With Friends Like Netanyahu, America Needs No Enemies

We are often told that Israel is America’s most important ally in the Middle East, but I wonder whether the Jewish state isn’t more of a liability than an asset. With hawks like Benjamin Netanyahu in charge, Israel’s friendship comes at a price that could prove unacceptable.

Netanyahu was brash enough to spell out the terms of this costly alliance while in New York to attend the UN assembly this week (photo above).

The fact that he delivered his ultimatum at a time when America is struggling with its own internal breakdown shows the extent of this man’s insensivity.

In an arrogant response to President Obama’s diplomatic contact with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, the Israeli prime minister declared:

Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons. If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.

Is that a threat or a promise, I wonder. If it were up to me, Israel would be welcome to “stand alone” when it comes to attacking Iran.

Looked at objectively, there is no justice in Israel’s position as far as I can see. It is no secret that Israel possesses atomic weapons, and I can only imagine the Israelis’ outrage if they were told to get rid of them. Furthermore, many countries enrich uranium at will. France, I believe, is one country that depends extensively on nuclear plants for its electricity.

Why shouldn’t the Iranians build nuclear generating stations if they want?

The atomic bomb is no longer the bogeyman it used to be. All kinds of nations – big and small – have The Bomb or know how to get it. But I am confident nobody would dare use it.

Dropping The Bomb today is inconceivable. The chain reaction would be unpredictable and apocalyptic.

Even if Iran develops a nuclear weapon and a missile to deploy it, there’s scant likelihood the Iranians would use it to attack Israel – or anybody else.

If Iran really wants to attack Israel, why wait to develop nuclear arms? Why not use conventional military force? Or even resort to chemical warfare – like its Syrian ally?

The vast majority of Iranians clearly have no appetite for conflict with the West – or with Israel. What they want is peace and prosperity. A small but ferocious minority seized power with the fall of the Shah. But the election of Rouhani – and the fact that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei allowed it – tells me this hawkish minority has worn out its welcome.

I could be wrong, of course. The Iranian situation has “handle with care” written all over it. But the last thing the world needs right now is the swagger and bluster that Netanyahu is demonstrating.

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