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Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and bitterlemons.org (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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To Beat Terror, Defeat Iran

Jerusalem, Israel - Five ounces (150 milliliters) of nitroglycerine, a liquid explosive, can bring down an airplane. This does not mean it is impossible to secure an airplane but it does mean it is impossible to secure wide open, target-rich,...

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All Comments (23)

Rad:

Jeeezz....every right just loves war! why not finish the one at hand before starting another?

and please! settle the "palestinian question". I'm afraid it's where the flames really start.

cheers!

Rad

Anonymous:

"Consider the situation in Palestine:

The roots of the Palestinian problem go back to the Second World War. Under the pretext of protecting some of the survivors of that War, the land of Palestine was occupied through war, aggression and the displacement of millions of its inhabitants; it was placed under the control of some of the War survivors, bringing even larger population groups from elsewhere in the world, who had not been even affected by the Second World War; and a government was established in the territory of others with a population collected from across the world at the expense of driving millions of the rightful inhabitants of the land into a diaspora and homelessness. This is a great tragedy with hardly a precedent in history. Refugees continue to live in temporary refugee camps, and many have died still hoping to one day return to their land. Can any logic, law or legal reasoning justify this tragedy? Can any member of the United Nations accept such a tragedy occurring in their own homeland?"

Anonymous:

The following is a part of Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN:

" The pretexts for the creation of the regime occupying Al-Qods Al-Sharif are so weak that its proponents want to silence any voice trying to merely speak about them, as they are concerned that shedding light on the facts would undermine the raison d'ĂȘtre of this regime, as it has. The tragedy does not end with the establishment of a regime in the territory of others. Regrettably, from its inception, that regime has been a constant source of threat and insecurity in the Middle East region, waging war and spilling blood and impeding the progress of regional countries, and has also been used by some powers as an instrument of division, coercion, and pressure on the people of the region. Reference to these historical realities may cause some disquiet among supporters of this regime. But these are sheer facts and not myth. History has unfolded before our eyes.

Worst yet, is the blanket and unwarranted support provided to this regime.

Just watch what is happening in the Palestinian land. People are being bombarded in their own homes and their children murdered in their own streets and alleys. But no authority, not even the Security Council, can afford them any support or protection. Why?

At the same time, a Government is formed democratically and through the free choice of the electorate in a part of the Palestinian territory. But instead of receiving the support of the so-called champions of democracy, its Ministers and Members of Parliament are illegally abducted and incarcerated in full view of the international community.

Which council or international organization stands up to protect this brutally besieged Government? And why can't the Security Council take any steps?

Let me here address Lebanon:

For thirty-three long days, the Lebanese lived under the barrage of fire and bombs and close to 1.5 million of them were displaced; meanwhile some members of the Security Council practically chose a path that provided ample opportunity for the aggressor to achieve its objectives militarily. We witnessed that the Security Council of the United Nations was practically incapacitated by certain powers to even call for a ceasefire. The Security Council sat idly by for so many days, witnessing the cruel scenes of atrocities against the Lebanese while tragedies such as Qana were persistently repeated. Why?

In all these cases, the answer is self-evident. When the power behind the hostilities is itself a permanent member of the Security Council, how then can this Council fulfill its responsibilities? "

Ahmed:

Reading articles in this forum really made me to believe that, at least, the world is realizing the dangers of double-standard policy. and the sooner the politicians realizes that, the better for the world peace.

Yassir:

Saul Singer is a Jewish right wing nut like his cousins across the Atlantic. There is no relation between Iran and the Naturalized British Pakistanis. Mr. Singer and his ilk only care about israel and how to sucker other people's children to do the fighting for israel. Iran and Syria should be friends of the US but as long as they have issues with Israel, the evil Jewish lobby who control the Jew controlled media will link all of Israel's enemies as America's enemies.

David:

This thinking is both superficial and short sighted. There are too many countries in the Mid East where autocratic leaders hold precarious sway over populations that would probably place radical fundamentalists in charge of their governments, either by coup d'etat or for that matter elections. To wit, Hamas' s electoral success in the Palestinian elections last year.
If the U.S., Israel, Europe, or for that matter any outside power forces regime change in Iran what will be the consequences? Is there not a very high probability that Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia could fall into such hands with such provocation?
If that should come to pass who will control the Pakistani nuclear arsenal?
It is time for some true diplomacy which necessarily means well reasoned analyses with respect to long term consequences.
How come no one is speaking about the economic hardships and the double dealing that the West has contributed to in the Mid East as part of the issue behind the anger? Remember, before the Shah, the Iranians had a government of their choosing. The 79 "hostage" crisis was at least partly an indigenous response to a murderous puppet leader who did the U.S.'s bidding. It troubles me that amongst the so-called experts there is so little discussion about what WE can do to change attitudes. It is time to own up to some responsibility and to stop talking from "both sides of our mouths."

David:

How about regime change in Israel and the U.S.?!!

OD:

"Israel's war against an Iranian division in Lebanon called Hezbollah..."

I suggest Israel stop pushing this argument. You are effectively saying that one Iranian infantry division fought the IDF to a standstill.

Since Iran deployed over 280 infantry, mechanised and armoured divisions for Operation Khaibar against Iraq in 1984, I doubt that this argument is going to encourage the Americans to help you attack Iran.

Fortunately for you, most will recognise this claim as ridiculous. Hezbollah are Lebanese. If the IDF had captured Iranians it would have immediately put them on display.

Hezbollah are supplied by Iran. If that makes them Iranian, then I guess the IDF is an American unit.

OD:

By the way, how exactly are we supposed to "defeat" Iran?

Nuke them? I doubt that would contribute to world peace.

Invade them? The US Armed Forces are already overextended in Iraq, a country one-third the size of Iran. And the IDF can't even steal the waters of the Litani from its largely unarmed neighbour Lebanon, having just failed in its seventh attempt.

Somehow topple the government without going in and wait for a pro-Israel democracy to flourish? Never gonna happen. And please don't give us the line about flower-tossing pro-American Iranians yearning to be attacked. We've all heard that one before.

Just as we all heard three years ago that another of Israel's regional rivals was developing terrible weapons (not), and was in bed with Al Qaeda (not), and would welcome our troops (not).

You must take Americans for complete fools. Clearly you know America a lot better than you do Iran.

But even the Americans have mostly figured out the score by now. And those Americans who do still believe your nostrums are peeved at Israel because your army failed to do what it said it would.

Mike:


The so-called "blame Israel/America" have a point because Israel gets so many free passes, whether it's at the Security Council, getting the best in shiny new American armaments or being able to twist even constructive criticism into charges of anti-semitism.

I understand what you meant, I don't think historical political analogies have any relevance to this discussion.

Bush says that "terrorists hate us for our freedom" over and over but even the terrorists have said that that's not true, they hate us because of our foreign policy. We don't engage any of our enemies (direct enemies like al-Qaeda or indirect enemies like Iran) on any level except violence. We'll send our indirect enemies aid if there's say an earthquake, and then cynically gloat about it.

Our execution of the war on terror is failing miserably. We need to change course. America is my country, not Israel.

OD:

Mr Singer, have Al Qaeda converted to Shiism?

If not, I fail to see how they could be in the pay of Iran. The most active Al Qaeda terrorist of recent times, Zarqawi, devoted himself to killing Shiites in large numbers.

I notice that the Egyptian commentator Mahmoud Sabit has graciously descended to the comments section to answer those who seek to point out flaws in his argument. Perhaps you could explain to the many confused people here, none of whom seem remotely convinced by your giant Iranian conspiracy, how these disparate groups with incompatible goals are all in it together, dancing to Tehran's tune.

Good luck convincing the Americans to do your dirty work against Iran. Knowing them, I suspect some will continue to buy this line even now. After all, most still can't find Israel or Iran on a map. The readers of this section, however, seem to know the score. Maybe you should try the New York Post or the Washington Times.

They are closer in spirit to your Jerusalem Post, which is a ghastly, hate-filled propaganda sheet.

Can't the WaPo get an Israeli contributor from a decent paper like Ha'aretz?

Anonymous:

Dear Mr. Singer: To Beat Terror, start with Pakistan.

MrNumbers:

Mike: Unfortunately the countries you mentioned don't want Israel to help (actually Israel has warm relations with Kenya). I'm not giving them a pass, but the blame Israel first, and blame America first crowd, never has the slightest attempt at balance or reason.

My WWII analogy was meant to describe 'conventional wisdom" in 1940-1941. Churchill and others were not fooled.

MIke:

Hey MrNumbers, what about sticking to the topics at hand, not some irrelevant WWII analogy?

Since Israel is so happy to forge a onesided alliance with the US, maybe they could help us some with some peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, and elsewhere, for starters.

MrNumbers:

There must be a full moon out. The nuts are in full force. It's always the fault of the Jews. And we Americans are always the cause of the world's problems. Lindbergh in 1941 said that if we leave Mr. Hitler alone, all will be fine. Those "fine gentlemen" in Japan will respond to diplomacy.

I am not calling for military action, but get your head out of the sand.

Zain:

Great job Mr. Singer. You continuously surprise me with these feats of logical gymnastics you perform to try and advance the militaristic causes of the nutcases in Israel and the U.S. So now we are to believe that the London plot, which British and American intelligence are attributing to Al-Qaeda (an ideology that probably hates the Shia as much as Americans and Jews; look no further than what Al Qaeda is doing to the Shia in Iraq) is now in cahoots with Iran?! Wow! This sound terribly similar to the lies and B.S we were fed about Iraq's WMD's and links to Al-Qaeda. One can only hope that Americans will not be so gullible this time. It makes sense now why a right wing newspaper like the JP would have you as an editor.

Peter The Great:

The writer cannot be blamed as his country has been most recently defeated in Lebanon. Israel asked for two weeks from Washington but couldn't achieve its military objective after 5 weeks. No wonder he now wants to get the USA to the job for them, like in Iraq.

He reminds me of a tenant in a block of apartments that thinks every one of the 10-15 neighbour is bad, while all 9-14 neighbours are agree with each other that only one occupant is less than to be desired!

Starting wars or getting Iran to prove a negative (about nukes) is absurd. At least Iran is a member of NPT and has inspections with IAEA. It was Israel, not Iran, that kidnapped its own citizen from Rome when he talked about Israel's nukes program. So, give it up and start behaving like the rest of the world.

Brigitte Meier Everett MA USA:

Mr. Singer, as Mr. Bush, seem to see links to Iran everywhere. The supposed airline plotters were all British. It is too soon to be certain if there really was a plot at all. Both Blair and Bush are in deep political troubles. Every person who puts the facts together will see that the Israeli war was intended to produce a cause to attack Syria and Iran. The US military refused to attack the Natanz plant in Iran preemptively with nuclear bombs and excluded a ground invasion for fear of Iraq 2. Bush didn't think that preemptive use of nuclear bombs, without any proof of wrongdoing, is unacceptable. The refusal turned the Israeli war into state terrorism and war crime and legitimated Hezbollah as Lebanon's only true defense. No wonder Mr. Singer sees the cause of all evil in Iran. Bush's refusal to agree to an immediate ceasefire cost the lives of about 1000 Lebanese not to speak of the wounded and the extensive destruction. What better distraction from these crimes against the Lebanese and by extension, all of the Muslims, than one more plot in the line of 9/11, by what Bush called "Islamo-fascists"? Bin Laden hasn't been caught, despite spying on all phone calls, e-mails, bank records of US and other nations' citizens; despite torture in interrogations - Bin al Shib and Muhammad, allegedly the masterminds of 9/11, are in US custody, surely, they would have known where Bin Laden was and how he could be caught. Didn't the torture work to extract the information? Or could the Bush government not afford to catch Bin Laden for political reasons? The US government faces various lawsuits for the illegality of the spying on US citizens and can be indicted for abuse of power if found at fault. What better than one more terrorist plot, presumably uncovered by spying on phone calls and e-mails? Until hard facts exist of real intention and tangible preparation, not just as boastful, wishful thinking and vague intention by checking if simultaneous flights to the US actually exist, this entire plot seems to me politically motivated, made believable by imposing endless frustration and loss of time on people in airports. Almost any political event in the US is accompanied by some story of a plot to be executed in the US, which was presumably foiled in some other country. Both Bush and Blair are desperate. Congressional elections in the US are 3 months away. Bush made very clear that he will shy away from no horror to save his neck. Let's first see what the facts in the plot are. The threat level was reduced when the airlines started to lose profit.

rk:

I can't help but wonder if Israel's invasion of Lebanon was drawn up by
misters Perl & Wolfowitz also known
for assuring a certain American president that a regime change in Iraq would be a "cakewalk" with
jubilent Iraqis throwing flowers
at American troops feet. If the
Israelis stay in Lebanon they will
have their own quagmire and waiting
for some "international forces" to
take charge & send Hezbollah packing will be a long wait indeed.

hiho-silver:

The post about Israel and Neo-cons was typical of the muslim-collaborationist front, which seeks to accommodate terrorists by making nice with them. Besides the reek of groveling in front of an enemy that goes with such a policy, it's not likely to work. The old saw - they came for the catholics, they came for the protestants, they came for the jews, then when they came for me there was nobody left to stop them - is applicable here. We can stick with our friend, Israel, as it fights for its very survival, or we can abandon them and wait to be attacked down the road. The Bible isn't rife with stories of God sending a few angels as shuttle diplomats to negotiate with Satan. Hezbollah is about as likely to keep any agreements as any incarnation of Satan you can think of.

Anonymous:

I can understand where Mr. Singer is coming from. After all, he's another Israeli neocon. Frankly, it's time for all the American neocons to pack their bags and move to Israel. Israel's cause is not America's cause and stop preacing us that. You can fool Bush but majority Americans cannot stand the loss of the life of fellow citizens for a worthless cause, enormous waste of their tax dollars, the growing hatred against Americans around the world (which is probably the single biggest source of terrorism against US), the destruction of a democracy in Lebanon, the incessant violence in mid-east. The world is a lot less safe, thanks to the US-Israel neocon nexus. Enough of their mindless belligerence... The way to tackle Iran is with dimplomacy, lest we forget that the American supported 8 year Iraq-Iran war yielded nothing. If you cannot defeat Hezbollah with ease, forget Iran. If Israel really insists on fighting Iran, go ahead.. count US out. America needs to refocus it's energy on fighting terrorism which would be lot better served by fighting Al-Qaeda and for that matter, Pakistan and their numerous terror camps. And if we want to eradicate the menace of nuclear proliferation, let's start with Pakistan -- after all that's where it all began (Oops, it really began in China!)

Ari, Netherlands:

What was the link between the London plot and Iran ?

Kanoongoo:

Mr Singer apparently wants West to continue fighting on behalf of Isdrael. He has learnt nothing from fiasco of Iraq, Afghanistan and more recently Lebanon.
The West mind has been poisoned to believe that Muslims hate western values. The fact is that Muslims respect western values they only hate the West support for despots who have occupied power in Muslim countries and killing thousands of innocent children and people in different Muslim countries by the western armies.

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