Over a year has passed since my proposal to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict while simultaneously addressing the Iran nuclear crisis. I still think it is a mistake to treat the two issues separately since we miss opportunities by artificially compartmentalizing our foreign policy.
As Joel Braunold points out in his Open Zion article, intervening in Syria is both a security imperative and a risk. I agree with everything he says, but I think he missed the most important reason to intervene in Syria. Israel is watching this very carefully to see if Obama's red line in Syria means anything. If we fail to launch some sort of attack (preferably as part of a multinational force), then Israel will conclude that we have a backbone made of silly putty. Israel will conclude that it can not count on us to keep our w
Israeli historian Benny Morris wants to see a war with Iran. He is frothing at the mouth and screaming "Attack! Attack!, Attack! Kill! Kill! Kill!" Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. OK, so maybe it's more than a little. But he certainly seems to support Israel taking military action against Iran within the next few weeks if Obama doesn't give Israel an iron-clad guarantee that the U.S. will attack Iran by March 1, 2013 if Iran does not abandon its nuclear weapons program. Read his column NOW before proceeding with my rebuttal.
Larry Derfner, a former columnist for the Jerusalem Post, points out that for the first time, Israel is likely to drag the United States into a war it doesn't want. This is likely to lead to a backlash against Israel and a rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. if the war with Iran goes badly. Derfner writes:
There have been two important developments since I posted my article outlining a grand bargain with Iran. 1) Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabad, proclaimed that "The Iranian nation is standing for its cause that is the full annihilation of Israel.". 2) Iran and the IAEA reportedly reached an agreement that would allow the IAEA inspectors to access Iran's nuclear sites. This could be a very big deal--or it could be less than meets the eye. It's just too soon to say.
It is indeed a privilege to be able to address the people of the Great Islamic Republic of Iran tonight. I want to start by commending Ayatollah Khamenei for saying that you "are not seeking nuclear weapons because the Islamic Republic of Iran considers possession of nuclear weapons a sin." Your Supreme Leader went on to say that he "believes that holding such weapons is useless, harmful and dangerous." We appreciate these sentiments but we in America do not believe they go far enough. It is not enough for Iran to avoid developing nuclear weapons.