Economy / Foreign Policy / Other / Politics

For Israel, Nuclear Iran Not Biggest Concern

All we hear from Israel is everything Iran. Netanyahu, in a fiery speech, said in relation to Iran: “as Prime Minister of Israel, I will never let my people live under the shadow of annihilation.” Israelis have lots of important issues on their plate. In Israel there are numerous social cleavages and economic issues that are immediate and daunting concerns. David Rothkopf, Mid-East analyst, explained that “by focusing on Iran, indeed by having some among Israel’s top leaders seemingly obsessed about it, Israel is ignoring (or seeking an excuse to ignore) the real existential threats on and within its own borders — demographic, social, and economic…. Israel speaks of the threat of a nuclear Iran as though it were something new and destabilizing. It is not.” Paradoxically, at the same time, one of the bigger concerns in relation to Iran-Israeli relations is not under discussion; the fact that Iran funds such organizations as Hamas, and even-more radical and fundamentalist militarized groups, which take extensive efforts to subvert Israeli political stability, and even kill innocent Israeli citizens. Demographically, a more daunting issue should be at the center of Israeli consciousness; its status as a Jewish state “is threatened by the growing size of the Palestinian population on and within its borders.”

As well, Arab-Springs, and massive political changes in neighboring Arab countries, are of a bigger concern to Israel. Egypt is projected to be much less friendly to Israel, and serve as a stabilizer in the Middle-East; Syria, Iraq, and other nations with political turmoil “may produce volatility that creates new risks.” As well, thanks to the Obama Administration, America is a much less reliable partner and aid and is gaining enough resources to be less dependent on Israeli intelligence. At the same time, the nations who have a growing interest in the region (India, and China) due to their heightened gas-consumption from the region, have little cultural ties to Israel, and are thus less likely to be there for Israel, like America has in the past. Another primary concern that should be at the forefront of the Israeli consciousness is whether Israel will be willing to acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian quasi-nation in its midst and how Israel hopes to incorporate the “economic viability” of Palestine into its economic structure and labor market. To what degree Palestine is allowed to evolve as a productive economic partner of Israel’s will determine the hostilities between the two, partially what the final outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be, and, lastly, whether Israel will be a prosperous economic and independent nation in the face of a less-and-less reliable international community, beginning to sympathize with Palestine. ALL THIS, and yet the only thing Israel is concerned over is Iran, and the possibility of them having a nuclear weapon in a few years, and the technology to deliver it a few years after that….

Now, hear me out: Iran’s nuclear program IS a cause for concern. It isn’t the most important thing for Israel, NOR America, considering much more important socio-economic and political concerns. For Israel, it shouldn’t be the biggest concern; somehow, it has surpassed being the biggest concern, and now is the only concern. This is a problem, for Israel, and by extension, America. Israel has funneled lots of money and man-power into lobbying America into pressuring Iran in the international arena, and supporting Israel in any way they can. Obama’s reaction is a practice of political doublespeak; He tells the major Israeli lobbying and advocacy group, AIPAC, that “containment” of a nuclear-Iran is not an option, and telling the American people that military-action in Iran is not off the table, while at the same time not implementing anywhere near the support for Israel, or pressure on Iran, that the former President implemented.

The way things have turned out, the biggest issue in Israel right now is, and ought to be, what decision Israel will make in relation to military-action against Iran.