"The year is 1938 and Iran is Germany...When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, he is preparing a second holocaust against the Jewish people. Believe him and stop him.
Benjamin Netanyahu, 2006
Aluf Benn writes that with Hitler At The Gate, why not kidnap Ahmadinejad--after all, Bibi did call for putting Ahmadinejad on trial in The Hague on charges of incitement to genocide!
Three weeks from now, Netanyahu will have a one-time opportunity to stop the new Hitler and thwart the incitement to genocide. Ahmadinejad will pay his first visit to Lebanon and devote an entire day to a tour of the southern part of that country. He will visit sites where Hezbollah waged battles against Israel and, according to one report, he will also pop over to Fatima Gate, just beyond the border fence at Metula. The route is known, the range is close and it is possible to send a detail across the border to seize the president of Iran and bring him to trial in Israel as an inciter to genocide and Holocaust denier.
The media effect will be dramatic: Ahmadinejad in a glass cage in Jerusalem, with the simultaneous translation earphones, facing grim Israeli judges. In the spirit of the times, it will also be possible to have foreign observers join them (David Trimble of the Turkel commission was a leader of the "try the Iranian president" initiative ).
It does make for a tempting image, doesn't it?
Just think of the possibilities:
There are also operational advantages: Iran will hesitate to react to its president's arrest by flinging missiles, out of fear for their leader's life. It will also be possible to capture Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who will no doubt emerge from his hiding place and accompany Ahmadinejad. Israel will have high-ranking hostages it will be able to exchange for Gilad Shalit.Alas, just think of what is more likely to happen:
And if the world has any complaints, it will be reminded that the Americans invaded Panama in order to arrest its ruler Manuel Noriega - and only for dealing drugs, a far smaller offense than incitement to genocide.
Ahmadinejad might be killed in the action and Iran would embark on a cruel war of revenge. The precedent of arresting leaders would endanger Israeli personages suspected abroad of crimes against humanity or murder (according to the Goldstone report and the flotilla report ). Ahmadinejad could be acquitted and make Israel look like a bully and Netanyahu a fool.Benn's suggestion is only tongue-in-cheek, chiding Netanyahu for rhetoric he could afford as a politician which he cannot act upon as an elected leader. Perhaps Benn is right and Netanyahu should be more cautious in the way he speaks.
But we are talking about the Middle East, where leaders tend to talk with a Medieval intensity and threats are commonplace.
And where those with a more Western bent are often reduced to hoping that those threats are exaggerated.
Come to think of it, a lot can be planned in 3 weeks...
[Hat tip: Norman F]
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