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Friday, November 16, 2007

Was Olmert sending Bush and Rice a message?

DEBKA has an interesting take on today's report that Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert told his cabinet to prepare for the day after a nuclear-armed Iran is a reality. DEBKA points out the timing - a couple of hours before the complicit Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA released another wishy washy report, and then goes on to say the following:
What it says is that if the Bush administration cannot meet its pledge to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, which is an existential threat to Israel, how can the same administration be trusted to deal effectively with the issue of an Israel- Palestinians settlement in consequence of the Annapolis meeting?

It may therefore be postulated that the Israeli prime minister acted to derail the conference by drawing a red line which Israel refuses to cross in the interests of its security.

The Reuters report may even be his response to the “Israel should make painful sacrifices” speech which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered to a Jewish audience Tuesday, Nov.13, in Nashville, Tennessee. Her argumentation sent a shudder through Israel’s intelligence and defense community.

Analysis of the speech, which the State Department quickly released in full plus video, shows strikingly that “Palestinian statehood” has been substituted for “Middle East peace” as a central US policy objective. Peace and peacemaking have therefore been exed out as a prerequisite for the Palestinians.

By presenting a Palestinian state as the main bulwark against Middle East extremists, she placed Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad at the forefront of the battle against Hizballah, Hamas and Iran, and deposited the security of the entire Middle East in their hands.

This thesis left Israeli security circles long familiar with the pair’s capabilities aghast - especially after their defeat in Gaza.

Therefore, the report claiming Olmert had given instructions to start preparing for a possible nuclear-armed Iran may equally apply to the bombshell Rice dropped on Israel’s head, and a signal to the Bush administration that Israel proposes to look after its own security rather than leaving it in other hands.
If this is correct, it represents an epiphany on Olmert's part. I hope that it's true, but color me skeptical.

For the record, Olmert's office is denying he gave any such instructions to the cabinet.


At 2:07 AM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

The only signal Olmert is sending to Rice and Bush is that he is more pliable than silly putty.

If he said it, it is because he is afraid to do something. Couple that with his recent statement that Israel has until 2009 before Iran will have nuclear capability.

He is weak, and subtlety is not part of his game with Washington.

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Daniel434 said...

I'll take this Debka report as a grain of salt, as they have been hit and miss. It certainly is interesting and provides some hope and optimism.


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