In Israel, the debate over bombing Iran has been tamped down by the belief in national security circles that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu may be bluffing about going to war but that the bluff requires the world to think he may do it, Gareth Porter reports from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.
Israeli hardliners and American neocons say U.S. and Israeli interests are one and the same, meaning that if Israel bombs Iran, the United States should join in. But other observers say Washington must create some distance from Israel’s messianic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
A legal fight is underway in Minnesota over the state’s investment in Israeli bonds that are used to support settlements and other Israeli actions in the West Bank deemed illegal under international law. Sylvia Schwarz, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, explains why she’s demanding the state’s divestiture.
Official Washington treats New York Times pundit Thomas Friedman as an oracle on the Middle East, but his commentary is often pedestrian and wrongheaded, as it was disastrously on the Iraq War. But Friedman has now proclaimed what must be done to reverse U.S. failures in Muslim countries, Lawrence Davidson writes.
Israel’s threats to bomb Iran have hinged on how much damage Israeli aircraft can inflict on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but another worry is how much destruction Iranian missiles can inflict on Israel, a danger that Israeli officials are downplaying, Gareth Porter writes from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.
Almost drowned out by the pounding of war drums is the rare voice for peace and sanity, like that of Israeli graphic artist Rony Edry, who designed a poster with the message, “Iranians. We will never bomb your country. We love you,” a moment that brought back memories of similar gestures to Winslow Myers.
Mitt Romney lashed out at President Obama for telling Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev that after the U.S. elections, there will be more “flexibility” to deal with arms control. But the greater danger may be delays in eliminating land-based missiles that add to the risk of nuclear disaster, say David Krieger and Daniel Ellsberg.
The new Egypt – guided by relatively moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood – is seeking a unity among Palestinian factions as a way to advance peace talks with Israel. The next question will be whether Israel and the United States welcome or spurn this initiative, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Many admirers of Judaic traditions, including the commitments to independent thought and social justice, have wondered why the Israeli experience has veered so far from those honorable principles. But Lawrence Davidson says some Israelis continue to ask the tough questions and reject anti-Arab bigotry.
An aide’s remark comparing the consistency of Mitt Romney’s positions to lines on an Etch a Sketch toy suggests his presidency would follow a course designed to win him a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. In that, Romney’s neocon foreign policy advisers may see hope for a muscular “new American century.”