Netanyahu at cabinet meeting.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I have recently been considering the advantages an Iranian nuclear bomb would bring to Israel. A credible Iranian nuclear threat would restore cohesion to Israeli society, a society that seems to be unraveling, as nothing brings Israelis together like a national security crisis. Moreover, an Iranian bomb would allow Israelis to return to the 1960s mindset, an age in which there were no shades of gray to the Arab-Israeli conflict and no dissent among the ranks. Israel was right, the Arabs were wrong. Israel was on the defense, the Arabs were on the offense.
Iran’s bomb would also prompt Israelis to turn a blind eye to the ailments that now plague their society. What need is there to deal with the rampant discrimination against the Arab-Israeli minority, the rhetoric of hate and violence and the merging of political ideology with religious fever when Iranian ICBMs may soon rain on our parade? Why, such ICBMs could financially benefit Israel’s high-tech sector. Government expenditure on innovative technological solutions to the nuclear threat would rocket. If the world marveled at the “Iron Dome” system, imagine its reaction to the “Steel Rotunda” or “Copper Cupola” systems that would be developed in order to contend with a Shi’ite bomb.
Following in Justin Timberlake’s footsteps, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would also be able to launch the 2016 “I Told You So” world tour, selling out stadiums across the US thereby solidifying his position as hip hop’s new “King Bibi.” And after 60 years of hiding, Israel would finally come out of the nuclear closet and conduct its own nuclear experiment.
For as Mel Brooks once said – if you got it, flaunt it! But most importantly, the Iranian bomb might lead to Shimon Peres’s New Middle East as Sunni nations would recognize Israel and sign mutual defense pacts with it given a shared fear of Oppenheimer’s weapon of mass destruction.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has long since realized the advantages of an Iranian nuclear bomb issue, and uses it as a weapon of mass distraction.
Whenever a political crisis looms, Netanyahu can be found undermining American efforts to achieve an agreement with Iran. Such was the case over the past month when Netanyahu repeatedly referenced the Iranian threat as his government continued to crumble.
On November 9 Netanyahu spoke at the Likud party conference stating that we have now entered a critical stage in the battle against Iran and that the world powers were about to make an historic mistake by capitulating to Iran in the Vienna negotiations. On November 17 Netanyahu said that Iran poses the gravest threat to global security and on the 24th he remarked that Israel is closely monitoring the talks with Iran and reserves its right to defend itself.
It is unclear if Netanyahu, the ultimate political cynic, truly believes that the die has been cast and Iran has passed the point of no return.
What is certain is that he is rooting against US Secretary of State Kerry and his efforts to resolve the Iranian crisis by means of diplomacy. And the prime minister is not alone. Many Israelis are rooting against America. They do so because of a deep-rooted mistrust of the Obama administration, they do so because the stakes are high and they do so because of the lessons learned from the Jewish people’s past.
I, for one, am rooting for Secretary Kerry and President Barack Obama. I do so because I am still confident in America’s commitment to Israel’s security and because of my belief that totalitarian regimes aspire to survive, and therein lies their logic. But mostly I do so because I hope that if man can make great weapons of war, he can also make great peace.
The author is concluding his mass media studies at Tel Aviv University. He has previously contributed to The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Daily Forward and 972online Magazine. He blogs at www.digdipblog.com.