20 thoughts on “Iran Conflict Has Little to Do with Nukes – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I also don’t think even bibi believes that Iran would nuke Israel seeing that as an obvious consequence many Muslims including Shiites would be directly or indirectly affected.

    However there ought to be genuine concern of a nuke getting to irresponsible terrorist hands such as Hamas Syria or hizbollah who will be more than capable of nuclear blackmail for nefarious purposes.

    In fact the USA ought to be more worried than Israel since the same problem of collateral Muslim damage would apply to these terrorists and thus most likely the threat would be on USA territory and not the Middle East.

    1. Haha, Shmuel has changed ! I remember when he was ‘offended’ that Richard called ‘his’ prime minister Bibi.
      Hamas are ‘irresponsible terrorists’ ? Nah, Nuts@Yahoo is a irresponsible terrorist. And it’s not that the Israelis are capable of “nuclear blackmail for nefarious purposes”, is it ?

      1. No, DY, I haven’t changed. I was never offended by Richard calling the PM “Bibi”, I merely pointed out about 3 years ago that Richard uses the term “Bibi” in reference to a head of state after he chastised me for calling the chief of police in Dubai “Dahi” rather than his full name and rank.

        I don’t know if Hamas would actually use a nuke, would your friends at the PFLP use one if they could get one?

        I genuinly think Hizbollah would, and have no doubt that al-Qaida would, and are probably trying their best to get one.

        Reminds me of an old Tom Lehrer song…

        1. Oh, now we’re not only talking about Hamas, and Hizbullah, but also Al-Qaeda and the Popular Front….
          Where do you think the Popular Front would drop a nuclear bomb, in the Galilee or the Negev, with a huge Palestinian population ? Or on Shatta prison where Ahmad Sa’adat is kept in solitary confinement ?
          No, the Palestinians love their homeland too much to ever drop a nuclear bomb on it, they wouldn’t wound the land with an ugly wall either, nor burn olive trees by the thousands or dump sewage on their neighbours’ fields.

          1. @ Hasbarist settler: Hezbollah’s armaments don’t have the pinpoint accuracy of Israeli weapons so it couldn’t direct them to land on only Israeli Jewish communities or avoid Palestinian communities. THat’s why some Israeli Palestinians were killed in 2006. But if Iran keeps supplying missiles to Hezbollah and they increase their accuracy & lethality, then this might be possible. Would that satisfy you? Or would it be preferable to resolve outstanding differences with Lebanon & end the missiles entirely? I know that’s a tough choice for a settler like you who’s prepared to fight to the last Israeli. But for the rest of us, we see things a bit more realistically.

            How much do you think Bibi cares about all those Iranian Jews he’d kill if he attacked Iran? Including those Iranian Jews who support Iran’s nuclear program & oppose an attack on Iran (did you see the pictures of their recent rally)? Do you think Bibi gives a crap about their views? This is the same guy who’s the leader of all the Jews in the world, to hear him tell it.

        2. @ shmuel: THe difference between use of the term “Bibi” and “Dahi” is that no one calls the chief of police “Dahi,” while everyone in Israel calls Netanyahu “Bibi.” The term is used scores of times of day in the Israeli media and hundreds of thousands of times a day if you count every Israeli who has a conversation in which he or she discusses politics.

          BTW, I’ve never called Bibi “Nutanyahoo” or the like. While I have no respect for Bibi as a person, Jew or political leader, I don’t believe in cheapshots.

    2. Sir:

      With all due respect, you do not know what you are talking about. any nuclear material has a “genetic finger print,” i.e. one can trace back to its origin, say Iran. So, if Iran did such a stupid thing as giving some sort of nuclear device to anyone, and if it is used, one can identify where it came from.

    3. @ Shmuel: You’ve raised a fairly standard and discredited shibboleth among the crazy mullah” contingent. In fact, Iran (unlike Pakistan and North Korea) has never proliferated its nuclear knowledge. It’s never allowed either its technology or nuclear materials to escape its control. The notion that Iran would allow a “suitcase bomb” or “dirty bomb” into the hands of Al Qaeda (a Sunni movement which Iran hates anyway) or Hezbollah is ludicrous.

      1. The image of “suitcase bombs” and “crazy mullahs” are intended to be inflammatory. They are intended to fan the flames of reaction here in the US and in Europe, to side with Israel which is the greatest reactionary, counter-revolutionary force in the region, even outranking the Saudis. It is a “red scare” yet again. Interestingly, I think Americans are beginning to “get it,” to see through these sorts of speech.

        Let’s state it again: Israel is the greatest risk factor in the Middle East by a mile! It is bound by no legal structures and has a nuclear arsenal, also unbounded. Israel has evidenced its preference for violence and seizure, what used to be called “plunder and pillage,” repeatedly. The sooner Israel is brought under watchful authority the better for all of us. As for nuclear threat, Israel is the only state already making attempts at such extortion. What a surprise! Israel’s nuclear extortion is present but not reduced to words, like so many Israeli policies.

  2. I agree with Walt and Richard. Back in 2009 I published a piece about the same issue, talking about the same, with the added idea that with Iran becoming unattackable and a true rival to Israel, a lot of elite Israelis – innovators, intellectuals, and academics – may not even want to stay in Israel anymore. An academic Israeli friend told me that 25% of all Israeli professors have a second appointment outside Israel, and are ready to leave any moment. If such an exodus does happen, that would represent an “existential” threat to Israel.


    1. @muhammad

      Sorry to jump off topic a bit but I noticed you posted a link to antiwar… Has Justin Raimondo said anything about the recent FOIA release of the FBI files on his case? I saw the documents on another site and it was kind of interesting….

      Back on topic.

    2. @ Muhammad: Haaretz just published a study that showed Israel had one of the highest emigration rates of any OECD country. Many of those emigrating are of the professional class, precisely those who are most needed to have a highly educated, innovative work force.

      1. @ Richard
        Haaretz published two articles on the subject:
        “Israel’s emigration rate among the lowest in developed world”
        Then ten days later: “The surprising reason why Israelis are fleeing in droves”
        As the first commenter notes: “Make up your mind, Haaretz. Last week you reported the Israeli emigration rate is among the lowest in developed countries”.

  3. Richard, could you please expand a bit more on what you mean here:

    “Turning now to Israel’s motivations for opposing the rise of Iran: with a resolution of the nuclear issue Iran would be transformed from a bogeyman into a simple political or commercial rival. Gone would be many of the fires stoked by Iran’s support of proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. Gone would be many of the fires stoked by Iran’s support of proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.”

    Are you saying a non nuclear Iran w/ sanctions removed would not longer fund proxies, including Hezbollah? Obviously that wasn’t part of the interim agreement but I would hope it is a condition of any larger comprehensive agreement that allows a non nuclear Iran back into the community of nations. I don’t see Iran just volunteering to do this in their own- especially with what is happening in Syria. (On a related note, did anyone see the BBC Doc about the Iranian Quds Force members fighting ans training pro Assad rebels in Syria? Very interesting video).

    I look forward to your reply.


    1. Back channel diplomacy and bilateral talks between US and Iran since early 2013. Believe me, Syria has been a major topic, not just the civilian nuclear development in Iran. Lebanon and Syria have become a grave security threat for ally Israel.

      Path of Diplomacy Has Not Ended

      Obama On Path Towards Grand-Slam In Diplomacy Aug. 27, 2013

      If John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov illustrate their determination …
      STEP 1 – Resolve CW issue on Syria
      STEP 2 – Arms embargo and a political solution for Syria
      STEP 3 – Resolve nuclear issue of Iran with president Rouhani
      STEP 4 – Finalize a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine

      Obama made a courageous decision stepping away from 35 years of biased US policy on the Middle East. Angry Arab states Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar plus Turkey and Israel. Praise from Russia, Iran and Iraq (Maliki).

    2. @ Ari Greenfield: Right. There is a big step from ending the nuclear weapons program and removing sanctions, to ending Iran’s support for proxies. But if the U.S. & world community undertake a resolution of the outstanding issues between Israel & Lebanon there would no need for Hezbollah to be an Iranian proxy. Once this happens it becomes easier to resolve the Syrian civil war. And if there is an Israeli Palestinian deal then there’s no need for Iran to support either Islamic Jihad or Hamas (which it’s stopped doing anyway).

      As long as Iranian moderates remain in power I see a great possibility for these developments. There are enough sweeteners the west can offer Iran in order to induce it to give up its military proxy relationships. If the west screws this up or hardliners take over in Tehran all bets are off.

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