Should the U.S. actually take Benjamin Netanyahu’s advice and attack Iran, don’t expect a few sorties flown by a couple of fighter jocks. Setting back Iran’s nuclear efforts will need to be an all-out effort, with squadrons of bombers and fighter jets, teams of commandos, rings of interceptor missiles and whole Navy carrier strike groups — plus enough drones, surveillance gear, tanker aircraft and logistical support to make such a massive mission go. And all of it, at best, would buy the U.S. and Israel another decade of a nuke-free Iran.
There’s been a lot of loose talk and leaked tales about what an attack on Iran might ultimately entail. Anthony Cordesman, one of Washington’s best-connected defense analysts, has put together a remarkably detailed inventory of what it would take to strike Iran (.pdf), cataloging everything from the number of bombers required to the types of bombs they ought to carry. He analyzes both Israeli and American strikes, both nuclear and not. He examines possible Iranian counterattacks, and ways to neutralize them. It leads Cordesman to a two-fold conclusion:Sponsored Ads
* “Israel does not have the capability to carry out preventive strikes that could do more than delay Iran’s efforts for a year or two.” Despite the increasingly sharp rhetoric coming out of Jerusalem, the idea of Israel launching a unilateral attack is almost as bad as allowing Tehran to continue its nuclear work unchallenged. It would invite wave after wave of Iranian counterattacks — by missile, terrorist, and a boat — jeopardizing countries throughout the region. It would wreak havoc with the world’s oil supply. And that’s if Israel even manages to pull the mission off — something Cordesman very much doubts.
Nuclear talks between Iran, Western powers to begin next month; officials in Jerusalem estimate Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in July.
Saudi Arabia influences American policy through both conventional and unconventional methods, ranging from lobbying and endowments to think tanks, policy centers, universities, and workshops for schoolteachers, all due to the petro-dollars that have been generated from America’s addiction to foreign oil. With chapters written by long-time experts in the fields of national security, foreign policy, education, and law, this book uses first-hand accounts to explore the Saudis’ vast grip. It addresses how Saudi influence has eased the rise of domestic terrorism as well as a promulgation of pernicious ideas regarding American foreign policy. All this has produced a philosophy of moral equivalency, mitigating against a sense of American exceptionalism or a moral clarity of America’s unique mission in the world.
One of the Most Important Policy Books You Will Read This Year, January 11, 2012
This book is as scary as Stephen King and as brilliant as Stephen Hawking. Prepare to be flabbergasted and appalled at the extraordinary power and influence of extremist Saudi terror-mongers. This book is written by a who’s who of experts on the Middle East and terrorism. The portrait that they draw is more disturbing than anything you will see in the mainstream media. This book is not cheap, but it is totally worth the price. It is amazing that this book has not yet received broader coverage. The editor, Sarah Stern, is a long-time Washington insider, so the book tends to be skewed more towards policy than most.
The corrupt and corrupting society which is an increasing danger to the democratic world, February 15, 2012
By Shalom Freedman “Shalom Freedman” (Jerusalem,Israel)
This collection of essays edited by Sarah Stern centers on Saudi Arabia’s actions against fundamental values of Western democratic society. It gives a portrait of an extremely anti- democratic society which is working to infiltrate and undermine the educational and political system of the West. It tells of the long- standing unholy alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. It shows how Saudi funds have promoted Terror globally. It presents the picture of an extremely corrupt society whose principal activity externally is in corrupting others. One only has to know a bit about the way Middle Eastern Studies Program have been made into anti- Israel and even anti- American propaganda forums through large gifts of Title Six Money by Saudi Arabia to such schools as Harvard Georgetown Cornell New Mexico and a host of others.
Stern has assembled an outstanding group of writers and scholars James Woolsey, Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney, Steven Emerson, Rachel Ehrenfeld among others. They provide us details of a story which should be front- page but somehow is not very much written about and discussed.
A very troubling but extremely important book.
Between 1967 and 1993, just a few hundred Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza won the right to live in Israel by marrying Israeli Arabs (who constitute nearly one-fifth of Israel’s population) and acquiring Israeli citizenship. Then the Oslo Accords offered a little-noted family-reunification provision that turned this trickle into a river: 137,000 residents of the Palestinian Authority (PA) moved to Israel in 1994-2002, some of them engaged in either sham or polygamous marriages.
The Israeli Supreme Court building in Jerusalem.
Israel has two major reasons to fear this uncontrolled immigration. First, it presents a security danger. Yuval Diskin, head of the Shin Bet security service, noted in 2005 that of 225 Israeli Arabs involved in terror against Israel, 25 of them, or 11 percent, had legally entered Israel through the family unification provision. They went on to kill 19 Israelis and wound 83; most notoriously, Shadi Tubasi suicide-bombed Haifa’s Matza Restaurant in 2002 on behalf of Hamas, killing 15.
Second, it serves as a stealth form of Palestinian “right of return,” thereby undermining the Jewish nature of Israel. Those 137,000 new citizens constitute about 2 percent of Israel’s population, not a small number. Yuval Steinitz, now the finance minister, in 2003 discerned in PA encouragement for family reunification “a deliberate strategy” to increase the number of Palestinians in Israel and undermine its Jewish character. Ahmed Qurei, a top Palestinian negotiator, later confirmed this fear: “If Israel continues to reject our propositions regarding the borders [of a Palestinian state], we might demand Israeli citizenship.”
In response to these two dangers, Israel’s parliament in July 2003 passed the “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law.” The law bans Palestinian family members from automatically gaining Israeli residency or citizenship, with temporary and limited exemptions requiring the interior minister to certify that they “identify with Israel” or are otherwise helpful. In the face of severe criticism, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon affirmed in 2005 that “The State of Israel has every right to maintain and protect its Jewish character, even if that means that this would impact on its citizenship policy.”
Winston Churchill in 1939.
Only 33 of 3,000 applications for exemptions, according to Sawsan Zaher, an attorney who challenged the law, have been approved. Israel is hardly alone in adopting stringent requirements for family reunification: Denmark, for example, has had such rules in place for a decade, excluding (among others) an Israeli husband from the country, with the Netherlands and Austria following suit.
Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court, by a 6-5 vote, upheld this landmark law, making it permanent. While recognizing the rights of a person to marry, the court denied that this implies a right of residency. As the president-designate of the court, Asher Dan Grunis, wrote in the majority opinion, “Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide.”
This pattern of Palestinian emigration toward Jews goes back almost to 1882, when European Jews began their aliyah (Hebrew for “ascent,” meaning immigration to the land of Israel). In 1939, for example, Winston Churchill noted how Jewish immigration to Palestine had stimulated a like Arab immigration: “So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied till their population has increased.”
In brief, you didn’t have to be Jewish to benefit from the Zionists’ high standard of living and law-abiding society. One student of this subject, Joan Peters, estimates that a dual Jewish and Arab immigration “of at least equal proportions” took place between 1893 and 1948. Nothing surprising here: other modern Europeans who settled in underpopulated areas (think Australia or Africa) also created societies that attracted indigenous peoples.
Gay parade, Tel Aviv, 2010: how many Palestinians among them?
This pattern of Palestinian aliyah has continued since Israel’s birth. Anti-Zionist they may be, but economic migrants, political dissidents, homosexuals, informants, and just ordinary folk vote with their feet, preferring the Middle East’s outstandingly modern and liberal state to the PA’s or Hamas’ hell holes. And note how few Israeli Arabs move to the West Bank or Gaza to live with a spouse, though no legal obstacles prevent them from doing so.
The Supreme Court’s decision has momentous long-term implications. As Eli Hazan writes in Israel Hayom, “The court ruled de jure but also de facto that the state of Israel is a Jewish state, and thus settled a years-long debate.” The closing of the back-door “right of return” secures Israel’s Zionist identity and future.
Mr. Pipes (www.DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. © 2012 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.
Israel’s intelligence community has acknowledged that Hamas would grow stronger in wake of the return of its military operatives to the West Bank.
Officials said Hamas would restore its military infrastructure in the West Bank as well as in Jerusalem in wake of Israel’s agreement to release more than 1,000 insurgents in exchange for a soldier abducted in 2006. At the same time, they said, the Palestinian Authority and the ruling Fatah movement would face a decline in influence amid the Hamas deal.
As summer ends, Israel has become regionally isolated like at no other time in the past 35 years.
Anxiety and alarm seem to define reactions in Jerusalem as Israel momentarily found itself abruptly without an ambassador stationed in the capital of any of its three regional allies: Jordan, Egypt and Turkey, the latter of which expelled the ambassador following Israel’s refusal to apologize for the flotilla raid in which Turkish citizens lost their lives.
Some observers view this moment as a Rubicon from which Israel will not be able to turn back.
ISRAELI FOREIGN minister Avigdor Lieberman has drawn up a number of proposals to “punish” Turkey, including possible support for Kurdish rebels and co-operating with the Armenian lobby in the US.
Foreign ministry officials will meet in Jerusalem today to consider Israel’s response to Ankara’s expulsion last week of the Israeli ambassador and the cancellation of bilateral defence contacts.
debkafile’s Washington and Jerusalem sources believe Israel has revived its military option against Iran – especially since Iran activated its first nuclear reactor at Bushehr on Aug. 21, thereby placing Washington under enormous pressure. In addition to the dire predictions of catastrophe planted on various op-ed pages, the Obama administration this week sent two big guns to Jerusalem to try and check an Israel attack.
Fifteen police officers and some 40 Palestinian protesters were injured in East Jerusalem on Tuesday in a series of clashes during the orchestrated “Day of Rage” announced by Hamas.
Police predict that Palestinian rioters will continue to stage violent protests on Wednesday in East Jerusalem and elsewhere.
Israel is planning to carry out military attacks in Iran after December, a French magazine reported Thursday overnight.
The magazine reports further that in a recent visit to France, IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told his French counterpart Jean-Louis Georgelin that Israel is not planning to bomb Iran, but may send elite troops to conduct activities on the ground there.