The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
Ever since the article last month in The New York Times describing a major Israeli air force training exercise, analysts and prognosticators have been busy commenting, speculating, and, in many cases, downright fantasizing.
The front-page piece detailed an exercise involving hundreds of Israeli fighter jets flying over nine hundred miles and refueling mid-air on a practice run apparently targeting Iran – specifically, Iran’s nuclear capability. Now everyone is wondering if and when Israel will attack Iran for real.
Truth is, Israel might attack Iran — but only when there is no other alternative, only if the international community falls down on its job and allows Iran to achieve independent nuclear capability. That time is not now. Should that time come, however, Israel will not announce it anywhere, not in the Israeli press, not in the international press and certainly not on the front page of The New York Times.
The story was released not by anyone in Israel but by unnamed sources in the United States. Publicly announcing Israel’s ability to target Iran is not in Israel’s best interest, but it is in the interest of the United States. The story was pitched not by Israel in an attempt to place pressure on Iran, it was pitched by the U.S. as a public-relations ploy — a means of applying pressure on Iran. True, Israeli defense and diplomatic channels have neither denied nor confirmed it, and Israeli officials have probably collectively chuckled over the effect the story is having, but it was not their leak.
The U.S. is telling Tehran that there is a third party out there, and that this third party is acting independently. Washington is telling other European capitals to look out for Israel because Israel will destroy Iran’s nuclear capability on its own if they do not hurry up and act to get Iran under control.
The training exercise, which took place in early June, was not the first such exercise by Israel. It will not be the last. Israel needs to plan; it needs to be prepared for a worst case scenario, it needs to be ready to thwart an imminent attack.
If it seems certain Iran has gone beyond the threshold and is on the verge of having everything necessary to create a nuclear bomb — at that last possible moment, Israel will attack. And according to all Israeli estimates, that time won’t come for at least another eighteen months if Iran is not derailed by the international community.
An Israeli attack will be a specifically targeted attack. Israel will not set out to destroy everything Iran has; that would take too much effort and the risks would be too high. All Israel needs to do is derail Iranian nuclear productivity, to set back the clock, to delay the process. A successful Israeli attack on Iran will be an attack that buys the time needed to bring the weight of the world down on Tehran.
When Israel hit the Syrian agricultural laboratory last September 6, Israeli pilots knew how to negotiate the mountain ranges of Turkey. They knew because they had practiced repeatedly and Israel secured permission from Turkey to fly over Turkish air space.
Specifically, Israel had permission from Turkey to fly over its air space in order to enter and exit not Syria but Iran. The Turkish government was not pleased, to say the least, that Israel chose to use its air space to bomb Syria without asking, but the Turks got over it because they realize the need to keep Iran in check and they know that if all else fails, Israel will be forced into action.
Should international sanctions against Iran prove effective, Israel would be less likely to strike, regardless of the vitriol and intensity of Ahmadinejad’s verbal attacks against Israel and the West. Likewise, should Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, lose confidence in Ahmadinejad and ascertain that Israel and the international community are indeed capable of striking Iran, he might well decide to soften Iran’s nuclear stance, even for the short term, thereby reducing the chances of an Israeli attack.
Perhaps the most significant factor of all will be the identity of the next president of the United States. Israel will not and cannot go into Iran without a green light from the United States, and that green light is flashed directly from the Oval Office. Israel will petition for carte blanche permission and probably get a conditional yes depending on the intelligence reports and the urgency.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world
I never watched “Candid Camera” when I was a kid. We only watched The Wonderful World of Disney” and “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”
My parents enforced strict TV rules. But as an adult, when I can watch whatever I please, I really enjoy those old shows and have made up for lost time when it comes to shows like “Candid Camera.”
It’s called the Viper. It is a computer virus. Open it once and it propagates and grows in every other file that is opened.
And last month it struck Iran.
That’s the third computer virus to hit Iran in the past eighteen months. But this one, the Viper, is different from the others.
Saudi Arabia is, to use a term the royals would, “greatly displeased” with the United States. Displeased with U.S. foreign policy regarding Iran and equally displeased with the decisions the White House is making about Syria.
The real heroes of our age are pencil-protector geeks. They sit at home, behind their keyboards, determining the rules of the game that you and I live by – and we trust them to do so. They love toys. They love games. They enjoy battle. They are at the forefront of the cyber war that is enveloping the world.
The White House was misled by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. And that does not surprise me.
Publicly, the White House is saying that nothing in the relationship between Barak, who just this week left the Labor Party to form a new political faction, and the administration has changed. Privately, the White House is expressing disappointment, frustration and even anger.
Israel, the Palestinians, the United States. Each party is banking on the other. The Palestinians and the Israelis are banking on the failure of the resumption of direct talks. The United States is banking on the talks to succeed.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-iran-and-the-point-of-no-return/2008/07/09/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: