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IDF Chief Of Staff Affirms Israeli Responsibility For Iran Covert War, Assassinations – OpEd

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Fox News reports that IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz testified in closed session to the Israeli Knessets foreign affairs and defense committee that Israel was engaged in sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program through a series of “unnatural” acts:

“2012 is expected to be a critical year for Iran.” He cited “the confluence of efforts to advance the nuclear program, internal leadership changes, continued international pressure and things that happen to it unnaturally.”

As the article notes, it’s no accident that the hearing occurred less than 24 hours before the latest assassination.  In addition, an IDF spokesperson posted to his Facebook account the following:

Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, said: “I don’t know who settled the score with the Iranian scientist, but I certainly am not shedding a tear.”

It should be recalled that defense minister Ehud Barak chortled to the media after the last missile base explosion: “May there be many more.”  These are the “giddy” effusions of a teenage boy breaking open his first chemistry set with which he hopes to create very loud booms.  It’s not the response of a mature, sober-minded country.  It’s the response of a country which thinks that doing something, anything is better than sitting back and waiting for a regional competitor to become strong enough to challenge it for dominance.

A further example of the wrong-headedness of this approach can be seen in Ronen Bergman’s remarks in the article:

“The outcome of such assassinations are the actual neutralization of the main scientists and the intimidation of those left behind,” he said.

I seriously doubt that Israel has murdered (notice use of the emotionally flat term “neutralization”) the “main scientists.”  It has murdered the ones it could find, the ones who were most public or vulnerable.  You can be sure that the key scientists are far more protected.  As for intimidating anyone, does Bergman think that Israeli nuclear scientists would be “intimidated” by such a campaign against them?  Not likely.  They would consider it their national duty to pursue such research and risk death if it came, in order to do what is necessary to “protect” (in their view) their country, including creating a nuclear weapon if that was national policy.

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This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

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