Avigdor Liberman blev sidst uge udnævnt til forsvarsminister i Israel. Flere ministre gik af i protest. Israel har dermed den mest højreorienterede regering nogensinde. Det blev af mange utlagt som at Israel fortsætter langs den forkerte vej. Andre mener at Israel viser sit virkelige ansigt. Der er megen aggression forklædt som omsorg.
Højredrejningen er et godt påskud for dem, der ønsker boykot af Israel, eller endnu værre: En delegitimering af den jødiske stat.
Avigdor Liberman, en tidligere dørvagt, er ikke en specielt sympatisk person. Men ved indsættelsen lovet han at stille sig bag fredsprocessen. Israelsk politik er kaotisk, man må ikke læse noget ind i den som ikke er der, skriver David Horovitz i timesofisrael.com
Men det er en lyst i omverdenen til at projisere noget dramatisk på Israel som tillægger jøderne hensigter de ikke har.
Selv talsmand for State Department, Mark Toner, udtrykte bekymring for hvad Libermans indlemmelse i regeringen betyder.
Asked about incoming defense minister Liberman hours after the new coalition deal was signed on Wednesday, spokesman Mark Toner stressed that the administration would, of course, “work with this government as we have with every Israeli government that preceded it, with the goal of strengthening our cooperation.”
But he allowed himself a little foray into what might be considered internal Israeli politics. Said Toner: “We’ve also seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history. And we also know that many of its ministers have said they opposed a two-state solution. This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in, and what kind of policies it may adopt, but ultimately we’re going to judge this government based on its actions.”
Dagen før nyheden om Libermans sensationelle indtreden, kom det en nyhed fra Iran som var mindst lige betydningsfuld. Ayatollah Mohammed Jannati var udnævnt til leder af Ekspertrådet, der vælger Khameneis efterfølger som Øverste Leder. Stillingen er en af de mest magtfulde i Iran.
Hvor ekstrem er Jannati, og hvad siger udnævnelsen om dagens regime?
Ahmad Jannati, widely described as the most radical of Iran’s senior clerics, is not a nice man. He opposes any notion of Iranian political reform. He backs the execution of political dissidents. He insists that Iran’s women cover up beneath the hijab. Needless to say, he loathes Israel. And he loathes the United States.
Here’s Jannati in 2007: “At the end of the day, we are an anti-American regime. America is our enemy, and we are the enemies of America. The hostility between us is not a personal matter. It is a matter of principle.”
In 2008: “You cried: ‘Death to the Shah,’ and indeed, he died. You cried: ‘Death to Israel,’ and it is now on its deathbed. You cry: ‘Death to America,’ and before long, Allah willing, the prayer for the dead will be recited over it.”
And in 2014: “‘Death to America’ [is] the first option on our table… This is the slogan of our entire people without exception. This is our number one slogan.”
Den samme Toner fik spørgsmål om udnævnelsen. Hvordan bedømte State Department Jannati?
Given that the United States last year led the diplomatic process that culminated in an agreement to rein in (but not dismantle) Iran’s rogue nuclear program; given that President Barack Obama has been urging Iran to “move toward a more constructive relationship with the world community”; given that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and a regional troublemaker; given that Iran continues to develop its ballistic missile program… you might be forgiven for thinking that the selection of the radically hostile Jannati would raise “legitimate questions about the direction” in which Iran may be headed, “and what kind of policies it may adopt.”
And indeed, a day before he was asked about Liberman, the State Department’s Mark Toner was questioned at his daily press briefing about Jannati. Did he express his dismay at the selection of an official viciously hostile to the US and Israel to so prestigious a role? Did he communicate America’s concern about the grim message that the choice of Jannati represented? He did not.
Here’s the full exchange:
Question: “You’ll have seen, I’m sure, the reports that Ahmad Jannati, a 90-year-old anti-Western cleric, has been chosen as the head of Iran’s new Assembly of Experts, which is in charge of selecting the new or whomever will be the next supreme leader. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? And does this suggest that Iran may be moving toward a more pro-Western, more open-toward-the-West stance?”Question: “Or do you have faith in Iran’s internal democratic procedures?” (Laughter.)
Mark Toner: “Let me see if I have anything pithy to say about that.”
Question: “And do you regard Iran as an ally in the fight against terrorism?” (Laughter.)
Toner: “You’re talking about – yeah, no. Have at it, guys. (Laughter.) We follow domestic events in Iran closely, as you know, but we don’t have any comment at this point on the outcome of the leadership elections of the Assembly of Experts.
Forskellen er slående: En samlet, liberal konsensus er dybt bekymret for den nye forsvarsminister i Israel. Han bliver medlem af en demokratisk valgt regering, Ministrer går i protest, pressen raser. Men når en ekstrem ayatollah bliver valgt til at lede forsamlingen som skal vælge den næste Øverste leder, har ikke State Department nogen kommentar.
Det sier meget.