Iran hysteria watch

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The warmongering is getting crazier and crazier. Thanks to Ilene Cohen, a few of the recent stories on the drumbeat to war. And remember, Obama can’t say a word against this craziness, because of his political need not to alienate the Jewish community.

First, here’s Netanyahu calling up a Washington Post journalist to thank him for a militant column. Haaretz:

On August 3, [Washington Post columnist Colbert] King wrote a piece entitled  “Iran’s anti-Semitism makes it the greatest threat to Jews.” In the article, King wrote that Iran is at least as anti-Semitic as the Third Reich had been, and that Tehran doesn’t pose a threat solely to Israel or the Jews, but to the entire world. King ended the column with a question: “If we are to honor the pledge of ‘never again,’ will we be up to preventing the potential genocide of the 21st century?”

Channel 2 reported that the next day, Netanyahu called King and praised what he had written.

Next, Netanyahu embarrasses UN Secy General Ban ki-Moon over Iran. Haaretz:

On Friday, Netanyahu asked Ban to cancel his plans to participate in a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, scheduled to take place in Tehran in late August.

“Your trip to Iran is a big mistake, even if it is being done out of good intentions,” Netanyahu told Ban in a telephone call, according to the Prime Minister’s Office…

Speaking with Haaretz on Sunday, two Israeli officials indicated that the UN chief was surprised and angered that Netanyahu disclosed the content of their phone conversation without giving due notice.

According to the sources, Ban believed that the Prime Minister’s Office’s leaking of the conversation, coupled with the Haaretz’s publication of the UN chief’s intent to visit the Tehran conference, were meant to embarrass Ban, resulting in what he considered to be damage to his international legitimacy.

More Haaretz coverage. Why isn’t a military strike’s effect on oil prices an issue in the U.S. election campaign? Haaretz:

Oil prices rose to nearly $94 a barrel on Monday as increased concerns about the possible escalation of the conflict between Israel and Iran helped crude claw back last week’s losses triggered by the International Energy Agency’s lower crude demand forecast.

More hysteria: The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel may need to destroy parts of Gaza and Lebanon. Imagine if someone were talking about destroying parts of Israel?

Israel may need to destroy parts of Lebanon and Gaza if Hezbollah and Hamas rain missiles upon the country in response to an Israeli attack on Iran, former Mossad head Danny Yatom said Monday.

Yatom, in an interview on Israel Radio, warned against presenting an apocalyptic picture of how Iran will respond if Israel takes military action against its nuclear program.

Ultimatums. Jodi Rudoren reports in the New York Times:

Amid intensifying Israeli news reports saying that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to ordering a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, his deputy foreign minister called Sunday for an international declaration that the diplomatic effort to halt Tehran’s enrichment of uranium is dead.

…Asked how long the Iranians should be given to cease all nuclear activity, Mr. [Danny] Ayalon said “weeks, and not more than that.”

The comments came after a frenzy of newspaper articles and television reports over the weekend here suggesting that Mr. Netanyahu had all but made the decision to attack Iran unilaterally this fall.

But Haaretz reports that another international figure is strongly opposed to a military strike on Iran:

The commander of the NATO mission in Libya that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime last year vehemently opposes a military strike on Iran at this time, regardless of whether it would be carried out by Israel or the United States.

Charles Bouchard, who retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force four months ago, told Haaretz in an exclusive interview Sunday that he doesn’t believe Israel would take such an illogical and irresponsible step as to attack Iran without international support.

And NATO won’t unanimously support a military campaign against Iran any time soon, he said, nor will the UN Security Council.

As someone familiar with Israel’s senior military leadership, because of his work at NATO, Bouchard said he is convinced that Israel will not set in motion a process that could lead to chaos in the entire region, by launching a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The military option, he said, could be a boomerang that will end up harming Israel and uniting the entire Muslim world against it.

Reminiscent of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s reported statement two weeks back, following talks with Netanyahu, that Israel is a “pig.” From Maariv, in translation:

Meetings of the American Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak and President Shimon Peres were indeed positive atmosphere, but in private conversations, he expressed frustration at the lack of confidence expressed by Netanyahu and Barak, the American commitment to stop the Iranian nuclear program. An Israeli source said the Americans believe it is a kind of “ingratitude” and “pigs” in light of unwavering U.S. support for Israel’s security.

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Panetta really said that, WOW!

Great summary. It’s very tricky to cover the hysteria without actually adding to it.

“And remember, Obama can’t say a word against this craziness, because of his political need not to alienate the Jewish community.”

Excuse my limited English command, but what I understand from this sentence is that the American Jewish community as a whole stands for strike on Iran. Is that correct ?
If yes … it is appalling.

Israelis don’t seem to understand the concept of consequences. This time in history, with the internet and 24/7 news and communication, any assertion that they and their country are being discriminated against because Israel went to war ain’t gonna’ stick, and furthermore, no one is going to give a damn.