Obama. Not naive
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Recent Iranian missile test launch
Photo: AFP
Obama, Israel and the Iranian threat
Leading scholars debate the future of America’s involvement with Israel and its effect on the Iranian nuclear program
Many Middle east experts agree that that neither Israel nor the US want the balance of power to be upset in the region, that a nuclear Iran would change the stability in the region indefinitely, and the surrounding Arab countries are also wary of Iran’s nuclear intentions.


Deputy Chief of Mission Mehmet Kemal Bozay from the Turkish Embassy told Ynet this week, "Obama’s team are not just naïve democrats. They’ll try diplomacy and conversation but all options are open. A nuclear Iran is just as unacceptable to Turkey as it is to Israel."


There seems to be some agreement among scholars and diplomats that if a Palestinian state is successfully created, the problem with Iran would be diminished. The United States, along with Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt, are all committed to the Middle East peace process with the outcome being the creation of a Palestinian State.


'Iran is winning'

At a recent Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA)/Anti-Defamation League (ADL) conference at Bar-Ilan University, different perspectives from Jerusalem and Washington were given by leading experts in US-Israeli relations on the effect they have on the Arab world.


The viewpoints spanned a wide range, bouncing like a ping-pong ball from one lecture to the next. Professor Ze’ev Maghen from the BESA Center decreed with matter of fact doom that "Iran is winning." He asserted that with the new surge of allies in China, Russia, and South America, and the surge of Islamization in the Arab world Iran is strong, stable, and growing. "The government of Iran just celebrated its 30th anniversary. Islamic law is a powerful idea and the party with the more powerful idea will always prevail."


On the other side of the spectrum, Mr. Meir Javedanfar from the Middle East Economical and Political Analysis Company gave a convincing speech on the inherent weaknesses of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and on the power of diplomatic talks between Iran and the US. "Talks between Iran and the US are valuable for the state of Israel. If negotiations with Iran succeed it is a good thing. If they fail it is also good. To not show compromise to Obama would be a huge mistake that will only bring them more sanctions and a wave of international criticism."


He further stated that getting into a nuclear war with another country in the Middle East is the last thing Iran wants to do. "When Israeli politicians make threats of bombing Iran, Israel helps Iranian conservatives make Israel the enemy. I don’t see Iran going to war for the Syrians or the Lebanese or the Palestinians. Iranians believe that getting a nuclear weapon is central to its existence but they are instead isolating the rest of the world, crumbling their economy and worsening the lives of the people."


Diplomacy before military action 

Though opinions varied on how to react to a nuclear Iran, the general consensus was that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are not a secret and a nuclear cold war stand off between the 3rd world and the 1st world would be a disaster. The experts seemed to agree that there is a high enough hope that Obama's diplomatic process will succeed before any military action should take place.


Professor General Yitzhak Ben Israel commented that, "Iran is not afraid of a military invasion they are afraid of a culture invasion. Iran is not aggressive towards Israel because of a land dispute. They are aggressive because the west has a foot in the Middle East culturally in Israel.' Democracy means we don't have to respect our rulers. The culture of western civilization and the temptations of rock music, sex, drugs, and tight clothing go completely against Sharia law and the Islamic revolution."


Israel as a strategic asset to the US 

Post the recent Gaza offensive, Israel is facing its worst diplomatic crisis in two decades. The operation caused real damage to Israel's image in the US leading 51% of Americans to sympathize equally with Israeli's and Palestinians. American liberal Jews are outwardly hoping that the new right wing Israeli government will not destroy the hope that the Obama administration brings.


While some Americans may be questioning whether the US should be giving $2 billion a year in aid to Israel, Dr. Jonathon Rynhold asserted confidently that it is important for the US to use Israeli power and keep influence over a strong Israel. 'The US and Israel share a common enemy. Israel is a pro-American, democratic ally that helps America in the Middle East. A weak Israel would strengthen radicals in the region and weaken the US balance of power.'


פרסום ראשון: 05.23.09, 10:09
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