No, not really. At least not yet. But since Britain has just reopened its shuttered embassy in Tehran, it seems appropriate to think about what the future may hold for Israel-Iran relations. Of course, extremists on both sides (the IRG and Israel’s political leadership) will make life miserable for the other side. They will sabotage normalization and rapprochement. But there will come a time when Israel and Iran will have to recognize reality and attempt to repair a relationship in which bridges were burned nearly 40 years ago.
That’s why this little bit of guerilla theater (Hebrew) is so wonderful. Someone unveiled this huge banner on a Tel Aviv street corner. It says: “Here Iran’s embassy in Israel will soon open. For details call 03-3739000.” The Facebook entry is here. It has over 2,000 Likes and 900 Shares!
You can be damn sure as soon as Bibi heard about this the city maintenance crews rushed to take the thing down. We can’t have messages of love and hope when we’re trying to stir up a war.
Speaking of which, the latest hot story (Hebrew) is a book Ehud Barak is writing with two collaborators. Apparently, the co-authors cooperated with a TV news producer to reveal the juiciest tidbits. I wanted to host the video here, but Israeli media websites are unbelievably balky and fickle and I couldn’t get it to display properly. So you’ll have to follow the link to watch it.
Barak reveals for the first time that he came inches from launching an attack on Iran three separate times when he was defense minister. One of the times, two ministers, Bogie Yaalon and Yuval Steinitz balked and refused to provide the votes necessary to attack. Yaalon, now playing the role of the chief hawk as current defense minister, denies the story vehemently. Another time, IDF chief of staff Gadi Ashkenazi wisely told Bibi and Barak that the army wasn’t ready to execute such a complicated military attack. The third time Barak claims a joint U.S.-Israel military exercise interfered with the war plans.
NOTE: I’ve published a new piece at Mint Press News, It’s Time to Hold Israel, Israelis and American Jews Responsible for Terrorism, outlining a proposal to hold Israel responsible financially for terror attacks by its citizens and military against Palestinians. Yahoo picked it up and it now has nearly 2,000 comments! I’ve never seen anything like it. I will have a new piece published there tomorrow telling the harrowing story of Dr. George Khoury’s expulsion from Israel-Palestine in the context of Israel’s long-standing policies promoting ethnic cleansing. Please give them both a read.