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22 Jul, 2010 06:28

“Israel is regional bully with nuclear weapons” – author

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is continuing to divide the Middle East. RT sat down with journalist and author Jonathan Cook who says that Israel actually benefits from the division.

“The Jewish population in Tehran is at least 20,000, maybe 30,000 people, and when they talk about their lives there, they seem very comfortable. If Iran had a kind of racial hatred against Jews, if the Iranian regime was just a symbol of a ‘new Hitler regime’, the Nazis, why would they not be starting with their own population?” Jonathan Cook says.

“The reason why Israel can’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons is because if Iran developed its own nuclear arsenal, it would totally change the balance of power in the Middle East,” he says. “At the moment Israel is the regional bully, it has its own nuclear weapons, it can pull them out as it has done several times in the past, most notably during the 1973 war when it threatened the US that it might use those weapons if it wasn’t rearmed and that is why the Americans had to come in and intervene. It has that kind of ability to pressure America and terrorize the rest of the neighborhood, if you like, because it has nuclear weapons.”

Jonathan Cook says that if Iran had nuclear weapons, there would be a balance of power.

“There would be this mutually assured destruction principle, which may not be an ideal principle, but at least it’s something in terms of counteracting the benefits that Israel has as the only nuclear power [in the region],” he says.

As for the possible solution to the conflict, Jonathan Cook says he would support anything that brought peace and gave Palestinians and Israeli Jews the right to live happy, contented lives.

“The question now is how you achieve that. Some people say a two-state solution could do that. I don’t actually think that it is even technically possible any longer, if it ever was,” he says. “We are talking about very small areas of land that would be left to the Palestinians. Nobody is talking about it being a militarized state that would control the borders – I mean all sorts of questions that nobody really wants to look at in any kind of depth at the moment because everybody knows the answers, that this wouldn’t really be a proper state. I don’t think it would end the conflict, I think it might postpone it very briefly, but we would just end up with the same kind of conflict.”