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.