Who needs AIPAC when all it takes is a few interviews with Israeli "sources" to scare the hell out of the Jews -- courtesy of Israel's spokespeople in the American media?
For the last, oh, seven years Israel has tried to convince the world that a) Iran is 1-3 years away from obtaining a nuclear weapon capacity; b) Israel feels existentially threatened by this; c) it is the duty and interest of the West to see that no other country but Israel has nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
And don't' forget d): if the World (i.e., the US) doesn't take military steps soon to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, then Israel will go it alone.
Now few people believe a), whereas b) is irrelevant because Israel always feels existentially threatened (or says that it feels so); c) is entirely without basis; and d) is simply bullshit.
Call me naïve, but I don't think that Israel is so stupid, so suicidal, as to go it alone by bombing Iran. True, Israel has been capable of doing incredibly stupid and masochistic things in the past, and no doubt will continue to do so in the future. But even Israelis don't think that they can seriously defeat Iran's nuclear ambitions (whatever they may be), and the one thing Israel doesn't want to look like is a loser. So precisely because it goes around kvetching about Iran all the time, we can infer that Israel has no desire to attack Iran and every desire to make others think it desires to attack Iran
No, there is another reason for this hysterical warmongering, and that is simply to push the onus for attacking Iran on the US and – when it fails to do so -- portray Obama as weak and appeasing to Iran. And that is in order to get more votes for a Congress that will be even more favorable to Israel – if that's possible – and to further cripple a naturally hesitant and wimpy on Israel administration.
Israel knows that an Obama administration will not attack Iran. Period. When it makes noises to that effect, you can be sure that there is an ulterior motive.
Enter the servants of Israel in the US media who, in recent days, have sounded like the Rosh ha-Shanah shofar, trumpeting to the American media what Israel wants them to hear.
George F. Will is no idiot, but that doesn't mean that he can't be somebody else's idiot…no I have too much respect for George to say that. He must know that Netanyahu's warning is sham, that his rhetoric is sham, and that publicizing this stuff now can only have one purpose, which is to embarrass the Obama administration. So to call him a "useful idiot" is not fair to his intelligence or his ideology. He is doing what he thinks is necessary to further what he thinks is good for America, and that is the end of the Obama administration, with little regard for Israel or Iran.
I cannot say the same for Jeffrey Goldberg, who, unlike Will, has no ideological antipathy towards Obama, but whose recent much-criticized article on Israel's intentions towards Iran – Goldberg's colleague at the Atlantic James Fallows had to leap to defend his objectivity – reeks of an Israel-first political agenda. I know, I know, you will say, "Duh", and that it is unlikely that the Obama administration will take the message of the article seriously. But, that is not the point. Here, too, the effect will simply be to weaken the Obama administration's already weak posture towards Israel on other fronts, like the Israel/Palestine direct talks, which are scheduled to begin…uh…Real Soon Now.
How many articles have blasted Goldberg's piece? Well, among the many, let me point out good pieces by Eli Clifton, Justin Elliot, Paul Woodward, Matt Duss, Amjad Atallah , Tony Karon, Stephen Walt, Max Blumenthal, Glenn Greenwald, Trita Parsi and Robert Farley.
Time limited? Well, the last two are good places to start, the former for historical perspective, and the latter for insight.
I don't normally blog on this stuff, but what annoys me about the Iran hysteria is that I know Jews who don't sleep at night because they are afraid of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Like glatt kosher Chicken Littles, they run around in a tizzy, genuinely scared – I believe them – because their leaders have frightened the bejesus out of them.
The Passover Haggadah says, "In every generation, people rose against us to destroy us." Just like every Jewish generation needs a messiah (of which we have an endless supply), it also needs a Bogeyman. Ahmadinejad is this generation's Jewish bogeyman. The Iranian people should vote him out of office, but for existential threats to Israel, Iran is the last place to look.