During his campaign for prime minister in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu called for putting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on trial in The Hague on charges of incitement to genocide for calling for the destruction of Israel.
Now a leading Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, suggests that Israel could take matters into its own hands by seizing Ahmadinejad during his upcoming visit to Lebanon.
“Three weeks from now, Netanyahu will have a one-time opportunity to stop the new Hitler and thwart the incitement to genocide,” Aluf Benn writes in a Haaretz article published on Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad plans to pay his first visit to Lebanon and spend a day touring the southern part of the country close to Israel, visiting sites where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah waged battles against Israel.
“The route is known, the range is close, and it is possible to send a detail across the border to seize the president of Iran and bring him to trial in Israel as an inciter to genocide and Holocaust denier,” Benn observed.
“The media effect will be dramatic: Ahmadinejad in a glass cage in Jerusalem, with the simultaneous translation earphones, facing grim Israeli judges.”
The Israeli detail might also capture Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who will likely emerge from hiding to accompany Ahmadinejad, according to Benn.
The seizures would run the risk of sparking military retaliation by Iran, Benn notes. But he points out that Netanyahu said during the campaign: “The year is 1938 and Iran is Germany,” referring to the year before Germany’s invasion of Poland sparked World War II.
“How can Netanyahu refrain from an action to stop Hitler’s heir, when the year is already 1939, if not 1940?” Benn asks.
He acknowledges that the risks of such an operation are so great that it is not at all likely to be launched. But he adds: “Perhaps I’m wrong. Could it be the elite special operations unit is training and Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah are on their way to [a] secret detention facility?”
Editor’s Note: One can only hope…