Weekly Commentary: Do opponents of Netanyahu in Iran debate have an agenda?
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 16 August 2012
The Israeli media portrays Israeli brass and ex-brass who oppose Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the Iran
issue as a group whose assessment is based solely on a cold hard analysis of
the situation. This with a strong hint that the Netanyahu-Barak team may be
driven by considerations and interests that are not directly related to the
Unfortunately, there is a reasonable possibility that the Israeli brass and
ex-brass themselves have piggy backed their agenda to the Iranian debate.
First a quick explanation for readers not familiar with the Israeli scene.
There is a group of Israelis who religiously believe that if Israel were to
withdraw to the ’67 lines that this would result in utopian peace.
I term it “religiously believe” in the sense that as a religious belief
rather than policy conclusion it is embraced by its followers as a “given”
rather than something that merits serious study and possible revision in the
face of reality.
For many years adherents of this belief have made herculean efforts to try
and bring about withdrawal to the ’67 lines. At this stage it is abundantly
clear that such a withdrawal will never be carried out via the Israeli
With utopian peace only a withdrawal away, these Israeli patriots are not
going to let the voting preferences of the unwashed masses get in their way.
Simply put: what cannot be achieved at the ballot box can be achieved by
Which brings us to the Iranian question.
The Iranian threat is seen as ideal platform for creating a scenario in
which Israel is forced to agree to withdraw to the ’67 lines in exchange for
American military action against Iran.
In point of fact, a review of remarks by many of the brass and ex-brass
opposing Netanyahu-Barak finds that they explicitly and openly link Israel’s
ability to draft America’s support to Israel’s accepting the Arab
League-Saudi initiative that called for Israel to withdraw to the ’67 lines
and accept resolution of the rights of the refugees.
How can this agenda skew their analysis and policy recommendations?
Israel is apparently today still within a “window of opportunity” in which
an operation against Iran does not rely on the direct participation and
involvement of American forces. Once this window closes, the only way to
possibly address the Iranian threat is with the direct involvement and
participation of the United States.
For the withdrawal advocates, delaying action beyond the Israeli “window of
opportunity” kills two birds with one stone: the mighty arm of the United
States will prevent a nuclear Iran while Israel is essentially blackmailed
into implementing the withdrawal program that they fervently believe will
herald utopian peace for the Jewish state.
To be clear: their motives are anything but evil.
You can fault them for their hubris and their lack of respect for the
democratic process but they genuinely believe that they are acting in Israel’s
What does all of this mean for “non-believers” following the policy debate?
Just a warning that many of the brass and ex-brass lined up against
Netanyahu-Barak have an agenda. An agenda based on a belief that to those
not part of the “withdrawal to ’67 lines brings utopian peace” group is
considered at best hopelessly naïve.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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