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Israel’s debate about Iran is really a debate about America

by Shmuel Rosner

August 17, 2012 | 7:31 am

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu holds up Nazi documentation during a speech to the UN on Iran's nuclear program, September 2009. (Photo: Reuters)

I don’t think Israel is bluffing about Iran, and assume that most Rosner readers ‎already know this (having read my analytical approach to deciding if you support ‎an attack), but would still urge you to read David Rothkopf’s Guns of August:‎

It is easy to be skeptical when the alarms start going off about a pending ‎Israeli attack on Iran. They seem to come with the seasons, a geopolitical ‎biorhythm that reminds us never to be too comfortable with one of the ‎world’s most volatile relationships. But it is worth remembering that the ‎punch line of the story about the little boy who cried wolf is that ultimately, ‎the wolf shows up.‎

By way of ending this week without leaving any unfinished business behind, I’d ‎also like to direct you to two other articles about Iran – the ones that I wrote this ‎week both for the International Herald Tribune and for Israel’s Maariv (in Hebrew).‎

This one is from the IHT-NYT:

All Israelis have to rely on is the chattering figureheads who are preaching ‎for causes rather than making serious cases. For quite some time now, we’ve ‎been the victims of a kind of Attack-Iran beauty contest: Do you believe the ‎bass-voiced politician who compares Iran to Nazi Germany, or the popular ‎novelist who opposes that “megalomaniacal” politician, or the handsome ‎former military chief of staff who is warning against the “rush” to act, or the ‎less handsome former military chief of staff and current defense minister ‎who — along with Prime Minister Netanyahu — is the driving force behind ‎the current frenzy?‎

Can any of these people be trusted?

And this paragraph is translated from my article in Maariv:‎

That Israel can “delay” but not “destroy” the Iranian nuclear program is ‎indisputable, both in Washington and in Jerusalem. An American action ‎too – with its far greater potential for destruction – is nothing but a formula for ‎‎“delay”, until the Iranians try again - and again encounter force, or until they ‎come to their senses and give up on further development, or until the ‎regime is overthrown. So Israel’s current move is designed to bring in American ‎involvement to realize the long campaign required to stop Iran ‎developing its nuclear program. And debate between supporters and ‎opponents of a violent Israeli move - namely, an attack - is nothing but a tactical ‎argument over the best way to make the Americans ‎more committed to winning this war.‎

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