When I first read about the bombing of a tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria which killed five Israeli citizens quite naturally I was sorrowful for the loss of lives and for such a brutal act of violence. Death is always something we as humans mourn, but for a life to be snuffed out so abruptly and with such destruction gives cause for ponder. The number one question, why? As much as we search there is never a satisfactory answer to this question. What prompts people to commit senseless acts of violence against individuals whom they’ve never known or had any connection to?
Immediately following the bombing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly accused Iran of the incident. It was an open and shut case. He knew the who, why, what, where and how, and there was no need to wait for an investigation despite Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov stating that he thought “it is wrong and a mistake to point fingers at this stage of the investigation at any country or organization.” Seems like a logical position to take. However, in fewer than 24 hours after news of the attack Netanyahu emphatically blamed Hezbollah under the guise of Iran for orchestrating the attack.
In a statement made to reporters Thursday afternoon following the bombing Netanyahu claimed the attack in Bulgaria on Wednesday was carried out by Hezbollah with Iranian backing.
“We will pursue the attackers and extract a heavy price from those who sent them. We will continue fighting Iranian terror, we will act against it with great force.”
“For over a year, Iran, along with its protégé Hezbollah, has been waging an international terror campaign,” said Netanyahu. He went on to refer to Iran as “the world’s number one exporter of terror” and Hezbollah its “long arm.”
“A terrorist organization must not get nuclear weapons. The most dangerous state in the world must not attain the most dangerous weapon on Earth,” he continued.
Wait one minute. Can someone please press the rewind button? Did I hear that correctly or did my ears deceive me? How did we get from mourning the loss of innocent civilians and finding out who is responsible to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? To a free thinking mind that seems to be quite a leap. But if you have a secret agenda, one which entails waging war against a specific country — Iran — it makes perfect sense. What better time to garner empathy and support from the international community? If Netanyahu can somehow correlate the suicide bomb attack on Israeli tourists to the threat of a nuclear Iran then he can not only justify invading Iran but also avoid the appearance of being the war hawk that he is.
For months now Netanyahu has been working incessantly to convince the U.S. to wage war against Iran; that it poses an imminent threat not only to Israel but the U.S. as well with its aspirations to develop nuclear weapons. A claim which has been repeatedly refuted by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. But not only has Defense Secretary Panetta dispelled the notion of a nuclear Iran, he and several experts have stated that Iran does not have the capability to develop a nuclear weapon — and even should it make the decision to do so, it would be years before it could actualize this.
But put all of that aside. Forget whether Iran has the capability, is working on the capability or even has the desire to develop a nuclear weapon. One question — a quite relevant one — which is never posed in this entire debate: what of Israel’s nuclear arsenal?