US press blacks out Israeli defense minister’s citation of ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima’ as model for dealing with Iran

US Politics
on 15 Comments

This is a story about the media blackout of important information about Israel: that their leaders are seriously misguided.

Two weeks ago, Electronic Intifada reported public comments by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in which he cited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as role models in responding to Iran. Ya’alon suggested that Israel might have to nuke Iran in order to prevent a long war: “at the end, we might take certain steps.” Last week Ali Gharib picked up the EI report at Lobelog and linked to the video of Ya’alon, speaking in English on May 5 to the Israel Law Center (and posted by that rightwing group, which supplied a transcript).

A man asked if democracies are “at a strategic disadvantage” in dealing with a threat like Iran. Ya’alon disagreed, and without prompting, brought up the possibility of Israel nuking Iran:

Now those who claim that this battle is not fair because democracy can’t fight back tyrannical regime — not talking about terror organizations–  I don’t agree with it.

In certain cases, we might take certain steps that we believe that these steps should be taken in order to defend ourselves. I mentioned the discussion about the interception of the rockets’ positions on civilian houses. We decided to do it.

I can imagine some other steps that should be taken. Of course, we should be sure that we can look at the mirror after the decision, or the operation. Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider cost and benefit, of course.

But, at the end, we might take certain steps.

I do remember the story of President Truman was asked, How do you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000, casualties? And he said, When I heard from my officers the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of millions, I thought it is a moral decision.

We are not there yet. But that what I’m talking about. Certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations, or something like that.

So not only is he implicitly threatening nuclear war, he’s admitting that Israel has nukes?

Chemi Shalev of Haaretz and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, who has worked at Huffpo, retweeted the piece. Eli Clifton tweeted:

Israeli Def. Minister is using WWII and nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a moral guide for dealing w Iran

Jon Schwarz pointed out:

It would be pretty big news if Iran’s Defense Minister were asked about Israel & he started talking about Hiroshima

But there has been no coverage of this story in the mainstream media. It’s a blackout, conscious or not.

So the mainstream media are once again covering up crazy/scary/rightwing Israeli attitudes. Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times, for instance, is of the opinion that only a “small strain” in Israeli society is for holding on to the West Bank. It’s no wonder that the Times hasn’t covered Ya’alon’s frightening statement.

Yet these are the officials that the Obama administration is dealing with. These are the paranoid war-planners whom the White House has struggled to contain for years. And the American people are clueless.

(Related: Here is a report again from EI saying that the BBC has faulted a reporter for going easy on Ya’alon:

A BBC investigation has found that one of its senior presenters, Sarah Montague, breached the organization’s editorial standards on impartiality in a radio interview she conducted with Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon in March.

(The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign had taken apart that interview, showing how Ya’alon repeatedly denied the occupation–

they enjoy already political independence. They have their own political system, government, parliament, municipalities and so forth. And we are happy with it. We don’t want to govern them whatsoever.’

They are connected with us like Siam twins, so the whole idea of full separation isn’t viable.

(EI now quotes a statement from Fraser Steel, head of complaints at BBC, agreeing with the complaints in an email:

Mr. Yaalon was allowed to make several controversial statements … without any meaningful challenge, and the program-makers have accepted that the interviewer ought to have interrupted him and questioned him on his assertions.)

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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15 Responses

  1. just
    May 20, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Many thanks for choosing to highlight this, Phil. I’m still in shock from his admissions of war crimes and his promise of more to come! Neither the MSM nor the ICC has made a peep or a murmur about anything.

    The MSM fails the public over and over again in order to provide cover for Israel. Israel, a place from which endless, horrible, and real and realizable threats are made by the Minister of Defense and the PM and his new cabinet!

    Yet the MSM continues to misquote Ahmadinejad.

    This is a huge story. People deserve to know about it, make their own assessments, and hold their governments accountable for committing their tax dollars, their euros, and their allegiance to this genocidal “ally”.

  2. amigo
    May 20, 2015, 1:04 pm

    So Yalaon thinks that Russia and China et al are going to stand by and wait for the official Israeli report that claims it was a “Military necessity” and bingo, it,s all forgotten.

    Nietanyahu says there will never be a Palestine.

    The Israeli Justice minister says all Palestinians should be killed.

    And now their defence minister wants to nuke Iran.

    Israel is run by madmen who have their fingers on 200 +nukes.

    Never has the world been in so much danger by the possible actions of so few.Heaven help us.Is this how Israel will “Light up the nations”.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    May 20, 2015, 3:31 pm

    RE: “So the mainstream media are once again covering up crazy/scary/rightwing Israeli attitudes.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Can you blame them?*

    * SEE – “The AIPAC Politics of Smear: The Secret Section in Israel’s U.S. Lobby That Stifles American Debate”, By Gregory D. Slabodkin, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1992, pages 7-8, 89-91

    [EXCERPTS] During the reign of terror that Senator Joseph McCarthy unleashed in the 1950s, when the reputations and lives of many loyal Americans were ruined by false charges of “communism” and “treason,” American Jewry was overwhelmingly opposed to the Wisconsin senator and his blackmail by blacklists. According to the Gallup polls of the time, the percentage of U.S. Jews who opposed McCarthy’s smear tactics was twice that of the rest of the population. Many Jewish organizations passed resolutions condemning McCarthy’s ruthless character assassination.
    Today, however, such national Jewish organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL) and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) are using the same tactics to stifle open debate of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
    • Secretly Circulated Lists
    To conduct this “neo-McCarthyism,” AIPAC operates a covert section within its research department that monitors and keeps files on politicians, journalists, academics, Arab-American activists, Jewish liberals, and others it labels “anti-Israel.” AIPAC selects information from these files and secretly circulates lists of the “guilty,” together with their alleged political misdeeds, buttressed by their statements, often totally out of context.
    Just as McCarthy’s permanent investigations subcommittee labeled criticism of specific policies of the U.S. government as “anti-American,” or “pro-Soviet,” AIPAC labels criticism of Israeli government policies “anti-Israel,” “pro-Arab” or “pro-PLO.” Still worse is the pro-Israel lobby’s redefinition of “anti-Semitism” to include any such criticism of Israel or its actions. . .
    . . . AIPAC’s “opposition research” department traces its roots to I.L. (Sy) Kenen, who founded AIPAC in 1954. As editor of AIPAC’s weekly Near East Report, he often attacked critics of Israel in his aptly titled column, “The Monitor.” Besides monitoring, analyzing, and responding to “anti-Israel” comment and activities in the United States, Kenen also kept files on AIPAC’s “enemies.” In his final year AIPAC began to expand its intelligence-gathering operations.
    Kenen’s memoirs, “Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington”, record how AIPAC pooled resources in 1974 with the American Jewish Committee and other national Jewish organizations to create a “truth squad.” Its purpose was to combat “pro-Arab propaganda” and the emerging “Arab lobby,” which Kenen believed to be a growing threat to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
    “While vigorously defending Israel’s perceived interests, the organizations that created the truth squad turned into a kind of Jewish thought police,” journalist Robert I. Friedman explains. “Investigators—sometimes overzealous Jewish college students, sometimes sources with access to U.S. intelligence agencies—were used to ferret out critics of Israel, Jew or gentile, wherever they might be. At ADL and AIPAC, files were opened on journalists, politicians, scholars and community activists. Their speeches and writings were monitored, as were, in some cases, their other professional activities. And they were often smeared with charges of anti-Semitism or with the pernicious label of self-hating Jew. The intention was to stifle debate on the Middle East within the Jewish community, the media and academia, for fear that criticism of any kind would weaken the Jewish state.”
    When Kenen stepped down as executive director of AIPAC in December 1974, the task of monitoring Israel’s “enemies” was left to the department of research and information at AIPAC, where it has remained ever since. . .

    Gregory D. Slabodkin, a free-lance writer in Washington, DC, was an opposition researcher for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 1990 and 1991.

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.wrmea.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10030:the-secret-section-in-israels-us-lobby-that-stifles-american-debate&catid=141

  4. Kay24
    May 20, 2015, 5:41 pm

    They have genocide in their minds when it comes to the Palestinians. They constantly whine about it’s neighbors wanting them wiped off the map, but that is simply deflection and projection. The reality is, it is Israel who is wiping the Palestinians off their territories, by terror, intimidation, cutting off social services, and all the damn atrocities they can think of, and WE aid and abet them.

    Haaretz

    U.S. sells Israel precision munitions, bombs in $1.8 billion deal
    Arms, intended for Israel Air Force, include 50 bunker busting bombs; Pentagon: Deal ‘would support Israel’s defense capabilities.

    We keep arming a rogue state. What “defense” against unarmed civilians? More like Offense.

  5. Shingo
    May 20, 2015, 5:57 pm

    The other point the media are missing is the fact that by making the Hiroshima threat, Yaalon has admitted Israel has nukes.

    • amigo
      May 20, 2015, 6:29 pm

      “The other point the media are missing is the fact that by making the Hiroshima threat, Yaalon has admitted Israel has nukes. ” Shingo

      Well , we now have a second opinion. Adelson called for the bombing of Iran .

  6. Keith
    May 20, 2015, 11:11 pm

    “I do remember the story of President Truman was asked, How do you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000, casualties? And he said, When I heard from my officers the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of millions, I thought it is a moral decision.”

    Now how many in the MSM would point out that the decision to Nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a war crime involving testing the weapons (uranium versus plutonium core, etc) and to let the Russians know that we had the bomb and were willing to use it on defenseless civilians even though it served no practical purpose. Truman was a liar. Virtually all of the top military commanders, including Eisenhower, opposed the decision. Japan was trying to surrender at the time. “Long war” my ass.

  7. Boo
    May 21, 2015, 11:47 am

    First, by suppressing these statements the MSM may backhandedly be doing Israel a disservice. As pointed out here by others recently (when Israel announced that the next time it attacks Lebanon, it’ll feel free to attack and demolish civilian neighborhoods), one reason for making statements like this in advance is so that the government can claim afterwards “But look, here’s where we said this is what we’d do, and nobody raised any complaints at the time!” By suppressing Ya’alon’s comments, the MSM (inadvertently, of course) is somewhat foiling this strategy.

    Second, how on earth can Ya’alon imagine that Israel and Iran are the only two countries in the region? Fallout from an Israeli nuclear strike would cause delayed downwind casualties in uninvolved third-party countries, eventually totaling probably an order of magnitude greater than the immediate deaths in Iran. Might I add that one of those downwind countries has a nuclear arsenal at least equal to Israel’s, a fleet of missiles fully capable of delivering them, and no Christian Dominionist cadre with its hand on the tiller of foreign policy. Israel can sow the wind — but only at the profound cost of reaping the whirlwind.

  8. just
    May 21, 2015, 11:14 pm

  9. talknic
    May 22, 2015, 3:38 am

    HEY! WAKE UP!

    A country that simply ignores hundreds of UNSC resolutions doesn’t care what the world thinks of them.

    Nukes are useless unless you’re willing to use them and having them is a threat to do just that. Otherwise there’s simply no point in having ’em!

    You’d have to be naive to think Israel hasn’t waved it’s nukes around in discussions with world leaders in order to get them to capitulate.

    Is there really any other reason for them cringing in fear of the Jewish state? It’s been the under the table threat world leaders have been afraid of WRT Israel.

  10. eljay
    May 22, 2015, 8:08 am

    … Ya’alon suggested that Israel might have to nuke Iran in order to prevent a long war …

    Once again, a belligerent Israel issues overt existential threats against Iran.

    Once again and according to Israel’s own logic, Iran has every right to lauch pre-emptive self-defense strikes against Israel.

  11. farhang
    May 23, 2015, 1:58 pm

    To the esteemed redactor of Mondoweiss
    I would like to congratulate you on two issues :
    1- your rich quality Article
    2- the wisdom of your commenters
    Political Internet is a suffering place and I rarely find such a situation as I observed in here .
    Good job

  12. farhang
    May 23, 2015, 2:07 pm

    The danger of Zionists is beyond the imagination of many people . Has any one of you heard of Samson Option ? a Tin foil Hat theory or a reality ?
    Do not be surprised if this insidious minority starts to threaten the west with the same way as they are currently saying against Iran . If this regime survives , believe me that they will do it . I bet on that .

    Ahmadinejad only said Israel will vanish from the page of time due to her massive crimes . But Israelis converted it into the statement that : ” Iran intends to wipe Israel off the map ” .
    How about now ? who is the real hypocrite ?

  13. gracie fr
    August 9, 2015, 3:02 pm

    ….”Two weeks ago, Electronic Intifada reported public comments by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in which he cited Hiroshima and Nagasaki as role models in responding to Iran. Ya’alon suggested that Israel might have to nuke Iran in order to prevent a long war: “at the end, we might take certain steps……””

    The BBC has already produced a similar dystopian version of this insanity, adapted from a novel by Chris Mullin’s “A Very British Coup”. . The tale scrutinizes the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and big business, all of which are adament about a nuclear strike on Iran, for reasons one would suspect. Parliament’s “Yes” vote carries the day….. It might be added that the outcome for the United Kingdom was well, not so good……

  14. montereypinegreen
    August 10, 2015, 1:36 pm

    The US justified its war crimes at Hiroshima and Nagasaki by saying that such action saved the lives of American soldiers. This country also cited the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor in its first press releases announcing the bombings. Of course, revenge is hardly the behavior of a “Christian” and we claim to be a “Christian nation.”
    Eisenhower and MacArthur as well as Truman’s own Chief of Staff did not feel we needed to bomb the Japanese in order to surrender, but the head of the Manhattan Project, Gen. Groves, silenced them.
    The Israelis do not have the excuse that they are fighting a war against an enemy capable of atrocities like the Bataan March and the Rape of Nanking. They cannot claim that Iran ever destroyed a single Israeli town or village, nor can they claim that that bombing Tehran would save Israeli lives.
    Instead, they fall back on the tired excuse of the necessity of preemptive strike. That excuse could be used by any nation in any dispute with its neighbors, and has no standing in international law.
    The fact of the matter is that Israel is “America’s spoiled baby,” as Yasser Arafat used to say. The rest of the world is not so supine in the face of Zionist tantrums; Chinese and Russian leaders are not servile tools of Zionist imperialism, and Israeli bombing of Iran could very well precipitate a response from other countries whose leaders are not so pixilated by Jerusalem’s whining.

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