Monday, March 5, 2012

No, Israel Does Not Want War With Iran!

Anyone who thinks that the Israeli Prime Minister’s desire for war with Iran speaks for all of Israel must think again. And anyone who believes that the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC still has the same old ‘holier than thou’ power it mustered for decades in the U.S. needs a reality check. Those who expected or feared, that President Barack Obama might fall for the war drummers and do as he was told in very specific terms, to support an Israeli attack on Iran, must now be either puzzled scratching their heads or just in a state of glee.

On Sunday President Obama addressed the largest pro-Israel lobby AIPAC’s yearly conference; a practice that is as routine and predicted as waking up in the morning and opening one’s eyes. As expected, he schmoozed with the extremely powerful lobby and its conference participants. He gave them every word they expected to hear and a whole lot more. You heard the cliché lines, “When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.” Along with reminders that Israel is “the historic homeland of the Jewish people;” and what now sounds like a broken record, “My administration’s commitment to Israel’s security has been unprecedented.”

Yes, it is very clear that in addition to the unquestionable genuine sincerity of the statements, this president -- like all his predecessors and all the ones who will follow him -- knows that he must go through this ceremonious ritual to ensure the largest amount of Jewish votes in his bid for re-election. Plus, culturally and historically, the U.S.’s unwavering support for and unique bonds with Israel, are embedded in U.S. culture, taught in schools and re-iterated in every aspect of any American daily life, no matter what the background, ethnicity or religion.

But the president certainly did not give the war hungry politicians and pundits what they really wanted to hear. All what they heard was an already guaranteed deal. They wanted Obama to wage war on Iran. They wanted him to send a tough message to the Iranian leadership that the U.S. will support Israel in its “justified and unanimous agreement to go to war against Iran.” But, is this even true? Although you hear it on media channels and on the streets in Israel and around the world, this is not the entire picture. Anyone interested in what really goes on inside Israel should shun the distracting noise and escalating rhetoric towards conflict in the region. Then, they will hear the cool heads talking and demanding a new course of action towards Iran and its nuclear ambitions.

Indeed, within Israel and here in the U.S. the majority of Israel lovers and die-hard supporters are against war with Iran. Israeli media are full of such evidence. Follow Israelis on social networks and you’ll find the same. But, the loud, obnoxious, hateful voices of the warmongers are much louder. Their reach and control of the media are unsurpassed, thus drowning out the voices of moderation to a mere hush or complete silence.

Under these conditions, President Obama’s poise at AIPAC and what he is likely to reiterate to Netanyahu and other war enthusiasts, is brave, blunt, informed, responsible, and balanced. It shows true leadership to patriotic Americans like myself regardless of background, color, ethnicity or religion. Jewish columnist M. J. Rosenberg summarized it best in his analysis titled, “Obama delivers a peace speech to the war crowd.” It is a risk President Obama took which might cost him dearly. But, if he succeeds, it will undoubtedly have positive effects on the Middle East and the future of Arab-Israeli relations.


Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luckily Obama is calm in the face of the hysteria the war hungry GOP is spewing. Israel has probably already taken out a few Iranian nuclear scientists. Israel may also someday attack Iran. Do we need to get involved in this? No! Obama's restraint is admirable. Until when and if Iran starts attacks our president must focus on domestic issues and bring troops home. Excellent topic and prayers for peace.

March 7, 2012 at 7:52 PM  

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