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A little Middle East news

First, a rather interesting, but apparently ignored interview with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.  The quote makes me again wonder about those who continue to pretend it is Israel that’s the problem:

The official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Tuesday wrote that when Abbas met recently with media figures at the home of the Palestinian ambassador to Jordan, he recounted that during an Arab League Summit in Libya in March he told his fellow leaders that he still preferred war against Israel, but could not do it alone.

"We are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit," said Abbas. "There I turned to the Arab States and I said: ‘If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don’t have the ability to do it.’"

Of course they don’t.  So instead they use terror tactics.  And this is from the supposedly “moderate” part of the Palestinian leadership.  No comment, apparently from Hamas.

As for the Arab League – 0 for 3.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that he thought that the country that that is key to stopping Iran from producing nuclear weapons is the US.  The question is, would the US actually pull the trigger?  That may be why Netanyahu frames his point by saying “Obama is the key”.

"There’s only been one time that Iran stopped the program and that was when it feared U.S. military action," Netanyahu said in the interview on "Fox News Sunday," adding that Iran’s nuclear program was advancing by the hour.

"The president’s position that all options are on the table might have the only real effect on Iran — if they think it’s true," Netanyahu said.

I think that’s a little “positive thinking” on the part of the Israeli PM.  Living where he lives, he knows someone is going to have to stop the nuclear train.  Israel took care of the threat in Iraq and recently in Syria.  But it may not have the capability to do so in Iran (although Saudi Arabia has made it known that an Israeli strike force would not be hampered should it decide to use Saudi airspace).

That doesn’t mean they won’t try if they have too:

When asked whether Israel might initiate military action, Netanyahu stressed that all options are on the table.

"The Jewish state was set up to defend Jewish lives and we always reserve the right to defend ourselves," he said.

With Israel everything is always on the table.  They don’t have the luxury of taking anything off of it if they hope to survive.

~McQ

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17 Responses to A little Middle East news

  • Israel is paranoid of Obama because of his middle name…

    • Well, that’s a relief.  And here I thought it might have something to so with US policy.

  • “There I turned to the Arab States and I said: ‘If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor. But the Palestinians will not fight alone because they don’t have the ability to do it.’”
    This may have been more of an attempt to tell the more strident Arab nations to put up or shut up. I would guess there are Arab nations who keep pressing the Palestinians to do more to attack Israel, while they themselves are safe and secure miles away.
    Or Abbas could really mean that.

    • He may have been posturing, but saying that at such an event strongly suggests he would back such an effort up if it did happen.

    • I always got the impression that the Palestinians are a convenient buffer for most of the Arab states in the region, but that if Israel was ever removed from the map, the Palestinians would follow in short order.  They get support because of that convenience, otherwise they’re just in the way.  I’d honestly be surprised if Abbas didn’t realize this, and I figure he’s jabbing the others in the ribs out of resentment.

  • RE: Iranian nukes
    When you strip away all the bullshit, the key question is: Does Israel have reliable independent intelligence on the Iranian nuclear weapons program? If they do, as in the cases of Iraq and Syria, I expect they will only act when Iranian development reaches a critical point. The greater risk is that they do not have good intelligence.

    • Iran learned from the mistakes of others, and its program is divirsified geographically, with redundancy. Also, my understanding is they dug deep.

      Taking Iran’s program down would be bery difficult. Even with good intel.

      • Don - Taking Iran’s program down would be bery difficult. Even with good intel.

        Getting the program probably is.  Getting the mullahs, Ahmahdinnhjacket and the rest of the clowns… Perhaps not so much.  It’s sort of like dealing with Germany in ’38: you can’t easily destroy the Werhmacht, but if you take out the nazi leadership, would their (eventual) replacements continue on the same path?

        • But will making martyrs of them solve the problem?  And how many of them are there?

          • I thnk that the whole “matyrdom” thing is overrated.  Saddam was caught cowering in a filthy hole; KSM sang like bird after a few seconds of waterboarding.  bin Laden is (apparently) still hiding in a cave somewhere, waiting for his next dialysis.  These jihadi leader types are great at making OTHER people into martyrs, but doing it themselves is about the last thing they ever think of.

            As for “how many”, I suggest that a teetering theocracy like Iran just needs a good push: whack a few of the leaders, and the rest will either kill each other in the resulting power struggle or else capitulate lest they be next to receive some air mail.

        • That’s a good point, but the west has generally avoided the assasination path. At least with respect to actual state leaders.

          Also, using air strikes to decapitate a government has never worked (AFAIK). How well Mossad could undertake a large scale attack on Iran’s government is, IMO, doubtfull. It is one thing to kill Palestinian terrorists in Switzerland and Italy, another thing to enter Iran and do it there.

  • I can’t wait to see female Muslim astronauts spacewalking in their burkhas.

    • I can’t wait to see female Muslim astronauts spacewalking in their burkhas

      >>> They’ll get stoned to death for showing too much of their oxygen tank…

  • Abbas has clearly learned the ways of his predecessor and mentor, Abu Amar (a.k.a. Yasr Arafat) who was always ready to fight Israel down to the last Egyptian, Jordanian, Lebanese, etc…  How many sequels of this movie have already played?  I’ve lost count.