Category Archives: Israel

Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later – WSJ

Yet when even a famous Iranian “moderate” like the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has said—as he did in 2001, contemplating a nuclear exchange—that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality,” how can deterrence work?

The brutal truth is that the actual alternatives before us are not Mr. Obama’s deal or war. They are conventional war now or nuclear war later. John Kerry recently declared that Israel would be making a “huge mistake” to take military action against Iran. But Mr. Kerry, as usual, is spectacularly wrong. Israel would not be making a mistake at all, let alone a huge one. On the contrary, it would actually be sparing itself—and the rest of the world—a nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future.

Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later – WSJ

Mideast expert: Israel forced to consider attack on Iran

“Assuming the (agreement) goes through the U.S. government and the U.N. Security Council, it’s hard to see what the Israelis can do to protect themselves other than attack the Iranian facilities,” said Middle East Forum president Daniel Pipes in an interview with G2.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been outspoken in his opposition to the agreement.

Pipes, a historian, writer and political commentator, said that he sees such an attack as “the next stage” and suggests Israel could receive the assistance of Saudi Arabia.

“The now-open relationship between Riyadh and Jerusalem makes the prospect of Saudi assistance less far-fetched than it once was,” Pipes said.

He added that “leaks of Saudi documents shows how preoccupied the leadership is with the Iranian threat.”

“So, yes, (Saudi assistance to Israel) could happen,” he said.

Mideast expert: Israel forced to consider attack on Iran

Fate of Iran Deal to be Decided on Jewish Days of Judgement – Israel News

Rabbi Nachman Kahana, an orthodox rabbinic scholar, offers comfort to believers who sense a connection between the Iranian nuclear deal and the End of Days. He cites the Yalkut Shimoni, a 16th century rabbinic commentary on the Bible, which describes the current situation prophetically.

“The Yalkut states that Paras (Persia-Iran) will be the dread of humanity. The world’s leaders will be frustrated in their futile efforts to save what they can. The people of Yisrael will also be petrified by the impending danger,” he wrote. “And HaShem [God] will say to us, ‘Why are you afraid? All of this I have done in order to bring you the awaited redemption. And this redemption will not be like the redemption from Egypt, which was followed by suffering. This redemption will be absolute, followed with peace.’”

Fate of Iran Deal to be Decided on Jewish Days of Judgement – Israel News

OK, it turns out well for Israel, but what about the rest of us? I think the rest of us have a big problem in Iran.

The new Hezbollah: How Israel’s No. 1 enemy is preparing for third Lebanon War

While Israeli intelligence officials believe the Shiite organization is experiencing the most difficult phase in its history after losing some 1,300 fighters in the Syrian battlefields, its leader Nasrallah is only intensifying preparations for the next conflict with Israel. World powers’ nuclear agreement with Iran could strengthen Hezbollah even more.

We should pay attention to Nasrallah’s statements in this context. Before the Second Lebanon War he promised to release Samir Kuntar and the rest of the Lebanese prisoners. When he kidnapped IDF soldiers Regev and Goldwasser on July 12, 2006, Nasrallah convened a press conference and referred to the abduction operation as ‘the truth guaranteeing operation’ – in other words, fulfilling his historic commitment.

He is using the same words today regarding the ‘liberation’ of the Galilee: ‘The promise that won’t be broken.’ In other words, a promise which he has to fulfill, on a personal level.”

So what do you think he is planning?

“There is no intention of conquering the entire area for good. But it’s enough for Hezbollah cells to deploy in the area, hide for a while and hit vehicles and meeting points of the fighting forces preparing to enter Lebanon, in order to deeply sabotage any IDF plan of action.”

This is of course a realistic option, but there are those in the intelligence community who say there is a different reason: Immediately after the battles began in 2006, Israel has learned, a delegation of senior Iranians – led by representatives of the Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah’s adoptive body – arrived in Beirut. The delegation reprimanded Nasrallah mercilessly. The military preparations we are devoting and giving you for a conflict with Israel were meant for a completely different time, they lashed out at him. They were meant for a response in case Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities. You have revealed the cards and the abilities we have given you without any reason, simply in order to kidnap soldiers and fulfill your promise to bring Samir Kuntar back home. And who is Kuntar anyway, someone added. Just a f**king Druze.

Since that admonition, which almost cost Nasrallah his seat, he has been holding fire and restraining himself, according to that perception, not for fear of Israel – but for fear of Iran.

If that is the situation, then now that the nuclear agreement has been signed, “it will be clear to the Iranians that Israel is not about to attack them, and they will therefore let go a bit and allow Nasrallah to respond as he pleases,” says Cohen (*). From the moment the nuclear agreement is signed and the sanctions on Iran are lifted, Tehran is able to transfer more funds to Hezbollah, and much more easily.

The new Hezbollah: How Israel’s No. 1 enemy is preparing for third Lebanon W… – Israel News, Ynetnews

  • * – Colonel (res.) Ronen Cohen, the former director of the Terrorism Desk at the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate and deputy head of Military Intelligence’s Research Division.

The signing of the nuclear agreement is clearly a milestone. The big payoff comes when $100-$150 billion is unfrozen from its international accounts. That appears to be at least six months down the road – February, 2016. Does that mean Iran has to wait at least that long before creating a lot more trouble? I wouldn’t count on it. Of course, it takes time to absorb that much money, but we’re probably going to see increasing trouble in the Middle East sooner than we might like.

And what happens if Israel really does decide to attack Iran? Each day I wonder if I am going to wake up to that headline on Google News after the signing of the nuclear agreement.

Bulk of Iran sanctions to be lifted upon fufilment of Lausanne conditions | World news | The Guardian

Iran will be freed from almost all economic and financial sanctions under the plan agreed with major world powers in Lausanne, but only after fulfilling a list of stringent conditions in a process that is expected to take at least six months, according to western diplomats.

The diplomats also conceded that the process could take significantly longer, raising the risk that the Iranian public might grow disillusioned with the agreement, and strengthen the country’s hardliners.

The plan agreed on Thursday includes a set of parameters for a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme due to be signed in Vienna at the end of June. They require Iran to carry out a set of tasks intended to extend its breakout time, the period it would take to produce enough fissile material for a warhead, to a year.

The tasks include:

Bulk of Iran sanctions to be lifted upon fufilment of Lausanne conditions | World news | The Guardian

Iran trade-off: Deal could leave Iran without a nuclear bomb, but stronger – LA Times

One of Iran’s top priorities was relief from the sanctions that have battered its economy, especially in the last five years. The agreement provides that once the U.N. certifies that Iran has mothballed its centrifuges, cut its uranium stockpile and taken other required steps, sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union will be lifted and Iran’s financial ties to the rest of the world will be restored.

On that day, which is being called “implementation day,” Iran will gain access to some $100 billion to $150 billion that has been frozen in international accounts.

Iran says it intends to devote that money to domestic infrastructure projects, but officials in Israel and Arab countries allied with the U.S., as well as some U.S. analysts, worry that the money could be used, instead, to further support Iran’s proxies in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Iran trade-off: Deal could leave Iran without a nuclear bomb, but stronger – LA Times

When Sanctions Lift, How Will Iran Spend Its Billions? : Parallels : NPR

But those familiar with Iran’s ravaged economy say it’s unlikely Tehran will go on a foreign policy spending spree.

For starters, says Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Hamas and Hezbollah couldn’t absorb billions of dollars in cash and weaponry.

“We’re probably talking at most about several million, over time,” he says. “You’re not going to turn the Hezbollah into a major conventional force; you’re not going to turn Hamas into a major force because you can’t get to them, you can’t supply them. So I just think we really do need to keep this in careful perspective.”

When Sanctions Lift, How Will Iran Spend Its Billions? : Parallels : NPR

Iran could be hoarding more than 50m barrels of oil ahead of end of sanctions – far more than previously thought | This is Money

[At $40 a barrel, the 50m barrels will bring in 2.0 billion in revenue.]

Iran could be hoarding more than 50m barrels of oil ahead of the end of sanctions – far more than previously thought.

Windward, a Tel Aviv-based maritime data and analytics firm, reported there are 51.5m barrels of oil on super-tankers in the Persian Gulf – and if it enters the market in one go it could push already weak oil prices much lower.

Iran could be hoarding more than 50m barrels of oil ahead of end of sanctions – far more than previously thought | This is Money

Why Israel Is Going To Bomb Iran

Thanks to Barack Obama, it is only a matter of time before Israel feels forced to conduct a massive military strike against Iran’s nuclear program.  When that happens, Iran will strike back, and hundreds if not thousands of missiles will rain down on Israel.  This exchange will likely spark a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could end up plunging the entire planet into chaos.  If Barack Obama was attempting to prevent such a scenario from playing out, he failed miserably.  Personally, I think that the deal that was just made with Iran is absolutely horrible.  Perhaps you disagree.  Perhaps you believe that it is the greatest piece of diplomacy of all time.  But it doesn’t really matter what any of us think.  If this deal was going to work, it had to be strong enough to convince Israel that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has been completely stopped.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sworn that he will never, ever let Iran get a nuclear weapon, and he has pledged to use military force if necessary.  So what Barack Obama needed was a deal that would calm Israeli nerves while satisfying the Iranians at the same time.  Such a deal may have theoretically been impossible, but that is what it was going to take to prevent war.  Instead, Obama has made a deal which has utterly horrified the Israeli government.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even called it “a license to kill“.  So now the odds that war will happen have gone way up, but Barack Obama is too busy congratulating himself to notice.

And it isn’t just the Israeli government that has responded very negatively to this deal.

One recent survey found that a staggering 74 percent of Israelis do not believe that this deal will prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon.

A different survey discovered that 47 percent of Israelis would now support a military strike against Iran and only 35 percent of Israelis are currently against one.

Why Israel Is Going To Bomb Iran

Netanyahu May Turn Iran Defeat to His Favor – The New York Times

That is because Israelis across the spectrum see the deal as a dangerous one that only increases the threats the state faces, softening the ground for a politician like Mr. Netanyahu whose campaigns play on voters’ fears. In the short term, the sense of national crisis could actually help Mr. Netanyahu expand his religious and conservative coalition beyond its single-seat majority in Parliament. Neither Mr. Lapid nor any other opposition figure has the credentials, these analysts say, to mount a serious challenge to a leader whose belligerent, us-against-the-world approach resonates in a profoundly insecure country.

“It will be seen as a heroic failure,” said Yehudit Auerbach, a professor of political science at Bar Ilan University. “He is the only one, the big hero, who handled a war against all the powers in the world. Even if he loses, he’s still the hero who didn’t succumb, who didn’t give in, and what for? For his career? No. For his personal reputation? No. Everything for the security of Israel.”

Netanyahu May Turn Iran Defeat to His Favor – The New York Times

Netanyahu warns of military action against Iran, saying Israel not bound by nuke deal | Christian News on Christian Today

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is not bound by the historic nuclear accord struck by Iran and key world powers, describing the deal as a “historic mistake” and warning that he is ready to order military action.

Netanyahu made his harshest criticism yet of the agreement reached in Vienna, Austria, after telling for months now that such a deal will not keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons they could use against Israel, the Daily Mail wrote.

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“Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction,” he said before a meeting of his security cabinet, who turned down the accord.

“We will always defend ourselves,” Netanyahu stressed.

Netanyahu warns of military action against Iran, saying Israel not bound by nuke deal | Christian News on Christian Today

Analysis: Israel’s military option won’t vanish in a post-Iran deal era – Jerusalem Post

Hence, the first conclusion one can draw is that a nuclear deal does not mean Iran has given up on nuclear weapons as a goal, but also, that an arrangement, even a poor one, could result in a short-term decrease of the threat of Iran breaking out to the weapons production stage.

As a result, the option of a military strike remains firmly on the table, but does not appear to be imminent, since only an Iranian attempt to break through to the nuclear weapons stage can trigger an Israeli attack.

Over the past year, Israel has not detected an active nuclear weapons project in Iran.

What is active in Iran is a large-scale uranium enrichment program, based on a relatively high number of spinning centrifuges.

Analysis: Israel’s military option won’t vanish in a post-Iran deal era – Jerusalem Post

Israel’s Next Gaza War Plan May Mean the End for Hamas

One year ago, Hamas terrorists launched a war against Israel that lasted 50 days. When the dust settled, both sides were forced to accept a return to the status quo that had prevailed before the fighting began. But as both sides to the conflict continue to prepare for what seems to be an inevitable next round, Israeli leaders must consider whether the change in tactics by Hamas last time requires them to adjust their own strategy. If, as Mitch Ginsburg writes in the Times of Israel, Hamas’s approach is no longer purely defensive but rather predicated on a belief that carrying the fight into Israel will bring them victory, that may lead Jerusalem to start thinking the heretofore unthinkable about a Gaza war plan that could hinge on decapitating the Hamas leadership and/or ending its rule.

Israel’s Next Gaza War Plan May Mean the End for Hamas

Michael Oren sees a US alliance in tatters, and Israel ‘on our own’ | The Times of Israel

Asked whether people might look back on this period as the last days before Israel was wiped out, the MK-diplomat-historian responds: ‘It’s happened before in history, hasn’t it?’

The US-born former diplomat, who is now a Knesset member for the Kulanu party, notes in his foreword that the Hebrew term for “ally” is ben brit — literally “the son of the covenant.” And what he documents is actually the breaching of a covenant, the collapse of an alliance — an accumulated arc of abandonment by the Obama administration, and most especially the president himself, of Israel.

It’s a charge, unsurprisingly, that the administration has rushed to deny, and, rather more surprisingly, that Oren’s own party chief Moshe Kahlon has hurried to dissociate Kulanu from.

And when you read that Washington worked relentlessly to quash any military option for Israel, most especially in 2012 — arguably the last moment at which Israel could have intervened effectively to thwart Iran’s drive to the bomb (though Oren does not confirm this) — you sense that he has exposed the emptiness of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s endless assertions that Israel will stand alone if necessary to stop a nuclear Iran. And you register, with all its grim repercussions, the realpolitik of a broken relationship with our key defender — the rupture that now leaves Israel vulnerable to an increasingly bold Islamist regime that avowedly seeks our annihilation.

Michael Oren sees a US alliance in tatters, and Israel ‘on our own’ | The Times of Israel

To the modern liberal, Israel (and America) are the bad guys. There can be only one reason for Israel’s success: It cheated. Now it’s going to be cut lose.

Do you notice how the vast majority of Jews in America are modern liberals? These are the same Jews that helped get Obama elected, and now Obama is cutting lose Israel. Apparently, there is some kind of great disconnect between American Jews and Israeli Jews.