Category Archives: Israel

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.

Why didn’t Netanyahu attack Iran? – Al-Monitor

Participants in the Jerusalem Post’s fourth annual conference in New York on June 7 never imagined that they would find themselves under public cross-examination over the actions of Israel’s political and security services during the tense days of 2010, when the government contemplated a military assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Sitting on the panel were former Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi; former Mossad Director Meir Dagan; two former heads of the National Security Council, Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland and Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan; and senior columnist Caroline Glick. Moderating the panel was the Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief, Steve Linde. The much talked-about argument broke out toward the end of the discussion, when Glick, who is known for her hawkish, right-wing views, claimed that in 2010, two members of the panel “were given an order to prepare the military for an imminent strike against Iran’s nuclear installation, and they refused.”

Were they refusing a direct order? Was this a mutiny, or possibly a military putsch against the country’s political leadership? The answer is no. Glick’s question focused on a very specific incident, which occurred at the end of a meeting of the Septet, Netanyahu’s ministerial forum for strategic consultation. It was a private forum of ministers, without any statutory standing and therefore unable to make any decisions. During that meeting, Netanyahu ordered Ashkenazi to prepare the IDF for an attack on Iran within 30 days. In professional terms, this was a case of “prepping the system.” Ashkenazi was rather shocked by the order, and he wasn’t the only one. So was Dagan, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin and the chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin. Not one of them could believe what they just heard. A “readiness order” requires a formal government decision before it can be issued, or at the very least, a decision by the Cabinet. It is a strategic order, during which time the IDF calls up the reserves and puts numerous systems into action. Although the law requires a government decision before such an order can be given, in this particular instance, Netanyahu issued the order offhandedly during the meeting of a forum with no legal standing.

Why didn’t Netanyahu attack Iran? – Al-Monitor

Personally, I was anticipating an attack in the summer of 2011. There seemed to be a lot of evidence that was building up to an attack, but it never happened.

I don’t know if Israel is going to attack Iran, but time is running out. Israel can’t continue to sit around for years waiting to attack Iran. Either it does so soon or give up the idea of attacking.

Israeli residents near Gaza border say they hear underground tunnel-digging – Jerusalem Post

Local government officials in towns near the Gaza border reported on Sunday receiving complaints from residents who say they hear digging underground.

“We have relayed these complaints to security officials who are looking into it,” one source told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv. “According to the complaints, the digging hasn’t stopped for a moment.”

The complaints come less than a day after Israeli warplanes launched reprisal raids against targets in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Islamists in Gaza fired a rocket into Israeli territory earlier on Saturday. Earlier last week, at least two rockets were fired at Gaza frontier towns.

Local residents believe that the next round of fighting is simply a matter of time.

Residents near Gaza border say they hear underground tunnel-digging – Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah Builds Vast Underground Terror Tunnel Network – Israel News

In preparation for war with Israel, the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah has built an advanced network of terror tunnels that run along the northern border with Israel, Lebanese media reported.

In a series of articles published over the weekend, the Hezbollah affiliated As-safir media outlet highlighted the terror group’s vast tunnel network and revealed that they were being used to store tens of thousands of rockets to be used against the Jewish state.

Hezbollah forces are reported to be in a state of high readiness for conflict with Israel and are being supported by advanced infrastructure and equipment.

While As-safir’s reports could not be verified, the vast underground network includes a series of tunnels, surveillance outposts and bunkers, all along the border with Israel.

Hezbollah Builds Vast Underground Terror Tunnel Network – Israel News

Iran: If Israel attacks, Hezbollah will ‘destroy Tel Aviv’ | The Times of Israel

“Iran, with the help of Hezbollah and its friends, is capable of destroying Tel Aviv and Haifa in case of military aggression on the part of the Zionists,” he said, quoted on state television.

“I don’t think the Zionists would be so unintelligent as to create a military problem with Iran,” the general said. “They know the strength of Iran and Hezbollah.”

Last week, a senior IDF intelligence official warned of a heightened threat of conflict over the next two years as a result of “escalation” in the region.

In a briefing to foreign journalists at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, the official referred specifically to Hezbollah, and to Iran’s arming of the group. Israel has repeatedly complained to the UN about Hezbollah’s violations of UN Resolution 1701 from 2006, which forbids the group from rearming.

Iran: If Israel attacks, Hezbollah will ‘destroy Tel Aviv’ | The Times of Israel

If Iran is issuing these kinds of threats now, what is going to happen after it gets nuclear weapons?

In my opinion this is an invitation for Israel to attack Iran. Israel should just keep the nuclear weapons warmed up in case plan B is necessary.

Iran vs. Israel: Who’s Making the Threats?

Here are the contents of the two pages Mr. Pipes showed the camera:

1. Iran finances and provides arms to Hamas which periodically attacks Israel.

2. Iran finances and provides arms to Hezbollah which periodically attacks Israel.

3. Khomeini called for “wiping Israel out of existence” on coming to power in. (1979)

4. Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)

5. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

6. Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran: he repeatedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” (2005)

8. Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.'” (2005)

9. Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)

10. Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)

11. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: “We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases.” (2011)

12. Khamenei: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor that will be removed.” (2012)

13. Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)

14. Nasrallah: “The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world.” (2013)

15. Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.” (2013)

16. Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guard: “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction.” (2013)

17. Khamenei: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (2014)

18. Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: “We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.” (2014)

19. Salami: “Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth.” (2014)

20. Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: “The issue of Israel’s destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader on the issue of destroying the Zionists.” (2014)

21. Khamene’i called for Israel to be “annihilated.” (November 10, 2014)

22. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: “The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime … We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region’s geopolitics.” (2015)

23. Mujtaba du Al-Nour, a senior figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Iran has rockets that can reach the heart of Tel-Aviv within six or seven minutes after being given the go ahead by the Supreme Guide, “even before the dust of rockets of the Zionists reach us”. (February 23, 2015)

24. General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, commander of Iran’s Basij militia in late March 2015: “Wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.” (April 1, 2015)

25. Mojtaba Zolnour, a Khamenei representative in the IRGC: The “government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel. … The Noble Koran permits the Islamic Republic of Iran to destroy Israel. … Even if Iran gives up its nuclear program, it will not weaken this country’s determination to destroy Israel.” (May 12, 2015)

Iran vs. Israel: Who’s Making the Threats?

Syria breaking up – Lebanon next?

The already extremely complex Middle East may be on the verge of becoming even more so. …

It would appear that the northern arc may be about to suffer a further rupture. Reports indicate that Assad’s forces are on their last legs and may soon disintegrate. Such a development would have the following implications:

(1) Syria would break up into ethnic/religious enclaves and disappear as a state entity.

(2) Hezbollah would move into the Alawite enclave to help protect it. Some of its forces would return to Lebanon. The Lebanese political and refugee crisis would escalate to the point that Lebanon also may disappear as a state

(3) Hezbollah may be ordered by its Iranian masters to create a diversion by attacking Israel with rockets from Lebanon and the Golan Heights. Israeli response would be massive and all this would lead to an even more serious refugee crisis, overwhelming international humanitarian efforts.

Before the six powers and Iran reconvene on June 30th, the map of the Middle East puzzle may have been extensively redrawn.

Globes English – Syria breaking up – Lebanon next?

Israel prepares for a post-Assad phase in neighboring Syria – ARA News

“The Israeli military intelligence confirms that the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s ability to protect the Syrian regime has dramatically declined, making the Israeli military command more cautious of a sudden fall of the Syrian regime which will let battle-hardened jihadist groups rule near the Israeli border,” Ben-David added.

… , Alon Ben-David [journalist], said Sunday that the military intelligence service are working on the preparation of a list of targets that are likely to be struck inside Syria, after a possible fall of the Assad regime.

Israel is concerned about the opposition party that may replace Assad regime in case of the latter’s downfall.

Israel prepares for a post-Assad phase in neighboring Syria – ARA News

In July 2014 Meshaal blocked major attack on Israel by Hamas

It happened during the first week of the war between Israel and Hamas in early July 2014. Mohammed al-Deif, head of Hamas’ military wing, wanted to carry out a contingency plan that he had devised with his subordinates. Some 30 fighters from the wing’s elite force, al-Nouhba, had been selected for the mission. They were divided into several details. One was in charge of taking control of the perimeter while a second was responsible for taking hostages. The third detail was assigned to strike at the members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who would approach the area.

Although fairly simple, the plan was nevertheless dramatic. Had it materialized, it could have changed the course of the war. It might also have very well upended Hamas’ rule in the Gaza Strip. Its trump card was to have been the element of surprise. Armed Hamas militants were to infiltrate Israel via underground tunnels near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom. Upon exiting, they were to invade the kibbutz and nearby communities, murdering residents and returning to Gaza as quickly as possible via the tunnels with as many hostages as possible. They would then enter into negotiations with Israel for the release of Hamas prisoners.

Meshaal blocked major attack on Israel – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Iran Tells Syria [and Hezbollah] to Attack Israel on Golan Heights – Arutz Sheva

Syrian defense minister in rare Iran visit told to open war front against Israel together with Hezbollah, as Iran seeks greater hegemony.

Syrian Defense Minister General Fahd al-Freij arrived in Iran on Tuesday for a rare two-day visit, the first since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, and was reportedly told by his Iranian backers to attack Israel.

As the Syrian regime continues to suffer key losses that have sharpened in the last month, Iran continues to exert ever-growing influence in the country which it is financially and militarily propping up.

Al-Freij was told by senior Iranian sources that Syria and Iran’s terror proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, need to open a war front against Israel on the Golan Heights, according to the Hebrew-language Channel 10.

Iran told the Syrian defense minister to stir up conflict against Israel on the Golan, with the Islamic republic apparently unperturbed by the significant damage the move will cause to the Syrian regime, given that its goal is to expand its regional hegemony at all costs.

Iran Tells Syria to Attack Israel on Golan Heights – Middle East – News – Arutz Sheva

Iranian Analyst: Iran Will Respond to Israel’s Attacks in Syria and Open a Front in the Golan | The Tower

Mousavi did not rule out the possibility that Iran’s Shiite militias will make the area between Damascus and the Golan Heights “an open military zone with the Zionist enemy.” In this case, he explained, the Syrian leadership will move from Damascus to Latakia and Tartus and manage the affairs of state from there. He threatened that Iran has “big surprises” that Israel has not anticipated.

Iranian Analyst: Iran Will Respond to Israel’s Attacks in Syria and Open a Front in the Golan | The Tower

This all sounds ominous to me. Given that the Syrian regime is now on the path to collapse, perhaps Iran is making a last ditch effort to change the equation by redirecting everything toward Israel. If Syria falls to the rebels then Hezbollah could become at risk. Obviously this would heavily affect Iran’s hegemony in the region. Bringing Israel into the fight changes everything. But can they defeat Israel? Perhaps they are thinking that the Israelis are too weak willed to use their nuclear weapons. I gotta think that the Israelis would use nuclear weapons if their existence becomes at risk. And the use of chemical weapons on Israeli cities would be a red line that will bring a nuclear response.

What are the “big surprises” that Iran is threatening? Well, I don’t know. Do they have some unknown missiles? Perhaps they will use chemical weapons.