Dangerous rumblings of war continue in the Mideast, the day after Israeli warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles attacked an Iranian military base near Damascus. Suspicion continues that an alliance among Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince, 32-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, plans to widen the conflict and target Iran.
Netanyahu reinforced this fear with a saber-rattling speech to the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C., in which he repeatedly called Iran another Nazi Germany, with a “ruthless commitment to impose tyranny and terror . . . to murdering Jews.” The Israeli prime minister spoke by satellite yesterday from his office in Jerusalem to the Forum’s yearly conference on the Middle East. He once again denounced the Iran deal, and endorsed Trump’s effort to “fix the great flaws” in the agreement.
[Netanyahu does not begin speaking until 44:20 of this video clip.] What is astonishing is that he approvingly quotes the Saudi Crown Prince describing Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, as “the new Hitler of the Middle East.”
Meanwhile, the opposition Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a worried lead editorial: “Israelis Have the Right to Know They They Aren’t Being Dragged Into War in Syria,” arguing that the attack on the Iranian installation “could be viewed as crossing a red line.” Haaretz warned that “a war is liable to break out because of poor judgment or a misunderstanding.”
Earlier, the Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston had argued that Netanyahu’s bellicosity toward Iran is at least partly designed to divert attention from his falling popularity and the corruption investigators closing in around him. No matter. It would not be the first time that cataclysmic fighting has broken out, in the Mideast or elsewhere, because of misunderstandings and selfish, miscalculating politicians — a characterization which fits the leaders of the United States and Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel.
So far, there is no news of these ominous rumblings in the U.S. mainstream media.