Probably an inapt title, as a war against Iran will not be a comedy. But I love Marx Brothers films and gag lines and couldn’t help myself. Personally, I also believe that such a war is so ill-advised that I can’t see it as anything but as hapless as Fredonia’s war against its neighbor. Not to mention that Israel has only slightly more reason to attack Iran than Fredonia had.
Haaretz’s managing editor, Aluf Benn, has penned one of the strongest columns in recent memory in the Israeli media making the case that Bibi Netanyahu plans to attack Iran:
Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran.
Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it…an Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure…
Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama’s tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition. Obama will speak out against it but act for it, just as the past U.S. administrations speak against the settlements in the territories but allow their expansion. And in this manner Netanyahu summarized the visit: “…I believe that the first objective that I presented [to Obama]– to fortify the recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself – I think that objective has been achieved.”
…To use Netanyahu’s “duck allegory”, what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a “bluff” or a diversion tactic. Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since he’s been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself and the Israeli public.
Anyone reading this blog over the past few months has been regaled with scores Israeli journalists writing in the same vein. But what is different here is that Benn is the editor of Israel’s leading liberal daily. He’s not a beat reporter or a columnist. He’s the top journalist at the paper thus making him one of Israel’s most important media figures. He does not issue such warnings, nor make such claims lightly.
I spoke today with a peace activist who is putting together an international petition campaign against war with Iran. He’s not quite ready to launch, but should be in the next day or so. I will let you know when that happens. It would be nice if we can gather several hundred thousand signatures in a short period of time.