An interesting point is that Israel is a small country, with a small population base. Israel's Jewish population, from which Israel structurally draws all of its significant leadership, is about 5 million people, which is the size of the metropolitan area of a medium-sized US city (the actual city plus its suburbs).
In a competitive system that selects leadership based on some form of political skill, a small population base limits the expected level of talent for the leadership. This is a long way to say nobody would expect Israel's national leadership to be as talented as Russia's leadership, just as nobody would expect the mayor of Albuquerque New Mexico to be as talented as the US President.
Israel has more talented leadership than the colonial stooge states - for example Saudi Arabia's leadership is selected from a dozen or so direct descendants of the Saudi king who first began collaborating with the British empire. Egypt draws its leadership from the pool of Egyptians acceptable to Israel. So Israel has an advantage over its neighbors that is artificially maintained by US resources but from time to time you see just how poorly led the country is by any standard of comparison except what the US imposes on its neighbors.
Barak Ravid from Haaretz reports on a question and answer session by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon. The quotes just go from bad to worse.
"It is not certain that the regime in power now in Iran will be there in one year," Ayalon said at a question-and-answer session in Tel Aviv.So this will start us off. Now "certain" is a strong word. "Not certain" is a powerful hedge. It is possible that an asteroid hits earth or somehow the sun stops burning. Because of that Ayalon is correct to say it is not certain that Iran's regime will be in power a year from now. But in real life, it is certain. Just like it is certain that the US controversy over Barack Obama's birth certificate will not lead to Obama's removal from office.
Americans analysts, because of their disagreement with Iran's leadership over Israel, and the intense emotional antipathy that engenders, systematically over-estimate the capabilities and significance of internal opposition to the regime. It is largely projection. If Iran's regime ruled over a population of people like Juan Cole, Gary Sick and Michael Slackman, its demise would be imminent. Instead Iran's regime rules over a population of people who agree with it on most issues. (Really if Iran's regime ruled over a population of people who think like US analysts, its positions would match those of the people it rules and who vote in its elections.)
But if Americans project their antipathy onto Iran's population, we can only imagine how strong that tendency is in Israel. Avalon's hope of regime change in Iran will certainly be dashed in 2010. Even US analysts do not go as far as he does.
"The world is uniting against Iran's nuclear program and within a month there will be United Nations Security Council sanctions," Ayalon said. "There is agreement in Washington, Moscow and Beijing that a nuclear Iran would destroy the current world order."Woah, slow down.
There aren't going to be UN Security Council sanctions this month. This is the Deputy Foreign Minister of a country that considers Iran its primary rival. He doesn't read newspapers? "Destroy the current world order?" What? I'm not sure an actual response is necessary.
Ayalon also addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent efforts to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians, saying, "The Palestinians need to understand that time is working against them," Channel 10 news reported.This statement is the reason I wrote a post about the article. Do Israel's leaders really think time is working against the Palestinians? Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama do not think so. One explanation could be that Israel's leaders have a distorted view of their situation out of necessity, because it is painful to envision the failure of the Zionist project. Another explanation though, is that Israel has such a small Jewish population that that it just cannot produce leadership talented enough to identify basic facts about the situation they find themselves in.