From the very beginning of its creation in 1948, Israel has focused on maintaining hegemony in the Middle East. This has been accomplished through a dual strategy:
(1) building the most powerful military in the region (largely through the acquisition of US tax money, weaponry, and technology), and
(2) preventing other nations in the region from becoming financially and militarily competitive.
Accordingly, Israeli strategists have focused on Iran for many years.
In 1993 an Israeli author wrote:
"Since the spring of 1992 public opinion in Israel is being prepared for the prospect of a war with Iran, to be fought to bring about Iran’s total military and political defeat. In one version, Israel would attack Iran alone, in another it would ‘persuade’ the West to do the job.
"The indoctrination campaign to this effect is gaining in intensity. It is accompanied by what could be called semi-official horror scenarios purporting to detail what Iran could do to Israel, the West and the entire world when it acquires nuclear weapons as it is expected to a few years hence.
Shahak explains that this exemplifies an Israeli doctrine that has been in place for decades:
"...since the early 1950s...in the Middle East no other strong state is to be tolerated. Its power must be destroyed or at least diminished through a war. Iranian theocracy may have its utility for the Israeli Hasbara, But Nasser’s Egypt was attacked while being emphatically secular. In Both cases the real reason for the Israeli threat to start a war was the strength of the state concerned."
From 1980-1988 Iran was at war with Iraq, which effectively neutralized both countries. However, when this war ended, both Iraq and Iran became, in Israel's eyes, potential threats.
Now that US wars against Iraq, primarily promoted by Israel partisans, have devastated Iraq, Iran remains as the next major "threat" Israeli leaders wish to be neutralized.
Not surprisingly, the same groups that pushed the US into war with Iraq are now similarly demonizing Iran, laying the groundwork for both massive economic sanctions (a previous strategy of this type against Iraq killed 5,000 Iraqi children under the age per month) and, possibly, some sort of military strike.
For example, Daniel Pipes, an Israel partisan who promotes Islamophobia, stated in an interview that Israeli Prime Minister Binyomin Netanyahu should threaten to use nuclear weapons against Iran as a means of “applying pressure” on the United States.
“I think it’s realistic for the Israelis to attack and do real damage,” Pipes said.
There are continuing efforts to claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, despite the fact that the evidence consistently suggests otherwise. And Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear technology should not be hostage to their political relations with other nations.
Similarly, President Ahmadinejad's statements are often taken out of context or mistranslated. For example, he did not say that "Israel should be wiped off the map," even though this is repeatedly claimed.
The advertisement on the right ran in the New York Times on April 30th, 2010. The sponsors listed in the ad are:
- The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
- Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
- Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)
- The Jewish Federations of North America
- American Jewish Committee (AJC)
- Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
- Union for Reform Judaism
- Orthodox Union
- The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
- Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
- National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
- American Jewish Congress
- Women's League for Conservative Judaism
- B'nai B'rith International
- Jewish War Veterans of the United States
- Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life