As Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak was determined to carry out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program. His book provides the tools to examine the limitations of the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the considerations Israeli leaders put into the decision to go to war. By Shemuel Meir "My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace", Ehud Barak, St. Martin's Press, 2018. The title of Ehud Barak's recently published autobiography My Country, My Life declares that it is a book not just about Barak's life, but also a first person account of some the most important moments in Israeli…Read More...
Iran nuclear deal
President Trump's new sanctions on Iran were widely praised by Netanyahu and the media. But they may not bring about the outcome so desired by the Israeli leader and his followers. By Shemuel Meir President Trump's recent declaration on the renewal of the oil and finance sanctions on Iran were greeted with great enthusiasm by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu thanked President Trump for the severe sanctions, which would impose a "huge stranglehold" on the Islamic Republic and could do away entirely with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement led by President Obama. Netanyahu's announcement was filled with superlatives…Read More... | 4 Comments
With Trump's departure from the Iran deal, many are mourning the 'rules based international order.' But Trump is not the problem: the world has changed, and the idea that the U.S. dominates the world by dint of power, values, wisdom, even God’s decisions is a myth. By Gordon Adams America’s place in the world is experiencing an historic turning point. All the mumbo-jumbo about being the “exceptional” and “indispensable” nation, the natural “leader” of something called the “West,” the guarantor of some kind of international system of “rules” is finally being cast into the dustbin of history. [tmwinpost] This moment…Read More... | 2 Comments
Intent on killing the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu and Trump have dispensed with logic and are relying on emotion, confusion, and fear to try to achieve their objective. By Paul R. Pillar Benjamin Netanyahu’s display of a cartoon bomb before the United Nations General Assembly nearly six years ago received much ridicule but at least was grounded in some facts about uranium enrichment levels and how they relate to the ability to make a nuclear weapon. These days, Netanyahu doesn’t reprise that part of his General Assembly speech, and it’s not because of the ridicule. It is because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action…Read More... | 4 Comments
The success of a coordinated military strike on Assad's chemical weapon stockpiles actually bodes well for the Iran nuclear deal. By Shemuel Meir Western powers made good on their warning to the Assad regime on April 14, 2018, and attacked the production and storage sites of the chemical weapons in his possession. The coordinated, wide-ranging operation by the United States, Britain and France (in contrast to Trump's unilateral and hasty attack following the use of chemical weapons in Syria in April 2017) was aimed solely at chemical weapons sites. The Western powers emphasized that this was not the opening salvo of massive military intervention…Read More...
How much has the world changed since Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory began in 1967? The occupation, as we are all too well aware, is about to turn 50. It's difficult to grasp just how significant a period of time five decades is — especially when we're trying to imagine the durability of a state of affairs that was never supposed to be permanent. But one way we can try and conceive of just how long Israeli military rule has persisted is to look at how much the world has changed since 1967. So here, in ascending chronological order, are 50…Read More... | 5 Comments
It’s high time for the United States to interject some realism into discussions about Iranian missiles. By Greg Thielmann Iran’s January 29 flight test of a medium-range ballistic missile helped prompt an ominous if ambiguous warning by U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on February 1: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” Since it is facing so many other international crises, it is curious that the new administration gives such a prominent place to Iranian missile testing, which poses no existential threat to the United States or its allies and is not prohibited by the Iran…Read More...
Thirty-seven leading Iranian Americans pen open letter to President-elect Trump, urging him to keep the Iran deal. Abandoning it, they write, will 'once again put the United States and Iran on the path of war.' By Jim Lobe In a particularly eloquent and straightforward defense of the Iranian nuclear deal, 37 prominent Iranian Americans have appealed to Donald Trump to maintain U.S. compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran. The letter comes on the heels of an appeal to Trump by prominent U.S. scientists urging him to support the deal and a recent poll demonstrating…Read More... | 27 Comments
President-elect Trump is just two months away from controlling America's nuclear arsenal. His supporters are already working on torpedoing Obama's greatest foreign policy success. By Shemuel Meir For many the combination of the words "Donald Trump" and "nuclear weapons" is the stuff of nightmares. "If we have nuclear weapons — why don't we use it?" asked Trump during his presidential campaign. In his view nuclear weapons is akin to conventional weapons, which means they can be used to promote U.S. interests. This is the man who on January 20th, 2017 will be in control of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Nuclear…Read More... | 7 Comments
Nuclear disarmament in the Middle East is making a comeback. American backing for Israel on the nuclear issue hinges on steps being taken toward peace. By Shemuel Meir Israel is investing great efforts in declaring victory over Egypt on the nuclear issue. As if it were a kind of ritual, reports keep coming out lauding Israel's victory in the diplomatic arena, and how it foiled the Egyptian demand made at the annual International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference, which called for the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona to be subject to an inspection regime. The facts, however, tell a different story. In September 2016…Read More... | 5 Comments
In leaked emails the former secretary of state acknowledges Israel's nuclear arsenal, which he is pointed at Tehran. By Eli Clifton According to hacked emails reviewed by foreign policy website LobeLog, former Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Israel’s nuclear arsenal, an open secret that U.S. and Israeli politicians typically refuse to acknowledge as part of Israel’s strategy of “nuclear ambiguity.” Powell also rejected assessments that Iran, at the time, was “a year away” from a nuclear weapon. [tmwinpost] The emails, released by the hacking group, DCLeaks, show Powell discussing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech before a joint meeting of Congress with his…Read More... | 1 Comment
Despite what Israel's prime minister may have you believe, the Iran nuclear deal has succeeded in doing exactly what it set out to do: significantly decreasing the threat of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic. By Shemuel Meir The annual Herzliya Conference made headlines a few weeks back simply due to the fact that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak pulled out a no holds barred attack on Benjamin Netanyahu. It was interesting to hear that Ya'lon told the crowd that "at this point in time and in the near future, Israel does not face any existential threats."…Read More... | 1 Comment
The former head of the Mossad says Israel no longer faces existential threats, while one of Netanyahu's top advisors calls the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East 'Israel's allies.' If there's one thing most Israelis can agree on, it is that the world is against us. At the very least, so it goes, Israel is surrounded by enemies on all fronts, and the Jewish state's existence is always in peril. This mantra was seared into the fabric of the Israeli consciousness from the founding of the state and persists until today. [tmwinpost] Perhaps that is why recent statements by…Read More... | 6 Comments
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