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Thu Dec 15, 2011, 02:58 PM

Yaalon: Iran Has Choice To ‘Have Bomb Or Survive’ [View all]

Written by: Richard Silverstein
December 15, 2011

Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon gave a foreign press briefing two days ago hosted by the ultra-hawkish pro-Israel advocacy group, The Israel Project. The former IDF general ranged over affairs in the entire Middle East. It was a deft, well-argued presentation that posited a region that would be in a state of perpetual conflict into the indefinite future. It presented Israel as a lone bastion of democracy in an enclave filled with radical Islamism that threatened not just his country, but virtually the entire world.

It was a briefing that was filled with lies, fantasies, with even a smidgen of fact thrown in. I found it fascinating. Fascinating, because it gives you entré into a certain strategic vision shared by Israel’s most hawkish, most delusional policymakers. But let’s be clear. Bogie Yaalon isn’t delusional in the way that the Hilltop Youth are. He’s not even delusional in the way that Avigdor Lieberman or Newt Gingrich is. He’s delusional in a stone-cold sober, cold-blooded way that could lead to tens of thousands of dead, blood running down the streets of Israel, Iran and numerous other Arab cities, and missiles bristling from bunkers and launch sites throughout the region.

A word on his background. He was IDF chief of staff until called upon by Ariel Sharon to help evacuate settlers from Gaza. When he refused, Sharon cashiered him unceremoniously, which left an incredibly bitter taste in his mouth. He is not just a security hawk, but caters to most far-right fringes of the Likud. I reported here on a visit he made to Australia in the company of Moshe Feiglin and members of Meir Kahane’s family, which is among the most extreme of the settlers. Feiglin has been banned from the UK as a figure whose extremist views might disturb the public order. He was promised the defense portfolio by Bibi Netanyahu before the last election, but the latter welched when he decided to bring Ehud Barak and Labor into the coalition government. This has left Yaalon and Barak as sworn enemies.

Before you read this, the question all of us should consider is–is Bogie Yaalon a lone wolf spinning his own strategic vision of apocalyptic doom or does he have the power to implement this vision? Does he have Bibi’s ear? Can he turn his views and theories into operational orders and boots on the ground? One way of answering this question is to note that Yaalon is within Bibi’s inner circle as a member of the Shminiya, the eight-member senior minister’s circle that votes on all major policy proposals such as an Iran attack. In that capacity, he has a huge platform to realize his views.



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Reply Yaalon: Iran Has Choice To ‘Have Bomb Or Survive’ [View all]
Purveyor Dec 2011 OP
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shaayecanaan Dec 2011 #2