Look who’s refusing to isolate Iran (NEW YORK POST OP-ED) BENNY AVNI 08/15/12)
NEW YORK POST
NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-Top
Don’t go to Iran, Israel’s prime minister pleaded with the United
Nations secretary-general Friday.
Benjamin Netanyahu made his case to Ban Ki-moon in a private phone
conversation. But several hours later he posted a very public message
on his Web site, making the phoner public. Worse yet: On Sunday, in
front of TV cameras at the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, Bibi
repeated his plea for all to hear.
Diplomats I’ve talked to were outraged. By publicly taking the UN
chief to task, they say, Netanyahu humiliated Ban. And (tsk tsk) he
also broke an unwritten diplo-code having to do with the private
nature of such talks.
Bibi’s aides note that the prime minister merely publicized his own
side of the conversation, not Ban’s.
America’s UN ambassador, Susan Rice, was more discreet: She privately
called Ban last Thursday, adding America’s clout to the campaign to
stop the world’s so-called top diplomat from helping the mullahs
break their pariah status.
Members of Ban’s own inner circle — including the top UN political
official, former State Department bigwig Jeffrey Feltman — have also
cautioned him not to go.
What’s the big deal? Simply this: Every concerned citizen of the
world, from President Obama on down, is begging the Israelis to let
global “isolation” of Iran take its toll before they resort to a
military strike against its nuclear-weapons facilities.
So here’s the big question that underlines Netanyahu’s public plea to
Ban: If the West’s top diplomats can’t use their tact and talent to
convince even the most pro-Western UN chief in memory to keep Iran
off his itinerary, how will they ever manage to isolate Iran so
completely that the mullahs will quit their most prized pet project?
But the secretary-general still wants to attend this month’s meeting
of a strong UN voting bloc, the Non-Allied Movement. Founded during
the Cold War, this group remains more “non-aligned” with America than
with its adversaries. This year, its 120 members elected Iran to the
Such gatherings allow the mullahs to grace the world with their
philosophy. E.g., at a UN anti-drugs conference in June, Iranian Vice
Prime Minister Mohammad Reza Rahimi explained, “The spread of
narcotics in the world emanates from the teachings of the
Talmud . . . whose objective is the destruction of the world.”
More important, they let the Ayatollahs subtly show to their own
oppressed citizens that, far from being isolated, they’re a major
global player. Thus the “scoop” on Ban’s coming visit first ran in
one of the regime’s favorite newspapers, Fars.
Meanwhile, Bibi and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, are trying to
unite Israel behind the need to use “all options” to end Iran’s
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon this week called on “the
international community” to declare diplomatic negotiations with Iran
a failure. Then, he says, Iran must be warned to stop its illicit
uranium enrichment “within weeks,” or else.
And after that, well — the “or else.”
For decades, Israel has acted to prevent hostile neighbors from
getting atomic weapons. Attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq (1981)
and Syria (2007) were universally condemned, but proved more
successful at actually ending nuclear threats than diplomatic
treaties, inspection regimes or coordinated sanctions. Now Israel is
consumed by a very public debate about whether to similarly treat
That Ban would even consider gracing Tehran with his presence while
the regime continues to scoff at its obligations under signed
international treaties tells us how likely “diplomatic isolation” is
to derail the mullahs’ atomic ambitions.
Which means Iran will very soon become a nuclear-fueled neighborhood
Unless, of course, Israel — hopefully with America’s help this time —
once again employs its unique anti-proliferation program. (Copyright
2011 NYP Holdings, Inc. 08/15/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY