What Lies Beneath: The Tell-Tale Heart …

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Wow, it seems Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, fresh from his debacle in Lebanon, has now upset Israel’s long standing policy of nuclear ambiguity. Is it now possible that we might miss the good old days of Ariel Sharon?

Nuclear blackmail? You bet, but we should proceed with caution in drawing conclusions. On the one hand, Olmert’s comments in Germany stand in direct contravention of the US-Israeli agreement to keep the “bomb in the basement.” So his statements could be read as part of a broader Israeli campaign to undermine any possible rapprochement between the United States and Iran and Syria, as has now been called for by the Iraq Study Group. However, it is also possible that Olmert’s “misstep” was not a misstep at all, but rather the result of whatever Eliot Abrahams whispered in his ear during the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent trip to Washington. That Olmert made the remarks in Germany suggests that Israel was either expressing its dissatisfaction with the Baker report (in an incomprehensibly irresponsible manner) or that Israel and the United States have agreed to ratchet up the pressure on Europe over Iran and its nuclear program. This seems more likely given Olmert’s recent comment that the ISG was “internal matter” for the United States. Olmert is not given to humor, so I think we can take that comment to mean that some agreement has been reached between the Israeli and US administration on how to proceed with Iran. But it is also possible that Israel sees the Baker report, and its scandalous mention of a Palestinian right of return, as a direct threat. So much so that its heart could no longer suffer silence over the horrible secret of what lies beneath …

Keep your eyes peeled and be alert for radiation and other hot winds emanating from the world’s great powers … The battle over the Middle East has just begun … That it begins with a confession, well, what did you expect in the Holy Land …?

Addendum: As pointed out by my esteemed collleague and NYTimes devotee, bech-bouche, the US media has not reported on Olmert’s remarks, even though they have created an uproar in the Israeli press. It seems that the toxic fulminations of a David Duke are more dangerous than breezy threats of nuclear warfare … Who knew? Not I …

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