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Ben-Gurion University
[BGU] Haggai Ram calls for war: For Israelis, anti-Iran is a consensus. You dont have to be a neoconservative to wish for the destruction of Iran
Haggai Ram, Senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University, Middle East Studies. Email hram@bgu.ac.il 

Israel hides behind Iranophobia to justify its actions

Vita Bekker, Foreign Correspondent: The National - Abu Dhabi Media Company

Last Updated: June 23. 2010 10:56PM UAE / June 23. 2010 6:56PM GMT


Haggai Ram, an Iran specialist at Ben-Gurion University in southern Israel, said: “Placing Gaza under a dark and ominous Iranian shadow allows Israel to commit the atrocities that it has committed in Gaza.”

Analysts also say that the current right-wing government has been especially outspoken about Iran being the main threat to Israel’s existence because it wants to divert attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, for which it may be pressured to make politically-damaging concessions. Furthermore, Mr Ram says that Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, is also worried about losing that monopoly, which has “allowed Israel to act like the neighbourhood bully.” But Iran also uses Israel as a strategy to shift its public’s attention away from internal problems as well as become more prominent in the Muslim world, according to analysts. Neve Gordon, an Israeli professor of political science, said: “It’s a diversion strategy used by both sides. Ahmadinejad is doing the same thing as Netanyahu.”


To read the article in full click here: http://www.fpif.org/blog/crazy_talk_in_the_middle_east

Crazy Talk in the Middle East


In a recent Christian Science Monitor article, “Does Israel suffer from ‘Iranophobia’?”, reporter Scott Peterson examines the Israeli mindset and found some pretty scary things. “There’s something utterly irrational and exceedingly disproportionate in Israeli understandings of the Iranian threat,” says Haggai Ram, a professor at Ben Gurion University and author of “Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession.”

“Iran is perhaps the most central issue [in Israel], yet there is really no critical debate about this,” says Ram, and for those Israelis who do challenge the idea that Iran is an “existential threat” to Israel, “they are immediately rendered into these bizarre self-defeating, self-hating Jews, and seen as a fifth column.” 

According to Ram, “For Israelis, anti-Iran is a consensus. You don’t have to be a neoconservative to wish for the destruction of Iran.” Polls show that Prime Minister Netanyahu is growing in popularity, and that Israelis are circling the wagons on everything from the attack on the Gaza flotilla to the embargo of Gaza Strip. 



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