Americans should be scared to vote for Romney, but they're too scared and antagonistic toward Muslims for Obama to tell them why. Tonight's Obama-Romney foreign policy debate is no doubt going to go heavy on the issues of Iran and Israel. By rights, Obama has a powerful argument to make against his opponent, one that, in a more perfect America, could scare a lot of those "floating voters" who've deserted him into floating back to his corner. And it wouldn't be demagoguery - it would be taking a legitimate fear of a Romney presidency, one that's based strictly on the…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli war on Iran
Israeli and Iranian activists met in Germany to plan a follow-up to the viral solidarity campaign that swept the web with messages of mutual love earlier this year. Now they are stepping up their slogans, and getting ready to put messages of peace from Iran on the streets of Tel Aviv. Nobody could have anticipated the incredible success of the Israel loves Iran Facebook campaign started last March by two Israeli graphic designers. Messages of love and solidarity by common Israelis to Iranians flooded the web, with the recurring message: "We will never bomb your country – we love you." It wasn't…Read More... | 13 Comments
Maybe I'm in denial. Or maybe I'm naive. Even though I trust and respect Richard Silverstein, I don't buy his latest leak: Bibi's Secret War Plan. It's the Israeli government's newest psychological operation. Silverstein writes: In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer. He goes on to explain that his source hopes "to expose the argument and plans" the Bibi-Barak duo are making behind the scenes. You can read some of the details…Read More... | 42 Comments
His poem was especially brave because he's German and because he's vulnerable over his past. If I take Gunter Grass's supposedly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic poem "What must be said" literally, I guess I could quibble with a couple of phrases. He says an Israeli attack on Iran "could erase the Iranian people." An unknowing reader might think Israel is planning to nuke Iran, which isn't the case, even though there were reports in the past about Israel considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons as "bunker-busting" bombs on the underground nuclear sites. And if we want to take a little poetic license, an Israeli attack could expand in all sorts of directions…Read More... | 57 Comments
Netanyahu (and not just he) seems to have talked himself into believing a war with Iran will be relatively painless The question of whether Israel will attack Iran or not has come down to a guessing game of what's inside Bibi Netanyahu's head. He's certainly given every indication that he wants to do the deed. The idea that he's bluffing is, I think, pretty stupid; he's been talking about bombing Iran for 10 years, and he's hardly alone among Israeli leaders. This has been building up for a long, long time, and now it's here. That Netanyahu would like to do it if Obama won't, that he…Read More... | 31 Comments
Following a growing number of online grassroots peace initiatives, activists are calling for the first significant demonstration against the sounding war drums. First came the Iranian women, with a series of video clips made especially for International Women's Day, speaking out against war from a feminist perspective. Then came the Israeli reply, with the Coalition of Women for Peace publishing a declaration stating they "oppose the inflammatory rhetoric of war mongers and the recently advertised plan of the Israeli government to attack Iran. Such an assault is not likely to stop the Iranian nuclear plan, but is likely to lead…Read More... | 11 Comments
Polls say most Israelis oppose Netanyahu on Iran, but there hasn't been a protest, a press conference or even a bumper sticker to give them a voice The world is worried more and more that Israel is going to attack Iran and start a Middle Eastern war, yet the Israeli peace camp, which used to put hundreds of thousands of people in the streets to protest war and occupation, is sitting there, excuse the expression, with its thumb up its ass. Not one demonstration (unless you count a few dozen nuclear disarmament folks standing on the street), not a press conference, not a TV interview, not an ad in the newspapers, not a bumper sticker. "I spoke…Read More... | 20 Comments
Why has Stanley Fischer, the Bank of Israel Governor, been filling his foreign currency reserves with billions of dollars? What do people do when they fear danger from natural disasters or war on the horizon? They stock up. Canned goods, batteries, water - the usual. But what do central banks do? The exact same thing. They stock up on foreign currency. In fact, Stanley Fischer, the governor of the Bank of Israel, has been stocking up so much in the past few years, that Israel is now one of the top five countries in the world when it comes to…Read More... | 14 Comments
In interview published in The Nation online, novelist says starting a war is an even worse option than living with a nuclear Iran In his first public statement on the conflict with Iran, David Grossman, the leading Israeli novelist of the last generation and strongest voice of his country’s moral conscience, told The Nation that he opposed an attack on the Islamic republic by Israel or the U.S., saying the likely consequences were more daunting even than those of Iran building nuclear weapons. “I don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but I think that if the sanctions do not work, Israel and the whole…Read More... | 15 Comments
Israeli security god Amos Yadlin's NY Times op-ed yesterday is an example of why Obama should not believe Netanyahu's case for war The 1981 attack on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor is believed by Israelis (and not just them) to have been a historic success, a precedent for the use of military force as the ultimate in arms control, most relevantly in Iran. Knowlegeable people know different. Amos Yadlin, one of the pilots in that legendary attack, an insider's insider of the Israeli military/intelligence establishment, wrote a very high-profile op-ed in the NYTimes yesterday repeating this BS that Israelis accept as fact. Yadlin, a former Air Force and military intelligence commander, now head of the country's…Read More... | 22 Comments
This is the best news on the antiwar front since Meir Dagan went public - a poll published today by Dahaf, Israel's leading public opinion surveying firm, found that only 19 percent of Israelis are in favor of Israel bombing Iran on its own, which is what most everyone, myself included, is predicting Israel will do. The poll results, though, are not all peace and love - a plurality of 42 percent favor a joint U.S.-Israeli attack, which means the pro-war camp has a 2-1 advantage over the peace camp. (32 percent are against an attack on Iran, period.) But if you judge by the public statements of Israeli politicians, there's 0 percent…Read More... | 12 Comments
If you think Israeli leaders are hawkish on Iran, listen to what some of these American Jewish leaders had to say at their get-together in Jerusalem. The number one team of machers (big-time operators) in organized American Jewry - the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations - were in Israel this past week, and just for a hate fix, I went to a panel discussion on Iran - not to listen to the Israeli panelists, but to the machers. There were about 100 of them in Jerusalem's Inbal hotel, and as expected, the ones who spoke up were much, much more gung-ho than the Israelis onstage. The best question came from from Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice…Read More... | 33 Comments
Imagine: Israel is cranked up to bomb a country that likely has chemical and biological weapons to go with its missiles. Imagine: It is planning a future of one such 'pre-emptive' war after another. I've been preoccupied for several years with the prospect that Israel would bomb Iran, and what started it was something that people don't talk about much, certainly not now that an attack seems to be imminent: the possibility that Iran will hit back with chemical or biological weapons. Experts on WMD say it's a good bet Iran has both these weapons. (Syria is known to have chemical weapons, and we all know what Israel's got.) Missiles carrying chemical warheads can kill…Read More... | 43 Comments
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