Saturday, March 17, 2012

Israeli Authors Grossman And Oz Speak Against War With Iran

Two of Israel’s most outstanding authors, essayists and peace activists have come out against war with Iran. David Grossman (left), who has spoken at anti-settlement protests, told The Nation magazine that the consequences of an attack by Israel or the U.S. were worse than Iran's having nuclear weapons:

“I don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons, but I think that if the sanctions do not work, Israel and the whole world, painfully, will have to live with it,” Grossman said, warning that bombing Iran would set in motion “a nightmare that’s hard to describe...” 

...He said that in view of Iran’s chemical and biological weapons, Israel was already living with a “balance of terror.” While acknowledging that Iran’s nuclearization would make the standoff “more dangerous and acute,” he feared that an Israeli attack would prove “so destructive that it might itself create an existential danger for us. I think we shall find ourselves, Israel and Iran, in a nightmare that’s hard to describe.

“True, it would have been created in order to prevent a worse nightmare in the future, but does everyone have the right,” he asked, “to make so many people die in the name of this anxiety over an outcome—an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel—that might never take place?”

...Citing the large presence of “more secular, educated, realistic” people in Iran, masses of whom protested bravely in 2009 against the regime, Grossman said this face of Iran held out the hope of a future leadership that might be less hostile to Israel. But he warned that this hope would be destroyed, too, in an Israeli attack.

Interviewed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Amos Oz (left), one of the founders of the Peace Now movement, commented about the hysteria and futility associated with such an attack:

“Instead of moving ahead to an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, they are whipping themselves into a frenzy ahead of an attack on Iran. An attack on Iran will not be of much use, because you cannot bomb knowledge and you cannot bomb motivation, and the Iranians have both the knowledge and the motivation to make nuclear weapons. Even if an attack on Iran postpones the manufacture of nuclear weapons for a year or two, it will immeasurably heighten the motivation to use the weapons.

“During the first Lebanon war, [Prime Minister Menachem] Begin talked about ‘Hitler hiding in a bunker in Beirut.’ I wrote an article back then entitled, ‘Hitler is Already Dead, Mr. Prime Minister.’ What was written in that article I now direct at Netanyahu. Anyone who compares Iran of today to Hitler, and Israel to Auschwitz, is committing an act that is anti-Zionist and demagogic, encouraging people to emigrate from Israel and sowing hysteria.

“You ask if I am worried? I am not only worried. I am fearful. I see processes and trends that are threatening everything I hold dear. And also the existence of the State of Israel.”


Michael The Molar Maven said...

I, of course, would advise against pro-active war with Iran, but I fear that sanctions never seem to work as planned. They target the fragile relationship between people and the leadership. They almost always hurt the innocent directly in the hope that citizens will turn their anger toward their government. Shrewd politicians are easily able to deflect that anger back to the immediate source of the pain. But, since I don't have another answer, of the two, I prefer sanctions to preemptive military action, which can actually have far worse repercussions especially if intelligence prove to be wrong - remember weapons of mass destruction? I do believe that the more even-handed approach to Middle East diplomacy of President Obama will eventually allow cooler heads to prevail.

Jeff Tone said...

Agreed. This rush to war is sounding awfully familiar.