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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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U.S. Chief of Staff: ‘We Are Not Committed to Support an Israeli Attack on Iran’

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey (L.) and Army Lt. Col Mark Webber walking.

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey (L.) and Army Lt. Col Mark Webber walking.
Photo Credit: DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen

The U.S. and Israel don’t agree on the meaning of the same intelligence reports on Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. top general argued at the beginning of a visit to Afghanistan and Iraq, AFP reports.

Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said on Sunday that Israel sees the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions as something that could endanger Israel’s very existence.

Dempsey said he and his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz “compare intelligence, we discuss regional implications. And we’ve admitted to each other that our clocks are turning at different rates.”

“They are living with an existential concern that we are not living with.”

What a relief.

And if Israel were to launch a unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear sites, Dempsey said the U.S. military is under no obligation to back those bombing raids, nor would Israel expect it.

Speaking to reporters aboard his plane before landing Sunday night at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, Dempsey warned that air strikes by Israel would at best delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear project.

“You can take two countries and interpret the same intelligence and come out with two different conclusions. I’d suggest to you that’s what’s really happening here,” he said.

The four-star general is also not eager to intervene against the Syrian regime.

Asked if the U.S. will enforce a no-fly zone over Syria, Dempsey insisted such a move would tax military resources which are better used to deter Iran in the Gulf.

“I am helping shape the discussion (on potential military options for Syria),” he said.

“And I’ll tell you we have to clearly define our national interest. What you do in one place, whether it’s Syria or the Strait of Hormuz, there are trade offs. It’s a conversation that we should proceed with cautiously,” he concluded.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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24 Responses to “U.S. Chief of Staff: ‘We Are Not Committed to Support an Israeli Attack on Iran’”

  1. AJ Weberman says:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/103278843/Ahmadinejad-Al-Quds-Hitler-Speech-2012

    Only complete transcript of Al-Quds speech and comparison to Nazi propaganda and Mein Kampf.

  2. Mark L. Shane says:

    well, at least the expected truth is out…now a word from neighboring iran.

  3. I thought that the President was the one to make this kind of decision, not the Army. This general is out of line.

  4. John DeLancy says:

    The general is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the President. Obama wouldn't dare turn his back on Israel this close to the election, so he's getting someone else to do it for him. I hope that American Jews are not fooled by such chicanery.

  5. John DeLancy says:

    This man and the Commander-in-Chief whose will he is following do not represent me nor the very many Americans who support Israel. When the time comes, I pray for your safety and the success of your mission, and that Ha'shem keeps His hand over innocents (like babies) just as He keeps the IAF safe in His hand as well.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    No US military leader can commit the US to war. And no civilian leader can allow another country to determine whether the US goes to war or not.

    The exceptions are when the US has a properly negotiated and ratified mutual defense agreement such as that which the US has with Japan, or a multilateral defense agreement such as NATO. The US has no such agreement with Israel.

    I personally think that the US *should* have such an agreement, and that Israel should join NATO.

  7. Charlie Hall says:

    Actually military action against Iran would be more likely after an Obama victory. An attack on Iran would be very unpopular with the US electorate, who are tired of wars on the other side of the world.

  8. Turkey would veto Israel's inclusion, as expansions must be unanimously approved.

  9. Edward Lobel says:

    The general is speaking on his own! If he were under orders by the President he would not have said anything. The fact that he said "we are under no obligation" means eatly that. He does not say we would not, just there is not obligation. If you really think that the President is not a strong supporter of Israel, you are not thinking with your Jewish brain!

  10. Edward Lobel says:

    Charlie Hall – AMEN!

  11. Edward Lobel says:

    Simon H Gedney -Don't think you are correct here. If it were a serious consideration and it was only Turkey, there would be more pressure for them to accept Israel. However, I woulod think there would be other countries that would block them way before Turkey would and that list might begin with England!

  12. Edward Lobel says:

    John DeLancy, you are simply flat out wrong!

  13. Edward Lobel says:

    Charlie Hall – On the timig issue, you are correct, but about the popularity, I'm not so certain. You may be right, but I would think it would depend on the repubs.

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    It does have to be unanimous according to Article 10 of the NATO treaty. Interestingly, it limits expansion to countries in Europe; Mexico, for example, would not be admissible without an amendment, nor would Israel. (Canad was a charter member.)

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

    This does not prevent the US and Israel from establishing a formal military alliance such as that between the US and Japan.

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    Israel's Defense Minister thinks that the Obama administration is doing more for Israel than any predecessor:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1207/30/sitroom.02.html

    (His comments on Iran are also worth reading.)

  16. Edward Lobel says:

    Just a quick aside, you do know that Turkey is kind of unique in that it lies in two different continents. The extreme eastern hald (with most of Istanbul) is in Europe, and the balance of the country (I am only guessing about 80%) including the capitol of Ankara, lies in Asia. I
    wonder if Israel were to buy a small Greek Island would that mean they would be considered part of Europe? Just thinking out loud (LOL)

  17. John DeLancy says:

    Edward, he is such a strong supporter of Israel that he said at the beginning of his relationship that he wanted there to be daylight between the US and Israel. He supports Israel enough to bully Israel into not building on her own land and actually to state outright that the goal of the peace talks with the "Palestinian" Arabs is to move Israel back to the indefensible 1949 Armistice Line. His friendship with Israel is so close that he chose to blackmail Israel into not attacking Iran by making that the price of vetoing the "Palestinian" Arabs' bid to create a nation. President Obama is such a strong supporter of Israel that he _circumvented the Constitution_ to give money to the "Palestinian" Arabs after the Legislature – who holds the Constitutional "Power of the purse" withheld this money in accordance with US law. Obama the "friend" of Israel ignored the siege of Israeli Embassy personnel until Israel gave him the ultimatum that either he would act or Israel would. I could continue; there's been a lot more tangible evidence of Obama's feelings toward Bibi and toward Israel. But I will close here with the only summation appropriate for the above facts: with a "friend" like Obama, Israel doesn't need enemies.

  18. John DeLancy says:

    Charlie Hall This defense minister also sent IDF personnel to forcibly evict Jews who were living on Jewish land, because Arabs who were unlawfully building there demanded it. Because both share the same goal of a Judenrein Judea, it is logical that Ehud Barak and Barak Obama would speak positively of each other.

  19. Edward Lobel says:

    so shelly adelson is giving tons of money to repubs not for Obama's stance on Israel, so it must be because he is under investigation by the justice department for corrupt business practices! seems to me this would be tandamout to bribery!

  20. John DeLancy says:

    Edward please elaborate.

    In the past Obama has used his underlings to speak the perfidy that he knew would get him in hot water if he said it himself. The Chief of Staff is as definitively an underling as there is one. Obama does not want Israel to act to defend herself. And he does have Jewish supporters who have convinced themselves that Obama cares about them.

    The current underling's visit falls hard on the heals of the last one, a repeat visit by a man who has before been used to browbeat Israel into giving more and more concessions to people sworn to push every Jew into the sea. Telling the world that "we're not with them" is a cowardly statement meant to deflect blame and military attack against the US. And there are US Jews stupid enough to desire 4 more years of a man who openly sided with the "Palestinian" Arabs on the peace talks and who after the election will no longer need to placate the Jews.

    I'm not sure which of the above facts you think are incorrect.

  21. Edward Lobel says:

    John DeLancy – you are intitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. You may think your opinions are correct, but they are not.
    So I will leave here with the only appropreate facts, willard romeny believes it is right for mormons to convert dead Jews into his religion becasue when they were alive they didn't have enough time to study the mormon's true beliefs in their god and heaven, further, he has never done a single solitary thing to help Israel or any Jew. ryan is by his strong catholic belief an anti semite who has never done a damned thing to help Israel or any Jew with the possible exception of following that lying poor excuse for a Jew eric cantor.

  22. Charlie Hall says:

    I'm sure Sheldon Adelson could afford to buy an Island for Israel. And Greece could use the money!

  23. John DeLancy says:

    Edward, I am concerned. Sincerely so – I try to phrase sarcasm so that a reader will know it's sarcasm. Please tell me which facts I quoted were in fact misquotes? This is important to me to know.

    As far as Netanyahu's friend, I believe that his cult can be left aside (although ignoring 20 years under Jeremiah Wright was also a mistake, so … yea, that is a risk). He is an opportunist who will do what he believes will be most advantageous for him. Romney cannot afford to be as anti-Israel as the current occupant of the White House, given that Jews are not an insignificant part of our nation, and given that Evangelical Christians are getting over themselves and are giving Israel support instead of Blood Libel,

    Which of course brings us to Catholic Rep Ryan. According to his site, he believes in the 2-states-for-2-people hogwash that unfortunately Bibi also seems to follow, but his position looks phrased specifically as a rebuke to Obama's stated position of giving the "Palestinian" Arabs whatever they want. One of Ryan's advisors called for Congressional declaration of war with Iran. Given that a de facto state of war will exist between Israel and Iran soon, this lets the world know that we are, in fact, standing with our ally. While I don't think actual declaration of war is advisable by any means before the strike, it shows where the Ryan camp is.

    And yes, he is just an advisor, but Ryan himself scores -3 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues. for his pro-Israel voting record, which includes support for H.R. 1006. To recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel.

    Thank you, Edward; I had liked the Romney-Ryan ticket because it hinted that the US would be involved with less anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism than under the past 4 years, but a little study on the issue makes the ticket more attractive. Unlike Obama spokespeople, both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know that the capital of the Jewish nation will always be Yerushalayim.

  24. Edward Lobel says:

    As usuaul people like you simply do not know, do not want to know and even if you found out you wouldn't understand.
    Just because you think something and give a choice doesn't make you correct in your thoughts or choices.
    Obama doesn't have to convince me he has Jewish supporters, the simple truth of the matter is he does. There is one repub in congress (the senate has none) and Jewish dems between the congress and senate count 30! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE OBAMA STANDS ON ISRAEL AND HAS NO PROBLEMS WITH HIS STANCE!

    As for you second choice You simply will not accept the truth that Obama is 100% with the Jews and in your case you are a fool who doesn't understand and will believe anything fox news says.

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