via Lobe Log
On today’s MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Israeli Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon disapproved of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments regarding deadlines on Iran’s nuclear program. After claiming that “we know that Iran is building a nuclear bomb” and blaming President Obama for “deciding not to decide”, Danon said that the threat Israel perceives from Iran will come to “your [the US’s] shores” one day. He added that war against Iran should be a “joint effort”:
Danon: I want to make sure that our region is stable. In order to do that, we have to tell Iran, we will not allow you to become nuclear. And if it takes a military action, we are willing. And I say “we” – it’s not only Israelis, not only Jews against Arabs because of the values, because of democracy. And look at what’s happening right now in Egypt and in Libya. Those people are against the U.S. embassies because of the values that we represent.
Geist: Just to be clear, this is very important: you, as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, believe all other options have been exhausted and it’s time for military action in Iran?
Danon: Absolutely but it should be a joint effort of the Western societies and not only Israel should take the burden to deal with this threat.
Morning Joe later featured TIME’s Joe Klein on the same show. Responding to Danon’s remarks, Klein argued that the Netanyahu government is trying to push the US into a war with Iran that would not serve US or Israeli interests:
As for Israel, and the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and the Prime Minister, I don’t think I’ve ever, in the forty years I’ve been doing this – and I’m trying to search my mind through history – have heard of another example of an American ally trying to push us into war as blatantly, and trying to influence an American election as blatantly as Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud party in Israel is doing right now. I think it’s absolutely outrageous and disgusting. It’s not a way that friends treat each other. And it is cynical and it is brazen.
Klein contested Danon’s dismissal of the effectiveness of sanctions and argued that if Iran did make the decision to obtain a nuclear weapon, it would use it as a deterrent and not operationally “unless provoked.” He and his hosts also discussed the likelihood – without seeming to consider otherwise – that Netanyahu wants Mitt Romney to win the election because the Republican nominee would defer to the Likud government on most Middle East affairs.
Last month, from the polar opposite end of the ideological spectrum, neoconservative historian Michael Leeden wrote that Israel’s policy has been aimed at trying to get the US to initiate military strikes against Iran for decades:
…Israel does not want to do it. For as long as I can remember, the Israelis have been trying to get U.S. to do it, because they have long believed that Iran was so big that only a big country could successfully take on the mullahs in a direct confrontation. So Israel’s Iran policy has been to convince us to do whatever the Israelis think is best. And while they’re willing to do their part, they are very reluctant to take on the entire burden.
Just read what Israeli leaders are saying and you’ll see that, I think.
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