William Pfaff reveals the truth behind the tension with Iran
If (the Iranians) intend to produce nuclear weapons, it is to possess a deterrent to foreign aggression. The Israelis, another highly intelligent and well-educated people, also know nuclear history. Their present policy is not based on fear of a nuclear attack by Iran (or by an Iranian proxy). It is calculated to prevent the United States from imposing on Israel a solution to its relationship with the Palestinians. They do not wish a permanent legal frontier dividing them from some new and recognized Palestinian state — a frontier sponsored and also guaranteed by the United States, as well as by international law.
Such a border, and such an internationally guaranteed Palestinian state, would stop further Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory, and possibly reverse the expansion that already has taken place. Continuing expansion is the present Israeli government’s policy, as President Binyamin Netanyahu stated in the presence of the international press at Davos, at the start of the first Netanyahu government in 1996.
The propaganda concerning Iranian nuclear weapons is deliberately promoted by Israel and its allies in order to inspire an attack on Iran by the United States, or more likely, to rationalize such an attack by Israel itself. An attack, by either government, would undoubtedly provoke Iranian retaliation against American troops, ships, and installations in regions neighboring Iran. It would also distract the United States from the Palestinian issue.
This explains recent efforts by the American military to dissuade Israel from such an attack. At the same time, others in the American government, and all but one of the present Republican candidates for the presidential nomination, irresponsibly promote such an arrack, against the interests of their own nation.