Writing under the title "Is a Nuclear Iran Really to Be Feared?" William Pfaff argues that the present Israeli policy is not based on fear of a nuclear attack by Iran (or by an Iranian proxy). "It is calculated to prevent the United States from imposing on Israel a solution to its relationship with the Palestinians. They do not wish a permanent legal frontier dividing them from some new and recognized Palestinian state-a frontier sponsored and also guaranteed by the United States, as well as by international law."
I disagree with Pfaff 's explanation of the Israeli rationale for promoting an attack on Iran, namely, to distract America from a two state solution in Palestine, though I agree that neither Iran nor Israel are genuinely afraid of nuclear attack by the other.
The Israeli concern about Iran becoming a nuclear power is that a nuclear-armed Iran would eliminate the Israeli nuclear deterrent as its only security against conventional attack. As long as Israel can wipe out all the major cities in the Middle East, Israel is impregnable. If Iran can wipe out Israel, it would be foolhardy for Israel to wipe out anyone. Such a standoff would reduce the Middle East to a strong Israeli conventional force against the combined conventional forces of half a dozen Arab countries, plus Turkey and Iran, perhaps reinforced by both Russia and China. This would eliminate the Israeli option someday to drive all the Palestinians out of Palestine.
Perhaps even more importantly, Israel, like France in the 1960s, can serve as a so-called catalytic force to attack any country, knowing that this would require America to attack also, because the alternative would be an attack on American so-called vital interests, including a terrorist attack on New York and Washington.
If the Soviet Union had invaded Western Europe, the United States probably would not have come to Europe's support because this would have risked a Soviet attack on Washington. If France, however, which was about to become the victim of a Soviet invasion, launched a single nuclear bomb toward Moscow, this would have led America to launch a preemptive attack on the Soviet Union in order to gain the advantage of a first versus a second strike.
Thanks to Charles DeGaulle and his Force de Frappe, this deterred a U.S.-Soviet war and kept the peace for half a century.
An Israeli nuclear monopoly would serve a similar purpose, which is one reason why America supports the Israeli strategy, even though in the long run for the Jews in the Middle East it could be suicidal.
This catalytic logic is basic Strategy 101, the most basic of calculations, of which Bill Pfaff is quite familiar. Therefore, I do not see why diverting the attention of the United States from a solution to the impasse in the Holy Land is his preferred explanation for the Israeli propaganda buildup for an American or Israeli/American attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Israel knows also perfectly well that such an attack would not stop Iran's nuclear build-up, though it might delay a credible attack capability for a few years. Israel is faced with an impossible dilemma.
The only realistic solution would be for Israel to abandon the concept of a religious state and join an Abrahamic Federation of peoples with equal rights for everyone everywhere, based on economic cooperation (such as universal citizen ownership of the gas and oil fields off the coast of Gaza and Israel) as I and Norm Kurland have been advocating for decades. When faced with the prospect of an unstable future based on brute force alone, which itself poses an existential threat to Jews, the Likudnik Israelis see no future other than to prepare for an Armaggedon, which is no solution to anything.
Perhaps the only way out is a Jewish Spring in America and similar "springs" elsewhere in the world, including Persian, Chinese, and Russian springs, and a Muslim Spring in America and the Middle East, based in part on the total rejection of all religious states everywhere as the worst of all polytheisms. All the potential "springs" are interdependent, so the solution must begin everywhere.
William Pfaff and I "grew up" together at Herman Kahn's Hudson Institute, which was the world's first professional long-range global forecasting firm back in the 1960s.
Dr. Robert Dickson Crane is the Co-Founder and Member of the Board of American Institute of International Studies (AIIS). He was once a colleague of William Pfaff at Herman Kahn's Hudson Institute, which was the world's first professional long-range global forecasting firm back in the 1960s.
Source: The Journal of America