By COLEMAN HOPKINS
With the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Wednesday, Israel made a decision with dire implications that extend well beyond its contested borders and the present day.
By voting to continue down the uncompromising path paved by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israelis chose to polarize an already unstable region. They have set the stage for future conflicts that jeopardize not only the east, but also the west, particularly the United States.
Earlier in March, Netanyahu spoke to the U.S. Congress on House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation in order to stress that Israel was fighting for its life against Iran.
Although it was not explicitly stated, Netanyahu implied heavily that he was fighting for his life, and much of his campaign centered around tying two struggles, the nuclear apocalypse Bibi foresees and his country’s elections, together.
Netanyahu framed his election as a choice between life and death for Israel, with him being the only savior, and the people bought it.
I believe that this Israeli election was crucial and in many ways will prove to be more important than the coming U.S. presidential election in the fall of 2016.
This Israeli election could very well dictate whether or not America engages in another war in the Middle East. Because the people of Israel decided to stand with Netanyahu, America’s foreign policy making decisions will become much less flexible and rational.
Netanyahu is positive that Iran wants a nuclear bomb for the single purpose of using it against Israel. He could be right. Israel is a democratic country and its security is obviously a global concern. However, what Netanyahu does not see is that there are other ways to solve this problem.
Over the past century, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons has been shockingly successful and could well continue to be if we give it a chance.
The Obama administration has split with Senate Republicans over the now infamous Iran negotiations, mostly on whether or not the deal would constitute a treaty or not and if the Senate would be required to ratify it. The dispute speaks to a larger issue: whether or not a deal can be brokered between two bitter enemies and what an alternative entails.
Joshua Muravchik of Johns Hopkins University’s foreign policy institute wrote in his piece titled “War with Iran is Probably our Best Option” that the only way to fix this Iranian nuclear problem is through a military offensive against the Iranian regime.
In the article, he explains that Obama does not understand that Netanyahu’s alternative is war and that we ought to get behind our ally because our interests align. No matter what cost, fiscal or human, Iran cannot have that bomb. Since nonproliferation is supposedly no longer viable, it looks like the U.S. better man up and get ready for another war in the desert.
Where have we heard this all or nothing outlook before?
There is a shrewd observation from the great conservative thinker and English statesman Edmund Burke that those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it. If this argument on why war would work with Iran is not verbatim of the argument for going into Iraq, then I do not know what it is.
In addition, with the candidates of the 2016 presidential race looking to be Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, I fear that the U.S. is very close to repeating history.
For example, both candidates are known to have an uncomfortable closeness to a Zionist foreign policy lobby with a penchant for spending American money and blood on wars. Moreover, both candidates’ outlooks on foreign policy only ever lead the U.S. into trouble and set peace in the region further back.
If either of the two aforementioned candidates are elected, I would feel very uncomfortable about their dealings with a conflict-seeking Netanyahu, who has launched two wars and has had a very quick trigger finger throughout his term. Moreover, many Americans share the sentiment that we have fought too many wars or engaged in too many fruitless conflicts to risk another foolish conquest.