For the past two years Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Ehud Barak have obsessively repeated their threats of wars towards Iran.
They've even leaked their aggressive plans to eliminate the Iranian nuclear programme - in the full knowledge that such a military adventure might instigate a disastrous regional war.
Their recent statement that Israel might attack Iran in a matter of weeks has raised the anxiety and tension to new heights - both for the Israeli public and all the peoples in the region.
There are sane voices within Israeli society who raise their clear objection to this act of aggression.
Some of these forces are demonstrating on a daily basis, calling to stop the reckless adventurism of the Israeli leadership that might bring a terrible war upon the region and the whole world.
The leaders of the United States and Israel are repeating their common mantra: "Regarding Iran, all options are on the table."
Their primary message was that the military option is the ultimate option on the table.
By maintaining this message the US and Israel have tried to distract the local and world public opinion from the fact that both of these countries object to the option that the majority of the world supports - the option of a realistic diplomatic solution, in the framework of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East under the auspices of the UN.
Such a solution would include a ban on the creation and development of nuclear weapons in the region as well as opening all nuclear facilities - including in Israel and Iran - for international inspection.
This is a fair and worthy option that meets the vital interests of all the peoples in the region and guarantees their security.
The US and Israel object to this option and even work towards sabotaging it by beating the drums of war and increasing the sanctions on Iran on the one hand, while the US is turning a blind eye to the dangerous nuclear reality in Israel on the other.
The Israeli strategy vis-a-vis the Iranian nuclear programme is based on the notion that we are teetering on the brink of war.
Its aim is to convince Iran and the world that Israel's aggressive intentions towards Iran are credible.
Such a strategy is aimed not only at deterring the Iranian leadership, but also to blackmail the international community into tightening its sanctions towards Iran.
Another aspect of the Israeli strategy is its attempt to reverse the political agenda in the region, raising to the fore the Iranian question at the expense of the Palestinian question and a peaceful solution.
The rights of the Palestinian people, the continuing occupation and the expansion of the settlements - all these questions are pushed to the back burner.
Rather than seeing the Israeli policy - including Israeli nuclear policy - as the main source of danger in the region, and as the contributing factor to the acceleration of the nuclear arms race, the Iranian nuclear programme is being portrayed, falsely, as the main danger.
The internal dynamic of this strategy has turned its makers into prisoners of their own conception and pushes the region towards war.
The government of Israel misleads the Israeli public and lies to the world when it says that the Iranian nuclear programme poses a danger to the very survival of the state of Israel.
Most strategists in Israel are convinced that even if Iran possessed a nuclear weapon it would not threaten the existence of Israel.
An Iranian bomb would serve as a counterweight to the threat of Israeli nuclear weapons.
What is certain is that a mad Israeli war initiative against Iran would not be a war of survival for Israel, but rather a war in defence of Israel's nuclear monopoly in the Middle East.
It is time that the truth be told loud and clear.
Contrary to how it tries to portray itself Israel is not the answer to the nuclear problem that exists in the Middle East. It's the core of this nuclear problem.
It does not show the way out of the nuclear arms race. It is the reason for this nuclear arms race.
It is now clearer than ever, even to Israel, that no option exists for a one-sided monopoly in the region over nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.
If such weapons exist they will not be in the exclusive possession of one party.
So the existence of vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons in Israel not only does not deter other states from developing these weapons but actually motivates them to attempt to obtain them and other non-conventional weapons in response.
Israel is the party that started the race and it bears the responsibility for changing that course.
The worldwide opposition to the insanity of an Israeli war against Iran - with or without the US, before or after the presidential elections - must be accompanied by an increasing pressure on Israel to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to open its nuclear facilities for international inspection and to join the initiative for making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.
When the Israeli leadership is being pressed to join this initiative it responds by arguing that Israel will only agree to discuss this matter once a comprehensive and stable peace is achieved in the area.
This misleading argument is grounded in the notion that the Israeli nuclear arsenal is actually a precondition for achieving peace in the region. It is an Israeli deception, another illusion we must thoroughly reject.
The Israeli refusal to advance towards peace, its constant threats of war and regional aggression, its denial of the national rights of the Palestinian people, its contempt towards UN resolutions and international law, its continued expansion of settlements and deepening of the occupation - all these would not have been possible without Israel's reliance on its nuclear monopoly and the political backing of the United States.
The Israeli refusal on the nuclear question consolidates its refusal on the political question.
The nuclear weapons possessed by Israel cannot and will not serve the cause of achieving a just peace.
On the contrary, they form the primary obstacle towards achieving it.
The Israeli equation must be turned on its head.
Comprehensive peace is not the precondition for nuclear disarmament. Disarmament - by Israel and Iran - is the precondition for comprehensive peace.
The cornerstone for peace - the aspiration of all the peoples in the region - must be making the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.
n Issam Makhoul is a former member of the Knesset and chairman of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian and Israeli Studies
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