The Guardian is still telling lies

It is always heart-rending to see the suffering of civilians, and particularly that of children, in war zones.  Most coverage, however, does not deliberately attempt to make propaganda out of it, and very few newspapers support that propaganda making.  The quality media do not intrude, unless of course they are invited to do so, and rarely in order to act as propagandists for one side or the other.

Not so the Guardian which, like CiF, seems very willing to adopt that role.  The Guardian itself, with its usual one-sidedness and eagerness to vilify Israel alone in the conflict, posted a video which painted that suffering, without any context and without any mention of the role of Hamas in exacerbating it.  No comments were allowed after the article, which in itself speaks volumes about how badly the Guardian copes with criticism of its approach, but note how the Guardian translates the seated woman near the beginning of the video as saying “Israelis” when she is really saying “yahud,” which means “Jew” in Arabic.  It seems that either the Guardian cannot distinguish between the two or does not want to admit that Hamas-inspired hatred of the “Zionist entity” is, in fact, hatred of her Jews.

The video was typical of what we have come to expect from Guardian reportage about Gaza.  I have little doubt that children and families suffered.  However, not mentioned (and the record cannot be put straight there since no comments are allowed to the article) is the deliberate contribution to and exacerbation of that suffering by Hamas, which the media, including the Guardian, reinforced by its mindless coverage which was often entirely lacking in curiosity about context.

We know that Hamas deliberately embedded itself among civilians, in schools and in private houses during Cast Lead, and that it used its own people as human shields. It launched kassams against civilians in Israel from playgrounds in which it deliberately encouraged children to play.  These kassams are indeed rudimentary but they were still capable of doing damage.   Sometimes they exploded during manufacture (and innocent people were killed because they were manufactured in private homes) or on their launch pads.  Ordinance was stored among civilians in direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions.

Since the Guardian has not given people the opportunity to do so, I believe that we should remind their readers who come here of the context of the trauma to those Palestinian children and who is primarily to blame for it.  As Col Richard Kemp has said war is by its very nature chaotic and mistakes happen in it.  I am not trying to excuse any alleged excesses on Israel’s part, which are under investigation.

I have written previously about the plight of Gaza’s children, which has been deliberately brought about by Hamas and is equally deliberately made use of to further Hamas’ anti-Israel propaganda.  The Guardian’s and CiF’s role in aiding and abetting and, as we see, lying by omission about this, is inexcusable.  Worse, Hamas deliberately continues inculcating young children into its own culture of death and hatred, but the Guardian and CiF studiously ignore this. In the same article I described at length the psychological manipulation of little children by Hamas, so as to undermine their entirely natural fear of violent death, thereby ensuring the supply of the next generation of Islamist terrorists from Gaza.  I also wrote about the probable psychological effects on these children of witnessing Muslim on Muslim violence in Gaza, as a result of Hamas’ violence against Fatah.

This, then, is the context into which the video should be placed, but which the Guardian deliberately ignores.

I have no doubt that the children of Gaza display the psychological symptomology described in the video.  I repeat, however, that the video makes no attempt to tell its audience about the effects of over eight years of continued shelling on the children of southern Israel (see also here and for a more detailed account of the psychological trauma of the citizens of Sderot, see here and on the children of Sderot, here ).   In this, and true to form, the Guardian portrays the Gazans as the only victims of Cast Lead and reinforces their victimhood by lying by omission again and again when it  chooses to paint Israel as the archetypal villain.

Bapthorpe has been banned…finally

It appears that the Guardian has finally banned William Bapthorpe, the infamous commenter that publicly advocated the slaughter of Jews.  If you click here, you’ll see all his comments have been deleted.

I wonder why it took so long to do the decent thing and ban him? Well better late than never Matt.

While your at it though, how about Banning the Ant for Holocaust denial or is he/she too in your circle of trust?

We loved your comment

HateAnythingJewish

29 Jan 2010, 8:37AM

Israel is a shitbag.  Zionists kill Palestinian babies. Israelis harvest (human) organs. Zionists are like Nazis. Zionists target civilians. Israel is an Apartheid state. Gaza is one huge concentration camp. George Galloway is my hero. People are starving in Gaza. Palestinian terrorism is ‘goodliness’ because Israel occupies territory belonging to the Palestinians. Obama is a Jewish pawn. Hillary Clinton is a Jewish pawn. Israel is not a real democracy. Zealot Jews control Israel. Neocons are dumb Jews. Palestinians and all Arabs are not responsible for their actions because they were subservient to colonialists. Islamic Terrorism is the result of the actions of colonialists. The EU and the USA must sign up to cleaning up the atmosphere but China can continue as she wishes because she is basically a counterweight to US domination of the world. Ahmedinejad is bad in his attitude to homosexuals and women but otherwise he is all goodness and anti USA. Saudi Arabia is evil and bad. The Taliban are really good people but we don’t really appreciate their attitude to women, homosexuals, dissention, governance and education. The US is the greatest evil in the world today. Russia will one day return to true and righteous Stalinism. Socialism is the only good form of governance. Market driven economies are bad, bad, and bad again. Banks are evil.  Islamist terrorism in the UK is understandable because the UK is killing Muslims in Iraq. Muslims are killing Muslims in Darfur and Iraq but this is ok because …. because …. Well. Because.

A letter from Wyrian Bittiker to the author of the above comment

Dear HateAnythingJewish,

Thank for your above comment. We at The Nuardiag are very, very impressed.

My name is Wyrian Bittiker and I am responsible for the rank absence of any intellectual content on our blog site.

I would formally like to invite you to write a post about Israel. As you obviously are aware, we, at The Nuardiag are on a crusade to destroy the one Western Liberal Democracy in the Middle East. Anything will be utilized from a dog fouling a pavement in Tel Aviv to an overheard comment by a Zionist Entity functionary who was muttering expletives to an Arab Israeli waiter who had spilt boiling hot soup into his lap while trying to stab him with a knife.

Posts along these and similar lines are very welcome.

The post should be between 150 to 600 words long and, if we accept it, you will be paid 75 British Pounds which will be delivered to you by post in crumpled 5 pound notes.

Please don’t feel any embarrassment at your singular lack of literary talent. This could not be of less interest to us and you will find yourself to be very much at home in our resident assortment of Jewish and Israeli social rejects who concoct posts for us. What we are basically interested in is your personal deviant interpretation of day to day occurrences within the Zionist Entity in Palestine and the wider Jewish world.

Given the absence of any intellectual depth of many of our readers and commenters, we would remind you that only polarised views (which show that Israel is guilty of whatever you are charging her of), are acceptable. Any mention of conflicting interpretations of the incident that you are presenting is strongly discouraged, since they will almost certainly confuse our loyal and regular readers. We do not want to cause them to actually peruse  independently the situation and so, drive them away.

HITS MEAN MORE ADVERTISING REVENUE!

We look forward to a long and mutually debilitating relationship as you help us maintain an ongoing demonization of the Zionist Entity and what is really going on in Gaza and elsewhere in the region.

Your truly

Wyrian Bittiker

Here he comes to save the day

Seth Freedman’s latest promotion of Combatants for Peace (astute readers will remember that he’s been there before) had the rather predictable effect of falling on deaf CiF ears; so much so that Freedman himself felt obliged in several instances to leap in and try to save the day.

What motivated Freedman’s attempts to rescue his own thread from the swamps of antisemitic and racist discourse? Well for a start the anti-Zionists and one-staters were out in force.

WhiteMansPropaganda

10 Jan 2010, 12:09PM

I wonder if the Israelis joining the protests though, would want the Palestinians as neighbours.

This would involve the dismantling of zionism and end the state of Israel as a Jewish state.

WhiteMansPropaganda

10 Jan 2010, 12:23PM

Keo2008

I see no contradiction between this kind of peaceful protest and moving gently, gently, towards a 2-state solution.

- or -

A 2 state or apartheid solution? Palestinian refugees are still waiting in their refugee camps and squalor and in the meantime Israel invites as many Jews as it can possibly stuff into the land it has ‘acquired’ to forestall any claims by the refugees.

Zionism – whether it’s the settlers or the ‘peace’ lobby, wants to cement this state of affairs and this is an outrage.

WhiteMansPropaganda

10 Jan 2010, 12:33PM

And yes, zionism is an evil ideology.

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When Antisemitism isn’t Antisemitism

So in the topsy turvy world of the Guardian, there are some commenters that think that when the only synagogue in Crete is the subject of an arson attack not once but twice, its not motivated by antisemitism. Here’s an example, the first comment in the thread.

Ah yes I forgot, after watching Yoav Shamir’s documentary and reading the endless threads on the  subject, there is no such thing as antisemitism.

Kinda reminds me of this.

Is Councillor Kelly’s record stuck?

Following on from  my account of the rantings of Councillor Terry Kelly, hilarious, saddening and sickening by turns, about Zionism, Israel, Jews, yada… yada… yada, I find that he is still at it on his own blog, squealing that “Zionists have their own detractors as well” as if we didn’t know that already.

The content is very much a regurgitation of his “informed” opinions so far but the following stand out:

We see that he is still obsessed with the Nazis’ treatment of Jews and with comparing the commenters at Harry’s Place very negatively with the Warsaw Ghetto fighters and on Holocaust Memorial Day too.  Whatever we may think of him, however, he certainly loves himself:

..I must be fearsome; I’m beginning to scare myself; here are all these tough guy Zionists breathing fire all over the place; Google (Harry’s Place) and see. What would these cowards have been like in the Warsaw Ghetto if they can’t face me?…”

Then he seems to get confused (nothing new there) between Zionism, Judaism, God, Jesus and perhaps even the meaning of life generally (and there’s even an attempt at humour at the end!).  What is this poor wee soul talking about?  (Clue: I think that “the followers” means Jews – there was no Zionism 2000 years ago):

“..Zionism is an evil creed it justifies any crime in the name of Israel; Gaza being the most obvious example. The followers can do anything they like to the Palestinians because God told them 2000 years ago that it was their promised land; if only he had stuck to turning water into wine the place would have been a whole lot happier especially if he had passed on the trick to other generations eh?..”

Then comes this absolute gem.  Note that he alleges that he has learned to “weigh every word” and “check every point” but there is precious little evidence of that in his blog articles or in his “contribution” at Harry’s Place.  Note also the paranoia and the quaint terminology – what on earth can he mean by “reasoned disagreement?”:

“…I have learned over the last few days that to write anything critical of Israel I have to weigh every word; check every point made because rather than take part in a debate these liars will hide behind every trick in the book to avoid a proper debate; they will obfuscate and dive ever deeper into semantics and split hairs to avoid reasoned disagreement and it leads to web sites like Harry’s Place where nothing is as it seems; where argument is engulfed in ever decreasing circles by these Zionists bullies who will do anything to defend the indefensible…”

And finally we return to the paranoia chorus, that the “cybernats” (sic) are out to get him:

“..I am now the target of a dishonest campaign by Zionists with help no doubt from the crazy cybernats (sic) to try to intimidate me and shut me up…”

Oh dear…  poor wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie

How many rocket attacks in a ceasefire?

This is a cross post by Brett from Harry’s Place

I suppose it’s pointless to describe The Guardian’s coverage of Israel as “unbelievable”. Okay, the so-called ‘facts’ certainly are very frequently unbelievable, but the tenor of these stories and mendacity comes so thick and fast that you’d have to have recently awoken from a long coma not to still be surprised by it.

Take this latest piece of distorted, dissembling rubbish:

The savage attack Israel ­unleashed against Gaza on 27 December 2008 was both immoral and unjustified. Immoral in the use of force against civilians for political purposes. Unjustified because Israel had a political alternative to the use of force. The home-made Qassam rockets fired by Hamas militants from Gaza on Israeli towns were only the ­excuse, not the reason for Operation Cast Lead. In June 2008, Egypt had ­brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement. ­Contrary to Israeli propaganda, this was a success: the average number of rockets fired monthly from Gaza dropped from 179 to three. Yet on 4 November Israel violated the ceasefire by launching a raid into Gaza, killing six Hamas fighters. When Hamas ­retaliated, Israel seized the renewed rocket attacks as the ­excuse for launching its insane offensive. If all Israel wanted was to protect its citizens from Qassam rockets, it only needed to ­observe the ceasefire.

Does the writer not understand the meaning of “ceasefire”?

A ceasefire does not mean “a significant reduction in attacks”, it means that attacks, well, “cease”.  Notice how the author describes none of the “average of three” rockets launched at Israel by Hamas following the June agreement as violating the ceasefire. Nor are the next three or four rockets fired in July, or a few more in August, and still more in September, and two or three more in October, and then November, six moths after the “ceasefire”, Hamas are still launching missiles towards Israeli towns.

No, not one of these 20 or so attacks is considered a violation of the ceasefire by Hamas. Then Israel fires on a group of Hamas rocketeers setting up a launching site… Oh NOW there is a ceasefire violation! By Israel!! And then the further rocket attacks are described as “retaliation” by Hamas, having been cruelly interrupted in their intrinsic right to fire a rocket or two every fortnight at an Israeli town, while still being regarded by The Guardian and fellow travellers as having “ceased firing”.

And of course, the desire to stop an ongoing barrage of rockets fired at one’s towns and citizens is just an “excuse” for a military reply.

How many rockets a month – some possibly landing on 90 York Way – does The Guardian think London should tolerate before our government does anything? One? Two? Three? Three a month (”on average”)? Should we employ the military? I would hope that the reason we have the military is to intervene in the eventuality that some group decides it’s a good idea to fire rockets over the border at our cities.

But perhaps that would be an aggressive response.

As to the original question posed in the title of this post, by The Guardian’s correspondent’s estimation, terrorist groups should be allowed to make about three (on average) attempts to blow us up every month before we consider the situation significant enough to respond.

Wakey, Wakey Seth!

In his CiF piece of January 20th Seth Freedman bemoans yet again what he terms ‘occupation tourism’ and specifically that of the International Solidarity Movement. The latter seemed none too pleased by Freedman’s article and posted the following rebuttal on CiF.

ISMLondonUK

21 Jan 2010, 12:36PM

“In Palestine, solidarity not tourism”

Rebuttal statement on behalf of ISM London

By Pete Jones

As volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement, London we were disappointed to read Seth Freedman?s highly misleading description of the non-violent protests by the Palestinians of Bil?in, and the ISM’s support for them (“Palestine’s occupation tourism”, Comment is Free, 20th January).

Blaming the victim, Freedman bizarrely berates Palestinian participants in the unarmed weekly protests against the Israel occupation army for ?aggression?. This reverses reality. It is the Israeli army that invades the village at night, the Israeli army and settlers that are occupying over 50% of the village’s land. Israel is the aggressor.

As someone who lived in Bil?in for almost two months and participated in a number of demonstrations, I witnessed the leaders of the Popular Committee regularly calling for stones not to be thrown during demonstrations. These calls are made both during the march if the youth (shabab in Arabic) are seen preparing to throw a stone, and in announcements during the week. There is plenty of video footage of Bil?in demonstration organisers asking shabab not to throw stones.

The ability of the leaders of the Popular Committee to make such calls may have been diminished recently — considering the fact that two of them, Abdullah Abu Rahmeh and Adeeb Abu Rahmeh were kidnapped by the Israeli army and are still being held prisoner, and a third, Mohammed Katib has been banned, by Israel, from the village during demonstrations.

It is true that these efforts are not always successful and some hot-headed youth end up throwing stones at the soldiers after the main demonstration, usually after they have been attacked with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas (which sometimes result in death, such as in the case of the late Basem Abu Rahmeh, a peaceful Palestinian protestor murdered by an Israeli soldier in April of last year). Freedman does not live in Bil?in and does not have to live with the regular night-time raids of the Israeli army, in which teenagers as young as 13 are seized, and therefore has no right to dictate the method of resistance to the Palestinians.

Israeli occupation forces have even gone to the extent of infiltrating stone-throwing “mistarvim” (Israeli forces disguised as Arabs) into the protest (see “Gandhi Redux” in Haaretz, 6th September 2005).

Freedman’s claim that ISMers are ?occupation tourists? is also false. In fact the ISM has had an ongoing presence in Bil?in since the villagers’ struggle began in 2005. It is telling when Freedman claims that “activists and NGO workers who have been operating in the region for years can be relied upon to update the watching world on the state of play in the village [without the need for ISMers]” and yet does not name a single one of these mysterious NGOs or activist organisations. The reality is that the ISM has an ongoing and long-term presence in the village. Volunteers often live in an apartment, many staying for months and forging long-term friendships with the people of Bil?in.

ISM volunteers are obliged to attend an intensive training course before they are permitted to work with the organisation. This training ensures ISM activists know the principles which guide the organisation?s work: non-violent action only, Palestinian-led action only and group action only. Freedman seems to scoff at the idea that ISM?s work should be Palestinian-led.

No ISM activist has the authority to tell a Palestinian how to run their resistance. We are not in Palestine to teach non-violence — in fact the Palestinians’ own long tradition of non-violent resistance has a lot to teach us all, from the protests and strikes against the British occupation in the 1930s onwards.

Freedman’s description of this central principle as an attempt to “absolve” ourselves “of any responsibility for the aggression emanating from the Palestinian side” is a typically orientalist attitude based on the false assumption that we westerners know what’s best for the Palestinians and should lead them.

On the contrary we in ISM view our role as witnessing the occupation so that we can raise awareness in our home countries while at the same time making the environment a little safer in Palestine. As a former Israeli solider, Freedman might know that the Israeli army has different rules of engagement at Palestinian protests when internationals or Israelis are involved in them. Live ammunition is not supposed to be used when they are present, but is allowed when Palestinians are alone.

Freedman has written some excellent CiF articles about the Israeli occupation of Palestine in the past, but shifting away from a colonialist point of view is often a long and difficult process. We wish him a speedy progression.

Oh dear; not pleasant. Not very historically accurate either on the subject of ‘the Palestinians’ own long tradition of ‘non-violent resistance’ . Mind you, they’re pretty busy bees down at ISM London, so accuracy will obviously be doomed to taking a back seat. Keep the last sentence of that rebuttal in mind – we’ll come back to that rather condescending and patronising statement later.

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Can the real Councillor Terry Kelly please stand up?

The Guardian World View, which is particularly applicable to CiF, is that Israel is always in the wrong.   The emotionally-compromised haters who are encouraged to “contribute” below the line have as great a difficulty in separating out reasoned criticism of Israel from the unreasoned and at times vitriolic criticism of her people, and are encouraged to vent their spleen furthering that view.  All this, as I have said, makes for the ideal climate for Israel- and at times Jew-hatred to flourish there.

With all this in mind, enter stage left (and I say this deliberately because the man in question is still a Labour councillor of Ward 4 Paisley North West) Councillor Terry Kelly who, not content with venting his ignorant spleen on his own blog (more of that anon) seemed obviously to have been drawn to CiF for some reason or other.

However, since I began writing this article there has been a strange turn of events – that particular Councillor Kelly (hereinafter referred to as the alternative Councillor Terry Kelly) who allegedly wrote the following to CiF:

cllrterrykelly’s comment

“22 Jan 10, 2:48pm (about 5 hours ago)

If I have said someone is a racist and a liar it is because they are. These people have subjected my family to a violent hate campaign for years; I’m not surprised they find support amongst the squalid internet horde; they are like the people who used to write poison pen letters in years gone by; now they have the internet which saves on psychiatrists. The police should be shutting this stuff down imho.”

And:

cllrterrykelly

22 Jan 2010, 6:27PM

There is no Anti-semitism; only anti-zionism. Real jews know that zionism is against Judaism. Its the squalid liars and cowards who defend the slaughter of innocent people that exploit anti-semitism as a cover for their agression.”

is not, according to the real Councillor Kelly, the actual Councillor Kelly (if you get my drift)

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Self-Defamation

The third piece on CIF in two weeks appeared today about the film Defamation – they sure are milking it for all it’s worth (which isn’t much at all…..)

This time it’s the film maker Yoav Shamir responding to David Hirsh’s critique (maybe he will also respond to theopen letter’ on CiFWatch – if he is reading this we promise to publish what he writes). He starts off by completely misunderstanding (maybe deliberately) Hirsh’s point that he ‘chooses mainly easy targets’.  Shamir responds that “all the subjects are people who willingly chose to participate” but that’s not the point at all. Hirsh means that instead of focusing on any number of vicious antisemitic incidents (the murder of the Holtzbergs in Mumbai, or of Ilan Halimi, or of Daniel Pearl, or the Aftonbladet libel) Shamir shines his forensic light on his 94-year old grandmother, the ADL (despite its goodwill in giving him free rein of the organisation and allowing him to accompany them on international missions) and a group of Israeli High School children visiting Auschwitz.

Next we get our old CIF pal, ‘argument by assertion’. Shamir assures us that supporters of Nordau and Herzl, the early 19th century Zionists, ‘represented less than 3% of the entire Jewish population at the time’. Er …. how on earth does he know a figure?

Remember, this is a man who admitted in the film that he has never experienced antisemitism: “Being an Israeli Jew I have never experienced antisemitism myself”. He shows how little he knows by asserting that Israel “was supposed to be a cure for what antisemitism started”. Of course it wasn’t – how can the creation of a state ‘cure’ racism? By the same argument his assertion that Israel has “ended up generating antisemitism” is just stupid – and a non sequitur over what has gone before. On the one hand, he recognises that antisemitism predates Israel; on the other he blames Israel for causing antisemitism.

Having been given the run of ADL, now Shamir says he “totally disagrees with it”. So it took all that time as an intern to decide that? And he had an open mind before? Pull the other one, Yoav!

Then he describes a game the ADL members play, when they have to identify non-Jewish friends who would hide them if it proved necessary. We get the inevitable sneer: “I am happy to say that, at least in my Tel Aviv social circle, this is not  a very popular game.” Well so what? What does that prove, apart from the fact that few Israelis – like Shamir – have experienced antisemitism.

Now comes the disingenousness: “I am a filmmaker who simply gave them the floor”. Pull the other one! So he had nothing to do with selecting Finkelstein, Walt, Mearsheimer and Avneri?

And more sneering: “Abe Foxman stated that antisemitism was the worst since the second world war, just as he had said last year and just as he will probably say next year, too”.

Well we have news for him: In Europe (and possibly globally also) it IS the worst since the second world war.

When good deeds are worse than doing nothing

This is a guest post by Oliver Worth. This op-ed was originally published in the Jerusalem Post on January 24, 2010.

When sending two jumbo-jets of aid, and setting up a field hospital with hundreds of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel is met with scorn, you know something isn’t right.

While most of the mainstream American and British news networks reported extensively on Israel’s reaction to Haiti’s devastating earthquake, unfortunately we were also reminded just how entrenched some of the world’s hatred for the Jewish state really is.

While the fact that most of the Arab world donated mere pennies, or nothing at all, has escaped mention, Israel’s attempt to save lives has been labeled by many as nothing but a PR exercise. The sad truth is that the the anti-Israel hard left has done such a great job of dehumanizing Israelis, that the idea they could be doing good deeds is totally incomprehensible. It’s true -Israel’s actions in Haiti are creating good press, but that’s what happens when you do good things.

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Si Facile

Dr. Tony Klug tried to persuade us in a recent article in CiF that the Iranian problem can be circumvented if only Israel would accept the Arab Peace Initiative. What Dr. Klug did not point out, of course, are some of the more problematic aspects of that initiative such as the fact that it is not a negotiated agreement and therefore Israel is not a party to its wording. It is, in fact, a ‘parachuted’ or imposed initiative which its authors are so far not prepared to submit to negotiation of any kind, despite the fact that some of its clauses are deeply problematic for Israel. The mammoth in the room is, of course, that Hamas has not signed up to the initiative and indeed the day of the birth of the Arab Peace Initiative was also the day of the bloody terrorist attack by Hamas on the Park Hotel in Netanya. Some Hamas officials have been very clear about their view of the initiative:

The spokesman for Hamas in the Palestinian parliament, Salah al-Bardawil, told Haaretz, “we will not agree to recognition of Israel or peace with it [as it appears in the initiative]. We have no problem with the part of the initiative that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and the right of refugees to return.”

Beyond this, Dr. Klug also manages to completely ignore the proxy wars which Iran is waging throughout the entire Middle East in Lebanon, Gaza, Israel, Iraq and Yemen. In addition, the links between Iran and Al Qaida are becoming clearer, as is the fact that any nuclear weapons which Iran may acquire would be unlikely to be aimed at Israel alone.

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