A STUNNING LIST OF TOP OFFICIALS speak out against War with IRAN "What '60 MINUTES' didn't tell you" (those speaking out are the majority, Bibi is the minority)

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    May 02, 2012 8:21 PM GMT

    Explosive Dust-Up Over Iran Policy

    Conference on April 29, 2012, Exposes Wide Rifts Among Israelis and Diaspora

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/155621/explosive-dust-up-over-iran-policy/?p=all#ixzz1tkGbhT6o

    On this occasion, Olmert’s main focus was Iran. The Islamic republic, he said, is neither the Nazi-like existential threat that Netanyahu claims it to be nor the simple target he claims Israel can overcome alone. For all Israel’s strengths, Olmert said, “we should face the international community with quieter tones.” It isn’t healthy for either party, he said, if America is seen as “under the command of the state of Israel.”

    Dagan, the legendary, swashbuckling ex-spymaster, had no such hesitation about taking sides. Having opened the Israeli debate on Iran a year ago, when he called the idea of an Israeli military strike “stupid,” he was primed for a fight in New York. A bombing raid would not eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat but accelerate it, he said. It would increase the regime’s determination and provide it with “the best excuse” to go military, namely the need to defend itself against Israel. Moreover, Iran’s “main asset is knowledge,” he said. “How are you going to eliminate this knowledge? Are you going to execute all of them?”

    The solution to Israel’s problem, Dagan said, is to make common cause with America, the West and “the pragmatic Arab states,” and to ensure that the Iranian threat isn’t seen as a private Israeli-Iranian spat. The essential first step, he said, is to “find a solution to the Palestinian problem,” which prevents Arab regimes from cooperating with Israel and “is creating serious problems in our relations with the Western countries…. I agree with Olmert,” he added.

    But haven’t the Palestinians rejected Israel’s peace overtures? “The Palestinians didn’t say ‘no’ to my peace plan,” Olmert said at one point. Despite pressure to reject it, they simply stalled and didn’t answer, claiming that their Israeli partner was about to lose his job. “They should have agreed to my plan,” Olmert said. “They should have agreed to Barak’s plan” at Camp David in 2000.

    Still, despite the repeated breakdowns, Olmert insisted that the Palestinians under Mahmoud Abbas are viable peace partners, seconding the views of Dagan, Diskin and other intelligence professionals. And even if Israel’s offers are turned down, he said, “We need to be the initiators and not look for excuses to justify the lack of action. Let them say no.”

    The day’s most startling insight, however, was Olmert’s response to the scorn heaped by government spokesmen and by audience members on Dagan, Diskin and their colleagues. “What has happened that all the leaders of Israel’s security services suddenly think in the same way?” Olmert asked. “Until they expressed their opinion in public, they were brave and admired fighters. Suddenly, they are enemies of Israel? Suddenly, they don’t care about Israel’s security?”

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/155621/explosive-dust-up-over-iran-policy/?p=all#ixzz1tkGPGhqe
    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/155621/explosive-dust-up-over-iran-policy/?p=all#ixzz1tkG3uaXy

    Olmert’s attack on Netanyahu’s Palestinian policies, which have failed — deliberately, Olmert contends — to resume the peace negotiations Olmert was conducting until his government collapsed. Third, attacking Netanyahu’s apocalyptic Iran tactics, which Olmert claims have unnecessarily strained relations with Washington.

    Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/155621/explosive-dust-up-over-iran-policy/?p=all#ixzz1tkFVaVIC

    So much for Romney, Gingrich and Santorums Christian Fundi need to do whatever Netanyahoo wants including war with Iran, just to fulfill their stupid bible backed favoring of "Carte Blanche" backing of Israel. Cooler non biblical reasoning will prevail against war and for making peace with the Palestinians rather than continueing the status quo war talk and settlements Netanyahu is pushing.

    These issues are some of the most important facing the US and we'd all do well to pay attention because we don't need another war and we don't need to be seen as blocking peace in the Middle East for the sake of backing Israel no matter what it does wrong against the Palestinians. This mess is costing we US tax payers billions of dollars.
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    May 03, 2012 3:46 PM GMT
    Israel and Iran: What '60 Minutes' Didn't Tell You

    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/152864/israel-and-iran-what--minutes-didnt-tell-you/#ixzz1tp1KjDDK

    "Leslie Stahl’s “60 Minutes” interview Sunday night with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan (transcript) gave important exposure to his views on the folly of attacking Iran. However, she got two things very wrong, both of which weakened the strength of his case against a military strike. The bottom line is, she let you think Dagan is a lone voice. In fact, it’s Bibi Netanyahu who’s nearly alone on this. The trouble is, Bibi’s the one who gets to make the decision. That’s why Dagan and nearly every other military or intelligence chief is speaking out against him: They’re scared of him.

    Stahl suggested as though it were credible that Dagan was pushed out of the Mossad, supposedly because of the messy assassination of Hamas arms procurer Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai in January 2010 — and hence that his campaign against the Netanyahu-Barak war talk is a petty act of revenge. In fact, Dagan was supposed to retire in late 2009 at the mandatory age of 65, but Netanyahu asked him to stay on for another year and he ended up retiring on schedule in January 2011.
    More seriously misleading is her assertion early on that it’s “unheard of for someone who held such a high-classified position to speak out publicly.” That makes it sound like he’s a lone voice in the wilderness. In fact, as I’ve written before, Dagan’s views have been publicly echoed by every single ex-Mossad or Israel Defense Forces chief going back to 1996, with the single exception of super-hawk (and Netanyahu ally) Moshe Yaalon. Now, that is unheard of.

    Even more astonishing, the current heads of the IDF and Mossad, Benny Gantz and Tamir Pardo, have now gone public resisting Netanyahu’s war push. Even Dagan didn’t dare to do that. That’s beyond unheard-of.

    Here’s the roll-call:

    Dagan has been seconded by his two immediate predecessors as Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy (here), appointed by Netanyahu himself in 1998, and Danny Yatom (here), appointed by Shimon Peres in 1996). Ditto former military chiefs of staff Shaul Mofaz (served 1998-2002) and Dan Halutz (2005-07) (both Iranian-born) as well as Amnon Lipkin Shahak (1995-9icon_cool.gif. All have stated publicly in the last few months that a nuclear Iran is not extreme “existential threat” Netanyahu and Barak claim. As for the immediate past IDF chief, Gabi Ashkenazi (2007-11), his fierce opposition to a military strike is constantly in the news though he hasn’t stated it publicly.

    The actions of Gantz and Pardo are particularly intriguing in light of Dagan’s comments last year about the behind-the-scenes role he and Ashkenazi played, together with then-Shin Bet domestic security chief Yuval Diskin, in restraining Netanyahu’s and Barak’s “adventurism.” Dagan said he was afraid that with all three replaced in a sweep (in itself a troubling phenomenon), their successors wouldn’t have the authority or cojones to keep the trigger-happy duo out of trouble. But the soft-spoken Pardo warned a conference of Israeli diplomats in December against the “too-free” talk of Iran being an “existential threat,” and he wasn’t thinking of Sartre or Camus. Iran, he said, is “not necessarily an existential threat.” The idea that it is such a threat, of course, is Netanyahu’s main justification for a military strike.

    As for Gantz, he fought furiously and successfully against Barak’s plan last month to appoint Iran hawk Yohanan Locker as air force chief, instead installing Iran-attack skeptic Amir Eshel.

    War hawks who follow this stuff are trying to suggest that Israel faces some sort of military putsch against its elected leadership. In fact, none of these former or current security chiefs is trying to take over the government. What they’re doing is stating their opinions, period. It’s unusual for the whole defense establishment to speak out in unison, particularly in opposition to a government position, but it’s not undemocratic. It’s an opinion, albeit from people unusually qualified to speak on the topic. The public can take or leave it as they please.

    The point is, as Lipkin-Shahak told the British newspaper The Independent last month, Israel’s military and intelligence leadership is almost unanimously opposed to an attack on Iran, at least for now and in the foreseeable future, because the dangers it poses outweigh the possible threat of a nuclearized Iran. The public ought to know that. Moreover, just last week Lipkin-Shahak told reporter Larry Derfner that, much like Dagan, he considers Netanyahu “a danger.” The unprecedented wave of public statements—and that’s all they are, statements—shows just how widespread this view of Netanyahu is among the people who’ve spent their careers leading Israel’s struggle to survive."

    Permalink | Comments (2) | Share | Email | Filed under: Yuval Diskin, Shaul Mofaz, Mossad, Meir Dagan, Mahmoud Mabhouh, Israel Defense Forces, Iran, Gabi Ashkenazi, Ehud Barak, Efraim Halevy, Dan Halutz, Danny Yatom, Benjamin Netanyahu, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, "60 Minutes, " Leslie Stahl

    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/152864/israel-and-iran-what--minutes-didnt-tell-you/#ixzz1tp1d5ERp

    Read more: http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/152864/israel-and-iran-what--minutes-didnt-tell-you/#ixzz1tp1RNzvI

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    May 05, 2012 4:15 AM GMT
    Israelis, Iranians meet in Berlin to protest war From Haaretz News

    Activists from rival countries to hold a joint demonstration against strike on Iran, say sanctions only strengthens regime and call for demilitarization of the Middle East.
    By Roy (Chicky) Arad

    "Following the success of the love initiative between Israelis and Iranians on Facebook, it's time for a face to face meeting. Israelis and Iranians attending a number of meetings in Berlin the last few weeks, due to produce a first joint demonstration on Saturday.

    The purpose of this demonstration is to protest against the voices calling for war, the sanctions imposed on Iran, and in support for a nuclear demilitarization of the Middle East.

    The organizers are eight Iranians and 13 Israelis, amongst them left-wing activists Itay Naor and Dana Rothschild. The meetings were not photographed because of concerns for the welfare of the families of the Iranian activists. For this reason, they also use aliases on Facebook.

    One of the organizers, 35-year-old scientist Gal Schkolnik, says she was very surprised they did not have any disagreements. "It's amazing. We simply agree over everything. We had some information gaps of each other's politics and history."

    The protesters of first Israeli-Iranian rally will assemble in Kreuzberg in Berlin, then making their way to Neukolln, there they will read a joint statement they wrote at the meetings. The statement can be found in the group's website in German, English, Hebrew and Persian. The demonstration's route was chosen for its diverse population, including Israelis, Palestinian and Iranians."