Bashing Iran

Israel’s Prime Minister, leading a pack of obedient government officials and army PR personnel is engaged in an almost (?) obsessive campaign to humiliate Iran and its government using every PR stick in the book. In the wake of the strike of luck provided by the Klos-C caper, all plugs have been pulled to paint Iran as run by a criminal regime, a serial violator of human rights that kills people daily, discriminates against gays, supports terror the world over and last not least will stop at nothing to build a nuclear bomb with the clear aim to subject the Jewish state to a final holocaust. The accusations, by and large, are certainly well founded but what purpose is this huge PR effort serving  ?

To an almost comical degree PM Netanyahu is beginning to mirror Iran’s former President Ahmadinejad and his pathetic efforts disparaging Israel when he was in power.  Ahmedinajad did almost as good a job showing Israel in all its supposed evilness as we are trying now to do with Iran. He missed no opportunity to accuse Israel of crimes against humanity and on several occasions, using varied and disturbing terminology, called for the removal and/or destruction (depending on whose translation you want to believe) of what he termed “the Zionist regime”. Similar threats against Iran, I am happy to say our PM has not stooped to but who knows what is ahead of us.

Let’s look at the political wisdom of bashing Iran now that its new government has been in place for quite a while. Israel, one would suppose, should have considerable interest in the international community putting the brakes on the Iranian nuclear program. Nobody in the world, except for maybe our own Prime Minister, is at this time seriously considering a military strike at Iran. It is the consensus of the  world’s leading powers to conduct the effort diplomatically, a hugely complicated undertaking in view of he ongoing power struggle in Iran. The competition is between hardlliners led by supreme leader Khamenai and moderates led by President Rouhani. The former cheer for the nuclear program all the way and undoubtedly are also those who are behind terror shenanigans like the Klos-C. The latter, led by President Rouhani and his crowd are trying hard to put Iran on a more agreeable course that will return the Islamic Republic to the international community and put the country on a more secure economic footing not emburdened by a strangling sanctions regime. As Catherine Ashton, EU foreign affairs czar who just met the Iranians has pointed out, a successful outcome of the negotiations for a permanent agreement to limit the Iranian nuclear program to civilian use is by no means assured.

One must therefore seriously question Netanyahu’s judgement in conducting his vendetta against Iran at this time, an effort which is seriously endangering the fragile balance which permits the continued international engagement with the Islamic Republic. Should the hardliners in Iran reassert (or tighten) their grip on the situation, there just may be no deal with sad consequences, primarily for the people of Iran. Is that really to the benefit of the State of Israel ?

Oh, and just one other thing, I really don’t know how to put this, maybe another way of saying it is that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I am wondering what would happen if a country in good standing with the international community, with resources  would set its mind to bashing Israel, but really bashing it:  Starting with our secret nuclear program and our arms deliveries to unsavory regimes in the past and present and our support of national movements in enemy countries, highlighting the occupation, extra-judicial killings and our problematic human rights record also within Israel, our recent interest in undemocratic legislation, emphasizing our discriminatory funding of minorities for decades as just published by the Ministry of Finance and finish it all of with our lack of religious freedom and discrminiation of women by the religious establishment. That could be very problematic and I hope fervently that what we are doing vis-a-vis Iran doesn’t give anybody any ideas.

Our Prime Minister would serve Israel far better if he would concentrate on fixing the ills of our country which he may actually be aware of even though he is so deeply involved with Iran. He should stop interfering and leave the Iranian nuclear issue to the International community.

About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is a member of the Council for Peace and Security and was a candidate in Labor’s 2012 primary election for the Knesset list