negotiate with is why - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • hmakhdoom
    • 30.04.12 | 10:13 (IDT)

    Negotiate directly with Iran. The issue right now is that Israel is attempting to make an international issue out of Iran’s nuclear program while simultaneously threatening to strike Iran unilaterally. The only way that Iran’s nuclear program can be made an ‘international’ issue is if Israel relies heavily on diplomacy. Yet, doing so necessitates that Israel tentatively forswear any military action. It is precisely Israel’s threats to strike Iran unilaterally that contradict their parallel attempt to market Iran’s nuclear program as an international issue. Israel has, in effect, locked itself in a dilemma. If the issue is international then it can only be solved through diplomacy, since a war is highly undesirable and difficult to conduct when viewed through an international framework. If the issue is bilateral or regional, involving Israel and Iran and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries, then Israel can convincingly threaten Iran with a unilateral strike. I suggest that Israel take the latter route: Israel ought to use the Arab League as a venue to make a case against the Iranian nuclear program. It would be groundbreaking, it would create a surge of excitement through the West, and it would tie the parties together through a common ‘foe’: Iran. In other words, Israel should present its case to the Arab League. Then, it should negotiate directly with Iran. But it should not do so through the League. It should do so with the backing of the League. What this will do is completely delegitimize Iran’s nuclear program. Not only will the Arab League have invited Israel to present its grievances and concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program and thereby make history, it will unite the entire region against Iran. It is at this moment that an Israeli ultimatum to Iran will find very few opponents and very many supporters. Even Russia and China will be reluctant to publically disagree with a joint Israel-Arab League watershed complaint about Iran’s nuclear program. At that point, not only do threats of war become credible, but Iran becomes the political loser unless it forsakes all military action and completely commits itself to negotiations. Israel will be the big winner. In this situation: If Israel attacks Iran At the very least, if the League were to acquiesce to remain silent in the face of an Israeli war with Iran, it would make Israeli actions appear legitimate as well as make the delegitimization of the war much more difficult. With the tacit support of the League, Israel will be seen as having regional support. This would make it much more easy, politically, for Israel’s North American and European allies to offer various forms of support, though ‘boots on the ground’ support would be extremely unlikely. Moreover, this would make Russian and Indian interference less likely. If Israel negotiates: Then it is doing so with the upper hand and will likely emerge victorious.

    from the article: Ex-Mossad Chief Dagan: Conflict between Israel, Iran is the entire world's problem
    First published 20:47 29.04.12 | Last updated 20:47 29.04.12
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