Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman isn't just a thug. He's also a moron. Lieberman is huffing and puffing about two Iranian warships that are headed toward the Suez Canal. To him it's a national emergency.
In reality the Iranians are simply trying to distract attention from their own internal woes. Their ally, Hezbollah, is issuing dire threats about storming Galilee in the event of a new war with Israel. But this, too, is bluff and bombast.
It's clear that the mullahs would love to stage a provocation that would allow them to depict Iran as the victim of hostile foreign powers. It's obvious that the Iranian leadership, in Brechtian fashion, would love to vote in a new population. Instead, the regime's legitimacy is almost completely spent.
But Lieberman told American Jewish leaders in a closed meeting that Iran's move is a serious cause for concern. According to the Wall Street Journal,
He said the plan "proves that the self-confidence and chutzpah of the Iranians are growing from day to day," according to a text issued later by his office.
"To my regret, the international community is not showing readiness to deal with the recurring Iranian provocations," he added. "The international community must understand that Israel cannot forever ignore these provocations."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, by contrast, has been steering a more cautious course. The best thing Israel can do is to let Iran implode, or, failing that, grapple with a roiling insurgency that refuses to go away. It's becoming increasingly clear that Iran is not a totalitarian power about to take over the Middle East, creating some kind of Shiite crescent of power. That notion is as fantastical as the idea that the Soviet Union was about to encircle America in the 1970s.
Iran, plagued with a demographic youth bulge, faces enormous turmoil in coming years. The last thing Israeli leaders should do is to step into the traps that the Iranian leadership is trying to set for it. How much longer will Netanyahu remain in a coalition with Lieberman before this lunatic triggers an unnecessary war?