Ynet reportsthat an advisor of Bibi Netanyahu has suggested that the world starve Iran into submission:
Iran’s citizens should be starved in order to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington.
“North Korea is halting its nuclear program in order to receive aid in food, and this is what should be done with Iran as well,” one unnamed official said.
“Suffocating sanctions could lead to a grave economic situation in Iran and to a shortage of food,” the source said. “This would force the regime to consider whether the nuclear adventure is worthwhile, while the Persian people have nothing to eat and may rise up as was the case in Syria, Tunisia and other Arab states.”
“The Western world led by the United States must implement stifling sanctions at this time already, rather than wait or hesitate,” the official said. “In order to suffocate Iran economically and diplomatically and lead the regime there to a hopeless situation, this must be done now, without delay.”
While it appears true that North Korea has agreed to suspend uranium enrichment and announced a moratorium on nuclear tests, it has not cancelled or ended its nuclear program as the Israeli official says. In fact, while the U.S. welcomed the announcement, it said it said it was “limited.”
As for starvation, it has been a North Korean fact of life for two decades or more. Chances are this change of policy has a lot more to do with a new leader taking over the country, than starvation proving an effective strategic tool. Besides, North Korea has entered into such talks before and then deserted them only to resume enrichment and testing. So gloating over this development is premature until we see whether it will produce long-term results.
Besides being a massive violation of international law, starvation as a tactic simply doesn’t work. Anyone remember the hundreds of thousands of children dying of malnutrition in Saddam’s Iraq? That worked pretty well there, didn’t it? How about the Nazi siege of Leningrad that killed millions and led to longstanding hatreds between Russia and Germany? How about the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto and starvation there, which led to the uprising and eventual extermination of the entire Jewish population? Or the Roman siege of Jerusalem during which starvation and various plagues took many Jewish lives? Not to mention the Roman siege against Masada, that led to the greatest act of self-martyrdom in Jewish history? Those were all stellar examples of humanity in the history of our species, weren’t they?
Keep in mind, this particular gem of an Israeli isn’t advocating merely putting Iran “on a diet” as Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s advisor, did toward Gaza. He’s advocating death, malnutrition, pestilence: the whole nine yards of incremental genocide.
It’s especially telling that this genius came up with such a policy proposal on the eve of Bibi’s trip to Washington to meet with Pres. Obama, who will certainly warm to such an idea. I guess the Israelis must see this as an ice-breaker to bring the two leaders, who have a history of icy relations, closer.
I don’t know which butcher came up with this cracker jack idea, but my money would be on someone like Moshe Yaalon, who has Pharaoh’s cold-heartedness and ice-water running through veins where warm blood should be. If it was Yaalon, I look forward some day to seeing him in the dock at The Hague.
Now let’s talk Jewish morality. After all, Israel does claim to be the state of the entire Jewish people, right? Mass starvation is a hillul Ha-Shem, a desecration of God’s name. Any Jewish person or state which advocates such a policy has defiled Judaism. Unfortunately, few in Israel and certainly few rabbis there will take such a position, which is all the more reason for Israel NOT to deserve to be the state of the Jewish people. Israel is a state like any other (worse than some admittedly), some of whose citizens happen to be Jewish. When it makes monstrous statements like the one offered in Ynet, Israel loses any moral claims to represent Jews or Judaism as a whole.
Israel should just give Iran a bomb or two from her nuclear arsenal. No preemptive attack. No crippling sanctions. Why, Iran might even show some gratitude and finally stop with the ‘death to Israel’ chants.
Maybe you should be put on a diet.
tarak Kauff says
Like some sort of cruel and perverse cosmic joke, it seems like Nazis have reincarnated into Israelis. I don’t see much difference, really. I’m Jewish myself and some Jews get insulted to the core when you make comparisons like that but if the shoe fits (and it does) Tell you the truth, I have come to despise Israel in the same way that my parents despised Germany. They’ve done a good job of turning many Jews like myself this much against them. Oh, right, we’re self-haters. Probably just born that way I guess. No, actually we hate those fascists who drag Jewishness through the mud of their own inhuman cruelty. That’s what we hate.
Tarak. You’re long on talk and short on answers.
Richard Silverstein says
Mud’s not very nutritious. Maybe we can add in some tasty Iranian delicacies to keep Joel from expiring?
Nope, mud it is.
tarak Kauff says
The answers are in the article and many, many other undeniable historical facts – like for just one example, the overwhelming brutal collective punishment on Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (look at the name itself) and continuing. The continuing violence of the settlers and there is just so much. The answers are all there Joel. You just have a blind eye which means you are either ignorant of current and past history or automatically biased from the get go. Take a deep look at the myths and prejudices you may be carrying inside yourself. Examine them and see if they really hold weight. It takes some courage to do that, but like others who have gone down that road you may find it extremely worthwhile to replace opinions and myth with truth. Of course it may be that you are permanently blinded, then there is little hope.
Yeah but we’re just self-hating Jews. If we didn’t hate ourselves, we’d be happy with Israel’s racism, militarism and interminable deceit. We’d admire Bibi and endorse the continuing dispossession of Palestinians of their property and rights. I am certain there are crash courses at Weisenthal or Stand with Us, or the ADL to turn self-hating Jews into lying hypocrites and gangsters. Let’s check it out.
Alas, with all the “price taggers” and calls for killing Aravim …and the despicable calculated sub-starvation “diet” contrived for Gaza….it’s a bit on the late side to be suggesting the defilement of Judaism.
I’d go back a bit further to the Chief Rabbi(s) who stated it was ok for soldiers to kill children….quoting biblical text to give it a thumb’s up…and all the many and various defilement examples…too numerous to go into here. They’ve long passed the defilement stage which is exactly why anyone who considers him/herself to be a Jew should demand the US cut the spigot and demand accountability at the UN and at the Hague for war crimes & atrocities.
This blog is stooping from just bizarre to plain hateful.
Richard Silverstein says
Interesting that my blog posts which expose potential war crimes & genocide advocacy by Israeli officials are deemed “hateful,” when the statements themselves aren’t.
It’s worth noting that Israel can’t apply these fretfully ‘starvation sanctions’ to begin with. So much ado about nothing.
Richard Silverstein says
It’s worth noting that Israel has considerable impact on the policy debate about Iran & a suggestion to starve the population there will be taken seriously by the most extreme anti Iran forces. I’m afraid it is yr comment that is worth nothing.
Suggesting that Israel wishes to turn Iran into the Warsaw Ghetto or perform “Genocide” on the Iranians is hateful. It’s also completely bizarre.
Richard Silverstein says
As usual, you ignore the hate spewed by an anonymous Israeli government official & blame me for reporting it & reminding you of similar episodes of starvation in Jewish history. You’d rather suffer historical amnesia, but I won’t let you. Deal with it.
“I’d go back a bit further to the Chief Rabbi(s) who stated it was ok for soldiers to kill children….quoting biblical text to give it a thumb’s up”
What chief Rabbi? Are you talking about the fringical Rav Dov Lior? He’s not a “chief” Rabbi. Who was ARRESTED after writing racist texts? The same texts that are being distributed DAILY by Hamas? I love it that whenever some idiot/extremist in Israel writes something – he is immediately labeled as “chief” something, but when Hamas’ leader calls for Israel’s destruction, the same people will say that “it doesn’t represent all Palestinians” or “You simply don’t understand Arab culture” or some such nonsense.
Dov Lior is chief rabbi of Kiryat-Arba and Hebron and, as such, an Israeli government employee.
As for his “arrest”. He refused to show up for investigation and after very long delays was held for investigation for under one hour then released. He’s never been brought to justice.
Deïr Yassin says
I don’t know if Miriam is talking about “The King’s Torah” written by the Yitzhar settlement Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur. It suggests that even babies can be killed if it’s clear that they’ll grow up to threaten Jews/Israel. I guess all Palestinian kids fit this description….
“Several PROMINENT rabbis, including Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers” (Haaretz, 09.11.09: West Bank Rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel).
Rabbi Dov Lior has also recommended the book. That’s a whole lot of Rabbis, isn’t it ?
And when we know that the authors both live in what is considered the most radical settlement, I guess “Israel” means Greater Israel, and where does that stop ? I’ve heard that the East Bank of the Jordan River is included in their wet-dreams.
Do you know how many Rabbis with official posts there are? Hundreds. You’ve named 3 who support this disgusting book. That’s less than 1%.
An overwhelming majority of Rabbis condemned this absolutely racist text, some even suggested it to be burnt. And that’s only the religious leaders. Israelis will find this text absolutely disgusting. To justify the murder of kids and civilians is insane. It is incredibly dishonest to present his ideology as Israeli consensus. It is akin to saying Germany is a Nazi state just because it has a small group of hardcore Neo-Nazis. It’s ridiculous.
Deïr Yassin says
Wow, you reached the Goodwin point pretty fast. Fortunately this blog is situated in the States as I’ve heard Nazi-allegations will soon be outlawed in “The-Only-Theo-What-Did-I-Say-Democracy-In-The-Middle-East”.
Miriam brought up a Chief Rabbi who justified the killing of Goyim, you dismissed it by saying that Dov Lior is a marginal figure, and I just pointed out that he wasn’t the only one.
But those HAMAS-guys are of course an overwhelming majority, aren’t they ?
PS. “Overlook”: was that suggested by the Hasbara Central ? I came across a “Historian” recently, his only sources were ‘wikipedia’….
“But those HAMAS-guys are of course an overwhelming majority, aren’t they ?”
Being as the majority of Palestinians voted for Hamas, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to deduce that most Palestinians support its racist ideology.
Richard Silverstein says
The “majority” of Palestinians didn’t vote for Hamas. They won an election, but not with a majority. Further those who voted for them did so not for ideological reasons but for sheer disgust at corrupt Fatah. You know so little about Palestinians, it’s pathetic.
tarak Kauff says
But the fact is Israel, the Jewish State, it’s soldiers and settlers have actually murdered many kids and civilians and currently hold many in brutal detention centers. Do you realize how many Palestinian kids can tell you true first hand stories of being picked up and beaten by Israel soldiers? Are you blind? Do you not know how many cases there are of Palestinian children being shot to death by Israeli soldiers. Not only do racist rabbis and others call for it but these atrocities happen regularly – every day. Go to the West Bank, spend some time there. See for yourself. Read just one honest book – here I’ll give you a good, honest read by a young woman who knew very little about the situation and originally went to the West Bank as a tourist. It’s by Pamela Olsen, an incredible writer and person and it’s called Fast Times in Palestine. It’s simply here account of her time in Israel and the West Bank. A great read and you’ll learn something, if you have any sort of open mind.
“Not only do racist rabbis and others call for it but these atrocities happen regularly – every day.”
These atrocities happen regularly? Every day, you say? No problem, please be true to your accusations and show us exactly how many civilians have been murdered in “atrocities” in the West Bank or Gaza as of late. Remember, you wrote “every day”.
The question is not how many Rabbis endorse the book: Good sense would dictate caution here. It is, rather, the currency enjoyed by such ideas and that’s a different matter. I don’t believe — and neither do you — that it is a small fringe who think it is ok to kill children who might grow up to threaten you. I think it is a mainstream idea and rationale in Israel and in its government, so-called. After all, nearly 400 children were slaughtered by the IDF, a modern army of jets and tanks, in its battle against a civilian virtually unarmed population in Gaza. These children were no collateral damage but a key part of the Israeli terrorist attack on Gaza. How many Jewish children have died at the hands of the pathetic rockets launched mostly into the desert? Proportionality again. These children in Gaza died precisely because they were viewed as a threat to Israel and for no other reason. They were not “collateral” damage but targets to the same extent as the adult Gazans. So don’t try to sell this 3% of Rabbis nonsense as relevant.
The controversial book staked out rhetorical territory in which the dicussion about killing enemy children is now opened. This is an important development and indicates the degree of polarization of ideas in Israel and around the world about Israel.
“I think it is a mainstream idea and rationale in Israel and in its government”
Simply put – it isn’t.
Killing children has was never a “mainstream” idea in Israel and will never be one.
“were not “collateral” damage but targets to the same extent as the adult Gazans. ”
No. Children were not targeted in Gaza. That’s an absurd remark.
Richard Silverstein says
Making virtually all of Gaza a free fire zone (a fact documented by Haaretz reporting based on IDF documents) & knowing how many hundreds of thousands of children were in that free fire zone means Israel implicitly accepted responsibility for all the children & civilians it killed, 1,100 in all (not counting actual militants).
Overlook –It would be small comfort to the 400 children eradicated in Cast Lead that they were not officially “targets” in the first place and that Israel has no policy regarding their murder by the IDF.
Horrifying to see a people lose touch with their own history to this extent…
Michael Santomauro says
Folks let us hope this is cold war-time propaganda. There is enough sane folks in Israel and in the rest of the world:
“As generally understood, propaganda is opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions of individuals or groups… Propaganda thus differs fundamentally from scientific analysis. The propagandist tries to “put something across,” good or bad. The scientist does not try to put anything across; he devotes his life to the discovery of new facts and principles. The propagandist seldom wants careful scrutiny and criticism; his object is to bring about a specific action. The scientist, on the other hand, is always prepared for and wants the most careful scrutiny and criticism of his facts and ideas. Science flourishes on criticism. Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it.” Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee, The Fine Art of Propaganda, 1939
I think there’s perhaps a handful of sane people in Israel. The state is an obscenity of unprecedented — yes, unprecendented — magnitude. Why doesn’t the civilized world put Israel on a starvation diet until it heeds international law and human rights and takes down its nuclear stockpile.
Because Israeli lobbyists hold the American political system by the balls and international mainstream media on a short leash.
Or, to put it more politely, when dealing with Israeli wrongdoing, double standard is the only standard.
Israel has run nuclear blackmail very successfully in its subtle and unspoken form. The offset would be a nuclear armed Iran running the same blackmail game on the world. Balance of power AND Israel would lose some its grip on the US.
Extremists throughout history have often become mainstream. This is why the scandal about assassinating the president or the Rabbis advocating killing Palestinian children are in fact very important. They stake out rhetorical territory by opening discussion on such matters. Likewise, an American movement aimed at arming Iran (!) could open discussion about real lasting peace in the ME. Of course it would take lots of energy to even get such a thing into America’s consciousness, but you see my point.
I am willing to compromise for a political movement targeting the Congress that calls for dumping Israel, period. I would have no problem carrying a placard or wearing a T with “Dump Israel!” on it. Staking out this rhetorical space could open discussion on how Israel’s interests are driving America into war, etc.
In the meantime, I’ll go back to writing letters and sending a few bucks here and there.
The funny thing is, it’s not even “Israeli interests” which are driving America, but the interests of a fanatical sectarian powerhouse who managed to leverage Israel to leverage American Jewry to leverage American politics to leverage world politics to serve the Tartuffian real-estate interests of those fanatics…
One needs not be a doomsdayer to realise Israelis’ survival hinges on mutually respectful coexistence with the rest of the world (their neighbours in particular).
I really think that the collusion empowering Greater Israel is not merely the real estate tyrants longing for other people’s property and leveraging their power, though this is certainly happening. It is a substantially wider conspiracy even at its core. Consider, for example, that it was a Labor government that tacitly condoned the first settlements and that Israelis and their government has been condoning, often by mere silence, the expansion of settlements. Nobody apparently has the heart to expel the settlers and this exposes the underlying emotional origin of this expansion. I believe it is universally felt that the West Bank really belongs to “the Jews”, even if some do not think it necessary to own it. Without this widespread assent through silence, the settlement of the West Bank could not have made it this far.
But I do like you leveraging on leveraging on leveraging idea.
BTW — I am sick of referring to these claim jumpers and bandits as “settlers” like they are mostly innocent wholesome people looking for a new life in “Indian” country. These are not rugged individualists either but rather the same sort of sociopaths that settled the American West, the lawless West, where they were comfortable beating up Native Americans in the one case and Palestinians in the other. That this settlement should happen in our time with the whole world watching is an outrage. These “settlers”, even the nice peaceful ones, are interlopers and criminals and should be forcibly shipped back to Israel by the community of nations.
BDS, simple and sweet and long overdue – period. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Israel to heed those famous prophets of yore and become an ethical state, a “light unto nations” rather than a blight. But then better settlers doing their thing in Judaea and Samaria than a bunch of self-hating, scruffy old prophets.
Fred Plester says
About a third of the fertile land in Iran is currently unproductive, because it’s being “held in trust” by the clergy after its owners died (or were executed) interstate (without any heirs.) The Shah proposed to change this system, so as to bring the land back into economic use: he was toppled almost immediately after he made such an outrageous proposal to remove land from the care of the Mullahs (who farm about as energetically as Robert Mugabe’s ministers and officials do on confiscated farms.)
If placed under enough pressure, the Mullahs would almost certainly agree to at least rent the land to proper farmers, and this should improve Iran’s food production and overall economy reasonably swiftly.
In a way I’d like to see the Israelis try and starve the Iranians out, because it might bring an end to a pointless waste that’s gone on for generations and which keeps a lot of the rural population in unnessecary poverty.
(I can’t wait to be told that no land whatsoever in Iran is squandered by inept management by Mullahs and that Iranian agriculture is a wonder of efficiency, but perhaps Persian Advocate has a day off sometimes.)
In any case, Iran has several land borders which are somewhat beyond Israeli or American control and it’s a bit hard to see how a food blockade could be implemented without picking a fight with both Moscow and Ankara at the same time.
Israel’s F.M. Lieberman, “Israel prepared to give humanitarian aid to Syrians”.
Richard Silverstein says
How touching. Lieberman, someone who hates Arabs with every fiber of his being, offers them “humanitarian aid.” And how nice that JPost peddles this bullcrap. While Israel talks about mass starvation as a strategy against a fellow Mulism country.
Piotr Berman says
Wheat production in Iran increased by at least 50% in the last 15 years. The institution of Waqf may have detrimental impact on agricultural productivity, but there is nothing inherently unproductive in that concept. Do you have any links that we could read and compare with other sources?
In particular, Iranian sources claim that they are developing agriculture and have stats to prove it.
Silverstein says:”an advisor of Bibi Netanyahu has suggested that the world starve Iran into submission:”
Silverstein adds: “I don’t know which butcher came up with this cracker jack idea, but my money would be on someone like Moshe Yaalon…”
What Silverstein does not say is that Netanyahu has adopted this suggestion (possibly because he has NOT adopted the suggestion).
How then does Silverstein jump from a suggestion made by an unknown official (at whose identity he can only guess), which has NOT been endorsed by the Israel Government and write:
“When it (i.e. israel) makes monstrous statements like the one offered in Ynet, Israel loses any moral claims to represent Jews or Judaism as a whole.”
Israel has not made any such monstrous statements. And to claim it has is no better than the antisemites who see one Jew misbehaving and ascribe his/her behaviour to the whole Jewish people.
Richard Silverstein says
Grasping at straws my dear. You don’t understand how governments work. This is a carefully orchestrated leak. The boss tells one of his attack dog subordinates to release an over the top statement like this which serves various useful purposes. Boss then gets to do what you’re doing, which is to deny he had anything to do with it, when he of course arranged the entire thing.
And of course if Bibi could get away with starving Iran he’d do it in a heartbeat. But he can’t. But he sure can score points with his far right constituency by having Yaalon or Amridor make statements like this one. You by the way are disgusting for attempting to attenuate the moral obloquy of this exercise.
[commenter banned after repeated comment rule violations]