Richard Nixon said infamously, “I am not a crook,” and you knew instinctively that he was. Now Bibi has told Iranians (in Farsi!) in a BBC Persian interview that Israelis are not “suckers.” Israelis may not be suckers (or they may be!), but Bibi sure takes Iranians for suckers based on the claims he put forward in the interview. Among them (this is from a FoxNews interview in which his statements were virtually the same):
The people of Iran don’t want to see nuclear weapons in the hands of the “tyranny” of their government, he said, “because it will become immortal, like North Korea. You’ll never regain your freedom. You’ll be slaves to this tyranny forever.”
Netanyahu said there is no freedom in Iran, only “a dark dictatorship that seeks to develop nuclear weapons with mad designs on the United States.”
Interesting that only Iranians will be enslaved by nuclear weapons while citizens of other nuclear states like the U.S. and Israel are quite liberated by theirs. This opens an entirely different can of worms Bibi can’t have wanted opened: to what extent do nuclear weapons force those nations which have them to pay a price? To become constrained in their actions, by the fact that either they could use such weapons or enemy states might want to use them against them?
Among other specious claims Bibi made was that the Israeli and Iranian peoples lived together in peace and harmony in an idyllic past only to be spoiled by the big bad Ayatollahs. In truth, Iran and Israel did enjoy good relations during the reign of the dictatorial Shah. One of his foremost backers was the Mossad, which helped train some of his best SAVAK torturers. Those Iranians tortured or worse by the SAVAK under Israeli tutelage don’t have as fond memories of those past paradaisal days as Bibi does.
This too surely went over well with his Iranian listeners:
He added that he believed the Jewish and Iranian peoples can be friends if the Iranian regime was toppled.
Imagine Ayatollah Khamenei going on CNN or another network aired inside Israel only to tell Israelis we could renew our friendly relations as in the days of old if only you’d get rid of that nasty little bigot you elected to run your country. The Supreme Leader would rightly be universally condemned. Instead, people just roll their eyeballs and say: “Oh that’s just Bibi being Bibi.”
It’s gone far beyond that with such a demented media performance during his U.S. visit. Bibi is no longer Israel’s leader (in the eyes of the world). He’s a punchline, a cartoon figure. He makes himself and Israel into a laughingstock. I suppose Israelis don’t much care as long as the makes the proverbial economic trains run on time. Hey, if that historical echo pains you–so be it. Bibi is a ridiculous jack-booted racist thug. He doesn’t deserve to run a dog pound let alone a country. And that, in a nutshell, is the tragedy that is contemporary Israel.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Bibi also looked into his crystal ball and saw not one Iranian nuke, but 200!
Iran, Charlie, would not be interested in having one bomb or two bombs. They’re gearing up with their infrastructure for 200 bombs. And they’re not developing those ICBMs for us. They can reach us with what they have. It’s for you.”
That number ‘200’ is interesting of course because the most commonly accepted estimate of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is 200 warheads. This is an example of taking the offensive by charging that your opponent does something offensive that you yourself are doing. By asking if he’s stopped beating his wife yet, he won’t dig up the dirty secrets on your own case of spousal abuse.
No mention above of course of Israel’s nuclear-tipped Jericho ICBMs pointed not at the U.S. presumably, but right at the heart of Tehran. The idea that Iran is “developing ICBMs” that can hit U.S. territory is yet another one of those preposterous smears dreamed up by those scaremongers in the Israeli government and Israel lobby offices. In fact, way back in 2009 I featured an Aipac map that showed the supposed target range of those missiles: they’d land right smack dab in the middle of Lafayette Park and even on the Washington Monument!! At least Bibi, liar/scaremonger that he is, would have you believe it!
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.