Why Netanyahu Is ‘The Right Man’ To Address US Congress On Iran

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Jewish Professor Yakov M. Rabkin reckons that the Israeli Prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu- Bibisitter in his latest election videos -is talking nonsense about The Iranian Nuclear Threat.

He is the right man to address Congress, because after all, it was Israel and its allies in Washington who fabricated ‘Iran Nuclear Threat’ issue to begin with. It is thus incumbent upon Mr. Netanyahu to try to give credence to that allegation by attending.

The threat comes from Likud and Washington, who are rebel rousing just like in 2003 with Iraq, Saddam, and weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Professor Rabkin says that associating each and all criticism against Israel to antisemitism does not wash anymore. He explains Iranian terms such as ‘Wipe Israel Off the Map’ by Iran’s Supreme leader, or ‘The holocaust numbers are less than mentioned and includes other minorities’, by former President Ahmadinejad, as verbal misconceptions that could do with a healthy debate. He explains that the danger to the Jews in the middle east, comes from Israel and Mr. Natanyahu, especially if the latter succeeds in scaring America to act aggressively towards Iran. The Zionist policy is redundant he argues.

From globalresearch.ca :

Yakov Rabkin writes:

…..Mr. Netanyahu’s claim to speak “on behalf of the Jews” endangers Jews, particularly in Iran. However, some Zionists remain undeterred and go as far as to reproach Iranian Jews for not leaving for Israel long ago. This attitude exposes the largest and perhaps the oldest Jewish community in the Muslim world since Israel’s raison d’Etat has naturally and often taken precedence over the welfare and the very survival of Jewish communities. Zionists relate to Jews outside Israel as potential immigrants or temporary assets in promoting Israel’s interests.

Jewish Dissent

Mr. Netanyahu’s appearance before the U.S. Congress and his current anti-Iran campaign has generated a profound schism between Jews who unconditionally support Israel and those Jews who reject or question Zionism and actions taken by the state of Israel. Public debate about Israel’s place in Jewish continuity has become open and candid, not only in Israel but elsewhere. Many see the future of the state of Israel as a state of its citizens, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and atheist, rather than a state established and run on behalf of world Jewry.

While there are relatively few Jews who publicly wonder whether the chronically insecure Israel is “good for the Jews”, many more deplore that militant Zionism destroys Jewish moral values and endangers Jews both in Israel and elsewhere. For example, the film Munich by Steven Spielberg sharply focuses on the moral cost of Israel’s chronic reliance on force. During one scene, as a member of the Israeli hit squad hunting Diaspora Palestinian activists quits in disgust, he proclaims “we’re Jews. Jews don’t do wrong because our enemies do wrong…we’re supposed to be righteous. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s Jewish…” While Schindler’s List explores threats to the physical survival of the Jews, Munich exposes threats to their spiritual survival. No wonder that Likud supporters in America besmirched the Jewish director and his film even before it was released. It also lashed out at several recent books (Prophets Outcast, Wrestling with Zion, Myths of Zionism, The Question of Zion) that are concerned with the same essential conflict between Zionism and traditional Jewish values. Mr. Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress has deeply sharpened his intra-Jewish conflict.

The Likud lobby routinely alleges that Jews who dare criticize Israel endanger its “right to exist” and foment anti-Semitism. This provokes a number of prominent Jews in Britain, Canada and the United States to speak out, which moved candid debate about Israel into mainstream, even conservative publications. The eminently pro-establishment Economist has published a survey of “the state of the Jews” and an editorial calling which calls on rank-and-file Diaspora Jews to move away from the “my country right or wrong” attitude adopted by many Jewish organizations. This certainly erodes the image of the Jews as a group united around the Israeli flag.

Making a stand for Jewish emancipation from the state of Israel and its policies has bridged some old divides and also created new ones. Thus an ultra-Orthodox critic of Israel, usually antagonistic to Reform Judaism, commended a Reform rabbi who had said that

“when Israel’s Jewish supporters abroad don’t speak out against disastrous policies that neither guarantee safety for her citizens nor produce the right climate in which to try and reach a just peace with the Palestinians … then they are betraying millennial Jewish values and acting against Israel’s own long-term interests.”

Many Jews and Israelis believe that the Likud lobby, a collective effort of right-wing Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists, is a major threat to Israel’s long-term security since it invariably supports Israel’s hawks and undermines those Israelis who work for reconciliation in the region. The lobby is also a potent source of anti-Semitism since it is often seen as “Jewish”, which creates the erroneous impression that the Jews dictate American foreign policy by pushing it to the right. In fact, a vast majority of American Jews have voted for Barak Obama. While Israel’s current leaders and their allies in America continue to incite the world against Iran, several peace organizations in Israel and in various Jewish Diasporas issued statements condemning the anti-Iran campaign and Mr. Netanyahu’s behaviour.

Nowadays, when no Arab state poses a military threat to Israel it is Iran that many Israelis are made to fear. Just next to Iran, which has repeatedly denied any interest in acquiring a nuclear weapon, lies Pakistan, an unstable regime with a strong Islamist movement, including elements of Al-Qaeda, and a real, not imaginary, nuclear arsenal. While Pakistan has not threatened Israel, there may be no end to “existential threats” if the Zionist state stays its course and continues to defy the people of the entire region by denying justice to the Palestinians.

In Praise of Precision

The two emotionally charged claims hurled at Iran have dominated Western media. Another accusation that Iran had allegedly passed a law requiring Jews to wear a yellow insignia, reported by Toronto’s National Post a few years ago, further strengthened the image of Iran as a new Nazi Germany. While the report was retracted the following day, more people remember the damning news than the subsequent retraction from the daily whose owners are active in Canada’s own Likud lobby.

This disinformation certainly helps prepare the public opinion for a military strike – by the United States or Israel – against the oil-rich Iran, a disquieting remake of the scare of Iraq’s illusory weapons of mass destruction that triggered an all-out military attack on that unfortunate country, whose population had suffered from Western sanctions for over a decade. Saddam Hussein was duly portrayed as another incarnation of Hitler, and, once again, the spectre of a nuclear Holocaust was invoked.

It is Israel that reportedly possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons and, unlike Iran, refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran has never declared an intention to produce nuclear weapons. According to reputable Israeli experts, Iran cannot acquire a military nuclear capability for five to ten years, and if and when it does acquire it, they expect Iran to use it to restrain Israel’s foreign incursions rather than attack it.

Iranian leaders are misrepresented as demented extremists with unlimited powers who can be expected to act irrationally. It follows that they must be stopped at any cost. This has become a mantra not only of the Israeli right wing politicians, such as the eloquent Mr. Netanyahu, who, in defiance of the U.N. Charter, overtly threatens to attack Iran, but for quite a few American politicians who admire him. While the White House and foreign policy and intelligence professionals know that neither Israel nor the United States are in danger of an attack from Iran, their rational arguments seem less persuasive than emotional rhetoric from the Hill. The United States has well known geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf, but the accusations against Iran based on the deliberate conflation between Israel and the Jews may fatefully distort foreign policy making in Washington.

Intellectuals appreciate precision. Policy-makers need it no less since they are expected to act prudently and rationally. Mr. Netanyahu’s intervention in America’s foreign policy making is part of a long-term attempt to align the lone superpower’s interests with those of the Zionist state. This is why his arguments should be weighed carefully and without undue emotion so often obscuring issues concerning Israel and its neighbours. For several years, Western chanceries have focused on restraining Israel from military action against Iran. Israel’s hands were thus freed to deal with the Palestinians with virtual impunity. The new “existential threat” from Iran’s hypothetical weapon of mass destruction has already served Israel’s purpose as a “weapon of mass distraction”.

The phenomenal growth of Daesh graphically shows what demodernization and the ensuing despair in that part of the world may entail. We need only to look at Iraq, Libya and Syria, all three subjected to outside military intervention, and at the subsequent emergence of Daesh, to understand that destabilizing a country or region has far-reaching sinister consequences. Israel’s Prime minister invokes the alleged Iranian threat in order to slow down or reverse Iran’s policies of modernization. The forced demodernization of Iraq, Syria and Libya, the most secular and educated countries in the Arab world, has certainly benefited Israel’s strategic position in the area. Mr. Netanyahu must now explain how exactly demodernization of Iran will benefit the United States…

Yakov Rabkin is Professor of History and associate of CERIUM, Centre for International Studies at the University of Montreal; he is the author of A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism (Palgrave Macmillan/Zed Books) and Comprendre l’Etat d’Israel (Ecosociete). Some of the material used in this article previously appeared in Revue internationale et stratégique 2/2008 (No 70), p. 195-208 in Paris.

Read Full Article at…globalresearch.ca

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