Israel not ruling out military force against Iran

December 9, 2006

While Europe (in consultation with US) is looking to soften the proposed UN resolution on Iran, to accommodate opposition from Russia and China, Israeli PM Ehud Olmert called for dramatic steps to be taken against Iran. Understandably, the Israeli leader’s remarks come in light of repeated anti-Israeli statements by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. The Israeli PM said that inl light of Ahmadinejad’s statements, he is not even ruling out a military strike against Iran.

“I expect significantly more dramatic steps to be taken. Here is a leader who says openly that it is his aim to wipe Israel off the map. Israel is a member of the United Nations,” said Olmert.

Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israeli rhetoric is certainly unacceptable and is intended for a domestic audience in Iran. But the rhetoric must be contextualized; the Iranian President’s statements are made in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Part of the issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the lack of agreement on which territories would go to Palestine if a two-state solution is put forward: Jerusalem holds historically significant sites both for Israelis and Palestinians. So Ahmadinejad is making loud remarks, but he does not mean to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, because in so doing he would be destroying Palestine as well.

This is the reason that Ahmadinejad’s radical anti-Israeli remarks are made domestically and not when Ahmadinejad is exercising diplomacy internationally. The Iranian President’s discourse has, notably, been remarkably different when he traveled to New York to address the UN General Assembly.


7 Responses to “Israel not ruling out military force against Iran”

  1. J Says:

    I don’t know what the Iranians are going to do. It’s hard, however, for me to believe Israel would really attack Iran (first). Eliminating, or even significantly setting back Iran’s nuclear program would require Israel to use nukes, and I don’t see that happening.

  2. […] “I expect significantly more dramatic steps to be taken. Here is a leader who says openly that it is his aim to wipe Israel off the map. Israel is a member of the United Nations,” said Olmert. (read more) […]

  3. Olmert is a smart politician and he knows exactly why Ahmadinejad is making his remarks.

    Olmert’s own remarks today are meant for his own domestic audience in Israel.

    So you’re right, it’s unlikely that Israel would strike first.

  4. unitedcats Says:

    Insane, yes, unlikely, no. The “six day war” mentality is still very big in Israel, and Bush’s (not to mention Clinton’s) “preventative war” doctrine gives Israel all the international “legitimacy” it needs for an attack on Iran. And the boundary between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons has grown increasingly blurry as more and more nuclear material is incorporated into weapons systems and nuclear weapons get smaller. There were already alegations that Israel DID USE some small nuclear bunker busting bombs in Lebannon, note the big frenzy in the press. So even if Israel uses some small nuclear weapons in Iran, they would simply deny it and the western media would move on to the next Britney Spears scandal. I hope I’m wrong. JMO Doug

  5. J Says:

    Doug – Would anything more sophisticated than a Geiger counter be needed to determine definitively if a nuclear weapon was used? I don’t see the point in using small nukes if the same destruction can be “produced” with conventional high explosives.

    At any rate, Britney’s bottom is certainly much more interesting to most folks, and thus the press, than the fate of humanity. We ain’t gone make it.

  6. dravid Says:

    Any offensive will further escalate the bloodshed…

  7. unitedcats Says:

    Oh, the Iranians would know for darn sure that they had been nuked, that’s the beauty part. As long as the USA and Israel denied it, our press would ignore whatever Iran says. And yes, it would be a terrible idea.

    JMO Doug

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