Sunday, November 11, 2007

CALMING THE IRAN-ISRAELI RHETORIC

The Spy Who Wants Israel to Talk
By David Ignatius Sunday, November 11, 2007; B07
JERUSALEM -- Efraim Halevy, the former head of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, titled his memoirs "Man in the Shadows." But now that he's out in the sunlight, the 72-year-old retired spy chief has some surprisingly contrarian things to say about Iran and Syria. The gist of his message is that rather than constantly ratcheting up the rhetoric of confrontation, the United States and Israel should be looking for ways to establish a creative dialogue with these adversaries.
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David Ignatius is one of the more dependable voices to be found in the editorial pages these days. Always well thought through, his opinions are steady and conservative (in the older and more useful meaning of that word)
"Halevy has battled for decades for Israel's security, launching hundreds of secret missions over the years to defend the Jewish state. So he has earned the right to offer iconoclastic advice about his country's strategic interests. At this delicate moment, he suggests, war talk about Iran is a mistake. "Sensible Iranians are not in short supply," he confides. The challenge is to find them and to begin a serious conversation."
In a time when voices of restraint are flooded by the tsunami of wild accusation, Ignatius is a writer to be taken seriously.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Current Affairs, check out Opinion-Columns.com