Saturday, June 21, 2008

Iran and the New Israeli Diplomacy

By Bachir Habib

The New York Times announced on Friday that Israel has carried out a rehearsal for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The large military exercise took place over the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece during the first week of June 2008 and involved more than 100 F15 and F16 warplanes.

The bells of war may not be tolling yet, but the diplomatic fire alarm has been triggered. The IAEA Director Mohamed el Baradei said he would resign if there was a military strike on Iran, warning that such an attack would turn the region into a “fireball”. Russia’s UN envoy commented on the rehearsal saying that threatening Iran with military action could undermine newfound momentum to resolve the standoff with Tehran.

The diplomatic momentum M. Churkin mentioned appears to compete with a military one already in the pipeline.

Today, the risk of an American attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities seems unrealistic, due to many reasons related to security in the Gulf and the Middle East. But the scenario of an Israeli attack on Iran nuclear plants looked like a reality after the report published on Friday by the NY Times.

The credibility of this scenario resides a Realpolitik process that has been running for months now, between the Jewish State and the Iranian proxies in the Middle East such as Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.

It comes while Turkish brokered negotiations between Damascus and Tel Aviv are going forward, with the Syrian President and the Israeli PM attending the same summit in France on the 13th of July. It comes as well after Israel and Hamas succeeded in agreeing an Egyptian brokered truce in Gaza. And finally it coincides with a German brokered exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hezbollah that begun with the release of Nassim Nisr weeks ago, and the possibility of freeing Samir Kuntar (prisoner in Israel since 1979) in the next few days. There are also diplomatic signs from Israel towards a possible pullout from Shebaa farms due to what appears to be serious US-UN efforts to transfer sovereignty over the farms from Israel to the UN as a first step.

If Tel Aviv agrees on the two latter points, Hezbollah and mostly its popular base will suffer an existential crisis because the party of god always pretended keeping its weapons till the liberation of Shebaa farms and the release of Lebanese prisoners in Israel including Kuntar.

The new “positive” Israeli diplomacy towards Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah generated many question marks lately, but it is now possible to consider that the answers are starting to be uncovered. The Israeli military rehearsal over the Eastern Mediterranean might help in bringing answers to the surface. In that sense, it might be an American-Israeli synchronized preventive diplomacy aiming at impeaching any Iranian proxy reaction in case Teheran is attacked.

If this logic prevails, the timing of the Israeli attack on Iran will then be carefully chosen after a pullout from Shebaa and the liberation of Kuntar, and after the Mediterranean Summit in Paris next month where the Israeli Syrian talks will be informally on the schedule. And by this time, the truce between Israel and Hamas may have passed its critical phase.

But all this looks very easy, and things tend to become more complicated, because what is expected is a preventive Iranian diplomacy hijacking the Israeli American plans before they get to the crucial moment of attacking. The Israeli game is now uncovered, and it’s time for Teheran to play.

It’s yet very early to proclaim a winner, and uncertain that there will be one.


Arab Democracy said...

I am not sure who this comment is addressed to even if it wasnt an easy copy paste.

Thank you for bombarding us again with narrowminded one-sided Israeli propaganda that provides cliche answers without context.

I dont know the exact details of who was being targeted that night in 1979 and and how events unraveled. But please lets not turn this into a psychopathic killing spree. The military and politcal context is important.

On the other hand I can assure you that thousands upon thousands of Arab chilren have and still face Israeli monsters on a daily basis. Their nightmares are also full of terrorists who hide behind their neat green uniform and their high-tech weaponry.

I shed tears for your children Mr Zionist, do you shed tears for mine????

Case closed.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bachir Habib :)

Can you please post the link to the NY time article.

Thank You,


Anonymous said...

"Joseph" doesn't sound like a Palestinian name to me.

And as for "Your Children" well after reading what Samir Kuntar did to those Jewish children I couldn't care whether they live or die.

You better pray to your moon god that the day never comes that I do start caring.

I can't ever imagine myself cheering for a guy who would do such stuff to four year olds, but who knows, perhaps I could. Don't test me. As much as you think you know us, you don't. We are still being restrained but push us just a little bit more and the true us might just come out.

But, why should I say it when Carlos Mencia said it oh, so well in this video.

Arab Democracy said...

The fact that you dont think Joseph can be a Palestinian name shows a worrying degree of ignorance.

We've heard all the threats before. One Day its the poor Jewish David facing the Arab Goliath, another its the all mighty power of the IDF who will crush us in our sleep. Oh the sight of that lovely cleanly shaven 18 year old Israeli conscript sniping children in Rafah must fill you with pride.

Our democracy is the greatest threat to your racist entity.
If you have nothing new to contribute to the debate go spill your hatred elsewhere.. with the rest of the arrogant biggots.

There is one reality: The only way you wil be accepted in this part of the world is as guests even if it takes a million years. So better start working on your attitude!