A story I’ve not seen reported anywhere outside of this Yediot article (English version) : Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey will make his second trip to Israel in a few months time. His mission will be to soothe the waters that have been roiled by anti-Iran rhetoric from Israel’s political and military leadership.
Bibi Netanyahu told his last cabinet meeting:
The intent of Iran is to develop a nuclear weapon that will destroy Israel. This is a danger to the entire world and we are all obligated to prevent it from happening.
…Iran is galloping toward a nuclear bomb and rushing to a military nuclear capability.
He also said that Iran had “renewed a threat to obliterate Israel.” Needless to say, virtually everything in the two above passages is patently false. But that won’t stop Netanyahu.
Iran’s foreign ministry replied that Israel’s leadership was hell-bent on war.
These Israeli histrionics coincided with Bibi’s sulfurous reaction to mistranslated tweets from Iran’s newly inaugurated President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani’s statements were originally translated as calling for the ‘removal’ of the ‘wound’ that is Israel from the Middle East. In reality, Rouhani did call Israel a “wound,” but never called for its removal. Even after discovering the error, Netanyahu wouldn’t admit the error or moderate his bellicose tone.
In truth, you can find equally disturbing rhetoric about Iran within the Israeli political discourse. There isn’t a member of the current cabinet that doesn’t believe Iran is a wound within the region and that it would be far better off were it removed. That’s precisely why the Iranian regime believes Israel’s goal has nothing to do with averting its nuclearization, but rather with regime change.
The Obama administration decided to dispatch Dempsey to Israel after the Israeli PM delivered an especially threatening interview on a U.S. Sunday politics show concerning the Iranian “threat.” The U.S. is aware that regional tensions are at a height over a series of violent civil disturbances in a number of nations including Turkey, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon; not to mention the ongoing war threats between Israel and Iran. A real war between the two could have disastrous consequences and drag any number of other players into the conflict. Obama, not particularly known as a man of action or bold vision regarding the Middle East, has to at least be aware of this.
So many defense secretaries and generals have made this trip for similar reasons that Israel could be likened to an unruly Rottweiler who the U.S. is trying to keep on a short leash, while sitting in front of him is a big beefsteak named Iran. If I had artistic skills I’d draw the cartoon myself.
Dempsey will also discuss U.S. and Israeli military strategy regarding the Syrian civil war. Among the subjects up for discussion may be Israel’s sneak attack on Assad’s missile depot in Latakia, whose mission was to destroy the Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Credible media reports say that government forces were forewarned about the attack by a mole inside the FSA and that Israel’s assault was largely or wholly a failure.
Dempsey and his IDF counterpart, Benny Gantz may discuss the levels of military support and CIA training being planned for the FSA by this country. They may discuss ways to coordinate this effort, though the involvement of Israel in the toppling of an Arab leader would be an exceedingly delicate subject.
Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey trip to Israel, perhaps to calm waters between Israel and the US? Timetable first visit … in January 2012, later a visit end of October 2012:
Report: US downsizes military drill with Israel
The majority of the exercise, named Austere Challenge 12, involves the computer simulation of long and mediumrange missile attacks on the Israeli home front, and their interception. One thousand American soldiers are on Israeli territory to take part, and a further 2,000 US troops in Europe and the US will take part via remote defense computing systems. An equal number of Israeli soldiers are involved.
Dempsey has warned in the past against a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear program sites, saying in August 2012 that he did not want to be “complicit” in such an operation.
Gantz to US to discuss coordination on Iran – March 2012
Regarding misquoting of Rouhani:
It turned out that the misquote had been begun by IRNA, Iran’s official News Agency, that is still controlled by Ahmadinejad’s supporters (who will be purged soon). It was propagated by several hardline news agency. After it became clear that it was a misquote, the hardliners simply deleted it and replaced it with the correct quote, without any explanation. Only ISNA, the Iranian Students News Agency, corrected it and provided an explanation. Asr-e Iran, a moderate website, reported the full story yesterday.
Richard Silverstein says
Thanks for the update. I should note that Muhammad is an Iranian-American expert on current Iranian affairs.
The editor of Asr-e Iran, Jaffar Mohammadi, wrote an op-ed listing the nine countries that stand to lose the most from improved relations between Iran and the West. Although Israel and Arab countries in the Persian Gulf were included on this list, what made the article stand out was that Iran’s allies such as China and Russia made the list as well. What’s more, Mohammadi even included the United States as one of the countries with which improved relations can be mutually beneficial. Link to story.
Netanyahu is a clown and he latched onto the Farsi mistranslation so fast it just speaks volumes of what a weak propagandist he is.
Dempsey should put him in his place once again and go on public record once again that the US will NOT be complicit to any Israeli attack on Iran. He should probably just repeat this at quarterly intervals to eventually just exhaust Netanyahu
“Dempsey should put him in his place once again”
May i remind you that the US just closed 19 embassies for a period of 10 days and evacuated the consulate in Milan because of a terrorist threat. The same threat which comes out of an organization President Obama declared defeated not to long ago.
No one in the middle ease is taking the US seriously no more, and no Israeli is looking for the US to solve our problems. In other words, Dempsey can arrive, i’m sure he will be treated with respect but he really has very little leverage when it comes to US credibility and no one will take him to seriously.
Richard Silverstein says
This sort of tin-horn bloviating makes me sick. You Israelis are just plain narcissists. You worship your own image. You disrespect anyone who isn’t you. I’ve got news for you. Martin Dempsey represents the most powerful nation on earth. Just let your wanna-be fly boys attack Iran and watch for the disastrous consequences that result. Then you’ll come crying to Obama telling him to fix things.
Your rhetoric is precisely the sort that makes people detest Israelis. So keep it up. Let everyone see just how selfish, mean-spirited, & ungrateful you are.
Mean spirited ? ungrateful ? because i think the US foreign policy doesn’t exist ? because i think that when it comes to the middle-east You american’s can’t tell the difference between left and right ? You must have written the definition for ad hominem !!!
The last time the US foreign policy worked was at the end of WWII in japan. General MacArthur’s decision not to prosecute the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, for war crimes committed by Japanese forces all over the far east, enabled the Japanese society to retain it’s traditions and enabled MacArthur to impose a huge change on the Japanese culture. MacArthur’s decision was against the wishes of the US President (who left the decision up to MacArthurs), the US state department and department of justice. It was the only time US diplomacy actually worked since the beginning of the 20 century, till today. About time you’ll realize that your values can’t be implemented in some areas of this world, the sooner you’ll realize it the better it would be and the smaller the mess you’ll create. Look at the mess the US created in Iraq, Afghanistan, in Egypt and all over the middle east in the last 2 years.
With respect to your analysis Re: Attack on Iran. Same exact things were stated before the attack on the Iraqi reactor. I don’t think that anyone – including Shimon Peres – regrets attacking it.
Richard Silverstein says
No because you claimed that Gen. Dempsey was an irrelevant zero.
As for your ramblings about history of U.S. foreign policy: trust me, no one’s interested. They’re off topic.
“No because you claimed that Gen. Dempsey was an irrelevant zero.”
First the claim – as you wrote it – is not that different then your statements about the Israeli leadership.
Second, i never claimed that, I did claim that he has no traction as the representative / executioner of the US foreign policy, which lately has been a total farce.
I agree with your last sentence, completely. This message should be emphasized to Obama, Kerry, and others, with vigour.
“In truth, you can find equally disturbing rhetoric about Iran within the Israeli political discourse. There isn’t a member of the current cabinet that doesn’t believe Iran is a wound within the region and that it would be far better off were it removed.”
i never heard any cabinet member saying that Iran should be “removed” or destroyed or whatever – that’s an exaggeration. what the cabinet members are saying is the removal of the nuclear threat not the people.
on the other end,
that’s ahmadinijhad speech at the same rally saying that ‘the zionist base will be uprooted”… and that we have no place in this region – not quite the same rhetorics.
last year you wrote an article about miri regev (Tel Aviv 2012–Berlin 1938 and mentioned in some other related follow ups) when she said that the “the Sudanese were a cancer in our body.” i will never justify what she said i don’t agree with her and i think that in most cases she’s making a fool out of herself. but when an Iranian President is saying that we are a wound – that’s flying by with a few sentences and off we go again about how israel rhetoric is at least as aggressive.
why are you taking this statements by Iranian leaders so lightly? maybe it’s the medical term used that makes the difference? why are you ignoring the direct link between Iran, Assad and Hezballa? would you want any one of them with a nuke?
don’t know what’s your answer (though i’m sure it will be spun over back to israel) but i know mine.
Richard Silverstein says
@Noam: Read my comment very carefully. Respond to what I actually write, not to what is close to what I write or what you think I wrote. I did not say Israeli cabinet members said anything. I said that they believe Iran’s government should be overthrown.
Iranians are not stupid. They know what Israeli leaders have said about past enemies they’ve attacked. They know generals promised to send Lebanon back to the Stone Age. They know prime ministers and generals promised to destroy Hezbollah and Hamas. It is a very short step to infer what Israel’s goals would be if it attacked Iran. To truly end the nuclear “threat” Israel cannot just attack Iran’s nuclear program. It must overthrow the regime.
Every reasonable person who listens to what Israel’s military & political leaders say knows that they want to overthrow Iran’s government. They would do so in a heartbeat if they could get away with it. Short of that, they hope the U.S. will do it. If you deny any of this it’s like denying that the sun rises in the morning.
I’m giving you a very firm warning. Discussion of the false translations of statements by Ahmadinejad happened here and is now closed. If you introduce such argumentation again, you will be moderated.
“I did not say Israeli cabinet members said anything.”
when you wrote “you can find equally disturbing rhetoric about Iran within the Israeli political discourse.” the word rhetoric – the art of discourse (by talking, writing etc) – what did you mean by it? it is exactly what you wrote.
“They know prime ministers and generals promised to destroy Hezbollah and Hamas. ”
excellent examples since they fit the description of the Iranian regime – who supports these terror organisations (and there’s no one who can deny it now after the UN declared Hezbollah as such last week). Israel should fight them since they are not interested in anything but removing us (wound cancer or whatever term they might use)- and for that there is no ‘mistranslation’.
” To truly end the nuclear “threat” Israel cannot just attack Iran’s nuclear program. It must overthrow the regime.”
you are right, an army operation will only stall the process not stop it entirely – for that something has to change. and it is no secret that it is in israel interest to see the current regime fall apart. i am not denying it as you shouldn’t deny the words (actual words) that comes out from the Iranian leaders.
“Discussion of the false translations of statements by Ahmadinejad happened here and is now closed.”
i thought only rouhani’s statements were falsely translated. so you are saying that all these years he’s been talking without anyone actually understanding him….
you haven’t addressed my main question. why do you act differently when rouhani says israel is a ‘wound’ and miri regev says ‘the Sudanese were a cancer in our body’?
Richard Silverstein says
Wrong again. The UN has made no determinations regarding Hezbollah (nor do I believe it ever makes any such determinations). The EU determined that Hezbollah’s military wing (but not its political wing) is considered terrorist.
This too is a lie & continues the mistranslation of Rouhani’s comments. He didn’t say he was interested in “removing” Israel. Nor has any current senior Hamas leader made any such statements. I warn you once again: I do not allow falsehoods to be offered as truth here. I don’t allow opinions that are your personal views but supported by no evidence. If you continue this you may be moderated.
What silly rhetorical obfuscation. You can’t admit you want Iran’s government to be overthrown, so you say you want it to “fall apart.” You know it will never do so. You know the only way it will “fall apart” is if a military power makes it fall apart. More disingenuousness. Admit you want Iran’s government to be overthrown by whatever means necessary including military force. If you don’t admit this you’re a liar.
Another false statement. Ahmadinejad’s statements about Israel have also been falsely translated. 20 different pro Israel commenters here have tried to enter the mistranslations as established fact. I’ve written a post providing the evidence of the smear. It’s been debated 20 ways till Sunday. So neither you nor anyone is going to reopen that can of worms.
“The UN has made no determinations regarding Hezbollah”
you are right, of course it was the EU, silly mistake used the wrong acronym and should have caught it when i proofed my comment.
“This too is a lie & continues the mistranslation of Rouhani’s comments. ”
read my comments carefully i haven’t wrote that Rouhani said ‘removing’ – only used the word ‘wound’ which you stated he did say.
“any current senior Hamas leader made any such statements. ”
“There isn’t a member of the current cabinet that doesn’t believe Iran is a wound within the region and that it would be far better off were it removed.”
so you can assume that the israeli cabinet thinks – and suggested they’d also said – that Iran is a wound – your personal opinion not fact – but you can’t say that hamas wants the same thing to happen to Israel. and i’ve noticed you haven’t mentioned Hezbollah in that paragraph so at least it seems we agree on something.
“You can’t admit you want Iran’s government to be overthrown”
actually, i couldn’t care less if the current regime stays or not. the Iranian people should choose who they want to govern them and how. if they are oppressed or not, religious or secular, women rights, gay rights etc. it’s their own inner affair. the only thing i care about is that their leaders stop calling us wounds and fund terror organisation who fights us. (by the way, i’m a half Iranian from my mother side – her family fled Iran after the revolution).
“Ahmadinejad’s statements about Israel have also been falsely translated”
are you talking about the specific speech at al quds day or in general during is entire term as president?
lastly, why aren’t you answering my question: what is the difference between Miri Regev idiotic statement and Rhouhani’s calling us a wound?
Richard Silverstein says
@Noam: Let’s get something very clear: I decide what I write about here. I decide what I want to say. I decide what questions or issues are important or interesting to me. If commenters demand or repeatedly insist that I answer their provocative questions, my reaction is not terribly reciprocal. I don’t take kindly to repetitive challenges. Not to mention that your question has absolutely no interest for me. So if I choose to, or want to answer a question I will do so. If I don’t, telling me three times that I should or must answer it will get the opposite result to the one you demand.
Regarding the term “wound,” which Rounhani used: of course Iranian see Israel as a wound. So do almost every other Arab or Muslim in the ME. And Israel only encourages such a view with its horrific, bloody approach to maintaining its existence. But Israeli Jews see Iran and most of the hostile frontline states as a wound as well. Israeli Jews don’t see Assad or Nasrallah or Morsi as a wound? OF course they do.
So I’m not going to get into a pissing contest over whose “wound” is worse than whose. As far as I’m concerned, Israel is the dominant power in the region & responsibility lies with it to heal the wound. Sitting there & playing the victim as Israel does constantly is a zero sum game. And you play it too.
As I’ve written, Israeli leaders have said incredibly insulting, provocative statements about Iran & its leaders (and all Arab leaders for that matter–read Lieberman’s history on that score). So acting all innocent & claiming Israel’s ministers don’t harbor offensive, aggressive views toward toppling Iran’s government is, as I wrote, disingenous at best.
As for funding terror, Israel has far greater capacity for inflicting mayhem on any Arab neighbor than they do on Israel. So when you tell your own military to stop interfering in the affairs of their neighbors then you may expect them to stop trying to interfere in your own.
You’ve gone back & forth numerous times on this subject. Do NOT comment further in this thread. Move on to another thread or another subject.
Zimbabwe signs secret agreement to sell uranium to Iran
The latest canard originated with The Times in the UK …
Eagerly copy/pasted in the Jerusalem Post and Ynet News. As always, it’s interesting to follow the readers’ comments in the JPost.
You mentioned the visit by US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey in this article. In addition Gen. Mark A. Welsh, chief of staff of the US Air Force, completed a secretive week-long visit to Israel last week. In another story, Commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM), Admiral James Stavridis has visited Israel on numerous occasions. These visits are not likely do be just about Syria and the overthrow of Assad. I would like to know how aften Stavridis has met his counterparts from Turkey. In June, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove assumed duties as Commander of European Command and as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. Retired admiral James Stravidis keeps a facebook page and is active on several blogs. Interesting.
What Iranian nuclear pact did President Obama make with MP Netanyahu to restart the peace talks with Abbas?