Netanyahu to Obama: Stop Iran—Or I Will

Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff who is slated to serve as Netanyahu’s minister for strategic threats, dismissed the possibility of a revitalized peace process, telling me that “jihadists” interpret compromise as weakness. He cited the reaction to Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza four years ago. “The mistake of disengagement from Gaza was that we thought like Westerners, that compromise would defuse a problem—but it just encouraged the problem,” he said. “The jihadists saw withdrawal as a defeat of the West … Now, what do you signal to them if you are ready to divide Jerusalem, or if you’re ready to withdraw to the 1967 lines? In this kind of conflict, your ability to stand and be determined is more important than your firepower.”

216103127_f48d3d0e14_oAmerican administration sources tell me that President Obama won’t shy from pressuring Netanyahu on the Palestinian issue during his first visit to Washington as prime minister, which is scheduled for early May. But Netanyahu suggested that he and Obama already see eye-to-eye on such crucial issues as the threat posed by Hamas. “The Obama administration has recently said that Hamas has to first recognize Israel and cease the support of terror. That’s a very good definition. It says you have to cease being Hamas.”

When I noted that many in Washington doubt his commitment to curtailing Jewish settlement on the West Bank, he said, in reference to his previous term as prime minister, from 1996 to 1999, “I can only point to what I did as prime minister in the first round. I certainly didn’t build new settlements.”

Netanyahu will manage Israel’s relationship with Washington personally—his foreign minister,Avigdor Lieberman, of the anti-Arab Israel Beiteinu party, is deeply unpopular in Washington—and I asked him if he could foresee agreeing on a “grand bargain” with Obama, in which he would move forward on talks with the Palestinians in exchange for a robust American response to Iran’s nuclear program. He said: “We intend to move on the Palestinian track independent of what happens with Iran, and I hope the U.S. moves to stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons regardless of what happens on the Palestinian track.”

In our conversation, Netanyahu gave his fullest public explication yet of why he believes President Obama must consider Iran’s nuclear ambitions to be his preeminent overseas challenge. “Why is this a hinge of history? Several bad results would emanate from this single development. First, Iran’s militant proxies would be able to fire rockets and engage in other terror activities while enjoying a nuclear umbrella. This raises the stakes of any confrontation that they’d force on Israel. Instead of being a local event, however painful, it becomes a global one. Second, this development would embolden Islamic militants far and wide, on many continents, who would believe that this is a providential sign, that this fanaticism is on the ultimate road to triumph.

“Third, they would be able to pose a real and credible threat to the supply of oil, to the overwhelming part of the world’s oil supply. Fourth, they may threaten to use these weapons or to give them to terrorist proxies of their own, or fabricate terror proxies. Finally, you’d create a great sea change in the balance of power in our area—nearly all the Arab regimes are dead-set opposed to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. They fervently hope, even if they don’t say it, that the U.S. will act to prevent this, that it will use its political, economic, and, if necessary, military power to prevent this from happening.”

If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Netanyahu asserted, Washington’s Arab allies would drift into Iran’s orbit. “The only way I can explain what will happen to such regimes is to give you an example from the past of what happened to one staunch ally of the United States, and a great champion of peace, when another aggressive power loomed large. I’m referring to the late King Hussein [of Jordan] … who was an unequalled champion of peace. The same King Hussein in many ways subordinated his country to Saddam Hussein when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. Saddam seemed all-powerful, unchallenged by the United States, and until the U.S. extracted Kuwait from Saddam’s gullet, King Hussein was very much in Iraq’s orbit. The minute that changed, the minute Saddam was defeated, King Hussein came back to the Western camp.”

One of Iran’s goals, Netanyahu said, is to convince the moderate Arab countries not to enter peace treaties with Israel. Finally, he said, several countries in Iran’s neighborhood might try to develop nuclear weapons of their own. “Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The Middle East is incendiary enough, but with a nuclear arms race it will become a tinderbox,” he said.

Few in Netanyahu’s inner circle believe that Iran has any short-term plans to drop a nuclear weapon on Tel Aviv, should it find a means to deliver it. The first-stage Iranian goal, in the understanding of Netanyahu and his advisers, is to frighten Israel’s most talented citizens into leaving their country.  “The idea is to keep attacking the Israelis on a daily basis, to weaken the willingness of the Jewish people to hold on to their homeland,” Moshe Ya’alon said. “The idea is to make a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for Jews unattractive for them. They are waging a war of attrition.”

The Israeli threat to strike Iran militarily if the West fails to stop the nuclear program may, of course, be a tremendous bluff. After all, such threats may just be aimed at motivating President Obama and others to grapple urgently with the problem. But Netanyahu and his advisers seem to believe sincerely that Israel would have difficulty surviving in a Middle East dominated by a nuclear Iran. And they are men predisposed to action; many, like Netanyahu, are former commandos.

As I waited in the Knesset cafeteria to see Netanyahu, I opened a book he edited of his late brother’s letters. Yoni Netanyahu, a commando leader, was killed in 1976 during the Israeli raid on Entebbe, and his family organized his letters in a book they titled Self-Portrait of a Hero. In one letter, Yoni wrote to his teenage brother, then living in America, who had apparently been in a fight after someone directed an anti-Semitic remark at him. “I see … that you had to release the surplus energy you stored up during the summer,” Yoni wrote. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s too bad you sprained a finger in the process. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with a good fist fight; on the contrary, if you’re young and you’re not seriously hurt, it won’t do you real harm. Remember what I told you? He who delivers the first blow, wins.”

Advertisements

Hamas will not officially recognize the Zionist regime

The Prime Minister of Palestine’s legal government announced that Hamas would never officially recognize the Zionist regime.

Ismail Haniyeh emphasized that the Zionist regime is illegal.

Hamas will not show any acts of opposition if a Palestinian nation is created on the lands that were occupied in and after 1967. It will strive to make such a thing happen.

The prime minister stated that Hamas is starting a new era in foundational aspects of the resistance and in Palestinian security. They will rebuild Gaza in such a way that the Palestinian civilians will be able to be protected.

Haniyeh also requested the international community to criminally try the Zionist leaders who committed war crimes against the people of Gaza; war crimes such as using weapons of mass destruction against the oppressed people of Palestine. He wants them to be tried in the International Court in the Hague.

Islam Times

Saudi Arabian forces break up a protest in Qatif

Saudi Arabian security forces broke up a protest in the city Safwi, al-Qatif.

Eye witnesses announced that the Saudi Arabian government and security forces broke up a protest held in the city of Safwi, in the province of al-Qatif. The protest was over the actions of a security force that attacked Shia pilgrims near the Prophet’s tomb last month – especially disrespecting the women.

After this event there has been unrest in Saudi Arabia and the government has placed many security agents in the provinces of Ahsa’ and Qatif.

Islam Times

America criticized for breaking the Iraqi security agreement

Hadi Amiri, the head of Iraqi’s parliament security committee criticized American officials for breaking the security agreement made between Baghdad and Washington.

In an interview with the Iraqi newspaper al-Mashriq he stated in regards to the freeing of thousands of prisoners accused of committing terrorist activities that it is counted as breaking the security agreement of the two countries.

He clearly stated that in accordance to the agreement American soldiers are obliged to hand the prisoners over to the Iraqi government so that their accusations could be substantiated. But, freeing them without consent enflames the fighting in various corners of Iraq.

Islam Times

Zionist commanders ordered soldiers to shoot and not worry about the consequences

Reserve soldiers of the Israeli army who participated in the Gaza War said that Israeli commanders ordered the soldiers to shoot and not worry about the consequences.

Amir Marmor, a 33-year-old reserve soldier, said in this regard: “He said in this operation we are not taking any chances. Morality aside, we have to do our job. We will cry about it later.”

A Zionist newspaper published reports of this nature on Thursday. They affirmed that some of their fellow soldiers killed innocent people in the Gaza War, which ended about two months ago. They killed children because they were sure that nobody would legally pursue the matter.

According to one of the reports an Israeli sniper killed a Palestinian woman and two children because he did not understand the command given to him by another soldier.

The Zionist regime responded to these reports by saying that a criminal investigation must be performed in regards to the claims of the soldiers. Ehud Barak said that these exceptional reports would be looked into with precision.

A group of former Israeli soldiers called ‘Breaking the Silence,’ after reporting from 15 soldiers, told the Guardian that there are other reports of killing civilians and destroying houses.

After these reports were published Palestinian groups and human rights groups accused the Zionist regime of disregarding international law in the attack on Gaza.

Islam Times

New crimes committed by the Zionist Army in the Gaza War

New evidence shows the depths of the crimes committed by the Zionist army against the Palestinian people, especially in its latest attack on Gaza.

A team of Israeli doctors accused the Israeli army of attacking medical centers in the Gaza War. The evidence provided for this accusation came from international human rights organizations and confessions of soldiers in the Israeli army who were sent to attack Palestinian civilians.

The organization Physicians for Human Rights-Israel stated: “Not only did the Israeli army surround families not saving the injured, rather it did not even allow Palestinian doctors to enter the attacked areas in order to heal the injured.”

Israel, in some cases, did not even give the permission for the injured to be carried out of the ‘hot areas’ leaving the injured for extended periods of time without food and water.

Zoë Bintwich, a member of the Physicians for Human Rights-Isreal, said: “In my opinion, that which took place in Gaza, was ordered by the highest level of Israeli officials. The soldiers shot at the civilians in Palestine without making any sort of distinctions.”

This organization also announced: “16 doctors were killed by Israeli bullets in the Gaza War and 25 others were wounded while performing their duties.”

Islam Times

National Reform in Iraq warns about the return of Ba’thist agents

The Iraqi political party National Reform led by Ibrahim al-Jaafari expressed fear about the return of the Ba’thist party in the Iraqi political arena.

The National Reform party, led by the former prime minister, in a statement announced that the return of the Ba’thist party to the Iraqi political arena is something that must be rejected – whether it is in the form of a group or an ideological current. National unity must not mean the return of this party to the political scene.

This Iraqi political party, in this statement, said that it is necessary for all Iraqis to participate in the political process, except those who committed crimes against theIraqi people.

In the present week, whispers of communication between the Iraqi government and some branches of the Ba’thist party traveled through Baghdad. This was rejected by official sources.

It was mentioned in an Arabic newspaper not long ago that the Ba’thist party has connections with some western states with the purpose of regaining power.

According to that report, Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries, pressured by America, demand the return of the Ba’thist party to the Iraqi political scene.

The Iraqi government emphasized time and time again that, according to the constitution, the Ba’thist party cannot return to the political arena of this country.

Islam Times

The Zionist army attacks the Gaza Strip again

The Zionism army fought against Palestinian soldiers near Khan Youssef in the southern region of Gaza.

A few Israeli army vehicles, supported by three tanks and a bulldozer entered the region and started firing ammunition at Palestinians.

Palestinian warriors reacted to this attack in the region of Farahin by attacking the Zionist force.

Hamas announced that five missiles were fired at the Zionist attackers.

Islam Times

10 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan

NATO announced that some of its soldiers were killed in the explosion of a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Afghan security sources quoting NATO officials who are based in Afghanistan announced that six NATO soldiers were found amongst the bodies of the dead in a martyrdom mission. These soldiers were trying to secure the region along with Afghan forces.

According to this report, another explosion in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan took the lives of four Canadian NATO soldiers on Friday.

Another soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan but the details surrounding his death have not been released yet.

In another attack on a military base in the east of Afghanistan at least six people and one police officer were killed. The Taliban has taken responsibility for all of the attacks.

Islam Times

Imam Khomeini’s Spouse Passes Away

Khadije Saqafi, the wife of the late Founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini passed away at the age of 93 after a long period of illness.
Islam Times would like to pass its condolences to all of the believers, free thinkers, oppressed, lovers of Iran, and lovers of Imam Khomeini on the death of this pure spirit.

She will be buried today and there will be a majlis for her held by Ayatollah Khamenei.

Please recite a Fatiha for her.

Islam Times

« Older entries