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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The moral responsibility for what happens with Iran lies in the White House

Ari Shavit has got it right. Shavit explains that if Prime Minister Netanyahu attacks Iran, it will be because President Obama forced him to do so. And before any of you start calling this a cop-out from Israel taking responsibility for its own actions, please keep in mind that Haaretz is a Leftist rag and Shavit is usually one of its few voices of sanity.
A few years ago Netanyahu held an in-depth discussion with Middle East expert Bernard Lewis. At the end of the talk he was convinced that if the ayatollahs obtained nuclear weapons, they would use them. Since that day, Netanyahu seems convinced that we are living out a rerun of the 1930s.

He hasn't forgotten for a moment that two leaders he happens to admire, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, didn't lift a finger to save European Jewry during the Holocaust. He is convinced that U.S. President Barack Obama won't lift a finger to save Israeli Jewry. Thus he believes solely in the Israeli sword, seeing it as a deep expression and the last defense of the Zionist revolution.

As of now, the military option is proving to be a diplomatic success. It managed to shake the international community out of its apathy and made a definitive contribution to the tightening of the diplomatic and economic siege on Iran.

But the time for playing diplomatic games with the military option is drawing to a close. There's a limit to how many times one can cry wolf. There's a point at which a "hold-me-back" policy exhausts itself. And that's a very dangerous point, because suddenly the military option turns into a real option.

The Netanyahu-Obama meeting in two weeks will be definitive. If the U.S. president wants to prevent a disaster, he must give Netanyahu iron-clad guarantees that the United States will stop Iran in any way necessary and at any price, after the 2012 elections. If Obama doesn't do this, he will obligate Netanyahu to act before the 2012 elections.

The moral responsibility for what may happen does not lie with the heirs of Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion. The moral responsibility will be borne by the man sitting in the chair that was once Franklin Roosevelt's.
Obama has to decide whether he's the heir of Roosevelt and Churchill or whether he's the heir of Neville Chamberlain. So far, all indications are that he's the heir of Chamberlain. So far, he has refused to give Israel any assurances that he will attack Iran if Israel lets the moment pass and holds off until after the elections.

Frankly, given the deep mistrust that Netanyahu and much of this country have for Obama, I'm not sure there are any assurances that Obama could give us that would be considered 'iron-clad.' But he at least has to try.

Or does he? Maybe he would be happier to see a nuclear Iran threatening Israel. Maybe he thinks he could parley that threat into suicidal concessions by Israel to the 'Palestinians.'

What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.

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At 6:31 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

You are under the mistaken impression that the White House is either morally misguided or tactically inept and that it, at least in some way, doesn't want to see a nuclear vaporization of Israel. On this point you would be wrong. Obama wants, as his historical legacy, to be the US President who 'solved' the mideast problem by liquidating millions of Jews and wiping out the nation of Israel. And if challenged or questioned on this point he will simply call it regime change in the model of Iraq.


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