Jewish Journal


May 16, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

May 16, 2012 | 4:49 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. (Photo: Reuters)

An Integrated Imperative: Attack Iran and Launch a Regional Peace Initiative

Prof. Yehezkel Dror wrote for the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar-Ilan University that an Israeli push ‎for regional peace would go some way to mitigating any adverse responses should it ‎decide to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Integrating an attack with a broad, multi-dimensional, credible peace initiative will multiply ‎the benefits of both, whether or not there is an immediate favorable response from Arab ‎states. The recommendation to attack, if there is no other way to deny Iran of nuclear ‎weapons, is not necessarily conditional on presenting an Israeli peace initiative. But the ‎attack recommendation is less problematic and more valid if it is integrated with such an ‎initiative.‎

Hamas Elections Solidify Split from Palestinian ‎Authority

Hamas has an unshakeable grip on Gaza, and its divide ‎from the Palestinian Authority has been largely ignored ‎by the west, writes Jonathan Spyer in PJ Media.

The nature of the regime created by Hamas in Gaza, and its strength and ‎durability, has received insufficient attention in the West. This may have a ‎political root: Western governments feel the need to keep alive the fiction of the ‎long-dead peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. One of the necessary ‎components of this is pretending that the historic split between nationalists and ‎Islamists among the Palestinians has not really happened, or that it is a ‎temporary glitch that will soon be reconciled. This fiction is necessary for peace ‎process believers, because it enables them to continue to treat the West Bank ‎Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas as the sole representative of the ‎Palestinians.‎

Lebanon: The Storm Approaches

Walter Russell Mead of the American Interest reports on the growing tensions in ‎Syria’s one-time client state and western neighbor, Lebanon. ‎

The longer the fight against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad continues, the tenser Lebanon gets. Every day, the ‎potential grows for Lebanon to erupt once again into conflict. What is now sporadic fighting ‎in isolated spots could spread to Beirut. The army has already deployed in Tripoli. ‎Hezbollah is still not really involved in any fighting; that could change. Lebanese civilians ‎are preparing for the worst.‎

Novelist condemns ‘intimidation’ by group promoting boycott of Israel

Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times reports on the somewhat forceful steps taken by an ‎Irish anti-Israel organization. ‎

Gerard Donovan was the subject of the letter written by IPSC cultural liaison officer ‎Dr Raymond Deane urging him not to attend the International Writers Festival that is ‎happening in Israel this week. Dr Deane posted on the internet that attempts to ‎contact the novelist had been unsuccessful, which was why he was resorting to an ‎open letter requesting the novelist to abide by a cultural boycott of Israel. In response, ‎Mr Donovan accused Dr Deane of having “some nerve” in sending him an open ‎letter. “I live on a farm with three dogs.”‎

What Happened to Israel’s Reputation?‎

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Israeli Ambassador to Israel Michael Oren explores ‎the unfair deterioration in Israel’s image abroad. ‎

Israel may seem like Goliath vis-à-vis the Palestinians, but in a regional context it is ‎David. Gaza is host to 10,000 rockets, many of which can hit Tel Aviv, and Hezbollah ‎in Lebanon has 50,000 missiles that place all of Israel within range. Throughout the ‎Middle East, countries with massive arsenals are in upheaval. And Iran, which ‎regularly pledges to wipe Israel off the map, is developing nuclear weapons. Israel ‎remains the world’s only state that is threatened with annihilation.‎

In Iran Nuke Talks, Ehud Barak Is the Man to Watch

Writing in Bloomberg, Jeffrey Goldberg hypothesizes that the Israeli defense minister, a former army chief, ‎is the power behind the thrones when it comes to making the decision on attacking ‎Iran.‎

For Barak, keeping Iran outside the zone of immunity is paramount. If Iran moves its ‎nuclear program beyond the reach of the Israeli air force, Netanyahu and Barak ‎believe they will have outsourced the security of their nation to the U.S., which has ‎more advanced weaponry. But in Barak’s estimation, the U.S. has gone 0-2 in ‎preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons to hostile, unstable countries. Pakistan ‎and North Korea both built and tested nuclear weapons over U.S. objections. Barak ‎has pointed out that Israel is 2-0 in the same arena, having destroyed nuclear facilities ‎in both Iraq and Syria from the air.‎

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