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16 Feb, 2012

Israel’s Leaders Are The Real Liars — Times of India Commentator

Shobhan Saxena, Times of India

15 February 2012 – In Oliver Stone’s JFK, Kevin Costner, playing an attorney who wants to dig out the truth behind President Kennedy’s assassination, meets X, a former CIA operative, to know who really pulled the trigger on JFK.  ‘X’ chuckles and says, “The real question isn’t “Why?”… The “how” is just “scenery” for the suckers…, it keeps people guessing like a parlour game, but it prevents them from asking the most important question – Why? Who benefitted? Who has the power to cover it up?”

If we leave news to screaming TV anchors, our understanding of the world would be so skewed that we will not be able to tell truth from fiction. In the cacophony after the bomb attack on an Israeli embassy car in Delhi, a TV reporter interviewed the Israeli ambassador.  She didn’t bother to throw any hard questions at him, just asking stock questions and giving him full opportunity to make allegations against Iran. Even obvious questions like why the Palestinians are not a suspect in this case or the alleged role of Mossad in the murder of four Iranian nuclear scientists in recent months or Israel’s history of killing its political opponents in other countries were not asked.

The West, led by the US, has been trying for years to damage India’s ties with Iran, our second biggest supplier of oil. If Delhi incident leads to a friction in Delhi-Tehran ties, who benefits? The whole incident has to be seen in this perspective.

This simple question – Who benefitted from this attack – hasn’t been asked.  The only country that benefits from this attack is Israel. I am not suggesting that Israelis themselves bombed their car because there is no evidence to suggest so (just like there is no evidence to prove that Iranians were behind this attack), but there is enough evidence to hint that Israel has been itching to attack Iran and now it will milk the Delhi incident to the full to put pressure on India to cut off its ties with Iran. For years, Israel has been trying to prove that Iran is a state that supports terrorism and that it is pursuing a nuclear-weapons programme with the aim of attacking the Jewish state.

The truth, as exposed by some of the top print journalists, is exactly the opposite.  In a  recent article in the New York Times, “Will Israel Attack Iran”, Ronen Bergman, a well-connected political analyst with the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, says: “After speaking to many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012.”

In the same article, Bergman corroborates previous articles in the Israeli press reporting that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak have been pressing for the country’s security cabinet to authorise an attack on Israel”. Is it any wonder that within hours of the Delhi incident, Netanyahu claimed that “Iran was behind the attack.” And what evidence did Netanyahu give? Nothing. (Nor did his ambassador in Delhi come up with anything; he just kept telling the TV reporter that “We don’t talk about security issues”, and she kept nodding her head and saying yes).

The Israelis have been lying about Iran so much and so loudly that it has begun to almost sound like truth. “The Israeli President [Peres] warns us that Iran is on the cusp of producing a nuclear weapon… Yet we reporters do not mention that Shimon Peres, as Israeli Prime Minister, said exactly the same thing in 1996… And we do not recall that the current Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in 1992 that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999,” veteran journalist Robert Fisk wrote in the Independent of London, putting the whole thing in perspective.

The fact is that it’s Mossad which has been killing people in cold blood in other countries.  In an article, again in New York Times of January 11, Scott Shane wrote that experts believe that the magnet bomb attack which killed Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in the heart of Tehran in January was “carried out mainly by Israel”. Roshan was at least the fifth Iranian scientist with nuclear connections to be killed since 2007. All  killed in similar magnetic bomb attacks, like the one in Delhi.

The Americans not only denied their involvement in the Iranian scientist’s murder but also condemned the attack. But the Israeli reaction to the attack left little doubt about who placed the magnetic bomb on Roshan’s car. The Israeli military spokesman, Brig Gen Yoav Mordechai, writing on Facebook about the attack, said, “I don’t know who took revenge on the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding a tear.” This was reported by the Israeli news media.

According to Scott Shane of NYT, Israel “has used assassination as a tool of statecraft since its creation in 1948…killing dozens of Palestinian and other militants and a small number of foreign scientists, military officials or people accused of being Holocaust collaborators.” And according to Julian Borger of the Guardian, Israel “certainly has a track record of assassinations, from the Palestinian perpetrators of the Munich Olympic attack of 1972, to the killing of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room in early 2010. This week, Le Figaro reported that Mossad had been recruiting Iranian dissidents in the Kurdish region of neighbouring Iraq, to conduct operations in Iran.”

In an excellent piece of reporting, Borger exposed the Israeli hand behind these murders in Iran. “If you look at the choice of target it really could only be Israel,” Robert Baer, a former CIA agent in the Middle East, currently working on a book on assassination called The Perfect Kill, told Borger. “If it was an internal group, like the MeK (Mujahedin-e-Khalq) it would be security official or policeman… If you look at the motivation, it must be Israel.”

And the motivation, of course, is to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. This brazen behavior despite the fact that till today no one – not even the International Atomic Energy Agency – has given an iota of evidence so fat that suggests that Iran is building nuclear weapons. Even today’s development of Iran inserting first domestically produced, 20-percent enriched nuclear fuel into a research reactor, doesn’t mean that Iran is in the process of making the bomb.

The western governments and Israeli intelligence keep feeding the story to the media that Tehran is about to explode a bomb. Every small development in Iran becomes a big media event in the West. We got to be careful here. It’s amazing how easily we have forgotten that the US and UK invaded Iraq and destroyed that country by fabricating a total lie that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. Till this day, they haven’t found any trace of enriched uranium in Iraq.

And now, Israel is repeating the same allegations against Iran. Last November, Israel claimed yet again that Iran was close to testing the bomb, prompting the leading US arms control expert, Jeffrey Lewis, of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, to ask “Just what technical or political fact has brought the deadline to the crossroads?”

The real story is actually unraveling in Israel. The Israeli leaders, who are living in the past, don’t know how to deal with the changing reality of their region. The Arab dictators with whom Israel had cosy ties are gone.  Two rival Palestinian organizations – Fatah and Hamas – have joined hands. And most importantly, millions of Israelis have been rallying against their government and asking for better living conditions. Amid Arab Spring last September, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in Israel’s biggest ever demonstration to demand social justice, a lower cost of living and a clear government response to the concerns of an increasingly squeezed middle class. “We are the new Israelis,” student leader Itzik Shmuli told a rally. “And the new Israelis want only one simple thing: to live with dignity in this country.”

But the old, orthodox Israelis, represented by the likes of Netanyahu and Barak don’t know how to respond to this challenge. So they are offering them a war they don’t want. For this, they need a target. And the target in this case is Iran. And the Orthodox Jewish extremists are doing their bit to scuttle a genuine people’s movement in Israel. After the recent massive rallies across the country, Jewish ultra-Orthodox extremists tried to exclude women from public life. In a shameful incident, a seven-year-old girl was spat on and abused by radicals who claimed she was immodestly dressed; Signs had also been erected calling on men and women to use separate pavements.

The conservatives have turned Israel into an anachronism. Maybe Netanyahu and his chums should listen to Ruth Dayan, the widow of Moshe Dayan, a national hero and one of the founding fathers of Israel. In an interview to Newsweek magazine recently, Ruth said, “Zionist dream has run its course.” On Netanyahu’s policy on Palestine, she said, “I reject Netanyahu’s policy; it is a recipe for disaster. He is unwilling to address the issue. It’s a bunker mentality…”

In the words of Ruth Dayan, who played as much role in building Israel as her husband, “Israel today is not a dream, it is a country in a lot of trouble…”

The truth of Israel, a un-declared nuclear power, is that it’s ruled by a troubled government which is completely out of touch with reality. And it wants to create trouble in other countries.