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Ha’aretz Columnist: ‘Benjamin Netanyahu Was Right’ on Iran

June 27, 2013 12:27 pm 24 comments

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper.

An unlikely voice is sounding the alarm on a nuclear Iran—the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, which is well known for its often diametrical opposition to official government policy.

Columnist Ari Shavit, taking as his source a recent article in The Economist that declares it will be impossible to stop Iran from going nuclear, warns “We’re out of time. We’re really out of time.”

“Via the Economist, the mainstream of the international community admitted that its campaign against Iran’s nuclearization has ended in failure. And via this journal, the school that favors containing a nuclear Iran came out of the closet,” Shavit writes.

He continues: “What the world promised would never happen is happening at this very moment. What the top ranks of Israel’s defense establishment promised would never happen is in fact happening. Iran is becoming a nuclear power, while Israel (which is sunk in summer daydreams ) stands alone.”

Dividing into two camps those who advocate containment or reject the severity Iran’s nuclear ambitions (the optimists), and those who warn of Iran’s impending nuclear breakout (the pessimists), Shavit lands on the side of the latter.

“The international optimists and the Israeli optimists were wrong, big time. Surprise surprise: Benjamin Netanyahu was right,” he writes.

“While the optimists were misled by their illusions, the pessimist read reality correctly. While the defense establishment and the media establishment were smitten with weakness and apathy, the pessimist kept sounding alarms,” Shavit writes, adding, “Wolf? Wolf? Wolf! A strategic wolf with nuclear teeth is now at the gate.”

Meanwhile a former research fellow at the London School of Economics wrote in Israeli daily Ma’ariv Thursday that Western sanctions against the Islamic Republic were having little affect.

Moshe Efrat wrote that Iran’s foreign exchange reserves of roughly $96 billion, as well as other newly implemented economic policies such as raising minimum wage, will keep the country afloat and the middle-classes happy for the foreseeable future.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday the dispute over his country’s nuclear program could easily be resolved if the West were to stop being so stubborn.

“Some countries have organized a united front against Iran and are misguiding the international community and with stubbornness do not want to see the nuclear issue resolved,” Khamenei’s official web site quoted him as saying.

“But if they put aside their stubbornness, resolving the nuclear issue would be simple,” he said, without clarifying his demands of the Western nations.


  • Yeshayahu Hollander

    Dear Alec,
    The analogy with the ’60s is mistaken. The Ayatollahs have a few strange beliefs which the Russians did NOT have.
    1. The coming of Mahdi requires killing millions of infidels, so it MUST happen.
    2. The Jews are infidels, therefor they Ayatollahs want to start with Israel.

    There is NO evidence AT ALL that Netanyahu is “a deranged war mongerer”, nor can the “Clean Break” policy be attributed to him.

    It seems to me that people who ignore the openly declared threats of the Ayatollahs – against Jews and Christians and other “apostates”, are in a psychological state of denial, like Chamberlain was. Is a being in a “psychological state of denial” under a threat of nuclear attack – not “deranged”?

  • Alec….Wonderful for us all to see another anti semite, under the guise of merely being anti Israel uncovered by his very words here. Blaming Israel for the deaths of millions of Arabs in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen is just an example of how idiotic you are…and that is great. Just put on your KKK hood and march around the neighborhood with a sign saying “Hitler had it right!”.

    Yes…we all agree with you …let’s give Iran some nuclear weapons and let them destroy Israel so we can finally have peace in the world. The Jews are the fault of every disaster that affects humanity…and they have been doing that to us since 5000 BC.

    Oh, and you are so right that Israel has this huge hidden arsenal of nuclear bombs…and thay just can’t wait to use them against the poor Arab refugees.

    Can you really look at yourself in the mirrow without breaking out in a laugh at your outright stupidity?

  • Why is anyone surprised that Iran wants nuclear weapons? We (the US) gave nukes to Israel, and Israel isn’t even a member of the IAEA, yet Israel and the US demand that Iran cease construction, when they are a legitimate signatory to the IAEA? That makes no sense. That’s like living in a neighborhood with drug selling, armed ‘gangstas’ and being told you can’t buy a gun to protect yourself. If I were Iran, I’d be seriously building nukes. Anything less is stupid.

  • There is an optimal solution to the Iran/West imbroglio. A four day reconvened NPT Conference should take place on Monday May 12th 2014 in Jerusalem. An agreement will be signed by all nations to eliminate all nuclear weapons from Planet Earth by 2025. The timeline is as follows : Pre 2013 – Waiting for the Waves to Part; 2013 – Preparation for the Conference; 2014 – The Conference; Agreements; Expansion of IAEA; 2015 – Expansion of IAEA continues; 2016 to 2019 – Inspection of all nuclear nation’s arsenals; 2020 to 2025 – Dismantlement.

    The Baal Shem Tov was asked by a follower…”Where is a person ?” He replied…”A person is where his will is !”

    P.S. Mathematicians in league with Google scientists recently discovered that a Rubik’s Cube no matter how diabolical its configuration can always be solved in twenty moves if the correct algorithm was in place. They called this “The G-d Algorithm”.

  • No amount of sanctions and diplomacy will prevent Iran from going nuclear. Just remind yourselves of the history leading up to North Korea going nuclear. As an outsider looking in I would say that nothing short of the ultimate sanction leading to the destruction of those offensive sites will work, and on that score Israel stands alone against what undoubtedly poses an existential threat. Yes Benjamin Netanyahu is right, so face up or face the consequencies.

  • Mikhael Izsak-Dicker

    Israel will never succeed to stop Iran advancing its projects, whatever they are. Israel may temporarily delay some of them, but time is working for Iran, not for Israel, whose ultra-nationalist Zionism is turning the world – governments and public opinion – against Tel-Aviv/Jerusalem …

  • tessa auman

    Why is it such a surprise that Netanyahu was right? The Oslo accords, which he opposed, ended in disaster. The “disengagement” from Gush Katif ended in catastrophe. So when was the Israeli left correct in its assessments?

  • Shalom Freedman

    The warnings about Iran’s being in a nuclear power in a matter of months began years ago. They were repeated year after year.
    What is the real situation?
    I do not know. I do know that the Iranians have aside from the enrichment of uranium program, a plutonium program which promises bombs of even greater magnitude.
    I read with interest the posting of Mr. Cuthbert above. I have no idea whether or not he knows what he is talking about, and in fact Iran is not on its way to a bomb soon.
    My bottom line is that in order to know what to do, or what not to do, one must have far more reliable and accurate information than I, or any other layman can have.
    With all this one thing is however clear. A nuclear Iran, given its hostility, and its use of surrogates, its declared intention of seeing a Middle East without Israel, presents a new level of danger to Israel.

  • Go find my engineering notes- (OP-Eds). Nobody is doing any math. Almost 4 years ago all the news media and even Fox news reported Iran would have a bomb in a matter of weeks. I proved with a little engineering calculations that at that time Iran with its low grade of material and poor quality centrifuges is could not build a bomb. A few months later news reported that the US and Israel had damaged some causing a delay. I opined that was more propaganda since they said they damaged a percent of the centrifuges. About a year later the same false flags were in the news and I wrote again that Iran may not be able to build a bomb with their process. I referred to the official atomic energy auditor’s report stating the amount that Iran had which could not even run their own reactor. Its logical that if they could run their own reactor they would without buying fuel from Russia. They even tried to make a deal with another country for higher grade material to boost their level. No such luck. Finally a couple months ago the agency reported that somehow Iran is not doing well. They did not even have enough 20% material to run their own reactor yet. Russia confirmed that by supplying them the material. A bomb requires at least a 90% purity level. In my latest challenge I note that nobody in the world has done any math and especially on the principal of Physics/math on deminishing return. The bottom line is Russia is Iran’s friend is is stopping Obama from making Syria a muslim brotherhood state. Thus those that push the bombing are promoting global war or other disasters. Yes Iran is dangerous.But no math and bad lies are not the answer. So I will finish for now quoting “Thou Shall Not Lie”. In this instance you endanger Israel. You will also never admit the issue that Israel or the US can not make a big bomb of a site without sending radioactive material all over everywhere including Israel. Dr. Ronald Cutburth, Ph.D., Management of Engineering Science Operations.,Engineering Scientist, intelligence expert, inventor of laser optic apparatus for nuclear fuel refinement, automation expert, home builder. author through my web site posted here.

    • When did a thermonuclear reaction become a requirement to use radioactivity to kill people?
      Liberal Thinkers never permit obvious facts to interfere with predetermined solutions.
      Your I.Q. is so high, you’re dumb as a rock!
      (Apologies to the rock!)

  • Sonia Willats

    It was always pretty obvious that President Netanyahu was correct & that Iran was playing games with the “correct” European negotiators as a cat plays games with a mouse. Iran has recently changed the FACE of her diplomacy in changing her president. Her extreme and insane Islamist agenda has not changed.

    If Haáretz has woken up, “Hallo” but when does Europe finally read the great flashing headlines, and America, which seems to maintain both a pro-Islamist and ?pro-Israel agenda.

    Why does Israel constantly have to defend her existence in a world that purportedly embraces life and fairness and goodness? (We shouldn’t have to be grateful that the head of the Anglican church confirms that Israel has a right to exist-though I am!) But shouldn’t this be obvious to a world that sat back whilst Jews were slaughtered?

    The answers? The way forward? How to defend innocent Jewish (and Syrian civillian) blood? One day at a time, and praying, and not being ‘politically correct.’

  • Those who would like to believe that “there no need for alarm” can line up on this side: right behind Primer Minister Neville Chamberlain.

    Every one else line up across the room, please.

    Thank you so much.

  • steve kramer

    The chances of Obama calling for US strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities are zero. Fortunately Bibi has known this for years. He always had Obama’s number: a left wing appeaser. I am confident that Bibi will not let Iran cross his red line. There is no way that Bibi will ever allow Iran to go nuclear.

    • since ” bibi the invincible ” lol can’t do nothing….

      there is nno reason to inflate the chest and talk with a deep voice.
      the substance of this article is precisely the inability to stop israel iran nuclear weapons by, otherwise it would have been done long ago.
      Netanyahu is simply no magic wand, bombing does not work, and invasion is impossible.
      if israel bombed li’ran today does it means that Iran will not have the bomb? NO Iran will have the bomb anyway. nutanyahoo will have get used with it

      a nuclear iran is something inevitable, since israel introduced nukes in ME! FACTS

  • this is all America’s fault. This is the fault of the Obama administration and of former administrations. History will judge them harshly. Israel should do what it has to do and one hour sooner so much better

  • where did you put my former comment?

  • I wrote a comment and your system took it away why?

  • The Jewish nation stay thru all the history alone. We have no friends. Our only friend is G-D. our ability to stay on the earth depend on our fulfiling our covanent with G-D.

  • I was active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 60’s and the one particular piece of rhetoric always churned out by the establishment was MAD (Mutually assured Destruction) is working, i.e. the US and Russia were so terrified of being blasted out of existence by the other side that they wouldn’t dare to press the button.

    Now we are being told that MAD isn’t necessary, in fact it’s undesirable and dangerous and Iran must be stopped before a MAD situation is reached.

    I would suggest that if it worked in the 60’s and was effective at stopping a full nuclear / conventional confrontation, and recognising that Israel has a large unsupervised nuclear arsenal and a Prime Minister who is a deranged war monger whose Clean Break policy, implemented by the US, has resulted in a million deaths in Iraq and countless tens if not hundreds of thousands in Libya, Syria, Yemen, then it is absolutely vital that Iran obtains nuclear weapons as soon as possible in order to stop the madness of Netanyahu and Co with their territorial expansion objectives which will cause millions of refugees and millions more dead.

    • You should have stopped doing drugs in the 60’s.

    • For MAD to work the leaders of both sides must be rational, and care about the well being of their populace.
      The Iranian leaders do not meet these requirements.

    • your argument does not hold water. US and Russia had no “religious agendas” like Iran and its proxies have. How can you compare the rational with the irrational? Israel has not “expanded” its territory for the last 40 years. Israel is waiting to see the other side to come up with recognition we have the right to exist within secure borders. Iran should be contained exactly as Japan has been contained 70 years ago.

    • the Soviets did not believe in Muslim heaven that is why MAD worked

    • @Alec
      The Russians relied on the Marxists/Trotskyists in the UK and elsewhere to create the distraction that the cause of the problem is the West.
      Yesterday, in Alegmeiner, there was an admission that the KGB were responsible for the anti-Americanism and anti-Israel rhetoric since the 1960s. Your post illustrates denial of reality that uses Israel (and Bibi)as the scapegoat. Let us suppose (because you cannot know for certain) that Israel has the nuclear bomb and has done for many years, give one example where Israel has shown its intention to annihilate. The answer is None. Blaming Israel, blaming America is the unfortunate response of reality deniers. Scapegoating is the way to avoid responsibility and deny responsibility.
      The CND movement was not a success in the 1960s and did not alter American or Western policy and it is delusional to think otherwise. Russia was stopped because John F Kennedy (a Democratic) took seriously the threat, stood up to the bully, Russia and forced the Russian fleet to back off. This was the Cuban Crisis.
      Today, Obama has shown the world that America is a coward and will give in to bullies, whether Russia, Iran or terrorists. Bibi can be criticised by left and right (and is), but he has been consistent in his prediction. The EU, led by Catherine Ashton, should feel utter shame that their appeasement policy has failed and that the threat comes not from Israel, but from radical Islam.
      What would be MAD is to continue the same behaviour and the same policy with the expectation that the outcome will be different. Chamberlain demonstrated how appeasement is the policy of the weak. This did not prevent World War 2 and appeasing Iran or other terrorist states and groups will continue the bullying and the destruction of what we believe: a free and democratic society.

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