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Iranian Aftermath & Israeli Forebodings

Defense Minister Ehud Barak:'We are Not Taking Any Option Off The Table'

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman: 'The Fact Iranian Regime Continues To Be Acceptable Partner For Dialogue Is Really A Bad Message. It Shows The Bad Guys Are Winners'

Lieberman Refers To Building At Settlements Solely Within Existing Construction Lines, As First Suggested By IsraCast

Iranian President Ahmadinejad

The Iranian regime's ruthless suppression of the popular unrest leaves many questions hanging in the air.While the world looks on, the Obama administration appears to be ready for business as usual, while preparing to enter a nuclear dialogue with the Ayatollah's, who have shot and beaten throngs of young protesting Iranians into submission. IsraCast assesses Israeli reaction to the aftermath of the Iranian uprising triggered by a rigged election that will return President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office.

'Israel is not taking any option off the table when it come to Iran' that was the reaction of Defense Minister Ehud Barak when he addressed the Israel Air Force graduation ceremony for new pilots. The occasion lent poignancy to Barak's statement; some of the young pilots may one day, be ordered to fly their warplanes to destroy the Iranian nuclear sites,  which Israeli leaders have said poses a threat to Israel's very existence.The Israeli perspective is that the recent events in Tehran and other Iranian cities is further evidence, as if more was needed, of the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime. That U.S. President Barack  Obama's chances of sweet-talking Iran into halting its Iran's nuclear weapons project are nil. Moreover, it will prove to be no more than a waste of valuable time that the Iranians will obviously exploit to advance their program. The North Korean file is a case in point. Clearly, a government that has no qualms about shooting and beating its own people for protesting about a rigged election must not be underestimated when it threatens its neighbors with annihilation and proceeds to develop nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders adopted a low- key profile in commenting on President Obama's reaction to the goings-on in the Iranian election and the regime's brutality toward the protesters. This was nor the case for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Interviewed by Time magazine, Lieberman first waded into the West for not giving support to the Iranian dissidents. 'This really fanatic extremist regime is still in power, and the young people, who are ready to fight and die for change, are not getting any real support from the West'. Then aside from the veiled reference to 'change', the Foreign Minister added: 'The fact that this regime continues to be an acceptable partner for dialogue is really a bad message. It shows the bad guys are winners'*.

Israelis needed no such revelations such as the Iranian election and the subsequent bloodshed in Tehran to understand the danger although others chose, for whatever reason, to play down the Iranian nuclear threat. For example, up to now Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the outgoing head of the the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, has been pussyfooting about Iran's nuclear intentions. Only recently has ElBaradei actually confirmed that Tehran is really trying to acquire the bomb. Incredibly several years ago, the Egyptian scientist actually received the Nobel Prize for his work at the IAEA! Subsequently, President Elect Ahmadenijad's repeated threats about wiping Israel off the map may, for some, may strike a more sinister significance after their seeing the footage smuggled out of Tehran. But now more than ever, the best course of action against Iran would resemble the tougher line being implemented against North Korea. However, Obama will apparently choose to view the Iranian rebellion as a momentary episode as he pursues his dialogue with Ahmadenijad and the Ayatollahs. However, learning from the the past should obviously be taken into account for decision-making in the present. British historian Ian Kershaw notes that in the 1930s, Soviet leaders had read Mein Kampf and were aware that Hitler was planning to destroy the Soviet Union, when Germany was militarily prepared to do so. At the Congress of the Communist Party in 1934, Nikolai Bukharin had declared: 'Hitler therefore calls quite frankly for the destruction of our state. He says openly that the German people must reach for the sword....'. Nonetheless the Soviet Russia was taken by complete surprise after Stalin had thought that his diplomacy and the Non-Aggression Pact he signed with Germany would buy the necessary time to prepare for the Nazi onslaught. Yet another example of how leaders can delude themselves into believing that their mastery of diplomacy is the answer to everything.  And those words about Hitler and how he 'calls quite frankly' and 'openly', for another state's destruction leap chillingly from the page, a stark reminder of Ahmadenijad's own genocidal declarations today. It goes without saying that having experienced one Holocaust at the hands of Hitler, the Jewish people in its old-new state, is under no illusions about President Obama's future dialogue with the Iranian government.

Footnote: Commenting on Israel's current dispute with the U.S. on building at the settlements, Foreign Minister Lieberman said; ' We don't speak about building new settlements. We don't speak about expansion. We try to build only within existing construction lines. We cannot suffocate our own people. You know babies are born. People get married. We cannot stop life. People want to build a synogogue or a kindergarten'.  On June10th, an IsraCast analysis concluded: 'One option for Netanyahu could be that building would be carried out only within the existing domain of the settlements and not on land adjoining the settlements'. 

David Essing

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