(Banner will apear here)

Beautiful Kabbalah Jewelry Judaicawebstore.com
Font Size:

Israel Ponders Iran's Nuclear Gallop & U.S. Restraint

Netanyahu Confidante: 'IAEA Report Lends Legitimacy For Israeli Strike On Iran's Nuclear Facilities – Israel Cannot Destroy Iran's Nuclear Program But Can Delay It For Years'

IAEA: 'Iran Enriching More Uranium, Installing More Centrifuges & Possibly Conducting Nuclear Weapons Research At Parchin'

IsraCast: U.S. Has Scaled Back Military Exercise In Israel To Prevent Being Viewed As 'Complicit In Any Future Israeli Strike On Iran'

Iranian Missiles

 The IAEA issues another damning report on Iran's march to the A-Bomb, Iran hosts over 120 'non-aligned' countries in Tehran with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon serving as the guest of honor and America's top soldier, Gen. Martin Dempsey, declares: 'I don't want to be complicit if they (Israelis) decide to do it'. And then to top it all off, the Yediot Ahronot newspaper carried a banner headline: 'Fireworks With U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro After Netanyahu Accuses Obama of Caving In To Iran'. It was not a good week for Israel in its campaign to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

 U.S. pressing Israel more than Iran...

At the Republicans' convention in Tampa, Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama of 'throwing Israel under the bus!' Back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could not have agreed more. According to the Yediot Ahronot newspaper, Netanyahu vented his criticism at a meeting with visiting Republican Congressman Mike Rodgers of Michigan that was attended by U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro. The PM reportedly charged: 'Instead of pressing Iran effectively Obama and his officials are pressing us not to attack Iran's nuclear installations'. Netanyahu added the Obama administration was declaring there was still time for diplomacy but 'time had run out!' At this point, Ambassador Shapiro took the floor and charged that Netanyahu had distorted Obama's position. He quoted the President's promise to prevent a nuclear Iran and all the options, including military, were on the table.

Iran's supreme dictator Ayatollah Khameini

A day or so later Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff weighed in. Dempsey told the Guardian newspaper: 'I don't want to be complicit if the (Israelis) do it (attack Iran)'. In other words, Israel would be on its own. He repeated his earlier assessment that an Israeli strike was not capable of destroying Iran's nuclear weapons project - 'it could only delay it'. As if this is no big deal for a country that is threatened with nuclear annihilation by Iran. Obviously, America's number one soldier was speaking for his commander-in-chief, President Obama.

Meanwhile the IAEA's latest quarterly report revealed the Iranians have doubled their centrifuges in the underground Fordow facility, have produced more enriched uranium and have been sanitizing research on nuclear detonations at the secret Parchin site. Clearly, Netanyahu was riled by the failure of the U.S. to react to the Iranians escalating their nuclear project in the face of what have so far proved to be futile sanctions.

Credibility gap between Jerusalem & Washington...

A serious credibility gap is at the crux of the Netanyahu-Obama confrontation. From Netanyahu's viewpoint, Obama has tilted toward the Palestinians from the moment he entered the White House. First he flew to Cairo where he curried Arab favor by declaring that Israel's settlement building must stop, even in Jerusalem. Nor did Obama deem fit to visit Israel during his entire term in office. Moreover, Obama squandered over three years on a futile 'engagement' with Tehran, while the Iranians blatantly thumbed their noses at Washington by advancing relentlessly to nuclear weapons. For his part, Netanyahu refused to extend the moratorium on settlement building and pressed Obama to act more decisively against Iran. The Israeli leader's not so veiled support for Mitt Romney is another source of friction. Will this all come to a head when Netanyahu travels to New York for the next UN General Assembly session?

Israeli reaction to IAEA…

'The latest IAEA disclosures lend greater legitimacy for an Israeli strike on Iran'. That was the reaction of Zach Hanegbi, a former Likud cabinet minister who is close to Netanyahu. At a public gathering, Hanegbi also stressed the Israeli threat was not groundless and Israel would have no alternative, if the U.S. did not stand up to Iran. He then added that the U.S. estimate that Israel could not destroy but only delay Iran's nuclear program was correct. However this was also the case with Iraq (in 1981) when an Israeli strike on Saddam Hussein's reactor delayed Iraq's nuclear weapons program for decades.

Ariel Sharon & Iran...

A new voice has joined the tempestuous debate in Israel - a self-appointed spokesman for former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who has been in a coma since January 2006. Dov Wiessglass served as a senior adviser to Sharon and he is about to publish a book on his Sharon years. A caustic critic of Netanyahu, Wiessglass did not pull any punches. When asked by Yediot Ahronot how Sharon would deal with Iran he replied:

Ariel Sharon (Photo: Amit Shabi)

'In my opinion, if Sharon were prime minister today he would not bomb Iran. Nor would be act without close coordination with the U.S. I don't know if Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak are seriously intending to attack or whether it’s a tactic designed to prod the Americans to act more decisively. But even on the optimistic assumption that it's only tactics, there is an excess of tactics that have produced some problematic results: among other things, the fact that the U.S. Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs addressed reporters recently and told them explicitly that Israel lacks the capability'

Our government brought our sole ally to stand up and say we lacked the capability. Really it should be explained what the impact was on Iran that same day. Iran's intelligence people said to one another that the U.S. had issued its official assessment - it was not just some think tank or reserve Colonel who wrote an article in a newspaper. It was the estimate of those who produce the aircraft, the technologies and give them to Israel and who also train Israeli pilots. But the main thing was that Netanyahu damaged the U.S. relationship – no state likes to be blackmailed, in particular by a country that is entirely dependent on it. Israeli power is an iron fist but it is always covered by an American glove'.

'It is true that Iran must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, but I think that launching such a mission without U.S. cooperation is not a question of good or bad, it is simply impossible. When President Obama declared unequivocally that he would prevent a nuclear Iran, Israel should have replied we count on you, while at the same time keeping our eyes open to see that things were being executed at the right pace.'

Conclusions: 'To bomb or not to bomb' will be disputed in Israel until a possible meeting between Netanyahu and Obama later this month in the U.S. when the PM is due to address the UN General assembly session. Unless Israel or someone else detects Iran making a 'breakout' for the bomb, it is unlikely that Israel would attack and risk alienating Obama and half of the American voters who plan on voting for him. Naturally Ayatollah Khamenei is aware of this and the Iranians are not likely to cross any red lines before Nov.6th election.

Sign of troubled ties…

TIME magazine has reported that the U.S. has drastically scaled down more than two thirds of the U.S. troops who were planned to participate in a joint military exercise. Instead of 5,000 soldiers only 1,500 or less will arrive and instead of two Aegis Ballistic Defense warships only one will sail to Israel and even that was a 'maybe'. Patriot anti-missile systems will arrive as planned but without their crews. The magazine's headline reads 'U.S. Scales Back Military Exercise With Israel Affecting Potential Israeli Strike (on Iran). This conclusion is a bit of a stretch – how could such a token U.S. force in Israel tempt Israel to launch a monumental air strike against Iran? General Dempsey actually revealed the true reason of not being viewed as 'complicit' with any future Israeli strike on Iran.

David Essing

Back To The Top