Another self-hating Jew has reared his head. This time he is General Benny Grantz, chief of the IDF, who believes that Iran is a rational actor and will not choose to develop nuclear weapons.
Once again, we see that the capital of neoconservative hawkishness is not Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but Washington and New York. AIPAC, Commentary, the American Jewish Committee, Newt Gingrich, and the AIPAC-rented Members of Congress all want war with Iran. But none of them will have to fight it (they will, however, enjoy watching it on CNN or Fox News). But Israelis who themselves must fight, or, if not them, their kids, are not so gung-ho. Hey, maybe General Grantz, needs lessons in toughness from Jeff Goldberg or Jennifer Rubin. The real question is: can the lobby get Grantz fired? I mean, can he really say things like this and get away with it?
Read this. Here is an excerpt:
Iran “is going step-by-step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn’t yet decided whether to go the extra mile,” he said.
He suggests that won’t happen soon, particularly since in his estimation Iran’s program remains vulnerable to external attack.”The program is too vulnerable, in Iran’s view,” he told Haaretz. “If the supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants, he will advance it to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb, but the decision must first be taken. It will happen if Khamenei judges that he is invulnerable to a response. I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people. But I agree that such a capability, in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists who at particular moments could make different calculations, is dangerous.”
To summarize: Grantz is very worried, the mere possession of an Iranian “break out” capacity is alarming to Israel, and a ruling elite could some day rise in Iran that wouldn’t act as rationally as he judges the current leadership core to be. But with an Israeli attack certain to close all diplomatic roads, and with a lack of certainty that such a move would succeed, it appears it wouldn’t be wise for Israel to attack any time soon.
Reading the tea leaves, Grantz does not seem as enthusiastic for war as Mr. Netanyahu. “His language is far from the dramatic rhetoric of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is usually free of the Holocaust comparisons of which Israeli politicians are so fond,” writes Amos Harel, in his writeup of Grantz’s comments.
His view of the Iranian regime as “rational” echoes comments by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey this March, in which he likewise described the Iran as a “rational actor,” which drew howls of complaint from some American hawks.