Sunday, January 22, 2006

A wee bit of disagreeement on Iran's nuclear threat to Israel

An interesting and very revealing report from the Herzliya conference in Israel, held between Israseli and EU think tank inhabitants.Jerusalem Post |Differing views on Iran nuclear threat

When it came to discussing the threat of Iran's nukes,Israeli and European experts called for economic sanctions to be placed on the Islamic state. But that's where the sweetness and light ended.

The Israelis saw the concept of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons as an existential threat..and understandably so, considering what the Iranian leadership has had to say on the subject. The Europeans expressed a lot less concern on the subject.

The EU delegates were particularly incensed at the idea of Israel actually defending itself through means of a preemptive strike.No surprises there!

The French and others were all for allowing the long slow process of diplomacy to take its course...apparently the last 4 years of negotiations with Iran and Iran's thumbing its collective nose at the IAEA and the UN need further study!

"We are just at the beginning of a long confrontation and we must keep our heads cool," said Phillipe Errera, the deputy director for the French Foreign Ministry's center for analysis and prevision. "Multilateralism may be maddening and slow but it is indispensable."

Sir Michael Quinlan, a consulting senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, went a step further, saying that even if Iran went nuclear, attacking it would not be the correct move. A military option would not prove
sustainable in the long-run, he said, adding that the prospect of "Iran using a nuclear bomb on Israel is absurd. Although, I can say that sitting safely in the UK."

Rather than planning an attack on Iran, Israel should support the UN Security Council in putting together a basket of aggressive economic sanctions against Iran. Ultimately, he said, Israel must "look reality in the face" and realize that the international community does not regard Iran's nuclear program in the same "unacceptable" terms as Israel does.

Quinlan further suggested that if Israel wanted to seriously diminish future nuclear threats, it should be prepared to negotiate the status of its own nuclear program "once it existed in secure and settled borders, accepted by all neighbors in an agreement underwritten by the UN Security Council."

No one asked Quinlan, but I would have loved to hear his answer to the following:
In 1948, Israel boundaries WERE guaranteed by the UN security council and accepted by a majority of members. Did the UN do ANYTHING to defend Israel from the jihad launched against it by the Arabs in 1948?

Has the UN done anything since to defend Israel, or punish Arab members of the UN who engaged in aggression against it?

Has the UN ever spent a penny on the almost one million Jewish refugees ethnically cleansed from the Arab world after 1948?

Quinlan's comments pretty much echo British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's. I get a real sense that many Europeans would be publically saddened but privately gratified if the Iranians took care of the `problem' of Israel once and for all. For `peace', you understand.

This is not the first time Europe has been willing to sacrifice an ally to try and buy peace and quiet.J O S H U A P U N D I T: History Bites Back

I hope the Israelis have more sense than to trust in the good will of the `international community'.

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