Saul Singer at PostGlobal

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 »

Main Page | Saul Singer Archives | PostGlobal Archives


Opportunity in Iranian Nuclear Crisis

The solution is to move on both fronts, as both Obama and Netanyahu want to do.

» Back to full entry

All Comments (19)

simpsonth Author Profile Page:

tlspolitics:
“…the United States is either going to force Israel to cut back its' nuclear weapons program, (extremely unlikely) or guarantee Iran's existence.”

Nice to see an original idea for a change. And you are quite correct, Iran does indeed have other strategic threats to it besides Israel; indeed, despite Israeli Sturm and Drang, Israel is nowhere near the top of Iran’s existential threats.

Whistling:
Now THAT was pithy :o)

Ripvanwinkleincollege:
There is some weakness in your argument.
a. Iran would be hard-pressed to place 3 nukes in Israel so precisely that both the Palestinians and 3rd ranking Muslim icon in Jerusalem were all spared.

b. You suppose the Iranian state is suicidal, considering that Israel has the survivable deterrent capacity to destroy the aggressor with far more nukes than a mere 3. (They put them on submarines also you know.)

c. Israel was not the cause for the “radicalization” of Iran. For that you need to understand the political and religious history of the Persian nation, in particular our own role in the overthrow of the elected government and our role in supporting the rule of the dictatorial Shah until he was ousted in the 1980 revolution led by the clergy. Today’s condemnation of “Zionists” serves precisely the same political objectives of Iranian politicians as the condemnation of “IslamoFascists” serves our own and the condemnation of “Communists” served our last political generation.

Saul Singer….
As is often the case, you conflate the question of Palestine with the question of Iran’s potential nuclear ambitions. In reality they have very little if anything to do with each other. The Palestinian issue has in fact largely become an internal civil dispute, some times erupting into outright insurgency, within the territories occupied by Israel. The phony Iranian nuclear threat to Israel simply serves as a convenient means to avoid serious discussion of the resolution of the civil dispute between two competing groups of residents of the geography once called Palestine, namely the Jewish population and the Muslim population. Goodness, it has become tiresome to us all.


tlspolitics Author Profile Page:

The 1200 pound gorrilla in the Iran/Isreal room is that Isreal has nuclear capabilities. Iran's threats to exterminate Isreal are the same as the 100 pound kid yelling at the 200 pound bully. The smaller kid just wants to make sure the bully knows he is willing figth. He is of no real threat to the larger kid. Iran is in the same position to Isreal.

I fully support Isreal's right to extist and hope that it will exist forever, as my son lives there.

In oreder to get Iran to abandon its' nuclear program the United States is either going to force Isreal cut back its' nuclear weapons program, (extremely unlikely) or guarantee Iran's existence. Iran has several states that are antagonistic to it, not just Isreal. Guaranteeing Iran's continued existence would cause the United States to do large amount of explaining to many of its' allies, but this will be the price of getting Iran to drop its' nuclear weapons program.

nrubua3 Author Profile Page:

Weakness invites assault and power incites assault. Only balance of power is gurantee for peace.U.S. and U.S.S.R remained engaged in cold war for years but did not go for War because both being nuclear powers.Israel is eager to strike Iran simply because she knows Iran is not having nukes.The moment Iran becomes nuclear power,Israel shall change her tone. Either no country should have nukes or every country should have.Otherwise countries having nukes shall use it when threatened.This stands proved in the past.

nrubua3 Author Profile Page:

Weakness invites assault and power incites assault. Only balance of power is gurantee for peace.U.S. and U.S.S.R remained engaged in cold war for years but did not go for War because both being nuclear powers.Israel is eager to strike Iran simply because she knows Iran is not having nukes.The moment Iran becomes nuclear power,Israel shall change her tone. Either no country should have nukes or every country should have.Otherwise countries having nukes shall use it when threatened.This stands proved in the past.

nrubua3 Author Profile Page:

Weakness invites assault and power incites assault. Only balance of power is gurantee for peace.U.S. and U.S.S.R remained engaged in cold war for years but did not go for War because both being nuclear powers.Israel is eager to strike Iran simply because she knows Iran is not having nukes.The moment Iran becomes nuclear power,Israel shall change her tone. Either no country should have nukes or every country should have.Otherwise countries having nukes shall use it when threatened.This stands proved in the past.

asizk Author Profile Page:

Like every inch of Arab historic Palestine, Jerusalem is occupied trreitory-and will be recovered sooner rather than later.

"israel's" fromidable nuclear arsenal is the only existentail threat to the Arab World and is driving esepcially Iran into nuclear arms race.

Iran's alleged nukes is another habitual manufactured jewish excuse to throw sand into Obama's eyes to distract him and the world from the ongoing colonization and theft of the little land left for a "viable Palestinian state":less than 8% of Arab historic Palestine of mutialted pathces of non-contiguous land with a wall of shame-an apartheid wall imposed by the racist militaristic jewish ethno-religous entity.

Solution:one secular democratic state for all except illegal jewish armed immigrants smuggled by mandate Britain at or after ww1.

Nothing else will do.

i_go_pogo Author Profile Page:

A pretty fair percentage of the world's Muslims seem to believe that making the world entirely subject to Allah's will is a task worth dying for.

On the other hand, I think you'll find there are exactly zero Jews whose goal is to make the entire world Jewish.

Mr. Ahmedinejad has pointed out that, while Israel can be erased with a few bombs, Islam will survive as long as anyone survives anywhere. I think he's talking to the Great Satan more than he's talking to the Small Satan. Why would the Iranians plan to stop with just getting rid of Israel, when Christians are so much more infidel than even Jews? So let's give him some nukes, shall we, and let him test out his theory.

RandomGuy Author Profile Page:

Singer,
Your write:

Further, Netanyahu will make it clear to Obama that Israel cannot tolerate even a "virtually" nuclear Iran and will take military action to prevent this, even though this would be much less preferable than forcing Iran to back down with crippling sanctions
____________

Those days are over hopefully when the fake state of Israel can make anything clear to the US or anybody else for that matter.

Why is it a problem for you or anybody that Iran may have/want nukes, when you already have them!

The Arab concerns over Iran's rise are overblown and are being hyped by the Zionists and their friends in the US. This is called Divide and Rule. Divide the shia and sunnis and hopefully win over both of them. Look what happened in Iraq when this was done. It resulted in ethnic cleansing of each community by the other.

The Arab dictators will go with this faux worry over Iran, because in return they will get arms and money from the US> Not because they are truly afraid of Iran invading them!

Israel's nukes should be dismantled first before any claims are made of Iran. Period!

billy8 Author Profile Page:

"In any case, a comprehensive Israeli-Arab peace is on hold, at best, pending resolution of the Iranian problem."

What? Why?? Iranians aren't even Arabs, you know...

whistling Author Profile Page:


What would happen

"IF THERE WERE A BREACH"?

You mean if Americans managed to kick the lying, spying savages off the American teat?

Oh, goodness, how we would suffer.

kevin1231 Author Profile Page:

It is the aggressiveness with which both Israel and U.S. have acted in lauching their military campaigns in attacking other countries that is partly responsible for Iran's nuclear aspirations. While the U.S. and Israel media, amy be one and the same, talk about Iran's move towards acquiring nuclear capability, no one talks about Israel's massive stock pile of nuclear weapons. Who are these weapons directed against? Some would argue that the world has more to fear from Israel than Iran.

patrick3 Author Profile Page:

I say it's time to let Islamofascism and Judeofascism fight it out among themselves. As an American citizen I'm beyond tired of being the fall guy between the two.

Enough is enough.

eddy3 Author Profile Page:

AIPAC is preparing its offensive on President Obama...either US attacks Iran on behalf of the zionists or even the rest of his actual mandate will be a nightmare for him...forget about a second mandate if he does not comply...
Obama knows who has the real power in Washington...watch out...we know who rules US...where is the spirit of the Founding Fathers...

j2hess Author Profile Page:

I have seen a connection of Iran to anti-Zionist movements, but not so much "Islamofacists". These are largely Sunni Arabs, not Shiite Farsi.

And here is another part of the picture: It's not all about Israel. It's a dangerous neighborhood. Pakistan has nukes and hosts the Taliban. Iran was happy to see the end of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

So, lets enlarge the picture. How about adding Israel's nukes to the mix, and enrolling Israel in the Non-Proliferation Treaty? The we'll have the consistency and moral standing to make a case on India and Pakistan's nukes and Iran's potential nukes.


ripvanwinkleincollege Author Profile Page:

If it weren't for Israel, a nuclear Iran in the Middle East might not be such a bad thing as a counter-pressure against radical Arab Wahhabi regimes. They're the real Islamofascists, if one must use that term. This is all about Israel's security. Nonetheless, Israel is our ally- even if they behave in mishugona (sic?) ways from time to time on the West Bank- and we are obligated to protect them. There is no way that Iran can have nuclear weapons without Israel feeling like they could disappear off the map. In a country the size of Vermont, three nukes and 50% of the population would be gone. The Israelis know this. The Iranians know this too. That's why the Iranians can never have nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, if we do have to strike Iran, we should extract a VERY steep price from Israel for doing so- evacuate to the 1967 line with some provision for holy sites in Jerusalem being shared instead of totally under Arab control in exchange for a nuclear strike would be the minimum that the Obama administration should insist in. That plus full citizenship for Israeli Arabs would be the maximum. This price should be extracted because if Israel had behaved on the West Bank prior to this, we might not be faced with such radicals in Iran and the Gulf now.

skata3 Author Profile Page:

Quote: "Success must be defined as the dismantling of Iran's nuclear program and enrichment capability."

The problem with these guys is their failure to notice the use of double standards. Their rational is that our nukes are good but their's are bad. I really feel insulted.

A more reasonable approach would be that all nukes are bad. You cannot sell your thesis these days Saul, however hard you may try.

DMZ1 Author Profile Page:

Mr. Singer:

Please. What self-serving and self-important drivel. If Israel has nucleur weapons, and it does, hundreds of warheads, then Iran abolutely has the right to have similar weapons. The premier warmongers in the ME are Israel and the U.S. not Iran. The only acceptable goal is a nucleur free ME including Israel. If you endorse that, great, we have common ground. If you don't, you are just one more hypocrite on this issue.

ordak100 Author Profile Page:

The only terrorist problem in the region is the one that bombs civilians with F-16s. But again Israelis are war mongers, they have never experienced peace and will not know what it might look and feel like even if it drops from the sky and hits them on the head!

Shiveh Author Profile Page:

Mr. Singer considers fall of Sadam Hossein a great setback for Islamofascists! He writes: “Forcing Iran to back down would be the greatest setback for Islamofascism since the fall of radical regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Has he forgotten that Sadam’s was a secular regime? Iraq war gave the Islamofascists a recruiting opportunity better than anything they could muster themselves – some setback!

“Indeed, if Obama defuses the Iranian nuclear program, the world could experience the greatest advance in peace and security since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
I’m confused Mr. Singer. Exactly who is Iran fighting? “Greatest advance in peace” and “greatest setback for Islamofascism”? Why not just come out and say it. It is just “greatest!” when America attacks Israel’s enemies while Israel annexes more of the Palestinian lands thru illegal settlements (colonies.)

It is Israel that is at war in the Middle East, not Iran. It is Israel that produces and stock-piles nuclear weapons in the Middle East, not Iran. Look in the mirror Mr. Singer.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.