Media Release For immediate release September 25, 2012
In his Sept. 20 Op-Ed piece in the Toronto Star Shimon Fogel, the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), rants against “Iran’s anti-Israeli ravings” (Israel can’t afford to ignore Iran’s threats). Labelling Iran a threat, Fogel echos the aggressive position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, insisting that military strikes and war are the only option. Fogel desperately wants us to believe Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. This is war-mongering, not facts.
Why does Mr. Fogel believe that such a step is necessary? Because, he argues, if they possessed nuclear weapons, the leaders of the Islamic Republic might act on what he describes as their “feverish hatred” by launching a nuclear strike on Israel.
It is not clear why we should give credence to Mr. Fogel’s views and those of Mr. Netanyahu when experts like Meir Dagan, the former chief of Israel’s Mossad, have spoken out publicly against their call for a military confrontation with Iran. Mr. Dagan argues that the leaders of Iran are rational actors and that the country does not constitute a nuclear threat to Israel.
The expressions of concern about Israel’s well-being arising from this issue might be taken more seriously if the country were engaged in a diplomatic effort to address them. Instead, the Netanyahu government adamantly refuses to engage diplomatically with Iran and insists the U.S. refuse to do so as well. Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister is exerting unprecedented pressure on Washington to issue an ultimatum in the form of a “Red Line,” thereby setting conditions for Iran that he knows will be impossible for Tehran to meet.
Mr. Fogel argues that neither Israelis nor anyone else should be forced to live under a shadow of nuclear annihilation. We wholeheartedly agree. But we find it difficult to believe that removing the threat of nuclear weapons is the goal of the Israeli government in light of its announcement last week that it will not participate in a U.S.-backed Arab conference on creating a nuclear-free Middle East.
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada is a national organization that promotes a just resolution to the conflict in Israel and Palestine through the application of international law and respect for the human rights of all parties. IJV has chapters in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria.