Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1181, (23 - 29 January 2014)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1181, (23 - 29 January 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Iran ‘not off the hook’

Zionist lobbyists at the heart of the US government are doing their best to destroy agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, writes Ludwig Watzal in Bonn

Al-Ahram Weekly

Neoconservatives and Zionist lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and their allies on Capitol Hill driven by the right-wing Israeli government are trying everything they can to sabotage the agreement between Iran and the five UN Security Council members plus Germany.
This unholy alliance is trying to drag the Obama administration into another Middle Eastern war. These lobbyists have raised the stakes so high that Iran’s only alternative to war would be unconditional surrender. After the Iranian government agreed to normalise its relations with the West, US extremists demanded not only a continuation but also a tightening of the sanctions screw.
The newly introduced Menendez-Kirk Iranian Sanctions Bill can be seen as a roadmap to war with Iran. The Democrat Menendez and the Republican Kirk seem to be both on the “payroll” of the AIPAC, and they receive campaign money that makes them susceptible to its particular policies. Fifty-eight co-sponsors support this de facto script for war. The rhetoric of this bill requires from the sovereign Iranian nation that it completely drop its legitimate nuclear energy programme.
The sponsors of the bill propose that the US Congress put the lives of US servicemen into the hands of a foreigner, Israel’s leader Binyamin Netanyahu. Thus, under Item (b) (5) of the bill, the Congress is asked to pledge unconditional military, diplomatic and economic support to Israel, should its government feel “compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defence against Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.”
How politically deranged Netanyahu is has been shown by his outrageous historical analogies, his having suggested that the current situation is analogous to that in 1938 and that Iran is equivalent to Nazi Germany. As a German myself, I wish Germany would have been in the situation that Iran is in today in 1938. Had it been so, World War II would never have happened.
Netanyahu is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who screams constantly “stop thief” though his government is the one that threatens its neighbours and is armed to the teeth with nuclear and biological weapons. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has not signed and does not intend to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This omission allows Israel to legally refuse international inspections of its nuclear arsenal. The UN General Assembly has repeatedly recommended the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle-East. Israel is opposed to that recommendation, invoking its “unique security needs.”
On 15 January 2014, the British daily The Guardian ran a story on the hypocrisy of the US and Britain regarding Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its efforts to acquire technology and nuclear materials. Despite knowing about Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal, the West turns a blind eye to it.
US President Barack Obama might be well advised not only to confront the Zionist lobby head on this issue, but also to confront the “Israeli senators” on Capitol Hill who fight for the interests of Israel against their own government and constituencies. Why in the world would Democratic senators want to bring down Obama’s Iran policy? Obama should show what is happening to their constituencies and to the American people whose interests the elected senators represent. He should not only single out AIPAC, but should also identify those Democratic senators who want to destroy his only foreign policy success as president. He should follow Chris Hayes’s example, a young and brilliant reporter from MSNBC, who has challenged AIPAC and the Democratic senators.
In 2008, the former US senator Chuck Hagel, who now holds the office of US secretary of defense, put it this way. “I’m not an Israeli senator,” he said. “I’m a United States senator.” Yet, the majority of incumbent senators have been trying to make sure that the nuclear deal with Iran fails. If Israel really wants to instigate a war with Iran, the US should let Israel go it alone and not lift a finger when the country gets into trouble. This would show to the whole world that the right-wing Israeli government is the aggressor and a menace to world peace.
Besides attempting to torpedo an agreement with Iran, the Netanyahu government is also not interested in peace with the Palestinians. Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon regards the US security plan in Palestine as “not worth the paper it’s written on,” US Secretary of State John Kerry “cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians,” he has said. For the last few months, there have been no negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but there have been between the US and Israel, Ya’alon said. “The only thing that can save us is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace.”
This behaviour by Israeli officials should be an eye-opener for the Obama administration. Every year, the American taxpayer gives the Israeli government $3 billion, and this is not to mention the other advantages Israel gets on the top of this. The US administration regards Israel as one of its closest allies, but this “ally” often bites the hand that feeds it.
As long as the US and the UN Security Council treat the Iranian nuclear programme differently from the Israeli one, negotiations will fail. Iran will not and cannot surrender to the whims of the Zionist lobby and its “Israeli senators” on Capitol Hill. If these forces prevail, even Obama will not be able to prevent another war and one that is not in the interests of the American people.

The writer is a journalist based in Bonn, Germany.

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