Tags: MidPoint | Danny Ayalon | Benjamin Netanyahu | Iran threat

Danny Ayalon: Iran Threat to Netanyahu Kin Demands Response

By    |   Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 03:17 PM

A call by Iran for militants to kill the sons of Israel's prime minister is an escalation of the Tehran regime's already barbaric methods, and the world cannot let the threat go unpunished, says former Israeli ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon.

"It is another manifestation of the most brutal … terroristic regime," Ayalon told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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But Ayalon stopped short of saying the threat alone justifies an Israeli military strike against Iran, although he laid out a number of scenarios "where Israel would have to act in a massive way," and the list included attempts on the lives of Israeli officials and their kin.

Iran used a pair of news outlets, one state-controlled and another tied to the country's Revolutionary Guard, to urge the assassinations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's two sons. 

Even by Iran's standard of brutality, "it seems like they're moving into a higher level," said Ayalon, "and it is high time for the entire international community to put an end to that."

The published threat, including photos of the young men marked by crosshairs, follows a Jan. 18 Israeli airstrike in Syria that killed prominent Hezbollah figures, including the son of a late Hezbollah military commander, as well as an Iranian general, Israel Hayom reported.

With Iran actively pushing its influence throughout the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Yemen, "we are mindful of the fact that Tehran really is a hub of terror," said Ayalon, who also served as deputy foreign minister under Netanyahu.

The question is whether Israel's longstanding ally, the United States, will continue to prize nuclear talks with Iran over doing whatever is necessary — military force included — to check the regime's expansionism through terror, Ayalon said.

"It's not just a matter of capability; it's a matter of will," said Ayalon, a visiting professor of foreign policy studies at Yeshiva University in New York. "And if the notion is that the United States is taking off options from the table, then these options may come later on with a much heavier price.

"In order to prevent a war you have to prepare for one," he said. "And if the Iranians know that there will never be more sanctions, or there is not a consideration of a military option, then they can continue to play around, continue to play tough, and they will never really have any incentive to back down on their very dangerous nuclear program and … terrorism all over the world."

Ayalon weighed in on the spat between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, with White House officials seething because Netanyahu didn't tell them he had accepted an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress about Iran.

While calling the invitation "unusual," Ayalon said the speech should go forward as planned, and that any dispute about it is between Boehner and Obama.

"Israel has no responsibility over coordination between these two branches of American government," he said, adding that the urgency of confronting Iran should "take precedence over protocol or over false pride."

"He's certainly taking a high risk here," Ayalon said of Netanyahu agreeing to address Congress over the White House's objections.

"But he does it form his own convictions that you have to speak up," he said. "He's still traumatized from the fact that back in the '30s … nobody spoke out and we ended up with 6 million Jews in gas chambers. So he feels this is his duty.

"I have to say it could've been done in a more diplomatic and useful way," said Ayalon. "That means to pre-advise the White House, not to ignore the White House. … and right now I'm afraid that the attention, instead of being focused on Iran, is being focused on the relationship between Obama and Bibi Netanyahu."

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A call by Iran for militants to kill the sons of Israel's prime minister is an escalation of the Tehran regime's already barbaric methods, and the world cannot let the threat go unpunished, says former Israeli ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon.
Danny Ayalon, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran threat
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2015-17-29
Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 03:17 PM
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