Monday, February 22, 2010

Dubai Hit - Another Move in the Israel-Iran Cold War

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The assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mahbouh in Dubai, allegedly perpetrated by Israel, was another expression of the all-out cold war between Israel and Iran. The two regional powers are fighting for clout and influence in the Middle East, threatening mutual destruction and harassing each another with clandestine action. The hostility has been going on for years, but this month there has been more talk of an actual war breaking out, during the "crucial year" of 2010. The American administration is now trying to avoid an explosion; that is President Barack Obama's main challenge in the region. The current Israeli-Iranian hostilities are reminiscent of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War, and Israel's war for influence against Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt in the 1950s and '60s, and against Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization in the '70s and the '80s. They have similar characteristics: profound ideological rejection of the foe, threats against its existence, an arms race, clandestine global activity, supplying arms to allies, diplomatic alliances with regional and global powers, an economic boycott and diplomatic isolation. Every few days, the Iranian news agency IRNA posts to its Web site a promise by an Iranian leader that the Zionist regime is on the verge of collapse. Or a soothing message that Israel is weak and incapable of attacking Iran, or that if it does attack, it will be punished.

Or encouragement for anti-Zionist rabbis in Europe and calls to try "Israeli war criminals" over their deeds in Gaza. Even Prof. Ilan Pappe, "the Israeli dissident," is mentioned favorably. The Iranian message: Zionism is a criminal ideology responsible for shocking war crimes. The Zionist regime is not legitimate, and will inevitably collapse if faced with determined "resistance." Furthermore, according to the Iranians, Saudi Arabia is attacking Yemen as part of an American and Israeli plot. This sounds ridiculous until we recall the story the Israeli Air Force journal published two years ago about the secret military aid Israel gave the pro-Saudi royalists in their war against Nasser. History is repeating itself. Just as the Iranians are saying they are not against Jews, but only Zionism, the Israeli leaders are explaining they love and respect the Iranian people but oppose only the regime. They blame Iran for all the security troubles facing Israel, from suicide attacks to rockets and Qassams, but add that if the ayatollahs were to be cast out, we could love again, as in the days of the shah. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls Iran "the new Amalek" because of its attempts to obtain nuclear weapons. The Book of Deuteronomy (25:19?) exhorts: "Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." (Read more...)