The Iran Bluster Is All Talk … Right?
Trying to divine Israeli motives
There has certainly been plenty of, shall we say, chatter about an Israeli strike on Iran—Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly trying to persuade the Cabinet of its wisdom; Bibi then ordering a probe of leaks of Israel’s preparation; dissension among the top brass; the frickin’ ballistic missile test outside Tel Aviv Wednesday morning; President Obama offering strong rhetoric; and even a Guardian report that Britain is amping up contingency planning for military action against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
None of this actually has to do with the International Atomic Energy Agency report due out next week that is expected to show further Iranian progress and intransigence, right? (Here’s a thought experiment: What if the United States has yanked its IAEA funding by the time the report comes out?) This is for real, and not just deliberate bluster designed to be the stick (the report being the carrot) to goad the international community to further isolating Iran, surely? “Reasonable citizens, at this point quite worried, should take into consideration that a great deal is happening covertly,” write our friends Amos and Avi in Haaretz (and incidentally, even in light of the latest machinations, the Israeli public appears divided on the question of military action). “At least some of these moves are part of a carefully orchestrated campaign whose purpose is not necessarily an Israeli attack. It could be a means of sparking a broad diplomatic maneuver to ratchet up sanctions on Iran.”
While many people say Netanyahu and [Defense Miniseter] Barak are conducting sophisticated psychological warfare and don’t intend to launch a military operation, top officials, including some in the forum of eight senior ministers, are still afraid.
Ostensibly, Israel is in a win-win situation. If its scare tactics work, the international community will impose paralyzing sanctions on Iran. If the world falls asleep at its post, there are alternatives.
But this is a dangerous game. A few more weeks of tension and one party or another might make a fatal mistake that will drag the region into war.
Happy Thursday, everyone!
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.