ISRAELI NUCLEAR AND FOREIGN POLICIES
By Israel Shahak
Israeli Policies Toward Iran
1 October 1994
Here I am going to discuss the continuation and the results of the Israeli anti-Iranian campaign described before. I rely primarily on Aluf Ben (Haarerz, 28 September), whose article obviously echoes the views of highly-placed sources in the Israeli establishment, and in particular, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in the way it presents the Israeli anti-Iranian policies up to the date of its publication.
It seems impossible to write about Israeli foreign policy in general, and Shimon Peres in particular, without bearing in mind Orwell's Ministry of Truth from his novel 1984. Ben reveals the hitherto unknown fact that under Peres the Israeli Foreign Ministry has had a `Peace in the Middle East Department'. Right after the Buenos Aires terror assault `Peres appointed the deputy-director, of this department, Yo'av Biran as a coordinator of Israeli measures against Iran', writes Ben, because `Israel instantly perceived this assault as a convenient opportunity' to form an anti-Iranian coalition. The fact that Israeli Intelligence has failed to establish any link between Iran and that terror assault, was of course no obstacle in this `convenient opportunity'. But one may ask a deeper question here: why do terrorist assaults have a tendency to occur exactly when their occurrence is for Israel a `convenient opportunity'? Leaving this issue aside for the time being, let me quote Ben who invokes `top-ranking [Israeli] politician' (possibly Peres) as one who `several days earlier briefed the more notable Jerusalem political correspondents' about the results of a worldwide campaign against Iran.
The campaign was to follow Rabin's strategy and Peres' tactics and to be carried out by Biran in `Peace in the Middle East Department'. Rabin and Peres agree that 'Iran is the greatest risk Israel has ever faced and a major threat to the stability of the entire Middle East.' This is due not only to `its support for terror and sabotage and its attempt to become nuclearized', but to its `being an examplar not only for Islamic fundamentalists but for other resistance movements in Arab countries'. Judging from myo familiarity with what goes under the name of Israeli strategic thinking, the reference to 'resistance movements' means that many
Middle Easterners (not necessarily Arabs) take pride in the fact that Iran has not succumbed to American diktat for nearly twenty years. This proves to them that resistance to US policy schemes in the Middle East is possible and conflicts with Israeli attempts `to convince' everyone concerned that resisting the US is an exercise in futility; and that, since Israel has US support, resisting Israel is futile as well. Iran provides the best evidence to the contrary. Rabin's strategy was `to push the US and other western powers into a confrontation with Iran' because if `Israel confronts Iran on its own, it may get involved in a religious war against the entire Muslim world'. To forestall this danger `Israeli propaganda [Hasbara] was ordered to depict the rulers of Iran as "a danger to peace in the entire world and a threat to equilibrium between Western civilization and Islam".' Peres exerted himself towards this aim by `sending his personal representatives to capitals of states in the world at large, in order to first announce that Israel and Jordan had reached an agreement and right thereafter to demand that the state concerned should stop giving credits to Iran and radically reduce the volume of trade with it, until it ceases supporting terrorism and gives up attempts to nuclearize'. Peres' representatives were also instructed to say that Israel was highly critical of any state willing to reschedule Iranian debts. The chief of Tender in Israel's eyes was Germany 'which the was first to sign with Iran a debt-rescheduling accord', but Japan, France, Italy, Switzerland and South Korea were by no means blameless in Israeli eyes either. Let me omit Ben's reports about the course of this campaign, except to report on the behaviour of Iranian diplomats attending international conferences who, to Israeli regret, didn't behave in conformity with expectations. The Israeli diplomats had instructions to accuse Iran of 'undermining the peace process', expecting Iranians 'either to leave the hall during our speeches or else to corroborate our allegations by admitting that they indeed opposed the peace process'. Instead, the Iranian diplomats used to listen to Israeli representatives' accusations and then take the podium to argue that the word `peace' has plural meanings. If by using that word Israel means to withdraw from all territories conquered since June 1967 including East Jerusalem and South Lebanon, Iran will by no means oppose it. The Israeli diplomats couldn't but refuse to answer the Iranians straight. Instead, they quoted some admittedly provocative interviews Iranian politicians had previously given to the western press. That was answered by an assertion that the interviewers `didn't understand what they had been told' and by reiterating the request to discuss the peace that could be brought to fruition by a total Israeli withdrawal.
ISRAELI NUCLEAR AND FOREIGN POLICIES
By Israel Shahak
Israel's Strategic Aims and
from chapter 2
Syrian Cities and Relations with Saddam Hussein
Israel Versus Iran chapter
Israeli Foreign Policy after the Oslo Accord
Israeli Foreign Policies, August 1994
Israeli Policies Toward Iran and Syria
from chapter 8
Israel and the Organized American Jews
from chapter 11
The Pro-Israeli Lobby in the US and the Inman Affair