. As for Israel, which has a large and illegal nuclear arsenal, the only thing that will stop that racist, expansionist state from trying to destroy Iran is an Iranian nuclear arsenal. Sadly, the more that enemies of the US arm themselves to the teeth, the safer they and the rest of the world are. Israel, a land stolen from another people, clearly has the same genocidal instincts that the ancient Israelites had (though it is unlikely there is a genetic connection between the Ashkenazis and the ancient Israelites), if one is to believe its sacred literature. And the U.S., a sociopathic state hell-bent on world domination, can only be stopped by the threat of nuclear retaliation. That’s not a happy situation to be sure, but it’s the hard truth. So the terrible irony of it all is that the sooner Iran gets nukes the safer everyone will be.

    • TheAZCowBoy January 11, 2012, 10:36 PM

      If you were surrounded by racist thugs armed with guns and knives in a back alley – wouldn’t you want to have something in hand to blow their frikken heads off?

    • ProudZionist777 January 12, 2012, 4:15 AM

      “..two implacable enemies..”

      Iranian’s can’t start a piano recital without chanting the mantra “Death to America. Death to Israel’; and it’s been that way for over thirty years.
      Endless repetition of the ‘death chant’ does have an effect on the minds and hearts of Iranians.

      • Richard Silverstein January 13, 2012, 2:43 AM

        Endless repetition of death chants against Iran by generals and policitians within Israel have conditioned Israelis for war too.

        • Angel January 13, 2012, 10:51 AM

          Riiiiight…. And I’m sure you have YouTube videos showing them Israeli generals and politicians shouting en masse, with their fists to the sky, “Death to Iran! Death to Iran! Death to Iran!”, just like the Iranians have done routinely for years regarding Israel (except that it’s tens of thousands of them at a time… and none in Israel, so good luck with the videos). Your lame attempts to create moral equivalence between the two countries and twist reality to such an hallucinating degree is all we need to know about your own deep self-loathing. You are incapable of looking at this situation with even a pretense of objectivity. You have a problem, Richard.

          • Richard Silverstein January 13, 2012, 5:09 PM

            No, I have senior Israeli ministers quoted & linked in this blog threatening the destruction of Iran going back yrs. That’s what I meant & if you’d either read my blog or done any basic research you’d find this material & know it was there instead of coming across as an ignoramus, as you do.

            And for accusing me of “self-loathing” & violating comment rules for the 25th time, it’s time to say adieu. Bye-bye.

    • Parah Salin January 12, 2012, 5:48 PM

      I..clearly has the same genocidal instincts that the ancient Israelites. had

      All sects weren’t the same. Some sought Roman protection protection from the zealots- Hasmonean (Maccabees). Those that went up to mossada and ended up committing mass suicide there, were raiding and killing jews in surrounding villages.

      In 641 the Islamic governor of Egypt ordered the Rabbinic jews not to interfere with the way of life, or the way that Karaites celebrated holidays.

  • TheAZCowBoy January 11, 2012, 10:34 PM

    Interesting, the United Snakes (US/Israel) can’t whip the Taliban or Hezbollah so they go after unarmed innocent civilians in Dubai, Syria, Somalia and now Iran.

    Reverend Wright was right: “God damn AmeriKKKa!”

  • weindeb January 12, 2012, 1:45 AM

    As one who has followed this blog for quite a while, occasionally participated and donated, sometimes been critical, I am struck how some heavy, reptilian defender of Israel’s fundamental criminality always seems to slither from out the primordial slime to counter those who honestly see what Israel has become, perhaps always was. Civilized and decent people should be grateful that these slitherers do just that, slither before us all. In doing so they show us what type of person Israel ultimately requires in its moral defense and help us better mount our investigations into and arguments against Israeli policies that denigrate the very concept of Jewish ethics. Take this latest exemplar of the slitherers, Angel, whose chosen appellation insults the Bible itself, who so grossly defends even Israel’s most obvious crimes, state-sponsored murder for one, and attacks those who would like to see Israel as a light in a law-abiding, civilized world and not the opposite. Ironically, such as he fully justify Steve Kowit’s brutally honest and articulate condemnation of Israeli policy and actions, along with those, alas, of the United States.

  • TomGard January 12, 2012, 2:19 AM

    Dear Richard Silverstein,

    you said “I wish Iran wasn’t pursuing this path.” (developing the option of nuclear retaliation), but as far as I’ve read, all your arguments lead to the point, that ANY iranian government, that would not be in control of the White House, had to choose this option, if it at least tried to avoid getting overthrown in a geostrategical motivated war with NATO and Israel. Or did I get you wrong?
    regards, TG

    • Castellio January 12, 2012, 4:59 PM

      There is no evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. Even Panetta knows, and is willing to say out loud, that they aren’t putting together a nuclear weapon. Yes, they will be nuclear weapons capable, in terms of knowledge, but they aren’t diverting nuclear fuel nor marrying a real warhead to a delivery system.

      Nor do they need to. It is the increasing sophistication of Iranian ballistic missiles which is slowly changing the military balance of power in the Middle East. Not because Iran would ‘win’, but because its retaliation would be costly to Israel and the confidence of its people. Dimona becomes a liability, if missiles can get through to hit it.

      Israel isn’t frightened by the alleged nuclear weapons program, although that is the rhetorical leverage it uses, however it does care about Iranian support of Hamas and Hezbollah, and the ability of Iran to supply missiles to Syria and Hezbollah, as well as Iran’s own missiles.

      The idea of attacking the nuclear sites is as much to determine how Iran will respond, making evident to all its missile emplacements and systems, which will then be seriously attacked and degraded. In that way Israeli military superiority is, for a while, maintained.

      But Israel will have to keep Iranian society and military capabilities degraded, or change the Iranian regime to one subservient to American and Israeli interests, against the history of its own people. The US has not – for rational reasons – yet committed to this.

      Iran has agreed to accept the decision of the Palestinians. It has been clear about this repeatedly. But Israel would much prefer to provoke a war on Iran with the US as ally than confront its settler population in the occupied territories, or to confront its long-held desire for a Greater Israel. In Israel, that’s no longer a choice.

      So, personally, I think Israel will succeed in forcing the war, claiming self defense, to the detriment of all. But it will not have been about WMD, just like the invasion of Iraq was not about WMD.

  • TomGard January 12, 2012, 11:11 PM

    Castellio, thank you for your answer. I wish to object it in one central point. I agree, it’is not about nuclear weapons physically spoken, i.e. in terms of military tactics, but it is about them on a symbolical level, that is made a pivotal political case. It is about who rules in the coastal states of the central asian landmass (Iran & Pakistan) after the Dollar/Euro – system ends to be world currency in 2016 latest. So, in other words, it is about world governance, that is, what the case of a nuclear Iran stands for symbolically. Any responsible russian government also would object to Iran becoming nuclear and under this pressure for Iran the nuclear question becomes a question of self-governance beyond military tactics and options.
    Or, world does not pivote on secondary domestic problems of the zionist apartheid state, sorry for putting the fate of the palestinian people this dryly realistic way.
    regards

  • TomGard January 13, 2012, 4:06 AM

    I’d like to add something to the zionist case.
    “Randy” commented further above:
    “What country do you live in? Unless it’s Iceland your country was founded on slaughter and dispossesion. Therefore, you inherit your country’s sins.”
    In Germany this is model rhetoric do denounce a critic of Israels zionist policy as antisemitic. But it is simply corrupt, it reasons against the moral case to stay on it’s field, monopolizing it with the raw force and might, the speaker hides behind.
    So, if you want to leave the field of ethics, the next level ist simpliest “viability”. And the zionist case is not viable, because the force, that made it seemingly viable, imperialist policy towards Arab countrys, has changed direction. Zionists can’t do away with arabs, like european americans did away with native North(!)americans. So israeli people, jews like non-jews, have to akknowlegde, that politically they are Arabs now, and have to become arabs on the cultural scene! Very hard for the racist normality of western culture, is’nt it? But there is no alternative, uncle Sam will tell them. Why do you think the US, the NED and CIA, highly present in Venezuela to this date abstained from highly pressing against the Government of Chavez? They don’t like Chavez Policy, but they know, there is no viable alternative to the emergence of a new interracial and intercultural identity for South American people that is forged in this country.
    Israeli can’t stay in a gated community in the long run, as everyone should know, who heard about “demographic genocide”. That’s why there could hardly be a heavier loss for israeli people at this moment, on the external level, than the deconstruction of cosmopolitan, multicultural syrian arabism! They should defend al-Assad – not the Baath-regime! – with teeth and claws, for their own sake.

    • Randy January 13, 2012, 3:55 PM

      “TomGard”
      First, you seem to be using Google Translate or some other poor machine translation software that makes your comments incoherent. Or maybe it’s just you spouting an apparently rambling and poorly reasoned stream of semi-consciousness load of nonsense. Seems like a nice mix of both.

      In any case, I strongly doubt that in Germany pointing out that it is absurd and unreasonable to fault Israel’s violent birth as sui generis when most countries rose in the same fashion and then suddenly pull out “anti-semitism” in any context, including your confused context. I can critique Israel’s critics without using that term and I would appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth.

      Also, your comment, one of the few I could make any sense of, is—following the nonsensical claim that Israelis are politically Arabs (are Turks Arabs? Kurds? Persians? Who knows since the formulation makes no sense), they must now become culturally Arab–why? To fit in with YOUR racist norms about what the Middle East should be like?

      On the general theme of viability–who knows–certainly not you. People have predicted Israel’s imminent demise since before May 14, 1948 and have been wrong every day since. The imperial moment will probably dry up when the oil’s gone but not before. 50 years from now? German intellectuals keep on telling us about the imminent withering away of the state (any state), and that ain’t happened either.

      • Richard Silverstein January 13, 2012, 5:15 PM

        I don’t appreciate your bad-mouthing Tom Gard’s English. I welcome readers from around the world here. If you had to write a comment in German I dare say you’d sound pretty foolish as well. Besides, Tom Gard’s English was quite coherent, including his statement that Israeli Jews should become more like Arabs. The formulation makes sense (though I only partially agree), unlike what you claim. So lay off. Deal with substance & not the peripherals.

        I do NOT appreciate flinging around terms like “racist” unless you clearly define & support yr claim. “Racist” is not a generic pejorative that can thrown around here freely. German intellectuals haven’t been telling anyone about the withering away of the State since the Baader Meinhof Gang, & that was 40 yrs ago. Get with it.

        • Randy January 13, 2012, 5:48 PM

          I have been accused several times of some variety of racism or another on this website. In two instances “tomgard” threw that meme at me–anti-semitism and something to do with my western worldview. If you want a genteel blogging environment then police the people you agree with too.

          Also, the statement that Israelis are poltically “Arab” sorry–what does that mean? Did you understand the comment about Chavez?

    • Richard Silverstein January 13, 2012, 5:04 PM

      I was with you part of the way. But you lost me when you argued Israelis should defend Assad. Actually, some Israelis do prefer Assad as a strong man to the unknown. But Israel if it were looking out for its long term interests would work with Turkey to endure stability, independence, tolerance & continuity in Syria.

  • Nela January 14, 2012, 2:40 AM

    I appeal to all of you people to wake up. Regardless of who we are, we have a common enemy. Our enemy can take colors of any nation in the world to demonize it. Our enemy engage us, human beings in the war and hatred by creating illusionary conflict- they play both sides. But tell me, who is dying on the battlefield? WE ARE. So please, stay cool and don’t buy into nonsense this time. They have tried this strategy and it worked so well in the past. They are those who are making nuclear weapons and they are those who drop bombs on the country for “making nuclear weapons”. THEY ARE BOTH SIDES. But when bombs start dropping, they kill US. So STAY COOL, DON’T GET EMOTIONALLY ENGAGED, don’t fall for the illusion.

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