Remember that all-powerful girl clique that seemed to “run it all” in high school? And you know when that popular girl-ringleader got “upset” and started to act “nasty” because one of her followers had the temerity to make a “bad move” without her approval? Well, this can happen in politics, too. In this context, that girl is Benjamin Netanyahu.
After recent signs of an incipient thaw in relations between the United States and Iran, you would think the world might, after all, become a better place. Not with Netanyahu, it seems. Displeased by the first top-level conversation between the two countries for more than 30 years, the Israeli prime minister took to the stage at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday and delivered one of his favorite messages of intimidation.
Devoid of anything but mendacious rhetoric, Netanyahu once again baselessly accused Iran of pursuing nuclear weapon ambitions. The prime minister’s unfounded allegations were, as ever, concomitant with this menacing tone typical of a total bully.
He explicitly referred to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “a liar.” The absurdity reached its zenith when Netanyahu, without any evidence or details, indicted Iran of “ordering, planning or perpetrating terrorist attacks in 25 countries on five continents” only in the space of “the past three years.” It was not even a good lie.
Contrast Netanyahu’s string of rants and uncorroborated accusations with the Iranian president’s speeches and political tendencies, which clearly signal a new Iran, and you will unmistakably see the real source of aggression.
Netanyahu, for good measure, concluded his speech with an explicit, warmongering declaration: “If Israel is forced to stand alone,” he said, “Israel will stand alone.”
See the paradox: The U.N. which was founded prior to World War II with the purpose of ending world wars, has now become Netanyahu’s platform for declaring one. And what’s his reason? “Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.”
The similarities in rhetoric between today and 2002 are incredible. It was the same Israeli prime minister on Sept. 12, 2002, who said: “There is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons — no question whatsoever.”
Well, where are those weapons of mass destruction now, Mr. Prime Minister? Where are they? Or I guess it’s too late to ask.
Netanyahu’s pattern of duplicity and hypocrisy can only be exceeded by the brazen disregard of several U.N. resolutions by Israel itself. Dozens of unlawful Israeli settlements have been built despite the Oslo Accords, which, in no vague terms, prevent illegal expansion into the Palestinian lands.
According to an article published by The Independent this Oct. 1, Netanyahu “brusquely told (Obama) to forget UN Security Resolution 242,” a resolution which demands the “withdrawal of Israeli forces from lands occupied after the 1967 war.” Can you give a better example of violating international law?
Now, we may be facing two scenarios in the shadow of Netanyahu’s ludicrous speech. First: If he really launches an attack on Iran, it will unlikely be solo. An attack on Shiite Iran may provoke a regional Shiite response. It is no news to say that the Middle East tends to view Israel and the United States as partners joined in matrimonial bond. That is due to the U.S.’s unconditional arming and supporting of Israel.
Shiite militants in Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain will be in a position to target their possible retaliation on not only Israel, but also the U.S. councils and military bases in those locations. Suffice to say that the U.S. naval base in Bahrain is located on an island of 60 percent Pro-Iranian Shiites. In other words, the U.S. may be facing yet another possible Benghazi, at best, or a buildup toward an Iraq-esque war, at worst, all because of Netanyahu’s undiplomatic, irresponsible approach and falsehood.
Second: The speech may plausibly be just more empty rhetoric with no real intention of going to war with Iran. In such a scenario, he is just pulling the Jewish lobby card up his sleeve. The hidden messages found in Netanyahu’s speech, in other words, may be intended to exert pressure on Washington to change its course with regard to what seems to be a start of warmer political ties with Tehran.
Think about this: By Netanyahu’s attempts to derail U.S. historical negotiation with Tehran through his loyal lobbies in Washington, he is actually dictating U.S. foreign policies. Who is the cunning wolf now? What a farce!
Ahmed Seif is a graduate student of English literature from Alexandria, Egypt.