Published on February 20th, 2011 | by Ali Gharib4
Matt Duss on Herzliya, or: ‘Neocon Woodstock’
If you haven’t already, head over the website of the Nation and read every last word of Matt Duss’s report from Herzliya, the biggest annual Israeli security conference. The event is best known for being where Israeli rightists and U.S. neocons swoon over each other.
Just look at some of the Americans who took the trip this year: Noah Pollak, Jennifer Rubin (whose trip was paid for by Pollak’s organization), Judith Miller, Scooter Libby, Danielle Pletka, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and so on and so on.
Duss tells it better than I could. Marvel at the madness:
To be sure, drumbeating on Iran still dominated the official conference agenda. But, as if to demonstrate that everyone has limited bandwidth for worry, almost every discussion eventually circled back to Egypt. There was growing anxiety that while Israel continued to confront the threat from the East—the growth of a “poisonous crescent” (as one member of the Israeli government put it to me) consisting of Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon—the peace on its western border could no longer simply be taken for granted. Egypt was raining on everything.
The drummers were already going to have trouble keeping the beat in the wake of outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan’s and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s recent statements that efforts at sabotage and international sanctions had likely delayed an Iranian nuke for several years. Egypt only made things more complicated. Still, it was odd to hear neoconservative doyenne Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute dismiss as “propaganda” former Mossad head Efraim Halevi’s assertion that “the US and Israel are winning the war against Iran.” “If Iran is losing, I’d like to be that kind of loser,” Pletka said, reminding the audience that, “Khomeini referred to Israel as a one-bomb country.”
“What I’m saying is not propaganda,” Halevi shot back. “The danger is believing the propaganda of others.”
Now that you’ve read the excerpt, go back and read the whole thing. Really. Think about when an Israeli general says, “In the Arab world, there is no room for democracy.” Ask yourself is these are the people we should be listening to about bombing Iran.