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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Hezbollah Most Heavily Armed Force in Region Besides Israel

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrilla fighting force is among the most heavily armed in the region, according to IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who told the 2014 IDC Herzliya Conference on Monday that Israel is facing a lethal threat.

Israel’s military chief said just Israel and the top five nations of the world currently have more firepower today than Hezbollah. According to Gantz, the only nations more heavily armed than Hezbollah – which is supplied by Iran – are “the U.S., China, Russia, Israel, France, [and] the UK.”

It was a sobering moment for the audience at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, who heard that Israel is facing a new type of threat, one that originates from underground. Terrorists in Lebanon and in Gaza use bunkers, where they store their arms – in much the same way Israelis used underground facilities to produce bullets during the British Mandate to prepare for the 1948 War of Independence.

Attendees also heard the army chief explain that Israel’s neighbor to the north, Syria, is disintegrating. Regardless of what happens on the other side of the border, none of the options will be particularly good for Israel, Gantz explained. He added that “decades of conflict” are likely to continue in Syria, “perhaps more.” Hezbollah is actively involved in that war, fighting to defend President Bashar al-Assad; the experience gained in that fight may well aid the terrorist organization later in a future war against Israel, Gantz warned.

Moreover, a second front is again developing in the south with Gaza, where mid-to-long range missiles have again been stockpiled for a future war with Israel as well. Both the ruling Hamas terror organization and its allied Islamic Jihad terrorist group are fully backed by Iran, as is Hezbollah. All three would function as proxies for Iran, which has not given up its dream of annihilating Israel.

Nor has Iran abandoned its goal of developing a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, Gantz said.

Israel will take whatever action is deemed appropriate to neutralize that existential threat against the Jewish State, he said.

U.S.: ‘T-Minus 2 Months to Nuclear Iran’

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The United States has belatedly awakened to the fact that Tehran is ignoring its policies and moving ahead with nuclear development – as Israel predicted more than a decade ago.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday it would take Iran just two months to produce enough fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the same statement – in fact he warned it would take less time, unless actions were taken to slow or stop the process – in speeches to the United Nations in 2012 and in 2013.

Over the years, the Iranian nuclear program was hit with numerous mysterious problems that slowed down the process, including destructive viruses, assassinated nuclear physicists, and broken components, all of which were generally blamed on Israel.

Netanyahu’s predecessors in office have also warned the international community that Iran has been marching ahead with its nuclear development program. That has continued apace regardless of United Nations sanctions, diplomatic efforts, negotiations and any other attempts to slow down its drive to create nuclear weaponry.

This time as world powers gathered in Vienna to talk about working on a new agreement to slow down Iranian activity on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions, Kerry was warning American lawmakers that time is up.

The best the world can hope for is to get the Iranians to increase the “breakout” window from two months to half a year, maybe a year.

“I think it’s public knowledge today that we’re operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months. Six months to 12 months is… I’m not saying that’s what we’d settle for, but even that is significantly more [time],” he said, according to Reuters.

Still, Kerry claimed Iran only has enough so far for “just one bomb’s worth, conceivably, of material, but without any necessary capacity to put it in anything, to deliver it, to have any mechanism to do so.”

However, a recent shipment of sophisticated missiles and a missile launcher sent by Iran to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Syria proves that may not be the case. The missiles were of a new, advanced design built with a warhead capable of carrying a much heavier payload – possibly one that could carry nuclear material.

The trucks that were carrying the missiles and the launcher to a Hezbollah base were destroyed in an air strike that left four Hezbollah terrorists.

Netanyahu Says Deal with Iran Left It 6 Weeks Away from the Bomb

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

The interim deal between the major world powers and Iran left the Islamic Republic “six weeks from a nuclear weapon,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv Tuesday night.

He has previously said that the goal of should not just be to stop Iran from manufacturing a nuclear weapon but rather should make sure it does not have the capability to produce one.

Israel’s Strategic Options at the Eleventh Hour

Friday, December 20th, 2013

In the bitterest of ironies, ongoing diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5-plus-1 countries will allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons state. Although these talks could still slow down Iranian nuclearization, long-term strategic objectives in Tehran will likely remain unchanged.

It follows that Israel, the country most imperiled by an “Iranian bomb,” will now have to reassess its most immediate and extended self-defense options. Militarily, the starkly polar alternatives will include both an eleventh-hour conventional preemption against pertinent Iranian hard targets (an expression of “anticipatory self-defense” under international law), and certain carefully nuanced plans for stable and protracted nuclear deterrence.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose, prudently and irreversibly, between two discrete and mutually exclusive strategic options. This choice will be between exercising a last minute conventional preemption and accepting a posture, codified or unspoken, of long-term nuclear deterrence. Should it opt for the former, for a defensive first-strike known in correctly formal jurisprudence as “anticipatory self-defense,” Jerusalem could conceivably hold back Iranian nuclearization for a time, but only at extraordinary, and possibly even intolerable, cumulative costs.

These costs, interpenetrating and expectedly synergistic, could include not “merely” the sobering prospect of more-or-less destructive Iranian/Hizbullah non-nuclear reprisals but also a veritable whirlwind of international condemnations and correspondingly injurious sanctions.

Should Israel’s authoritative leadership decide to decline the eleventh-hour preemption option and select instead a promisingly viable plan for long-term deterrence of a conspicuously-impending nuclear adversary, core corollary decisions would be need to be made. These decisions would concern, inter alia, an expanding role for ballistic missile defenses, primarily the finely-tuned Arrow system of interception, and also continuance or discontinuance of deliberate nuclear ambiguity, the so-called “bomb in the basement.”

Once confronting a fully nuclear Iran, this question could quickly assume a distinctly primary urgency; then, it will have become absolutely essential to communicate to Tehran that Israel’s own nuclear forces were adequately secure from all enemy first-strikes; and predictably capable of penetrating all enemy active defenses.

It would also have become necessary to assure a now-nuclear Iran that Israel’s own nuclear weapons were plainly usable; that is, not of such recognizably high yield as to pose implausible threats of deterrence. In this connection, there may be a useful lesson for Israel from another adversarial dyad in world politics. Pakistan, in its own currently protracted nuclear standoff with India, is already tilting toward smaller or “tactical” nuclear weapons.

Since Pakistan first announced its test of the 60-kilometer Nasr ballistic missile in 2011, that country’s “advertised” emphasis upon TNW seems to have been designed to most effectively deter a conventional war with India. By threatening, implicitly, to use relatively low-yield “battlefield” nuclear weapons in retaliation for any major Indian conventional attacks, Pakistan plainly hopes to appear less provocative to Delhi, and thereby less likely to elicit any Indian nuclear reprisals.

Amid the arcane and complex minutiae of strategic planning, Israel vs. Iran is not directly analogous to India vs. Pakistan. For Israel, any purposeful nuclear retaliatory threats, whether still ambiguous or now newly disclosed, would ultimately need to deter an Iranian nuclear attack. Nonetheless, just as Pakistan had apparently calculated the benefit of tactical nuclear weapons-based retaliatory threats in curbing unwanted escalations from conventional to nuclear conflict, so too might Israel figure accordingly.

Here, more-or-less consciously drawing upon the pertinent Pakistani doctrinal changes in Southwest Asia, Jerusalem would reason that it, too, could better prevent the onset of a conventional war with a nuclear foe, by suitably employing credible threats of TNW, or theatre nuclear deterrence.

In the good old days of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Cold War, such calibrated strategic thinking had been given its own special name. Then, it was called “escalation dominance.” Already, it had been understood by the bipolar superpowers that fully adequate protection from nuclear attack must include not only the avoidance of “bolt-from-the-blue” missile attacks, but also the prevention of unwitting or uncontrollable escalations, from conventional to atomic war.

Occasionally, in difficult strategic calculations, truth can be counter-intuitive. Regarding Israeli preparations for nuclear security from Iran, there is an obvious but still generally overlooked irony. It is that in foreseeable circumstances of nuclear deterrence, the credibility of certain Israeli threats could sometimes vary inversely with perceived destructiveness. This means that one especially compelling reason for moving from deliberate ambiguity to selectively limited forms of nuclear disclosure would be to communicate to an Iranian enemy that Israel’s retaliatory nuclear weapons were not too large for actual operational use.

Israel’s decision-makers will also need to proceed more self-consciously and explicitly with another basic choice. This closely-related decision would concern a core comparative judgment between “assured destruction strategies,” and “nuclear war fighting strategies.” In narrowly military parlance, assured destruction strategies are sometimes also called “counter-value,” or “mutual assured destruction” (MAD) strategies. Nuclear war fighting strategies, on the other hand, are synonymous with “counterforce.”

To be continued

Truth and Evil Dance on Mandela’s Grave

Monday, December 9th, 2013

It is a necessary but sad evil when leaders like President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas have to cry over Nelson Mandela’s death even though both leaders, in their own ways, exploited or ignored him for their own causes, however justified in their own eyes.

Abbas and Peres should not be mentioned in the same breath, but the truth is that both are masters of manipulation whose mourning for Mandela to a certain extent is a mask for an uglier truth.

Abbas undoubtedly has proven himself to be a chess master par excellence in the diplomatic field, convincing virtually the entire world that the Palestinian Authority is some poor, hapless victim of apartheid and not a regime that was born out of terror and breathes and lives on the threat to kill Jews.

Abbas also is just another hapless Arab whose definition of helping his constituents is to create the right conditions for the destruction of Israel as Jewish state. For this, he rewrote the history of Mandela’s support for the Palestinian Authority as a country but on condition that Israel remain secure.

President Peres has turned his constant failure to be elected Prime Minister in his own right into a worldwide success as the Preacher of Peace and the naïve if not foolish pawn of anti-Zionists who have played on his vanity and weighed him down with every decoration and medal on earth so long as he keeps playing “nice Jew.”

So what if Jonathan Pollard still is in jail? Peres perhaps figures that his being awarded the Freedom Medal by President Barack Obama gives him more leverage to win Pollard’s freedom, just like he was sure that expelling Jews and pulling the IDF out of Gaza would guarantee peace and quiet for Israel.

But to Peres’ eternal credit, he also led the secret and not-so-secret effort to make Israel an undeclared nuclear power.

As a man of peace, it is only natural that Peres eulogize Mandela, who is not around to remind Peres that while the president was carrying out his duty to Israel to help its nuclear development, he did so while Mandela was suffering in his prison cell.

Abbas has served his cause faithfully, regardless of it being based on some of the biggest lies since Hitler and the Holocaust, which Abbas honored in his doctoral thesis that the Shoah really didn’t happen.

In short, yes, Abbas is a liar and a louse, but he is masterful at it.

He hailed Mandela as  a “symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation,” whose death “is a great loss for all the peoples of the world, and for Palestine.”

Even Hamas chipped in and called Mandela “one of the most important symbols of freedom and one of the most important supporters of the Palestinian people’s cause.”

Using the African apartheid to describe the Israeli “occupation” and security fence along Judea and Samaria is one of those gross and obscene propaganda tactics that historians will correct at some time in the future, on the assumption that “the truth will out.”

For anyone writing history now, refer to Mandela’s tour of the Middle East in 1999.

He indeed supported the idea of a Palestinian Authority state and that “talk of peace remains hollow if Israel continues to occupy Arab lands, but he said in the same breath, “I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.”

He made no mention of the “Green Line” or the 1949 “Temporary Armistice Lines.”

Mandela, like Peres, viewed the world through his own dreams and experiences, no matter how foreign from the Middle East. He saw Israel as practicing apartheid, and he also viewed Iran as a country that has no evil intentions towards Israel.

So much for his prowess in world affairs outside South Africa.

Lots of people kissed Mandela. One of them was Yasser Arafat. Comparing the two men as freedom-fighters is something out of a science fiction horror movie, and historians will have a hard time justifying that equation.

Another man who kissed Mandela was Peres.

“The world has lost a great leader who changed the face of history,” said Peres. “Nelson Mandela was a human rights fighter who made his mark on the war against discrimination and racism.”

The Israeli president said the right words at the right time in the name of the country. For all of Peres’ illusions, historians might remember him not so much for his peace preaching as for his leading Israel into the nuclear era.

Peres must be praised and complimented, but his contribution towards helping Israel be able to defend itself against even the worst imagineable threat does not remove the warts.

NBC News investigative journalist Robert Windrem reported Sunday that in the 1970s, while Mandela “was languishing in a damp prison cell on Robben Island, Peres was making deals with South Africa’s apartheid regime to trade missiles for money and the uranium needed for atomic bombs.”

Peres was defense minister at the time, and Yitzchak Rabin was Prime Minister. An agreement was made, according to NBC, to help South Africa carry out a propaganda campaign to brighten its image. South Africa paid handsomely for Israel’s help, and the close relationship between the two countries flourished to the point that they cooperated on military and nuclear development.

One of the key players in convincing South Africa to enter the agreement was a man names Eshel Rhoodie, according to NBC, which based its report on interviews and documents, including a book based on Israeli and South African government documents.

Another key person was Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood billionaire who two weeks ago confided that he was instrumental in helping Peres to advance Israel’s nuclear development.

“Israel certainly developed its own nuclear weapons, apparently with the help of South Africa” NBC reported. “Rhoodie and another high-ranking South African official told NBC of an arrangement between the two countries in the late 1970s in which South Africa supplied 600 tons of uranium to Israel in return for 30 grams of tritium, used to detonate nuclear weapons. The uranium was codenamed ‘mutton,’ the tritium ‘tea leaves and the overall exchange was called ‘Project Mint.’”

Peres was far from trying to back Mandela’s fight against apartheid. Rightfully putting Israel’s security above everything, the Israeli government provided the apartheid regime with Jericho missiles or at least Jericho technology.

This is known from computer imagery from U.S. spy satellites that tracked a missile launch east of Cape Town and discovered the images to be identical to Israel’s launch of the Jericho. With the Jericho, the South Africa regime was in a better position to win leverage in the region.

Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994, when relations with Israel were poor, to say the least.

A book in 2010 included previous nuclear sharing between South Africa and Israel, claims which Peres denied, although Milchan’s comments two weeks ago categorically state otherwise.

“I did it for my country and I’m proud of it,” Milchan said.

Peres cannot dare tell the truth. That is the price he has to pay for having been loyal to Israel’s security needs.

Abbas also cannot tell the truth about Mandela’s clarification of his support for a Palestinian Authority state. That is the price he pays for being loyal to the Arab religion of hate.

Mandela’s legacy can live without any reminders from Abbas and Peres, but both played their parts masterfully.

Dershowitz: Iran Deal Could Be ‘Cataclysmic Error’​

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Harvard Law School professor and vocal Israel supporter Alan Dershowitz said the deal reached in Geneva under which Iran promised to stop uranium enrichment beyond 5 percent in exchange for $7 billion in sanctions relief “could turn out to be a cataclysmic error of gigantic proportions.”

“It could also turn out to be successful, to be the beginning of a negotiated resolution,” Dershowitz told Newsmax.,” but I think the likelihood of it being the former is considerably greater.”

Dershowitz believes the Obama Administration has only a 10 percent chance of changing the Iranian leadership’s attitude on its nuclear program.

“When you weigh that against the 30 or 40 percent chance that they’re dead wrong—nuclear bomb wrong—then it’s a very bad assessment of risk and benefits,” he said.

Israel Warns US: Iran Building ICBMs for YOU, Not for Us

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Israel is openly opposed to the nuclear weapons deal the United States seems dead set on consummating with Iran.  The goal of that deal is the easing of international sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran taking limited steps suggesting a possible shift away from its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

The disagreement between the U.S. and Israel about the wisdom of this deal has become what many are calling a significant strain between the two allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned against the deal last week, calling it “a bad deal, a very, very bad deal,” and Israel remains steadfastly opposed. In turn, Secretary of State Kerry was quoted by senators as having told them to “ignore” what the Israelis were telling members of congress about the potential consequences of the deal.

Tuesday evening, Nov. 19, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev told CNN’s Jake Tapper that it isn’t just Israel in Iran’s cross-hairs, but it is the U.S. itself that is an intended target of Iran’s nuclear weapon.

The interview began with Tapper quoting the Iranians who said that Israel is “trying to torpedo the agreement.”

Regev explained that Israel is certainly not opposed to an agreement that will end Iran’s rush towards nuclear weapons. But, he explained, what Israel wants is a good agreement.

Regev suggested that the alternatives aren’t between coming to an agreement and going to war.  To illustrate, he offered the nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea that was entered into by the global community with great fanfare and celebration, but which turned out to be a very bad deal, as everyone learned.

North Korea, after having “shaken hands” on an agreement that barred it from developing nuclear weapons, within a year had not only developed those weapons, but exploded one. That was a spectacular display of what happens when a hopeful but naive global community places its trust in an inherently untrustworthy partner.

Israel’s goal is one Regev described as an agreement that actually, effectively, dismantles Iran’s nuclear weapons program, in contrast to the far more limited results the U.S. is seeking at this stage.

“Look, you can have an honest difference on what the estimates are,” Regev told Tapper, but the difference is not only about amounts, the difference is in direction.  And Israel fundamentally disagrees with the U.S. view of the equation.

The U.S. view is that “the Iranians take small steps and then the international community, in parallel, takes small steps, to encourage them to move in the right direction.”

“The trouble with that equation is that it’s based on a falsehood,” because, Regev stated the Israeli understanding, it is simply not true that the Iranians are taking steps in the right direction.

And here’s the fundamental distinction: “All that we’ve seen, all the information that we have is that the Iranians are taking only cosmetic measures that in no way undermines their goal of having a nuclear weapon.

“They’re not willing to take any serious step. Not to dismantle a single centrifuge.”

That’s not just a difference in degree, it’s a difference in kind.  It isn’t a question of how much, it is a question of “at all.”

The other significant concern which Regev touched on was that any easing of sanctions will actually lead to a complete collapse of the pressure on the Iranian economy, and therefore will mean there will be no pressure on Iran to even make the minor adjustments it has finally offered at this late stage.

But the really big news, the news that the Israeli government clearly wanted the American people to hear, is the direct consequences for Americans sitting in their homes in New York and Boston and Los Angeles and Houston.

This was the “okay, Washington, you may be willing to bet Iran won’t attack Americans in their homes, but the American people may feel a bit differently about that” approach.

Regev’s delivery and timing was perfect:

I mean, the Iranians are building intercontinental ballistic missiles. They’re not building them for us, they’ve already got missiles that can reach Israel.  They’re building them for you! For targets in North America and Western Europe. It’s crucial that we don’t allow them to get nuclear weapons.

The interview ended with Tapper trying to get Regev to comment about the strain between the two nations, but Regev was not interested in that line of questioning.  Instead, he ended the interview reminding the (American) audience that “Israel is directly affected by this.  This is for us a core issue in our national security.”

Regev’s mission for this interview was to present the idea that it isn’t just Israelis in Tel Aviv and Haifa who need to worry about Iran having nuclear weapons.  His message was that Americans need to see the problem of Iran becoming a country with nuclear weapons, one with its ICBMs pointed at the U.S., as a core issue for their national security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel-warns-us-iran-is-building-icbms-for-you-not-for-us/2013/11/20/

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