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Saturday, July 17, 2010


The prestigious Oxford Research Group, (ORG) a charity-funded organisation specialising in the advocacy of non-military resolutions to global conflicts, recently (15 July 2010) released a paper entitled ‘Military action against Iran: Impact and effects’.

In it the ORG outline their opinion about why and how Israel might launch an attack against Iran and what the possible effects of such an attack might be.

The paper, while seemingly objective, limits its objectivity to a pro-Western viewpoint that ignores certain underlying geo-political realities relating to Israel’s ulterior motives for wanting to attack Iran. The paper also ignores the logistic realities of the role the US would need to play in bringing a successful attack against Iran by Israel into fruition, as well as the ulterior motives the US itself has for also wanting Iran to be attacked.

In ignoring the underlying geo-political realities and Israeli-US ulterior motives for wanting to attack Iran, the ORG has left itself exposed to criticism that it has relied far too much on Western, particularly US and Israeli, rhetoric and outright propaganda in coming to some of its conclusions.

In example of the ORG’s inability to look beyond the rhetoric, the report states:

“Many sections of the Israeli political elite regard the Iranian nuclear and missile programme as an existential threat to Israel. If there is no progress to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions by other means, there is significant Israeli support for military action. This might also extend to renewed action by Israel in southern Lebanon to counter the progressive re-arming of Hezbollah militias by Iran.”

The reality is that Israel is very much aware that there is no existential threat to it from Iran and that such rhetoric is merely fearmongering propaganda designed specifically to garner public opinion in Israel and the US and among her other Western allies to ultimately support a strike against Iran.

Israel’s claim that Iran is an ‘existential threat’ to it is based entirely on the deliberately misinterpreted words of a speech given by Iranian President Ahmadinejad in October 2005 when he was misquoted and then widely reported as having said that Israel should be ‘wiped off the map’. Ahmadinejad, in fact, neither said nor implied any such thing. What he actually said, according to scholar Juan Cole, a Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, was this:

“The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e eshghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).”

The ‘regime occupying Jerusalem’ referred to is, of course, the Zionist regime governing Israel. Since, for propaganda purposes, Zionists regard anti-Zionism as being anti-Israel, the propagandists both in Israel and among the neoconservatives in the West were quick to grasp Ahmadinejad’s words and deliberately misinterpret them in order to make it seem as though he had directly threatened Israel. In fact the instigator of the misinterpretation was a group called the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a neoconservative-funded propaganda organisation founded by former Israeli military intelligence officer Yigal Carmon and well-known neoconservative and Israel Zionist Meyrav Wurmser, wife of neoconservative David Wurmser, a former Middle East adviser to former Vice-President Dick Cheney.

MEMRI wrote a bulletin about Ahmadinejad’s speech which included a translation. However, as part of the introduction to the bulletin MEMRI wrote:

“In his speech, he described his vision of an age-old confrontation between the world of Islam and the "World of Arrogance," i.e. the West; he portrayed Israel and Zionism as the spearhead of the West against the Islamic nation; and he emphasized the need to eliminate Israel – which, he claimed, was a goal that was attainable.”

The same bulletin then went on to offer a translation of Ahmadinejad’s speech but nowhere in that translation was there any mention of ‘the need to eliminate Israel’. Somehow that particular fact got missed by the mainstream media to whom MEMRI circulated the bulletin to and only the part about ‘emphasising the need to eliminate Israel’ was picked up and used in the reporting. The myth was then perpetuated and exaggerated in subsequent reporting in the Western and Israeli press.

Together with the myth of the ‘wipe Israel off the map’ meme, the Iranian ‘nuclear weapons program’ is often referred to by the Western and Israeli right-wing media despite the fact that there is not a skerrick of hard evidence to suggest that Iran has a ‘nuclear weapons program’.

While the ORG paper talks of the possibility of Israel also attacking Lebanon in order to eliminate any threat from Hezbollah, it ignores the reality of such an attack against Hezbollah and the occupation of south Lebanon up to the Litani River actually being the main aim of the entire exercise in the first place. The report also ignores the reality that, despite an attack on Iran being a major and possibly devastating event it is, as far as the Zionists are concerned, merely a means toward an end; that end being the denial of Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria to continue to resist Israeli expansion into south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order to create a Greater Israel. The ORG have failed to visualise the bigger picture despite the abundant evidence available confirming Israel’s long term expansionist goals.

The ORG states that "an Israeli military strike could not be initiated entirely without the knowledge of the United States” though “it could avoid over-flying US-controlled airspace”. The reality is this: the Israelis could not at all initiate any strike against Iran without the absolute full co-operation and connivance of the United States, let alone just without its ‘knowledge’. The vast majority of the weapons Israel would need to attack Iran with would need to come from the United States. The massive amounts of military jet fuel required would need to come from the United States.

While the ORG recognises that Israel will attack Hezbollah in conjunction with any attack against Iran, ostensibly to pre-empt any Hezbollah retaliatory action, the ORG report ignores the logistics of such an attack against Hezbollah. Again, more military jet fuel will be required. Almost certainly, a ground invasion will follow the initial air strikes against Hezbollah. For this the Israelis will require enormous amounts of military grade diesel fuel for its tanks, armour and ground transport. Specialised weapons to deal with Hezbollah’s bunkers will also be required. Virtually all of this would need to be supplied by the US. These are not war-making items that can somehow surreptitiously be horded by Israel without the United States knowing about it. Fuel, jet fuel particularly for example, has a reasonably short shelf life and so can’t be slowly horded by the Israelis. Fresh fuel in bulk needs to be ready and available for us. This alone requires the full co-operation of the US.

As stated, the main reason for attacking Iran is not because it is an existential threat to Israel because it has a ‘nuclear weapons program’, but rather, because Iran supplies and supports Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. Any strike against Iran, therefore, must be conclusive. It would not be enough for Israel to simply destroy Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ by destroying its nuclear facilities; it must destroy both Iran’s ability and, more importantly, will, to continue supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. Israel and the United States actual aim then, is not so much to destroy Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’, but to bring about regime change so that Iran has no political ability, as well as physical ability, to continue to support Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. This aspect of an attack against Iran is not discussed at all in ORG’s paper.

The ORG’s entire paper is based on the assumption that any attack against Iran by Israel is solely for the purpose of destroying Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon when this is clearly not the case at all; indeed, Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’, if it even exists at all, seems simply an excuse to provide Israel and the US with a casus belli to attack Iran.

The ORG paper quite rightly concludes that “military action against Iran should be ruled out in responding to its possible nuclear ambitions” but what the paper has ignored entirely is the ulterior motives that Israel and the US would have for attacking Iran. For both Israel and the US the motive is regime change. For Israel regime change will deprive Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria of an ability to continue to resist Israel’s expansionist ambitions and, for the US, regime change will eliminate resistance to US hegemony in a volatile and resource-rich region in which the theocratic regime in Iran has proved to be a thorn in America’s side.

A war against Iran will be utterly devastating for all concerned. The ORG paper rightly points out that any attack, especially by Israel, will unite the people of Iran who during their war with Iraq in the 1980s proved to be tenacious defenders of their lands and more than willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their nation regardless of who their leaders are. There is no evidence to suggest that the Iranian people would not fight just as tenaciously again were they to be attacked by Israel or the US.

Israel and the US together will attack Iran at some stage. Israel and the US would hope for a swift war that would leave their enemies reeling and ready to capitulate against a massive onslaught. Israel’s recent performances when fighting against Hezbollah in 2006 and then Hamas in 2009/08 would suggest that an onslaught in the future against Hezbollah and Hamas will not be as easy as they think. And America’s inability to learn that it’s military prowess is nowhere near as powerful as they like to think it is, what with being unable to subdue a rag-tag army like the Taliban in nine years of fighting and with bombs still going off in Iraq after seven years of war, will lull the US into a false sense of optimism in a war against Iran just as it did in Iraq when the US thought a war there was going to be ‘a cakewalk’.

The ORG says that an attack against Iran is unlikely to see an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, indeed, may even spur them on. The problem, however, is that an attack against Iran will not be by just Israel but also the US. And the war aims is not to disarm Iran of something that it hasn’t got, as we have seen attempted before in the case of Iraq, but to bring about regime change in Iran and to eliminate Israel’s enemies in order to allow Israel to create a Greater Israel.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


In a sign of desperation the neoconservatives have created their latest committee, the ‘Emergency Committee for Israel’, complete with its own website, which has been set up to counter growing anti-Zionist public opinion.

The tide of public opinion began to turn against the Israelis back in July and August of 2006 when Israel launched its attack against the people of Lebanon. Public opinion against the Israelis then strengthened further when Israel launched its murderous attack against the women and children of the beleaguered Gaza Strip. The Flotilla Massacre at the end of May of this year has brought public opinion against Israel to a tipping point that the neoconservatives, together with their Evangelical Christian Zionist supporters, can no longer tolerate.

The ‘Emergency Committee for Israel’ has been set by well-known neoconservatives William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, Gary Bauer, a Christian conservative and former Republican presidential candidate who now heads up a neocon/Christian Zionist front group called ‘American Values’, and Rachel Abrams, wife of former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams and daughter of neoconservative writer Midge Decter and step-daughter of neocon founding father Norman Podhoretz who is married to Midge Decter. (Talk about keeping it in the family!) Neocon Michael Goldfarb, also with the Weekly Standard and an ex-John McCain aide, is an advisor to the new group.

The ‘who we are’ blurb at their website is telling:

The Emergency Committee for Israel is committed to mounting an active defense of the US-Israel relationship by educating the public about the positions of political candidates on this important issue, and by keeping the public informed of the latest developments in both countries. Join us to help support Israel and her many friends here in the United States.

They concede now that they are on the defensive. The US-Israel relationship – at least as far as public opinion is concerned – is in tatters. Orthodox Jews in the US have demonstrated against Zionism and shown their support for the Palestinian people especially during the Israeli onslaught against the Gazan people in 2008/09. Workers unions are boycotting the unloading and servicing of Israeli ships in US ports. Also as a result of the 08/09 Gazan onslaught Americans have called for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

A growing majority of Americans also oppose Israeli settlement building in the West Bank. In Britain, the US, and around the world, public opinion demands the lifting of the Gaza blockade and has condemned the Flotilla Massacre.

The neoconservatives are beginning to get nervous about the future of Israel. The push toward a one state binational solution is mounting. The neocons know that a one state binational solution will spell the end of Zionism and their dreams of a Greater Israel. It is why the neoconservatives and their allies are pushing for the final confrontation against Iran. They know that that is now their only salvation.

For the neoconservatives it really is an emergency for Israel. Israel is close to the beginning of the end of itself. Palestine can be renewed and a state created in which Jews and Palestinians alike can live together as equals in a single state where all are free and with he same rights as each other.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Israel is busy creating as many options as possible which can be used as a casus belli to begin the final confrontation with Iran with the endgame being the creation of a Greater Israel and the destruction of its enemies.

Because Israel has created many enemies, it has, in turn, created many options with which it can begin the final confrontation that will lead to the destruction of all its enemies. Israel has now adopted a tactic whereby it is attempting to create an environment via the use of provocation that will unite its enemies so that when the appropriate moment to start the final confrontation arrives it can then deal with all of its enemies at once with the help of the US and some of its other Western allies.

It has become clear that Israel would rather deal with all of its enemies in one hit with the help of the US rather than deal with them on their own one at a time – a tactic that they have already tried and which failed miserably when they attacked Hezbollah in south Lebanon in 2006, Syria’s so-called ‘nuclear facility’ in 2007, and Hamas in the Gaza in 2008/09. In each of these scenarios it was clear that Israel wanted to escalate the war to include their other enemies and, in particular, to provoke Iran to overtly support any of them in order to provide an excuse for Israel and the US to attack Iran.

The rhetoric and propaganda about Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, despite the fact that this rhetoric and propaganda has been a repeat of the false rhetoric and propaganda used by the US and Israel in the lead up to the invasion and destruction of Iraq, seems to have been largely successful – at least with many of the Western governments that are the US and Israel’s allies. As in the case of Iraq, sanctions have been invoked against Iran and there has been a call to back the sanctions with the threat of military force if the Iranians do not do as the US and Israel demand. However, because the US and Israel know that Iran actually does not have a ‘nuclear weapons program’, they know that Iran will not comply with their demands thus providing the casus belli they require to strike Iran; indeed, the last thing the US and Israel want is for the Iranians to demonstratively stop enriching their uranium to any level since this would then deprive the US and Israel of the opportunity to attack Iran.

When considering the question of Iran in relation to Israel one cannot ignore the role of Iran’s allies in the equation.

Israel’s neighbours, the Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria, are also Israel’s enemies. The Gaza, the West Bank and south Lebanon are all destined, as far as the Zionists are concerned, to become part of a Greater Israel of the future. A part of Syria, the Golan Heights, has already been annexed as part of Greater Israel. Standing in the way of fulfilling the Greater Israel dream is Hamas in the Gaza and to a lesser extent in the West Bank, and Hezbollah in south Lebanon, all of whom are strongly supported by Iran and Syria.

In order to realise their dream of a Greater Israel, Israel must occupy the Gaza and south Lebanon which means destroying Israel’s convenient enemy, Hamas and Hezbollah; convenient enemy because without them Israel would have no excuse to occupy and eventually annex these places to Israel as they have the Golan Heights and Jerusalem in the West Bank.

With Israel’s enemies identified, any number of scenarios can be offered which could effectively provide Israel with a casus belli with which to launch an attack that would escalate into a final confrontation that would involve the US and Israel attacking all of its enemies in full-on war.

Over the last few years the US and Israel in its rhetoric has conjoined Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran as a single enemy. It has done this by continually referring in news, opinion and commentary, particularly in the mainstream and right-wing press, that Hamas and Hezbollah are both Iranian ‘proxies’ by virtue of being financed and supplied by Iran both directly and indirectly. In the Western imagination, or, at least, as the US and Israel would have us believe, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran have morphed into one enemy and, just to reinforce the notion that they are ‘terrorists’, they are occasionally linked via the rhetoric, at least the neoconservative rhetoric, with the ultimate bogeymen; al Qaeda.

These linkages provide Israel and the US with a whole range of scenario opportunities which Israel can use to kick off its final confrontation.

Currently, Israel sees Lebanon as the best possibility to start the final confrontation. Israel can see two possible casus belli situations emerging out of current events. First there is Israel’s claim that Syria has provided Scud missiles to Hezbollah, a claim that Israel has attempted to ‘prove’ by releasing photographic ‘evidence’ of the places where Hezbollah have hidden their weapons. This evidence turned out to be nothing more than oblique aerial shots of various villages in south Lebanon with Texta rings around a few buildings that were supposed to represent the places where Hezbollah have hidden their weapons and command posts. These places, Israel claims, have been ‘targeted’ in the event of a future war. In response Hezbollah has stated that it too has already predetermined specific targets in Israel. The fact that Hezbollah has stated that they have targets in Israel already identified, in itself, could even provide Israel with a casus belli to attack Hezbollah.

The other major ‘provocation’ that could provide Israel with a casus belli is the current dispute over the off-shore gas fields which both Israel and Lebanon claim. However, this scenario is more dangerous for the Israelis because, if Israel attacked Lebanon over the gas rights in the Mediterranean, it would unite all of Lebanon against Israel and not just Hezbollah, though Hezbollah, of course, would remain the main target.

Another scenario that may kick off the final confrontation is a conflict started with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The problem for the Israelis with this scenario is that conflict with Hamas tends to be isolated and it would be difficult for the Israelis to escalate it from a straightforward conflict with Hamas to an all-out final confrontation with all of Israel’s enemies without permanently damaging its standing with its allies because of the sheer brutality Israel would need to employ against the Gazans in order to escalate to an all-out confrontation. An attack against Hamas shortly after attacking Hezbollah would be a more likely scenario with Israel claiming that an attack against Hamas was pre-emptive in order to stop Hamas launching retaliatory strikes against Israel for attacking Hezbollah.

But by far the most likely, and from Israel’s point of view, most appealing scenario is simply a pre-emptive joint attack against Iran with the US doing most of the attacking while Israel initiates the attack by a strike against some of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US would then follow up with an all-out attack against Iran’s more difficult nuclear targets accompanied by massive strikes against Iran’s defence facilities and governmental institutions. Israel would simultaneously launch pre-emptive strikes against Hezbollah and Hamas followed up by invasion and occupation in the pretext that they are preventing retaliatory strikes against Israel.

Israel would like to think that it would have the upper hand by simple virtue of use of massive overwhelming air and tank force against its enemies coupled with threats of using ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons against targets in northern Lebanon or Syria or even Iran.

Defence-wise Israel has a big problem. It may hope to be able to neutralise Hezbollah’s weapons in the first and second waves of strikes against them. However, if they are unable to do so, Hezbollah needs only to unleash its arsenal of weapons against the tiny target of Israel. It is doubtful that the people of Israel would be able to tolerate a sustained Scud attack against Tel Aviv and Haifa and other centres for too long. A concentrated attack against these cities could devastate Israel which then, in the worst case scenario, may resort to using its nuclear weapons as a weapon of last resort.

Israel’s other problem is the stance of its other Arab neighbours. While the governments of most of them are currently on reasonably good terms with Israel, this situation could very quickly turn around especially if the peoples of those Arab nations begin to demonstrate against their own government for supporting Israel. Turkey, while not an Arab country, has shown recently just how quickly a nation can turn from being a close friend to being almost an enemy. The people of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are likely to at least support the Palestinians and the Lebanese are just as likely to demand that their respective governments support the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

While some Arab governments might welcome the demise of the Iranian regime and its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, they will not support the creation of a nuclear armed Greater Israel that has pushed the Palestinian and Arab peoples from their lands and destroyed the idea of a Palestinian state.

There are endless other permutations of scenarios that Israel might use to kick off its push for a final confrontation with Iran and its other enemies but one thing is for sure; it is quite apparent now that, whatever way such a confrontation starts, the US will be behind Israel all the way.

Friday, July 09, 2010


According to a report in Ha’aretz, President Barack Obama ‘told Channel 2 News on Wednesday that he believed Israel would not try to surprise the U.S. with a unilateral attack on Iran’.

Obama and Netanyahu must think that the world is populated by totally thick people. What on earth makes Obama think that Israel would be capable of attacking Iran without the US knowing about it?

Perhaps the recent discussions between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama went something like this:

Bibi Netanyahu: “Hey, Barack, can you send over several million litres of military jet fuel over and above the normal amount you usually send us?”

Barack Obama: “Sure Bibi. Anything else you need?”

BN: “Well, since you ask, how about around a hundred of them new beaut bunker buster bombs you’ve been developing?”

BO (BO?): “No worries, Bibi; anything else?”

BN: “Well, we could use a few million litres of military diesel as well if you can manage it”.

BO: “Easy fixed, Bibi. That it?”

BN: “That’ll do for now. If we need anything else, we’ll let you know.”

BO: “Sure Bibi, you just say the word.”

BN: “Thanks, Barack.”

BO: “No problems Bibi. Can I just ask what you need all this stuff for?”

BN: “It’s a surprise!”

Yeah, right!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Julia Gillard’s latest stance on boatpeople has put Australia on a slippery path toward racist and religious hatreds that could see Australia heading toward an abyss from which there may be no return.

Ever since 9/11 when the US declared war on Islam – and make no mistake, the US, together with its Western allies, have effectively declared war on Islam – the Australian people, despite the best efforts of Pauline Hanson and John Howard, managed to keep a reasonably clear head in differentiating between terrorists that claimed to represent Islam and Muslims that were fleeing war-torn Islamic nations that sought refuge in Australia. During Howard’s final term in office it became clear that Australians had rejected the kind of racism that Howard was advocating. Australia became a place where refugees seeking asylum were made welcome by all but the most right-wing of Australia’s rednecked racists.

But something has happened between then and now.

Right-wing bloggers within the mainstream media, particularly within the Murdoch stable of newspapers, have of late made headway in influencing public opinion. The extreme right-wing Andrew Bolt, for example of Melbourne’s ‘Herald Sun’ newspaper, is well known for his anti-Islamic stance and his blatantly racist views. But, while his racist Islamophobic blog attracts only a very small but nonetheless vocal and relentless group of followers, Bolt’s standing is enhanced by his other media appearances on both radio (Bolt comments almost daily on MTR 1377 in Melbourne) and TV where he has appeared on the ABC’s current affairs programs, The Insiders and Q and A and occasional appearances on Channel 9's Today show. It is this radio and TV exposure that enhances Bolt’s image to his band of loyal supporters at his blog and widens his audience base to those susceptible to his brand of rhetoric.

While Bolt caters for the more extreme of Australia’s truly racist xenophobes, other journalists in Murdoch’s group of on-line newspapers, including his flagship newspaper The Australian, tend to be a little more subtle about their racist views. Greg Sheridan, The Australian’s foreign editor for example, writes that boatpeople are illegal immigrants saying:

“If we can solve the illegal immigration problem, it will only be through Indonesia's good offices.”

Right-wing columnists also write in Murdoch’s papers. Melanie Phillips, a well known extreme right-wing Islamophobe, appears regularly in Murdoch’s Australian press. Today she writes an outrageously fearmongering piece on the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir claiming without any evidence whatsoever that it is:

“It is one of the most manipulative and effective recruitment fronts for the Islamic jihad, particularly among the educated Muslim young.”

The common denominator in these articles is always the fear of radical Islam.

It is this kind of blatant right-wing propaganda and deceit that is misleading many Australians and causing racial tensions in Australia to increase. The problem is compounded when Gillard tells the Australian people that it’s OK to be anxious about boatpeople and that they are not being racist by expressing those concerns. The fact is; people who do not accept boatpeople in Australia are very much racist. Why else would they object to them? And, to make matters even worse and in a transparent attempt to get ‘Howard’s racist battlers’ on side, Gillard has even reinforced the ‘it’s not racist to object to boatpeople’ notion by saying that John Howard was not a racist. This is playing racist politics at its very worst.

Australia is fast sliding into the same kind of extremist anti-Islam racism that is being witnessed today in the UK and Europe.

Extreme right-wing anti-Islamic groups are springing up everywhere. In Britain the English Defence League (EDL) has grown from being just a loose-knit football hooligan skinhead neo-Nazi group into a highly structured countrywide organisation that uses the internet to call its members to rallies in areas where there are large Islamic immigrant communities throughout Britain. EDL rallies are becoming increasingly violent as they deliberately seek to provoke Muslim youths in predominately Islamic areas.

In Europe, anti-Islamic groups have been organised to the point that they now co-ordinate their activities across Europe and around the world. Anti-Islamic politicians and political pressure groups have sprung up in many countries. Geert Wilders is the leader of the Netherlands third most popular political party, the staunchly racist and anti-Islam Party for Freedom, which has enjoyed strong success in recent Dutch elections.

In Europe and Britain anti-Islam racism has almost reached the point of no return. The next very short step is to the kind of violence that can quickly escalate into the sort of ethnic cleansing that was seen in the 1990s in the Balkans.

Australia is rapidly heading down that very same road. Julia Gillard has made a very naïve but incredibly massive blunder in caving in to the right-wing Islamophobic racists of Australia over the boatpeople issue. A series of myth-busting facts about boatpeople could easily have combated the lies and perpetuated myths that the extreme right-wing racists and Islamophobes rely on to spread their hatred.

Instead, she has played into their hands and has set Australia on the same path to potential ethnic disaster as Europe seems to be heading.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


For years, a succession of American presidents has played up to Israel’s ambiguity about its nuclear weapons arsenal but now it looks like the games afoot. It always seemed, even on the odd occasion that the US and Israel didn’t quite see eye to eye on various issues in the past, that the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons status was sacrosanct.

Today, however, the New York Times has revealed that President Obama has broken the tradition of the US ignoring Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal. As Mark Lander writes in the NYT:

“At a meeting to review the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in May, the United States yielded to demands by Arab nations that the final document urge Israel to sign the treaty — a way of spotlighting its historically undeclared nuclear weapons. Israel believed it had assurances from the Obama administration that it would reject efforts to include such a reference, an Israeli official said, and it saw this as another sign of unreliability by its most important ally.”

Israel, of course, will play its usual game of non-denial denial together with deceit and finger pointing, (in the general direction of Iran, naturally), and will stretch out any response in the hope that the final confrontation with Iran happens before Israel is actually forced to do anything about its nuclear weapons.

But, as I have written before, these apparent rifts between the US and Israel are just a mirage.

Despite the problems that seem to be pulling the two apart, when it comes to Iran the two are together. Despite the US making noises over settlements and building in East Jerusalem and despite Obama’s insistence on talks to create a Palestinian state and despite Obama’s insistence that Israel eases the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu hasn’t taken a blind bit of notice of anything Obama has said. Netanyahu continues to obfuscate on every issue. Meanwhile, the US continues to supply massive amounts of jet and diesel fuel for Israel’s military, continues to hold joint exercises with the IDF, continues to provide intelligence on Iran to Israel, continues to have its warships sailing alongside Israeli warships and submarines in the Persian Gulf, and continues to makes noises against Iran in support of Israel.

The world already knows that Israel has nuclear weapons but now that the US has as good as confirmed that this is the case by supporting the rest of the world’s demand that Israel comes clean and disarms, it may be the case that this is somehow a warning to Iran that Israel should not be messed with. Is the US trying to say; ‘If Israel attacks Iran, then Iran should think twice about retaliating against Israel. After all, Israel really does have nuclear weapons’?