Israel's Iran Debate Takes New Turn (Page 2 of 2)

But use of the Holocaust isn’t the only thing that risks undermining Netanyahu’s hard line strategy – the success of the United States and European Union in imposing wide ranging sanctions against Iran’s banking and oil industry is also creating a backlash against the prime minister and defense minister.

For most Israelis, Iran just isn’t the number one issue, and would have been unlikely to be even had elections been held in September as scheduled, before they were called off this week after the opposition Kadima party, headed by Shaul Mofaz, joined Netanyahu’s coalition government.

Interestingly, Mofaz has been one of the biggest public critics of the Netanyahu government’s Iran narrative and policies, so it will be interesting to see what effect his joining the government will have. Will he have a significant moderating effect? This seems unlikely given that Mofaz has already extracted two concessions in return for joining the coalition: Netanyahu’s support for Mofaz’s proposal to replace the current Tal Law, which enables ultra Orthodox youths to defer national service, as well as changes to Israel’s electoral system.

No mention has been made of Iran.

The reality is that Mofaz enters the current coalition from a position of weakness. According to recent polls, if elections were held as planned, Kadima could have lost more than half its parliamentary seats – 17 to be exact, from its current 28. Netanyahu’s Likud, in contrast, was on course to fare better, and was set to increase its seats from 27 to 31, according to one poll.

Such weakness, and the fact that Iran policy doesn’t seem to have been part of the deal, means it’s unlikely that Mofaz will bring about much change in the government’s position on Iran, and nor would he be able to restrain it if it decides to go ahead with a unilateral strike.

It is, of course, by no means certain that Israel will decide to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. What is clearer, though, is that despite the formation of a new coalition, the intense debate over – and the unprecedented criticism of – the government’s Iran policy is likely to continue.
 

Comments
4

[...] Israel’s Iran Debate Takes New Turn [...]

Saaten Maagar
May 14, 2012 at 14:43

It is not the first time that the Holocaust is used for political capital and will not be the last. After all look at how Israel is politicizing the Armenian Genocide, the prelude to the Holocaust, for political maneuverings.

MAJOR LOWEN GIL MARQUEZ, PHIL ARMY
May 11, 2012 at 12:28

The Israeli people must protect themselves against the nuclear program Iran in the future if such nuclear ambition will push thou… the best defense is offense either it is using the right or left hand effort as long it is acceptable by majority member of United Nations, Israel must have also have their own decision even other countries will not going to help them, the Israeli must strike at the heart of the enemy at any weather and terrain condition both on military or political warfare approach…

Shahriyar Gourgi
May 9, 2012 at 08:36

What you think:Mr Meir Javedanfar?

Benjamin Netanyahu’s rhetoric over Iran has prompted push back from former intelligence chiefs. But a new coalition member is unlikely to help moderate his ……………..
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Iran policy has come under intense criticism recently, most notably from former Mossad Chief Meir …
something that Netanyahu says will stabilize the government for the next year and a half so it can deal with reforms at home and security threats abroad.
By bolstering his majority from just over half to more than three-quarters of the parliament, Netanyahu now has more latitude in which to pursue a two-state solution and is less beholden to his core constituency of hardliners like Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Jewish settlers. Kadima, for its part, benefits by gaining much greater clout at a time when polls indicated it could face a drubbing in any upcoming elections.
“A major shift has happened in Israel’s government this night. Israel’s government is no longer a right-wing government,” says Amit Segal, a political commentator for Channel 2 news. “In the long term, it will enable Mr. Netanyahu to try to reach an agreement with the Palestinians without fearing the reaction of Mr. Lieberman or the right wingers of his party.”
Netanyahu’s big-tent government also gives him more political cover if he chooses to be more aggressive against Iran because of the presence of Mr. Mofaz, a former army chief of staff and former defense minister who has been critical of Israel’s stance on Iran, in the decisionmaking process, say analysts.
“A unity government reduces the likelihood of criticism of the government should an operation go wrong,” wrote Ron Ben Yishai, a military affairs columnist for Ynet.com news website. “It strengthens Israel’s deterrence and enhances its decisionmaking ability of the leaders on foreign policy and security issues, of which Iran is foremost.” Thank you.

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