JFK courted nuclear war with the Soviets, now Israel is courting a confrontation with the Iranians. But how can Israel contemplate starting a war against another country, a war that will not be negligible and could be devastating, for doing the same thing that it has been doing for over 40 years? I love it when people say there's no comparing a nuclear Iran to a nuclear Soviet Union because, after all, the Soviets weren't really a threat to blow up America, people weren't afraid they would just go crazy and push the button - they weren't religious fanatics like the…Read More... | 13 Comments
Israeli attack on Iran
Iran didn't start the Mideast nuclear arms race - Israel did. Nearly all the frightening forecasts of what life would be like with a nuclear Iran strike me as being hollow. I'm not worried about Iran nuking Israel - because the Iranians don't want to commit suicide. I'm not worried about Iran giving nukes to terror organizations that would nuke Israel - because Israel's second-strike capacity, with its estimated 200 nuclear bombs, would devastate the Islamic world and the Islamic world knows it. I'm not worried that Iran's "proxies," such as Hezbollah and Hamas, would feel free under an Iranian "nuclear…Read More... | 41 Comments
A leading Israeli defense reporter writes that Barak and Netanyahu have decided to attack Iran before November, and only IDF chief Benny Gantz can stop them. I say even he can't. Channel 10 defense reporter Alon Ben David, who's been covering the Israeli security establishment for about 20 years and is as plugged in up there as anyone alive, writes in Haaretz today that the only person who can stop an Israeli attack on Iran before the November 6 presidential election is IDF chief Benny Gantz. This is an extremely newsworthy op-ed because Ben David is not a pundit, he's a top-drawer reporter (also writing for the "Bible" of military affairs, Jane's Defence…Read More... | 20 Comments
Nothing else has ended the occupation, nothing else is about to, so I've begun imagining that an Israeli attack on Iran will do it. Thinking rationally, I’m against an Israeli attack on Iran 100%, always have been. But over the last several months, a fantasy has been creeping into my mind - a desire that we start the war, and that it go horribly wrong – for Israel, for Iran, for the Middle East, for America, for Europe – directly or indirectly, for the whole world. Something like World War III, just without nuclear weapons, without doomsday; this fantasy has a happy ending, which, after…Read More... | 35 Comments
Israel and its Washington lobby have never dragged the U.S. into a war it didn't want to fight. Iran would be a first. And if today's talks fail, the countdown begins. I never went along with the argument that the Israel lobby, taking its directions from Jerusalem, pushed the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Israel wanted the U.S. to knock over Saddam, of course, but it didn't make a lot of noise about it, and neither did its Washington lobbyists because Israel and AIPAC knew they didn't have to push against an open door. The Bush administration wanted to go to war against Saddam as…Read More... | 53 Comments
One of these lazy, sunny days, we're likely to hear on the news that Israel has just bombed Iran. The question of whether Israel will soon attack Iran is one of those things where your senses completely deceive you. The more Israeli politicians and generals talk about it, the closer it seems, and the more fearful you become - but the bombast is a good sign that it's not about to happen because if it was, they wouldn't be talking about it so loud for Iran to hear. No, it's when the rhetoric has quieted down, when things seem too peaceful for a war to just suddenly break out - when…Read More... | 32 Comments
It wasn't domestic politics that prompted Netanyahu last night to forgo early elections; it was the need to clear out his calendar. Why does a national leader decide to scrap new elections that he and everyone else knows he's going to win by a landslide, which is what Bibi did last night? Because he's got important work to do and he wants what's called "industrial peace" - or, as Netanyahu himself put it, "stability." Our national leader wants to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities and he's waiting for the right opportunity to do so - when the Obama administration is hard put to stop him, meaning sometime between now and…Read More... | 5 Comments
Election season has begun, and the Israeli public desperately wants one thing: escapism. Last night, after the Israeli election was set for September 4, I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that I thought summed up the public mood, which the main "opposition" candidates have been and will be catering to. The T-shirt showed a comically wide-eyed, frightened John Cleese and his classic line from Fawlty Towers: "Don't mention the war!" Perfect. The prime minister has the whole world scared to death that he's going to bomb Iran, every poll shows that a great majority of Israelis don't want him to do it - but it's not an issue in Israeli politics and it almost certainly won't…Read More... | 8 Comments
Ex-Shin Bet chief launches the latest attack on Netanyahu and Barak's character, warning that they can't be trusted to deal with Iran. What is it about these two? This is just about unprecedented in Israeli history, these public attacks on the reliability of the prime minister and defense minister by the security chiefs who served under them. On Friday, Yuval Diskin, who headed the Shin Bet from 2005 until last May, joined the club by describing Netanyahu and Barak as two super-rich "messianics" who are not to be trusted with such a fateful challenge as that of Iran. Last year, Diskin and ex-IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi were named by ex-Mossad director Meir Dagan as having been…Read More... | 17 Comments
The only way you can think of the poem 'What must be said' as anti-Semitic is if you think of Grass as an anti-Semite. His history as well as the poem itself point in the exact opposite direction. If Gunter Grass had ever said or done anything that showed hatred of Jews or of Israel, then I, too, might take a very uncharitable view of his warning in the poem "What must be said" that this country, or even this government, is liable to nuke Iran and "annihilate the Iranian people." Like I wrote before, that's a misleading suggestion; for all the past reports about "bunker-busting" bombs and future scenarios about a regional WMD war, Israel is not…Read More... | 83 Comments
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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