The fall of the Iranophobia ministry
Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:36:23
By Maryam Shirsoleiman, Press TV, Tehran
On January 16, 2008, Israeli outspoken strategic affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned and his hardline Yisrael Beiteinu Party left prime minister Ehud Olmert's coalition government.
The move dealt another blow to the fragile coalition that the party joined in October 2006.
Lieberman's resignation is believed to come in protest at renewed Israeli-Palestinian so-called peace negotiations.
"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this morning (Wednesday), 16 January 2008, accepted Minister Avigdor Lieberman's resignation from the Government. The Prime Minister thanked him for his service in the Government and for his considerable contributions to a series of Government security and social measures.
Prime Minister Olmert made it clear that there is no alternative to conducting serious diplomatic negotiations in order to reach peace. This is the order of the day and is dictated by national responsibility. The Government has also set the full assurance of Israel's security as a clear condition for the implementation of any future agreement. The Prime Minister is determined to continue the diplomatic negotiations out of recognition that they contain the only real chance to assure the peace and security of Israel's citizens," a statement by Olmert's office said.
At the time when Ehud Olmert was elected as Israeli prime minister, he reinstated Meir Dagan as the Mossad Chief and the director of Israeli strategic planning against Iran's nuclear activities.
Lieberman had insisted that he be put in charge of Iran affairs as a precondition for joining Olmert's government. Then Olmert was forced to sign a coalition agreement with him in October 2006. Under the agreement Lieberman became the deputy prime minister and minister of strategic affairs, a new position with a focus on what Tel Aviv calls the threat posed by Iran.
Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, received 11 seats (out of 120) in the March 2006 Knesset elections.
Lieberman is famous for his anti-Arab racist remarks. He has an unbridled tongue as some believe him to be a very dangerous and sophisticated politician who has won his support through racism.
The hawk has also been quoted as saying 'Israeli Arabs should pack their bags and go to hell'. In May 2006, he called for the execution of Arab politicians who had contacts with the Islamic Hamas movement.
The Israeli prime minister established the strategic affairs ministry while the it is the only Middle Eastern government to possess nuclear arms.
Although it is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has so far refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and accept inspections of its atomic facilities.
This is while some states consider Israeli nukes a threat to the peace and security of the region and the entire world.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had affirmed in August 1974, more than three decades ago, that Israel had nuclear bombs.
Iran insists that it is in pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology, aimed at medical and agricultural applications as well as meeting the country's growing need for electricity; it has dismissed US and Israeli allegations that it has a secret program to develop nuclear weapons.
Tehran has been reiterating that the West's propaganda about its nuclear dossier was nothing but a move to politicize the case.
In a sign of goodwill, the country last year entered talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve the alleged outstanding ambiguities in its nuclear program.
Despite a report by US spy agencies last fall and an IAEA report confirming that Iran is not running a clandestine nuclear program, Washington and Tel Aviv still accuse Tehran of running a nuclear arms program.
Lieberman was appointed minister of strategic affairs and deputy prime minister in charge of dealing with the Iranian issue, which the Zionist regime is portraying as its main strategic threat.
The hawkish politician argues that Olmert made a mistake by directing his government's efforts to the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of stopping Iran.
Lieberman's resignation will undermine the already embattled premier ahead of the January 30 release of the Winograd Committee's final report on the failures of Israel's 33-day war against Lebanon. The report is expected to be highly critical of Olmert.
The strategic affairs ministry which was created for Lieberman's desire is very likely to be dissolved.
On the other hand, the so-called peace efforts by Olmert and US President George W. Bush have been nothing but a propaganda campaign as Tel Aviv is stepping up pressure on the Palestinians.
Just after Bush ended his Middle East tour, the regime launched large-scale offensives on the Gaza Strip, killing Palestinian civilians, including women and children.
The Zionist regime also tightened its blockade of the territory and closed all crossings to even UN humanitarian supplies allegedly to stop Palestinians 'from firing homemade rockets into southern Israel'.
Despite their blatant policies of collective punishment, the US maintains that it is Israel's 'legitimate right' to defend itself.
It is not a secret that Bush's visit to the Middle East was aimed at demonizing Iran and has nothing to do with the peace process.
Establishing a ministry by nuclear Israel to deal with 'the Iranian threat' along with Bush's efforts could only be interpreted as a scenario to create a wave of 'Iranophobia' in the region.
Iran has never invaded any country in its modern history and it has friendly ties with its neighbors even if certain countries adopted hostile policies toward it.
Keeping in mind these facts, how could the US and Israeli moves against Iran be interpreted? Only vain attempts to distract public opinion from Israeli crimes that are committed on a daily basis and the threat it itself poses to the entire Middle East.