A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
Sept 29, 2009 Barak Almost Arrested in England- Iran Update
Israeli Minister of Defense Barak risked arrest today when a group of Palestinians requested that he be arrested in England for war crimes committed during the Gaza operation. The Palestinian request falls under the statue that originated after World War II to arrest Nazis, but has been used in the past few years to try to arrest anyone accused of war crimes, regardless of the jurisdiction. Barak was advised to leave immediately; he was in Britain for a combined private visit with his wife together with a speech to the British Labor government. Barak decided to stay, and the British Foreign Ministry intervened, claiming to the court that Barak enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The court put off any decision in the case, therefore allowing Barak to finish his scheduled visit tomorrow and return home. Unfortunately the Goldstone report has opened a large can of worms for many Israeli officials, especially those who may be retired and carry no form of official protection.
In the past few days it has become clear that the talks scheduled between Iran and the West are not going anywhere. The chief Iranian negotiator has stated that the issue of the Iranian nuclear program is off the table, thus making this meeting largely meaningless. Does this mean that a sanctions regime can be put in place that will actually work? It is doubtful, but of course worth trying.
There are a number of articles worth reading regarding this issue. Anthony Cordesman wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal about Israeli military options.
Today in the Wall Street Journal there is an interesting piece by Bret Stephens called, Neocon Make a Comeback
On the other side of the ledger there is an Op Ed Piece by Flynt Leverett and Hilary Mann Levereet called "How to Press the Advantage with Iran". They suggest that the solution is not sanctions but rather strategic engagement, basically forgetting the last few months of futile attempts by President Obama to acheive a dialogue.