LobeLog on Facebook   LobeLog on Facebook











The Art of No Deal

by Gary Sick In the past few weeks, President Trump has given the world an...

Message no image

Published on December 13th, 2010 | by Eli Clifton

1

JINSA: ‘Tackle Iran first and Iran only’

The reliably hawkish Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs‘ (JINSA) Friday report argues that following the Obama administration’s failed attempt to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a settlement freeze, it’s time to “end the ‘peace process’ and move on.”

From here, JINSA goes on to seriously distort the messages consistently delivered by Gulf Arab leaders in the WikiLeaks cables — focusing on hostile rhetoric against Iran and ignoring any messages from regional autocrats arguing for ‘linkage,’ pushing instead for ‘reverse linkage.’

JINSA’s report reads:

…WikiLeaks showed that the Administration deliberately miscast the centrality of Palestine in Middle East politics. The President said ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was the necessary precursor to bringing the Arabs into a coalition to oppose Iran, but the Arabs – led by Saudi Arabia in no uncertain terms – pleaded with the Administration to tackle Iran first and Iran only.

While some cables indeed focused on Iran and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, many of the diplomatic communiqués dealt directly with the latter issue. JINSA, however, strapped on blinders when it came to the repeated endorsements of linkage between resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and containing Iran.

Jim Lobe and I highlighted the numerous endorsements of linkage by Arab leaders in our IPS article earlier this week. Just one example of this endorsement was provided by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan — one of the more Iran-hawkish of the Arab leaders — in a December 9, 2009, meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman in which Zayed:

Emphasized the strategic importance of creating a Palestinian State (i.e., resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) as the way to create genuine Middle Eastern unity on the question of Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions.

But such selective interpretation of facts is becoming commonplace by those who challenge the concept of linkage and push ‘reverse linkage.’

This argument is frequently cast as “the road to peace runs through Baghdad”—as discussed by Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan in their 2002 article in the Weekly Standard. Now, as argued by Jennifer Rubin, among others, the argument has been tweaked to make the case that “the road to Middle East peace runs through Tehran.”

But the invasion of Iraq didn’t bring Israel closer to peace with its neighbors. The 2006 Lebanon War, the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza and the winter 2008-2009 Gaza War all occurred after Saddam Hussein had been removed from power.

Now JINSA is cherry-picking the words of Arab leaders and misrepresenting them as saying “Iran first and Iran only.” Such a blatant overlooking of the broader facts doesn’t make for good politics and it doesn’t help JINSA’s credibility.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


One Response to JINSA: ‘Tackle Iran first and Iran only’

Show Comments >



  1. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    End the peace process and move on? That means Palestine as a whole will remain majority Arab; and given the Arab birth rate Jews will be an ever-shrinking minority in the land. Even Tom Friedman is talking about this in the Times.

    Ending the peace process is the equivalent of Israel signing its own death warrant. What’s next, a straightforward apartheid state? That too will not stand.


About the Author

avatar

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



Back to Top ↑
  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to subscribe to our site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Popular Posts

  • Comments Policy

    We value your opinion and encourage you to comment on our postings. To ensure a safe environment we will not publish comments that involve ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory language, or anything that is written solely for the purpose of slandering a person or subject.

    Excessively long comments may not be published due to their length. All comments are moderated. LobeLog does not publish comments with links.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!